1965 Louisiana School Suit Cost Payment Approved

November 23, 2011

A federal judge has approved a settlement that calls for the St. Landry Parish School Board in Lafayette, La., to pay $800,000 to the attorney who was on the opposing side of the parish’s school desegregation case for more than four decades.

Opelousas attorney Marion Overton White, who filed the St. Landry Parish desegregation lawsuit in 1965, had initially sought nearly $10 million in legal fees for his work on the case from the 1960s until it was resolved earlier this year.

The Advocate reports the initial bill was based on White’s request for a $700-per-hour fee for 14,136 hours of work.

The school board fought the initial request, and the settlement was approved by the board earlier this month.

The agreement was formalized Monday by U.S. District Judge Tucker Melancon.

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