Published January 13, 2015
Lawyers for Rosa Parks (search) went before a federal judge to seek legal fees in the civil rights pioneer's settled lawsuit against the Atlanta-based rap duo Outkast.
The April settlement ended a 1999 lawsuit in which Parks' attorneys accused Outkast of wrongly using her name in a song title. The amount of the settlement was not disclosed.
Under the terms of the settlement, Parks was to receive money to be used for her care and to pay bills. The 92-year-old has suffered from dementia since at least 2002.
Gregory Reed, a Detroit attorney who sued Outkast (search) on Parks' behalf, asked U.S. District Judge George Steeh on Thursday to award his law firm $220,000 and divide another $70,000 among three other firms. He made public a 1999 letter from Parks authorizing him to file the lawsuit and promising him one-third of any settlement.
Court records cited by The Detroit News show the settlement fund has paid out $150,000 in fees and costs to date, including payments to law firms and to cover some of Parks' bills.
Steeh scheduled another hearing for July 14.
Besides the cash settlement, Outkast and co-defendants SONY BMG Music Entertainment (search), Arista Records LLC and LaFace Records will collaborate on educational programs and a television show about Parks' life and legacy. OutKast and other contemporary artists also will perform on a tribute CD to be produced by SONY BMG.
Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery, Ala., bus in December 1955. Her arrest triggered a 381-day boycott of the bus system organized by a then little-known Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (search), a landmark event in the modern civil rights movement.