Feature article about the firm's continued involvement in school desegregation litigation in North Carolina.
Charlotte lawyer Corie D. Pauling and Chapel Hill lawyer William Simpson Jr. now oversee the Coppedge case for Chambers’ law firm, Ferguson Stein Chambers. They are working with the Justice Department and the school district to achieve greater desegregation.
The plaintiffs’ complaints have evolved from basic desegregation by numbers to attention to the important details of quality of education, learning and discipline. There is no question that there are racial disparities, Pauling and Simpson say. But unlike the early litigation in Franklin County, the parties are tackling these issues in a more unified fashion.
"The school board believes in the concept of desegregation," Simpson says. "Our goal is to move it up on the list of priorities."
The lawyers are careful to point out that the length of the case is not an indication of failure. "You can look at the division that existed in Louisburg before and the hostility that existed and how that hostility has been eliminated," Chambers says. "All this shows that people can live together and that communities can grow and prosper."