Other lawyers besides Musgrove have appeared before school boards, including Dustin Childers, the son of Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Travis Childers and Casey Langston Lott, the nephew of disbarred lawyer Joey Langston. The pair works for the Langston and Lott law firm in Booneville.
Lott confirmed that the self-described MAEP Legal Group hopes to sue and win judgment before the 2015 Legislature convenes, but deferred further comment to Musgrove.
A proposed agreement obtained by The Associated Press calls for the MAEP Legal Group to get 25 percent of any award won by a district up to $10 million. Fees would then step down. But about two-thirds of Mississippi’s 147 school districts are unlikely to recover more than $10 million because they have fewer than 3,000 students. Districts would also have to pay lawsuit expenses.
“I think the money needs to go to kids that deserve it and not exorbitant legal fees,” Bounds said.
Keith said lawsuit organizers have offered some school board attorneys 10 percent of any award for the district they represent. As long as lawyers tell their clients about such payments, that’s not illegal, Keith said, but it might be persuasive.