Lawyers in Black farmers' case fighting over fee - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Lawyers in Black farmers' case fighting over fee

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A Selma law firm is struggling to stay in business after helping Black farmers win a billion dollar discrimination lawsuit. The Chestnut, Sanders and Sanders was once a prominent African-American law firm, winning $1.2 billion in a discrimination case for farmers.

At one time, the firm was among the top 10 largest black law firms in the country. Now State Sen. Hank Sanders says he's only partner left practicing law.

Sanders and his wife, attorney Faya Rose Sanders, are in a legal battle with the family of their deceased partner, J.L. Chestnut Jr.  The two sides are at odds over how to divide the $5.2 million legal fee that acquired from the firm's labor on the black farmers' case.

Chestnut's family is argues his estate is entitled to a large portion of the earnings because of his role in the national litigation process. But Sanders says the litigation has disintegrated the firm in size and financially.

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