Lawyers from Black Farmers' Case Fighting Over Fee

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- A once prominent African-American law firm has disintegrated in a fight over money after helping black farmers win $1.2 billion in a discrimination case.

State Sen. Hank Sanders says the Chestnut, Sanders and Sanders law firm in Selma was once among the nation's 10 largest black law firms. Now he's the only partner left practicing law.

Sanders and his wife, attorney Faya Rose Sanders, are involved in a legal fight with the family of their late partner, J.L. Chestnut Jr., over how to divide the $5.2 million legal fee that arose from the black farmers' case.

Chestnut's family is arguing that he played a critical role in the national litigation and his estate is due a large share. Sanders says the litigation broke the firm financially and in size.

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