Lawyers for Rosa Parks
and representatives for BMG will finally come to the table in a settlement meeting
scheduled to take place this month.
According to Parks’
lawyer Gregory Reed, the settlement talks are aimed at ending a five-year-old
dispute over Outkast’s hit song “Rosa Parks,” from their platinum
1998 album Aquemini.
Parks sued Outkast’s
parent label, German corporate giant BMG, claiming that the company was profiting
off of her name, which is a registered trademark.
The lawsuit also
alleges the conglomerate defamed her name and legacy as a Civil Rights
pioneer for African-Americans.
In the ongoing
saga surrounding the dispute, Parks’ nieces have been excluded from providing
testimony about the case due to credibility issues.
In October, a press
release was issued on behalf of Parks’ family, stating that they sided
are only about money and they [Reed and her caregiver Elaine Steele] are trying
to acquire it from Outkast," the statement read.
Read said the judges
decision bolstered his earlier denial of the families accusations.
see that they were valid or credible,” Reed told AllHipHop.com. “This
is major, because they were using this as a platform to create a media frenzy
and the court felt this was an abuse of Mrs. Parks. BMG has been hiding behind
that Outkast was not the focus of the lawsuit. He defended himself saying “I
don’t blame the family, I just think there is lack of understanding and
they don’t know what the facts are.”
Those facts and
more are expected to be revealed if the case goes to trial January 10, 2005.
Parks is being
defended by some of the most powerful attorneys. Johnny Cochran, Willie Gary,
Richard Manson and Stephanie Hammonds will defend the 91 year-old Parks, who
cannot take the stand due to her age.