The Southern Legal Resource Center

FORT WORTH, TX – At its meeting here on May 13, the Sons of Confederate Veterans General Executive Council accepted a check from the SLRC for the SCV’s share of damages awarded in an out-of-court settlement in the Jacqueline Duty case.

To a standing ovation from those present, SLRC Chief Trial Counsel Kirk D. Lyons handed SCV Commander-in-Chief Denne A. Sweeney a check for $11,383.05, the percentage of the damages earmarked for the SCV in return for its having funded nearly all costs of bringing the suit. The SCV’s return on the Duty case was more than half again as much as it realized from its parent case, Castorina v. Madison County School Board, which took up five years and an appeals process before ending in a precedent setting heritage victory.

Ms. Duty, now a college student, was barred from attending her senior prom on May 1, 2004, because she was wearing an evening dress patterned after the Confederate battle flag. She and her mother had worked for two years to complete the sequined, floor-length gown which has since become a Southern heritage icon. Suit was filed in December of 2004, with Kentucky attorney Earl-Ray Neal acting as local counsel. Neal and the SLRC had previously partnered in the Castorina case. The defendants’ attorneys moved to settle out of court following depositions by the SLRC’s expert witnesses early this year. The settlement agreement was finalized in March.