Tuesday, December 23, 2008
SLRC MOVES TO BLOCK CHANGE OF COURT IN McCLAREN CASE
MEMPHIS, TN – Defense attorneys in the case of McClaren vs. Compass Intervention Center have had the case removed from it a local court to a U.S. Court, and the SLRC and its local counsel have countered with a motion to return the case to its original jurisdiction.
Lawyers for Compass filed the removal from Shelby County Circuit Court to U. S. Court for the Western District of Tennessee without warning on November 24. The SLRC, with the assistance of local counsel T. Tarry Beasley, is now filing a motion for remand – that is, a motion to send the suit back to Shelby County, where the suit was filed in early October.
“We have found the smoking gun,” said SLRC Chief Trial Counsel Kirk Lyons. “We trust that if the court takes proper notice of the law, this case will be returned to the proper venue.”
Plaintiff in the case is Paul McClaren, who resides in Olive Branch, MS, but who worked as a counselor for Compass in Memphis for a total of 10 years. He was terminated in October, 2007, after a running dialogue with Center officials over a decorative Confederate battle flag he displayed on the front of his vehicle and a state-issued Sons of Confederate Veterans Mississippi license tag on its rear.
McClaren says he had the tags on his vehicle for years without incident, but claims that the clinic’s then recently-hired CEO demanded that McClaren either stop using the company parking lot as long as the tags were in place or park far enough away and in such a manner as to conceal them. McClaren contends that he made every reasonable effort to comply with the clinic’s request, but that he was discharged anyway, without notice and without severance benefits.