JUDGE SCHEDULES McCLAREN CASE FOR FEBRUARY, 2010
Southern Legal Resource Center
MEMPHIS, TN – Federal Judge Samuel H. Mays today set February 16, 2010, as the trial date in the case of McClaren v. United Health Care d/b/a Compass Intervention Center, a lawsuit filed by a staff therapist against the Memphis clinic which fired him for failure to comply with demands that he either remove Confederate-themed license tags from his vehicle or park off company property.
McClaren, who resides in Olive Branch, Mississippi, and is a member of the Mississippi Sons of Confederate Veterans, was discharged from Compass in October of 2007 following a running dialogue with the clinic’s new management over the fact that his vehicle displayed a decorative Confederate flag tag on its front and a state-issued SCV license plate on its rear. McClaren contended he had parked the vehicle on company property for five years without comment or incident. In October of 2008 the Southern Legal Resource Center brought suit against the clinic and its parent company on McClaren’s behalf, claiming retaliatory discharge. Attorneys for United health Care then had the case moved from local to Federal court.
SLRC Chief Trial Counsel Kirk D. Lyons called the removal of the case to federal court “a self-serving tactic by the defense” and said it was “designed to do nothing but delay hearing the case on its merits and cause additional work and expense on our part. Nevertheless. Lyons said the SLRC is “comfortable with our case’s new home, and we look forward to advocating on Paul McClaren’s behalf in federal court. The judge and I had a pleasant visit by phone this morning.”
Lyons said the one-year lead time is “a pretty liberal application of local scheduling rules,” and that it will allow adequate time for discovery, including a number of witness depositions, in preparation for the trial.