- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 10, 2006

DETROIT (AP) — Two groups fighting over the estate of Rosa Parks have agreed to submit the dispute to mediation in hopes of avoiding a trial.

Family members have been feuding for years with the people Parks appointed to handle her affairs. Last week, they filed a legal challenge over the will of the civil rights pioneer, who died in October at 92.

Frederick Toca, an attorney for the family members, said Tuesday he was confident his clients would win at trial, but he preferred to resolve the dispute out of court.

“Everyone seems committed to sitting down and trying to preserve the legacy,” he said after a meeting with a probate judge.

Jon Gandelot, an attorney for the other side, said: “I think we’re on the right track to try to resolve something.”

Retired Judge Adam Shakoor will be the mediator, even though he is closely involved in the case as one of two persons appointed by Mrs. Parks to handle her estate.

Mrs. Parks’ family members started legal proceedings in December for control of the legal rights to use Mrs. Parks’ name, photos and other yet-to-be-determined intellectual property.

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