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Sutherland Co-Sponsors Harvard University Conference on Brown v. Board of Education

April 1, 2004

ATLANTA (April 1, 2004) – To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP has collaborated with the Program on Education Policy and Governance at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University to present a conference entitled, "50 Years After Brown, What Have We Achieved and What Remains to be Done?"

The conference will take place at the John F. Kennedy School of Government on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on April 23-24, 2004.  Secretary of Education Rod Paige will deliver the keynote address.  Harvard University President Lawrence Summers will also speak at the conference, as will William T. Coleman, Jr. who will offer his unique insights into the Brown decision gained from being a member of the Brown plaintiffs' legal team.

The conference was developed by Sutherland's leading education litigation partners, Alfred A. Lindseth, John R. Munich and Rocco E. Testani, in conjunction with Professor Paul Peterson at Harvard.  More than 25 leading legal experts, academicians, researchers and policymakers, representing diverse points of view, will be brought together at the conference to discuss the most significant issue facing American education today – what can be done to close the achievement gap, the major unfinished business of Brown.  Speakers will address five major strategies for dealing with the achievement gap, including more resources, preschool programs, stronger accountability, increased diversity and increased choice and competition.  Each panel will address these strategies both from a policy and legal point of view.  The group of speakers has been selected to insure a true dialogue with different points of view represented.

At the conference, Mr. Lindseth will present a paper on education adequacy cases now being brought in many states.  Michael Rebell, Mr. Lindseth's opposing lawyer in the New York adequacy case, will appear on the same panel.  On another panel, Mr. Munich will present a paper on legal issues related to achieving greater diversity in elementary and secondary schools.  Lovida H. Coleman, William Coleman's daughter and also a partner at Sutherland, will chair the panel, exploring whether stronger accountability measures are the answer.

Sutherland's Education Litigation Group has a national reputation for representing both states and school districts in complex school desegregation and school financing litigation cases, both at the trial level and in the appellate courts.  The group has represented numerous states and large urban school districts in major cases including, among others, the States of Florida, New York, California, Connecticut, Minnesota, Michigan and Missouri.

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is a national law firm known for solving challenging business problems and resolving unique legal issues for many of the nation's largest companies.  Founded in 1924, the firm has grown to more than 350 lawyers with offices in Atlanta, Austin, Houston, New York, Tallahassee and Washington.  For further information about the firm, please visit

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