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Sirote's Barry Ragsdale to Present Mock Argument on Historical Birmingham Civil Rights Case

March 17, 2014

Sirote & Permutt shareholder Barry Ragsdale will be a key presenter in the reenactment of a landmark Birmingham civil rights case. The case Katzenbach v. McClung will be presented on March 20, 2014, at the Leslie Wright Center at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. The event will last from 9 a.m.– noon and will be free to the public.

Before the mock oral argument, a short original play entitled “It Began in Birmingham” will portray the origins of the case from the perspective of those who lived it. Ragsdale will play the part of Ollie McClung, Sr., one of the owners of Ollie’s Barbecue.

In an effort to educate students about the role that appellate decisions played during the Civil Rights Movement, Ragsdale will then join Kevin L. Butler, federal public defender for the Northern District of Alabama, to present a mock oral argument of the significant 1964 case. Katzenbach v. McClung highlights a time in Birmingham’s history when the local restaurant Ollie’s Barbecue only served black customers at the take-out window.

Following the presentation, a panel of local opinion leaders and commentators will discuss the case’s significance on present-day civil rights issues.

Ragsdale is a litigator and member of Sirote’s Appellate Practice Group. He represents defendants and plaintiffs in anti-trust, securities, insurance and business fraud cases. He also handles matters involving products liability, shareholder, and other complex litigation and class actions. Ragsdale sits on the Board of Bar Examiners and is the Chairman of the Business Torts and Antitrust Section of the Alabama State Bar. He is a member of the Alabama Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the Alabama Rules of Appellate Procedure and is a former president of American Inns of Court, Birmingham Chapter. Ragsdale has also been recognized as a Top Appellate Attorney by Birmingham Magazine and is listed in Alabama Super Lawyers for Business Litigation.

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