Luther King Jr. dispute may end up in trial
Over the past months I’ve written several posts on the Martin Luther King Jr. estate dispute. The dispute is between his sons Martin Luther King III and Dexter King and his daughter Bernice King. At issue is the ownership of Luther King Jr.’s travelling bible and 1964 Novel Peace Prize medal. These are items of historic importance for the United States. The travelling bible was used to swear in President Barack Obama for his second term in office.
The parties appeared to want to avoid a prolonged legal battle. In February of 2015 Justice Robert McBurney stayed all proceedings to allow the parties time to resolve the matter. He allegedly ordered them to get a mediator to try to reach a deal. At one point several news sources reported that former President Jimmy Carter would mediate the dispute. In October of 2015 the parties confirmed they met with Jimmy Carter. The parties released a joint statement that they were confident the dispute will resolve. Finally, it appeared that a peaceful end was imminent.
The parties fail to resolve dispute
A recent story confirms that the dispute has not been resolved. Justice Robert McBurney has given the parties many chances to resolve the matter. On June 16, 2016 he confirmed that he was willing to allow the delay of more than a year due to the importance of the items in dispute. The three parties involved are the sole shareholders of Luther King Jr. Estate Inc. In January of 2014 a 2-1 vote took place in favour of selling the bible and the medal to a private buyer. Bernice was against the sale. She had the two items at the time. The brothers sued to obtain the items. The bible and the medal have been in a safety deposit box since March of 2014. The Court has the keys.
On June 16, 2016 Justice Robert McBurney refused to rule on the issue. There is no trial date yet. As a result, the dispute appears to be heading to trial. He gave the parties more time to resolve the dispute. The historic significance of the items is especially relevant in this case. Nonetheless, the matter will eventually proceed to trial as the parties are running out of time.
In conclusion, the Luther King Jr. dispute may have a significant impact on his legacy. The parties still have time to come up with a peaceful resolution. An additional mediation may be a good idea.
More on this story here.