Darrell Phillips, former TV newsman and soon-to-be lawyer, wrote an interesting article in the latest issue of Memphis Lawyer. It’s about a University of Memphis law student whose research into consolidation became the basis for the federal lawsuit challenging the state law requiring the dual referenda to approve consolidation of city and county governments.  The state law in effect gives suburban voters veto power over city voters.

Here’s how the article begins:

Eric Setterlund is no mere law student.

Indeed, he has the typical swagger of a third-year,  nonplussed by long reading assignments or the threat of an unexpected flogging in the classroom. Like most of his closest friends, he spends much of his time at the downtown law school. Like them, he is looking forward to graduation, to passing the bar, and to taking over the real world.
Setterlund however, has done something his peers have not.

This scrappy wunderkind has managed to throw a pebble into the pond of public debate and its ripples are lapping at the foundations of a controversial Tennessee law.
If you have read a newspaper during the past two months, you have read about Setterlund’s work. You just didn’t know it.

Setterlund has spent the past year and a half developing a mini-treatise on the consolidation of Memphis and Shelby County governments. To date, it remains a 45-page draft attacking the legal viability of Tennessee’s consolidation provisions.
It has never been published. Yet, unfinished copies have been shared, emailed and faxed among our community’s elite.
More incredibly, Setterlund’s work provided a research basis for recent litigation that paralyzed the certification of votes on the November 2nd consolidation referendum and may ultimately
lead to a redrafting of state law.

To read the rest of the article, click this link and go to page 6.