UPDATE (9:04 pm) : Federal Court Judge Hardy Mays has ruled that The Commercial Appeal will not have to turn over comments from readers that were posted on the Commercial Appeal's website.
In a late night filing, the judge overseeing all of the court room batthles said the comments are not relative to the case.
He denied the motion.
The Shelby County commission had hoped to prove some sort of racial bias in the municipal schools suit.
The Municipal Schools lawsuit could be headed toward a settlement. Both sides are prepared to enter into mediation talks next week.
Judge Hardy Mays is expected to handle the process. Federal court records show he cleared time on his schedule.
Going into mediation allows all parties to work to reach a settlement agreement rather than waiting on judge mays' ruling on the case.
The key question of the lawsuit is whether it's constitutional for six Shelby County suburbs to launch municipal school systems. The suburbs already have started the process of creating the new school districts.
David Pickler, a member of the Unified School Board, says, "It's a good move and I hope that we can get a resolution that will allow our focus to be on planning for what the new Shelby County District is going to look like and what the suburban districts are going to look like and put the focus on education rather than litigation."
Court records reveal judge mays held two conference calls with both sides to discuss mediation.
Thursday afternoon, some of the suburban mayors and councils were meeting behind closed doors with their lawyers.
Mediation could be a positive process for all sides. They'll have to make concessions, but both sides will come away with a deal they can live with. Another benefit would be that it could end the case, saving both sides money on legal fees.