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Carmalita "CC" Carletos-Drayton

Shareholder
Memphis
T: 901.577.2210
F: 901.577.0794

CC Drayton concentrates her practice in transactional and regulatory matters involving government entities. She has extensive experience in government contracting, economic development, commercial real estate, environmental, zoning and land use matters.

Featured Experience

Represented a municipality during the successful negotiation of a $2.5 million consent decree with the Department of Justice, Region IV of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act related to sanitary sewer overflows. Resulted in one of the lowest settlements in the state of Tennessee and EPA's Region IV.

Served as legal project manager for all contract procurement required for implementation and compliance with an environmental consent decree based upon an estimated $253 million to be incurred by the client in project expenditures. Procurement included negotiating and drafting of project management and construction management-at-risk agreements.

Successfully negotiated an almost $20 million incentives package for a public Fortune 500 company. 

Professional Biography

Overview

Ms. Drayton primarily represents government entities and corporations that interact with government entities. As a member of the Firm's Real Estate and Environmental practices, she focuses on commercial real estate transactions involving government entities, economic development matters related to "PILOT" (payment-in-lieu-of taxes) transactions, and local and state government incentives. Her environmental law practice has an emphasis on Brownfield Agreements, violations of the Clean Water Act and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits involving the operation and maintenance of sanitary sewer systems. She successfully negotiated a $2.5 million consent decree with the Department of Justice, Region IV of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) which resulted in one of the lowest settlements in the state of Tennessee and EPA's Region IV. Ms. Drayton regularly handles regulatory environmental compliance matters involving EPA Region IV and TDEC for public entities and private corporations.

Ms. Drayton also has extensive experience with government contracting, including handling procurement matters, bid protests, and drafting and negotiating of government related contracts such as public-private partnership agreements, encroachment agreements, lease agreements, and purchase and sale agreements.  She has represented telecommunications industry clients and has appeared before municipal boards and commissions on land use and zoning matters.

Prior to joining Baker Donelson, Ms. Drayton served as the senior assistant city attorney for the City of Memphis. During her 14-year tenure in the City's Law Division, she was responsible for managing the transactional department for all municipal matters, with a focus on government contracting, environmental transactions, public finance (serving as in-house disclosure counsel), grants compliance and administration, and regulatory compliance matters. She also served as in-house counsel assigned to the Board of Adjustment, Landmarks Commission, Land Use Control Board and Office of Planning and Development.

Ms. Drayton has prior experience in private practice, having litigated a variety of civil matters in federal and state courts, including commercial, employment, torts and products liability, electronic commerce, and technological litigation lawsuits for national and mid-size companies.

Representative Matters
  • Represented a municipality during the successful negotiation of a $2.5 million consent decree with the Department of Justice, Region IV of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act related to sanitary sewer overflows. Resulted in one of the lowest settlements in the state of Tennessee and EPA's Region IV.

  • Served as legal project manager for all contract procurement required for implementation and compliance with an environmental consent decree based upon an estimated $253 million to be incurred by the client in project expenditures. Procurement included negotiating and drafting of project management and construction management-at-risk agreements.

  • Represented a pretreatment program in the regulation and monitoring of industrial discharges to wastewater treatment plants.

  • Represented a client in enforcement actions related to a violation of a municipal storm water ordinance, pre-treatment program and sewer use ordinance.

  • Represented a municipality in negotiations and appeals to TDEC regarding proposed NPDES permits to be issued for operation of wastewater treatment plants.

  • Successfully negotiated the procurement of a new parking meter system for a major municipal entity.

  • Successfully negotiated the procurement contracts and public finance agreements for the implementation and expanded use of red light and speed camera enforcement systems for a major municipal entity.

  • Successfully negotiated an almost $20 million incentives package for a public Fortune 500 company. 

  • Successfully appealed a zoning matter on behalf of a national tower company before a major municipal zoning board.

Professional Honors & Activities
  • Member – Memphis Bar Association, Leadership Forum Graduate
  • Member – American Bar Association
  • Fellow – Memphis Bar Foundation
  • Co-Chair Retention Committee  Baker Donelson Women's Initiative Committee
  • Recruiting Committee Baker Donelson
Speaking Engagements
  • "How to Best Position Your Company's Interest: Negotiating Subcontract Agreements," PTAC – Federal Subcontractor Seminar Series, Memphis, Tennessee (May 2018)
  • "Scaling M/WBES Through Bona Fide Minority-Majority Partnerships," The MMBC Continuum 2017 Economic Development Forum (June 2017)
  • "Contracting with City Government," City of Memphis Risk Management Conference, Memphis, Tennessee (May 2015)
  • "Environmental Issues Facing Local Governments," International Municipal Lawyer's Association Conference, Baltimore, Maryland (September 2014)

Education

  • Thurgood Marshall School of Law, J.D., 1999, cum laude
    • Thurgood Marshall Law Review
  • University of Memphis, B.A. in Political Science, 1996

Admissions

  • Tennessee, 1999

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