Carmalita Drayton

Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC

$ $$$

Madison Avenue 165
Memphis 38103 TN US

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

Ms. Drayton primarily represents government entities and corporations that interact with government entities. As a member of the Firm’s Real Estate Group, her practice primarily 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.

She also practices in environmental law with 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.

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, 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.


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

ADMISSIONS : Tennessee, 1999

Representative Matters:

  • 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 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 the procurement of a new parking meter system for a major municipal entity.
  • 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
  • Recruiting Committee – Baker Donelson


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Madison Avenue 165
Memphis 38103 TN US
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Broadway 42
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