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June 13, 2014

Campaign Contributor Law Firm Stands to Make $6.75 Million from CA’s ‘Unclaimed Property’ Program

Yesterday, we posted about a media report that detailed the significant amount of campaign contributions California Controller John Chiang, who is running for re-election as state treasurer, has raised from a law firm hired on a contingency-fee basis to assist the state in collecting unclaimed property.

In that report, LegalNewsline reported that Chiang’s office “would not to disclose the amount of attorneys fees paid out so far for the firm’s role in retrieving the unclaimed claims.”

LegalNewsline has followed up with a story shedding more light on the attorneys fees, which could amount to $6.75 million.

“A law firm hired by California Controller John Chiang to bring litigation against insurers is set to make $6.75 million in attorney’s fees,” reports LegalNewsline.

Garin Casaleggio, deputy communications director for the Controller’s Office, says the law firm has, “engineered 18 settlements, bringing a total of $267 million in unpaid claims for Californians and $2.4 billion nationwide.” Casaleggio said the firm’s “contract is capped at $6.75 million.” 

Campaign disclosure reports show that, on a single day last year — June 30 — attorneys from that firm that made more than $11,000 in contributions to Chiang’s campaign.

LegalNewsline reports that it sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the office that also seeks information on any other private firms hired by the Controller’s Office.

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