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April 10, 2014

Lawyers Float New Contract Idea in Louisiana Suit

The lawyers who were hired by a Louisiana board are offering to amend their contingency-fee contract. The revised contract would require the defendants to pay the lawyers directly, the Associated Press reports.

The lawyers were hired to sue 97 oil and gas companies for alleged damage to wetlands in south Louisiana.

The suit has drawn fire from Governor Bobby Jindal and the oil and gas industry. Critics say the board has no authority to file the suit or hire outside lawyers. A state Senate committee approved a bill that would invalidate the current contract by requiring the governor’s signature for the board to hire outside lawyers.

The governor’s executive assistant for coastal activities wasn’t impressed by the proposal, saying “this ‘offer’ misses the most important point … Neither the [board] nor its attorneys have authority to prosecute a lawsuit or to negotiate a settlement to remedy the ‘land loss crisis facing coastal Louisiana.’

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