WASHINGTON, D.C. – Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), issued the following statement today regarding Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant’s signing of legislation promoting transparency and capping contingency fees when the state attorney general, a state agency, or elected officials hire outside private plaintiff attorneys to represent the state.
“Through its ‘sunshine’ law, Mississippi today took a significant step to rein in the troublesome practice of awarding contingency fee contracts to plaintiffs’ lawyers who are also major campaign contributors to the state attorney general.
“Such ‘pay-to-play’ schemes enrich lawyers at the expense of taxpayers and raise significant concerns about conflicts of interest, favoritism, the use of a public entity for personal gain, and fairness in prosecutions.
“With this new law, Mississippi joins a vanguard of states like Arizona, Florida and Indiana who have led the effort to open the relationships between state attorneys general and private lawyers hired to work with them to public scrutiny. Governor Phil Bryant, Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves, Speaker Philip Gunn, Senator Briggs Hopson, and Representative Mark Baker are to be commended for their leadership.”
ILR seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the national, state, and local levels.
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