WASHINGTON, D.C.—Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), issued the following statement today applauding Governor Gary Herbert for signing the Attorney General Contingent Fee Contracts (S. B. 233) bill into law. The law promotes transparency and limits contingency fees when the State of Utah hires outside private plaintiffs’ lawyers.
“Governor Herbert has helped Utah take a significant step to rein in the troublesome practice of awarding contingency fee contracts to outside plaintiffs’ lawyers. Such schemes enrich lawyers at the expense of taxpayers and raise concerns about ‘pay-to-play,’ conflicts of interest, the use of a public entity for personal gain, and fairness in prosecutions.
“With the signing of this law, Utah joins a growing group of states including Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and Wisconsin that have recently taken action to limit outside contingency fee counsel arrangements by state attorneys general.
“Utah’s law enacts strong outside counsel sunshine measures. In particular, it includes a prohibition on the use of civil penalties or fines to calculate contingency fee awards and an overall cap on the total amount of money that outside lawyers can collect. Other states should follow Utah’s lead and adopt similar legislation.
“We commend Senator Stuart Adams for his leadership on this issue and thank Representative Brad Wilson and the Utah Civil Justice League for their steadfast support and work on the law. We also applaud Governor Herbert for signing it.”
ILR seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the global, national, state, and local levels.
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