WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), issued the following statement today regarding Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s signing of House Bill 799 promoting transparency and limiting contingency fees when the state attorney general, a state agency, or non-state public agencies hire outside private plaintiffs’ attorneys to represent them:
“We commend Governor Jindal’s enactment of this law to rein in the troublesome practice of awarding contingency fee and other contracts to outside plaintiffs’ lawyers to represent the state. Such schemes enrich lawyers at the expense of taxpayers and raise significant concerns about ‘pay-to-play,’ conflicts of interest, the use of a public entity for personal gain, and fairness in enforcement. This new law will advance openness, transparency, and good governance that should be the hallmarks of the office of any state attorney general.
“In Louisiana, legal technicalities and defiance of the state Supreme Court have resulted in plaintiffs’ lawyers who donate to the state attorney general, looking to cash in on their relationships by representing the state.
“With the passage of this bill, Louisiana joins a growing group of states—including Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Wisconsin, and West Virginia—that have taken action to limit outside contingency fee counsel arrangements by AGs.”
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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