Ohio Senate Works to Rein in Closed-Door Deals with Private Attorneys
The Ohio Senate just passed legislation that would require oversight and fee limitations when the state Attorney General hires private attorneys on contingency fee. Where other government-hired servicers are required to submit public proposals and bid for contracts, attorneys have long been able to sidestep this transparency and strike deals out of the public eye. The Ohio legislation, similar to the ALEC Private Attorney Retention Sunshine Act, would put an end to this discrepancy.
Since the tobacco litigation of the 1990’s, private attorneys have brought innovative litigation to Attorneys General offices seeking to bring their lawsuits with state authority and the chance at a larger settlement. Under Ohio’s proposal, any litigation brought with the authority of the AG’s office must be regulated by the Attorney General to ensure that taxpayers are getting justice rather than profit-motivated advocacy.
Senator Bill Seitz, the Ohio Senate and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine should be applauded for their attention to this important issue.
Read more about the ALEC model policy in Lawsuit Reform for Competitive State Economies and check out the Columbus Dispatch article.