North Carolina AG Candidates Fail To Embrace Government Transparency
ATRA reports North Carolina attorney general candidates’ inaction on transparency code pledge.
The major party candidates vying for the office of attorney general in North Carolina do not support good-government principles, the American Tort Reform Association reports.
Neither incumbent Attorney General Josh Stein (D) nor Republican candidate, Jim O’Neill, agreed to sign ATRA’s Attorney General Transparency Code pledge, the 2020 State Attorney General Candidate Questionnaire.
“We are disappointed North Carolina voters do not have an attorney general candidate committed to common sense transparency standards,” ATRA President Tiger Joyce said. “However, there is still time before the election and we urge both incumbent AG Josh Stein and his opponent Jim O’Neill to sign the pledge and demonstrate that, if elected, they can indeed commit to transparent, accountable government.”
ATRA developed the Transparency Code as a collection of model policies to govern the use of outside counsel by state attorneys general. Attorneys general play a critical role in creating a fairer system for all as their state’s head law enforcement officers.
Twenty-three states, including North Carolina, have passed laws that reflect principles of the Transparency Code. North Carolina enacted legislation in 2014 to prohibit state agencies from contracting with a private attorney unless the AG states the contingency fee representation is both cost-effective and in the public interest. The legislation includes additional transparency efforts including requiring the private attorneys to submit a request for proposal and a limit on attorneys fees.
“We hope to build on these best practices with North Carolina’s next AG to ensure these important reforms are upheld in 2021 and beyond,” Joyce said.
Increasing government transparency and reducing excessive litigation are critical aspects of enhancing a state’s economic development climate and growing job opportunities. ATRA works with state and local leaders to continually improve our civil justice system.
“In every instance, a state’s attorney general should seek to provide the highest quality services at the best value for hardworking taxpayers when considering whether to contract with outside counsel,” Joyce said. “Signing ATRA’s Transparency Code is critical to bringing greater transparency and accountability to the Office of Attorney General in North Carolina.”
Attorneys general need the discretion and independence to enforce state law, free from the influence of parties that may have a private interest in the outcome of any litigation their office may take on.
For more information about ATRA’s work in creating greater transparency among state attorneys general, please visit AGSunshine.com.
Want more updates on civil justice reform? Sign up for ATRA’s occasional email updates.
View all news
More Work Remains on Tort Reform
This letter-to-the-editor was originally published by The Herald-Dispatch in Huntington, WV. West Virginia was a mainstay on the American Tort Reform Foundation’s “Judicial Hellholes®” list for nearly 20 years, finally […]
Fla.’s Legal Reform Package Makes It a Judicial Hellholes Point of Light
These strong but fair laws will solidify Florida as a model of a forward-looking state with a judicial system that is transparent, fair and accountable for all.
Lawmakers Denounced for Pushing Punitive Damages in Last-Minute Amendment
Illinois Businesses Brace for Increased Costs and Diminished Appeal as Trial Bar Pushes for Punitive Damages in Wrongful Death Cases
ATRA President Tiger Joyce on WFLA-FM Tallahassee
ATRA President Tiger Joyce discusses Florida’s 2023 legal reform successes with Preston Scott on WFLA-FM Tallahassee.
Florida Named Judicial Hellholes Point of Light, DeSantis’s Efforts Praised
2023 legislative session resulted in landmark legal reforms, ATRF says
New Florida Bill to Regulate Misleading Legal Services Ads on Pharmaceutical Drugs and Medical Devices
ATRA’s Latest Data Reveals $271.8 Million Spent on Legal Services Advertising in Florida in 2022; Florida Accounted for Nearly 20% of Radio Ad Spending Nationwide