New Oklahoma Law to Address Transparency in Private Attorney Contracting
A bill addressing private attorney contracting was signed into law in Oklahoma on Friday. Governor Kevin Stitt (R) signed Senate Bill 984, which was sponsored by Senator Kim David (R) and Representative […]
A bill addressing private attorney contracting was signed into law in Oklahoma on Friday.
Governor Kevin Stitt (R) signed Senate Bill 984, which was sponsored by Senator Kim David (R) and Representative Terry O’Donnell (R).
“We are grateful to Governor Stitt and the lawmakers who brought this important legislation in Oklahoma,” American Tort Reform Association President Tiger Joyce said. “The use of private, contingency-fee lawyers by state attorneys general has become increasingly common over the last two decades. However, these private attorney contracts align the prosecutorial power of the state with a profit incentive, based on contingency-fees, to maximize damages no matter the facts presented in a case.”
The new law will limit contingency fees based on a sliding scale tied to the size of a settlement and will limit the total fee payable to any private firm at $50 million.
“S.B. 984 is an important reform recognizing the discretion and independence needed to enforce state laws free from the influence of parties that may have a private interest in litigation outcomes,” Joyce said. “It implements commonsense, good-government principles including transparency and accountability, and will rein in exorbitant attorneys’ fees.”
16 other states similarly limit contingency fees for state-lawyer contracts.
“States with laws addressing transparency in private attorney contracting continue to hire quality representation when needed while better managing taxpayer resources,” Joyce said. “The bill’s reasonable fee limits will reduce the incentive for contingency fee lawyers to bring novel claims with the potential for a jackpot settlement.”
More information on transparency in private attorney contracting is available at AGSunshine.com.
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