TiPAC: H.B. 799 (2014)


Codifies a Louisiana Supreme Court decision that the state cannot

Codifies a Louisiana Supreme Court decision that the state cannot compensate attorneys on a contingency fee basis, absent express statutory authority; provides that, in cases where a statute allows for the recovery of attorney’s fees for the prevailing party, those attorney fee awards belong to the state, absent express statutory authority; clarifies that outside counsel are considered to be public servants under the Louisiana Code of Ethics and can only receive pay from the state government entity by which they are employed; requires outside counsel to keep accurate time and expense records, and limits hourly rates to the lesser of the maximum rate approved by the Attorney’s Fee Review Board or $500; requires outside counsel to be approved by the governor and attorney general for state work; requires an application for approval to include a copy of the proposed contract and a resolution to include a statement of real need, a statement fully providing the reasons for the action, a full statement of compensation to be paid, and, if applicable, statutory authority for a contingency fee; requires the governor and/or the attorney general to respond in writing with approval or rejection of the application and to outline the reasons for rejection.  The bill is prospective in nature, exempts local and parish governments and colleges and universities, and requires preference be given to Louisiana attorneys.

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