Mo. House passes guidelines for attorney contracts

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers have approved guidelines for the state to follow when it hires private attorneys.

The legislation requires the attorney general to put contingency-fee contracts out for bid and hire the private attorney with the lowest bid. Private lawyers’ expense reports would be public records, and the attorney general would have to post some information about their contracts online.

Contingency fees are a portion of any verdict or settlement won by a lawyer.

State government routinely hires outside counsel at hourly rates for specialized cases, such as those involving Medicaid. But the attorney general’s office says it hasn’t hired outside lawyers on a contingency basis since the 1998 settlement with the tobacco industry.

The legislation now goes to Gov. Jay Nixon.

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Contingency contracts bill is SB59

Online:

Legislature: http://www.moga.mo.gov

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