Mississippi Auditor Wants Attorney General to Pay Outside Lawyers with Appropriation
Posted Aug 4, 2011 7:25 AM CST
By Molly McDonough
Mississippi's auditor is challenging the state attorney general's practice of paying outside lawyers directly from litigation.
Republican State Auditor Stacy Pickering wants the Mississippi Supreme Court to declare that all funds collected from lawsuits should be turned over to the legislature before paying private counsel, the Associated Press reports.
Rather than directly paying outside counsel retained by the AG's office, Pickering argues the attorney general should request an appropriation for the fees.
The supreme court challenge comes after a lower court judge upheld $10 million in fees paid to lawyers for handling a suit against Microsoft that resulted in a $100 million settlement in 2009.
The AP notes that the state's high court is currently considering a similar case involving a group of lawyers who were awarded $14 million in fees involving a case against MCI.