Fortune reports on CEI's arguments against the practice of Attorneys General paying contingency fees to trial lawyers for lawsuits against industry.
Free-market enthusiasts, for instance, have long complained about the cozy relationship between trial lawyers and attorneys general. It was a private trial lawyer who first proposed the idea of state’s attorneys general suing tobacco companies in order to compensate for the cost of caring, under Medicaid, for patients sick from tobacco use. State attorneys general agreed to pay trial lawyers on a contingency fee, and the suit eventually led to the landmark Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, which led to tobacco companies to cease many marketing activities and pay state governments an annual sum in perpetuity.
Groups like the Manhattan Institute and the Competitive Enterprise Institute argue that this practice of Attorneys General paying contingency fees to trial lawyers who help the state with cases creates a corrupt relationship between the private and public sectors. A New York Times report from 2014 found that plaintiffs lawyers donated close to $10 million to states attorneys general in the previous 10 years, and in places like Mississippi, those lawyers were sometimes awarded with contracts that paid handsomely on a contingency basis.
Read the full article at Fortune.