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August 20, 2004

Calif. insurance dept. hires lawyer on contingency

You'd think the government of the state of California, with its $97 billion budget, could afford to hire lawyers the regular way. But according to the WSJ, Commissioner John Garamendi's Insurance Department has retained private attorney Gary Fontana on a contingency basis to assert civil claims against French entities involved in dealings with collapsed Executive Life, on behalf of policyholders. Fontana is demanding $2.4 billion from the French state and $1 billion from a French private business; we haven't seen reference to what his contingency share would be of those sums if recovered. The controversy is straining relations with France. (Glenn Simpson, "How Insurance Spat Further Frayed U.S.-French Ties", Wall Street Journal, Apr. 16, reprinted at website of Rep. Doug Ose). More on the case: Business Week.

Posted by Walter Olson at 12:09 AM | TrackBack (1)

Attorneys' Fees and Ethics
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