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For Motley Rice, chicken every Sunday

Assisting Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson in his legal battle over pollution runoff damage against Tyson Foods and seven other poultry companies with operations in Arkansas (see this post from last year) is none other than the S.C.-based law firm of Motley Rice, of tobacco, asbestos and lead paint fame, to name only the highlights. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in February profiled the firm, which Edmondson has cut in for a finger-lickin' one-third contingency share of the state's recovery. The percentage formula appears a little bit touchy as an issue: "Edmondson said he was disturbed in 2003 when attorneys received $7.3 million of a $7.5 million settlement in the city of Tulsa's lawsuit against Arkansas poultry companies and the city of Decatur over pollution in the Eucha-Spavinaw watershed." Attorney General Mike Beebe of Arkansas has suggested that Edmondson's use of Motley Rice will make it harder to resolve the conflict between the two states: "as long as it's monetary, it's much more difficult for farmers, the people in Arkansas and us to solve the environmental concerns. The more the South Carolina law firm is involved, the more difficult it is for us as a state, the more it's about the money and the less it's about the environment."

More on Edmondson here, here and here.

Update: AEI's AG Watch has more on the story, including links to national news coverage.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.