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Contingent-fee tax collection in Mississippi, cont'd

Mississippi state auditor Phil Bryant "has issued a demand letter for recovery of the $14 million in legal fees paid by MCI to two law firms in the wake of the state's $110 million settlement with MCI in a 2005 tax fraud case." The Langston and Lundy & Davis law firms "were hired as outside counsel to represent the state by current Attorney General [Jim] Hood. Langston has been identified as one of Hood's largest campaign contributors, a reality that Langston doesn't deny." The two firms were then cut into the $14 million as part of the negotiated settlement, but Bryant says the money belonged to the public and should have gone through the appropriations process. The twist: to enforce the state's rights in the matter, Bryant will apparently have to call on legal support from the office of AG Hood himself, and you have to wonder how cooperative he'll be. (Sid Salter, "Langston: State asks recovery of legal fees", Jackson Clarion-Ledger, Sept. 23; "State parties bring smack down", Biloxi Sun-Herald, Sept. 23). More on the furor: Point of Law, May 13 and May 23, 2005 (cross-posted from Overlawyered).

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.