Republican legislators are miffed that a few Iowa attornies are getting 44-milion dollars for working on the state’s successful case against tobacco companies. House Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Larson, a republican from Cedar Rapids, sponsoring a bill which would limit compensation to one-thousand dollars an hour for lawyers who work on cases for the state.Republicans charge democrat Attorney General Tom Miller picked his friends in the Iowa legal community for the tobacco case, while Miller contends it was a challenge to get ANY attorney to sign on as before this case, no one had ever beaten the tobacco industry in court. The G-O-P bill would require “open bidding” for lawyers who wish to work on state lawsuits.Larson, by the way, is an attorney. Governor Vilsack, a trial lawyer by trade, didn’t immediately reject the republican proposal, but raised some concerns about how it might work.Vilsack wonders if the state will get the best lawyers under an open bidding process, and whether a lawyer’s win/loss ratio will be considered.
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