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Unpublished Paper
Barring Governmental Agencies’ Contingency Fee Retention Agreements With Outside Counsel: Protecting The Standard of Government Attorney Neutrality or Future Roadblock to Affirmative Social Benefit/Public Interest Litigation?
ExpressO (2011)
  • Mark F Baum
Abstract

State attorneys general enter into retention agreements with private attorneys with specialized knowledge and litigation experience in order to protect the health and financial interests of the state and adequately represent its citizens. Public-private attorney retention agreements have been challenged on the grounds that: (1) they violate ethical standards; (2) a special attorney’s right to compensation is coextensive with that of the Attorney General, and therefore, may only be compensated in the same manner as the Attorney General; (3) the retainer is an unlawful appropriation of state funds; (4) due process rights are violated by the state’s grant of police power to those with an incentive to use it for their financial gain; or (5) the relationships violate the demands of the neutrality doctrine placed on government officials. While the neutrality doctrine may raise valid concerns about the propriety of contingency fee arrangements, California’s ARCO decision adequately addresses and supports Washington’s government entity-private attorney retention analyses.

Keywords
  • public entity private attorney retention agreements,
  • ethical standards,
  • neutrality standard
Disciplines
Publication Date
November 18, 2011
Citation Information
Mark F Baum. "Barring Governmental Agencies’ Contingency Fee Retention Agreements With Outside Counsel: Protecting The Standard of Government Attorney Neutrality or Future Roadblock to Affirmative Social Benefit/Public Interest Litigation?" ExpressO (2011)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/mark_baum/1/