AG outside counsel bill passes House, heads to Senate

By Chris Dickerson | Jan 26, 2016

CHARLESTON – A House bill to codify Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s outside counsel policy is headed to the state Senate.

House Bill 4007 passed the House of Delegates on Jan. 25 on a 96-1 vote. It would restrict fees to outside counsel hired by the state Attorney General’s office and prevent those attorneys from contributing to that attorney general’s re-election campaign while working for the state.

Attorneys would get paid up to 25 percent on settlements under $10 million. After that, the fee percentage drops as the settlement grows.

The measure also would require a written justification for hiring an outside attorney to work on a case for the AG’s office.

It essentially would make law what Morrisey has done since he took office in 2013. During last year’s legislative session, Morrisey’s office says the policy already had saved nearly $4 million since it was introduced

Last year, a similar bill passed the Senate but died in the House.

During his 2012 campaign, Morrisey unveiled the outside counsel policy requiring transparency and competitive bidding for the appointment of private attorneys to represent the state and its agencies in legal proceedings. The use of outside counsel was a key part of Morrisey's campaign against former Attorney General Darrell McGraw.

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State of West Virginia Virginia Attorney General's Office

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