Outgoing Louisiana AG's 'Buddy System' Highlighted

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December 02, 2015

The Louisiana Watchdog highlights outgoing Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell's questionable use of outside private contingency counsel to sue companies on behalf of the state. Specifically, the report highlights Caldwell's use of private law firms in the Gulf oil spill litigation.

"One of those private firms, New Orleans-based Usry, Weeks & Matthews, ended up billing Louisiana taxpayers for more than $7 million in legal fees," reports the Watchdog. "While they were cashing checks from the state treasury, those attorneys were donating $115,000 to help re-elect Caldwell, the same Republican attorney general who handed out the $600 per-hour, no-bid contract in the first place."

The article highlights similar cases in which the attorneys general in Mississippi and Pennsylvania struck similar deals with private contingency fee counsel.

"A lot of this stuff happens in secretive, no-bid ways. It’s not out in the open,” said Bryan Quigley, ILR's Senior Vice President of Strategic Communications.

Read the full story here.