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The Sunshine Brightens in Florida
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A law that will help bring Florida state government “into the sunshine” was signed into action Wednesday by Florida Gov. Charlie Crist . The Transparency in Private Attorney Contracting Act is designed to promote transparency and accountability in the awarding of contingency fee contracts by the Attorney General’s Office to outside legal counsel.

The law is modeled after policies currently in place under Attorney General Bill McCollum, according to a report from the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.  Fees will now be based on a tier system, capped at $50 million, and  public information on contingency contracts will be more readily available.

Crist hailed the move at a signing ceremony. “By giving Floridians increased access to their government, they have the opportunity to hold their government accountable. I am committed to maintaining the integrity of our competitive procurement process and am grateful to the Attorney General for being an advocate for Florida taxpayers and of government in the sunshine.”

  
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U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform President Lisa Rickard also praised the law while calling on other states to pass similar legislation.

“Florida has now set the standard for the nation for how states that allow private contingency fee lawsuits should engage in hiring these lawyers,” she said.

“We encourage other states that permit their AGs to hire private contingency fee counsel to follow suit to ensure that litigation brought by AGs is motivated by the public good, not by private profit.”

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The bill was sponsored by Sen. John Thrasher and Rep. Eric Eisnaugle.





 

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