Friday, March 2, 2012

ATRA takes a swing at Jim Hood and misses terribly

The American Tort Reform Association issued a press release yesterday containing an email from its Communications Director, Darren McKinney, to Attorney General Jim Hood.  In the release, ATRA says McKinney was responding to "what he felt was a misleading campaign email" Hood sent regarding HB 211.

That's funny, because apparently no one at ATRA bothered to read HB 211 before criticizing Hood about his opposition to it.

In his email to Attorney General Hood, McKinney says:
By clearly setting conditions to be met before state officials can enter into contingency fee contracts for legal services, and by requiring public disclosure of such legal contracts and fees, the bill would promote greater accountability and transparency.  And by placing incremental restrictions on the amount of contingency fees that can be paid to outside counsel, the bill would ensure that the state gets its fair share of awards from litigation while properly reducing the likelihood of self-interests trumping the public interest.
Well, you already know that the first part of the above selection is a ruse: contingency fee contracts have been on the Attorney General's website for years.  But guess what?  HB 211 doesn't place "incremental restrictions on the amount of contingency fees" as McKinney claims.  It's hard to take outside groups like this seriously when they don't even bother to read the bills they are complaining about.

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