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Key Votes

HB 211 - Authorizes Certian Officials to Hire Their Own Lawyers - Key Vote

Mississippi Key Votes

Perry Lee voted Yea (Conference Report Vote) on this Legislation.

Read statements Perry Lee made in this general time period.

Stages

Family

Issues

Stage Details

Legislation - Signed (Executive) -

Title: Authorizes Certian Officials to Hire Their Own Lawyers

Legislation - Conference Report Adopted (Senate) (34-18) - (Key vote)

Title: Authorizes Certian Officials to Hire Their Own Lawyers

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to adopt a conference report that amends the rules regarding the hiring of outside counsel by the state.

Highlights:
  • Requires the Attorney General to authorize retention of outside counsel by the state to act in his or her official capacity if the Attorney General declines representation when requested (Sec. 6).
  • Requires the Attorney General to withdraw from representation of the state if there is a significant disagreement over the legal strategy that is to be utilized  and to authorize retention of outside counsel to act instead of the Attorney General (Sec. 6).
  • Requires the Outside Counsel Oversight Commission to first approve the retention of outside counsel before the state elects an officer to act in the official capacity of the Attorney General (Sec. 6).
  • Specifies that the Outside Counsel Oversight Commission shall consist of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and the Secretary of State (Sec. 4).
  • Requires outside counsel hired by the Attorney General to keep current and complete written records of their time, in increments no greater than 6 minutes, and money spent per day in performance of a contract (Sec. 2).
  • Prohibits fees paid to outside counsel from exceeding the recognized bar rates for similar services (Secs. 3 & 6).
  • Limits the amount of contingency fees that can be paid to outside counsel hired by the state to certain percentages of the settlement not to exceed $50 million (Sec. 4).
Legislation - Conference Report Adopted (House) (63-56) - (Key vote)

Title: Authorizes Certian Officials to Hire Their Own Lawyers

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to adopt a conference report that amends the rules regarding the hiring of outside counsel by the state.

Highlights:
  • Requires the Attorney General to authorize retention of outside counsel by the state to act in his or her official capacity if the Attorney General declines representation when requested (Sec. 6).
  • Requires the Attorney General to withdraw from representation of the state if there is a significant disagreement over the legal strategy that is to be utilized  and to authorize retention of outside counsel to act instead of the Attorney General (Sec. 6).
  • Requires the Outside Counsel Oversight Commission to first approve the retention of outside counsel before the state elects an officer to act in the official capacity of the Attorney General (Sec. 6).
  • Specifies that the Outside Counsel Oversight Commission shall consist of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and the Secretary of State (Sec. 4).
  • Requires outside counsel hired by the Attorney General to keep current and complete written records of their time, in increments no greater than 6 minutes, and money spent per day in performance of a contract (Sec. 2).
  • Prohibits fees paid to outside counsel from exceeding the recognized bar rates for similar services (Secs. 3 & 6).
  • Limits the amount of contingency fees that can be paid to outside counsel hired by the state to certain percentages of the settlement not to exceed $50 million (Sec. 4).
Legislation - Nonconcurrence Vote Passed (House) -
Legislation - Bill Passed With Amendment (Senate) (35-17) -
Legislation - Bill Passed (House) (59-56) - (Key vote)

Title: Amends the Rules Regarding Hiring Outside Counsel

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that authorizes certain government officials to hire their own lawyers without the approval of the Attorney General, effective July 1, 2012.

Highlights:
  • Authorizes any officer to employ special counsel to represent the officer in litigation in lieu of the counsel assigned by the Office of the Attorney General in the following situations (Sec. 1):
    • The officer has submitted a written statement to the Personal Service Contract Review Board explaining that a conflict of interest exists with the Office of the Attorney General; or
    • The officer has submitted a written statement to the Personal Service Contract Review Board explaining that the necessary legal services cannot be adequately performed by the counsel assigned by the Attorney General.
  • Defines an “officer” as any of the following individuals (Sec. 1):
    • The Governor;
    • The Lieutenant Governor;
    • The Speaker of the House of Representatives;
    • The Attorney General;
    • The Secretary of State;
    • The State Treasurer;
    • The State Auditor;
    • The Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce;
    • The Commissioner of Insurance; or
    • The executive director of any state agency, board, commission, department or institution.
  • Authorizes the officer to pay special counsel with any funds appropriated or otherwise available to the officer (Sec. 1).
  • Requires officers to submit a contract for special counsel to the Personal Service Contract Review Board for publication on the Board’s website if the fee specified in the contract exceeds $100,000 (Sec. 1).
Note:

NOTE: AN AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION REQUIRES TWO-THIRDS APPROVAL IN EACH CHAMBER FOR PASSAGE. AN AMENDMENT MAY ALSO BE PROPOSED BY VOTER PETITION. IT MUST THEN BE APPROVED BY A MAJORITY OF CITIZENS VOTING IN THE NEXT ELECTION TO BECOME ENACTED.

Legislation - Introduced (House) -

Title: Amends the Rules Regarding Hiring Outside Counsel

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