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Capping Lawyers’ Tobacco Fees

Capping Lawyers’ Tobacco Fees

WASHINGTON--One of Shakespeare’s characters wanted to "kill all the lawyers." Rep. Scott McInnis (R-Colo) just wants to cap their legal fees, at least in any national tobacco agreement. In introducing a bill to limit any legal fees from a settlement to $150 an hour plus expenses, Rep. McInnis noted that some states have entered into contracts with private attorneys that called for payments of up to 25% of funds collected from tobacco cases.

"I hope this legislation will serve to initiate the debate regarding how the money from a tobacco settlement deal is to be allocated," he said. "I believe that the funds would best be used to prevent underage smoking, not to line the pockets of a few trial attorneys."

For example, lawyers in the recent multibillion dollar Texas settlement stand to collect $2.2 billion under their contract with the state.

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