WASHINGTON--One of Shakespeares 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.