Gov't Can Pay Contingent Atty Fees: Calif. High Court

Law360, New York (July 26, 2010, 7:39 PM EDT) -- The Supreme Court of California ruled Monday that a local government can retain private counsel to prosecute a civil public nuisance abatement case for contingency fees as long as government attorneys retain control over the case.

In an opinion penned by Chief Justice Ronald M. George, the court ruled in an appeal stemming from a decision in a long-running lead paint lawsuit and narrowed its own 1985 decision barring public entity plaintiffs from paying their private counsel under contingent fee agreements.

In the case in question,...
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