State Contracts with Private Attorneys
A Call for Sunshine
ALEC developed the Private Attorney Retention Sunshine Act (PARSA) to address the increasing prevalence of government officials hiring outside private attorneys on contingency fee to conduct litigation on behalf of the state. As these hired attorneys are paid only if their case is successful, a profit motive arises where a public-interest motive should take precedence. While there may be certain circumstances under which this practice is justified, its expanded use in recent years and the opportunity for abuse make the establishment of certain hiring guidelines prudent policy.
State legislators across the country have taken up the cause and called for accountability and openness in the state’s hiring of outside counsel. ALEC’s model act requires competitive bidding, oversight, and transparency to guide and limit the contract attorney hiring process for state entities.
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