In Alabama, The Transparency in Private Attorneys Contract Act (TiPAC), seeks to regulate contingency fee contracts and cap attorney fees for private attorneys hired by the state of Alabama. The legislation would place a statutory cap on contingency fees and regulate the attorney-client relationship.
Contingency fees will be limited to 22 percent of the first $10 million; plus 20 percent of the next $15 million; plus 16 percent of the next $25 million; plus 12 percent of the next $25 million; plus 8 percent of the next $25 million; plus 7.1 percent of any recovery exceeding $100 million. Total fees are capped at $75 million per action. In addition, contingency fee attorneys must keep detailed records of expenses and time spent on a case, which would be available to the state for inspection.
What is more, the legislation mandates that the AG attorney retains complete control over the litigation. The AG attorney has supervisory authority, retains veto power over any decision by private attorneys, may be contacted directly by defendants, must attend all settlement conferences, and has exclusive over settlement decisions.
"At NALFA, we oppose this legislation," said Terry Jesse, executive director. "Judges should determine reasonable fee awards, not politicians. This is a tort reform and ALEC-backed initiative that puts corporate interests above the people of Alabama. No qualified litigator would work on a case under these conditions and as a result, the people of Alabama will lose out on qualified representation in important civil litigation," Jesse concluded.