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Tuesday, 07 June 2011 17:04

Shreveport Louisiana Paying For Contract Attorneys

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Mayor GloverIt’s time for our annual report on how much taxpayer money the city of Shreveport spent in 2010 on “contract attorneys,” who are hired by the city to represent it in specialized lawsuits.
How much the city is paying private or contract attorneys to handle the city’s legal work is always an interesting topic of discussion in local legal and  political circles.

These attorneys and law firms are not a part of the Shreveport City Attorney’s Office, which has its own staff of full and part-time attorneys to handle routine legal matters and some lawsuits against the city.
The city will usually contract with a private attorney for a lawsuit against the city in which a lawyer or law firm has expertise on the subject of the litigation.
So, who made big bucks in legal fees off the city in 2010?  Here is the list, arranged by amount received:
1 . A. M. Stroud
Tutt, Stroud & McKay/Barham, Warner, Stroud & McKay, LLC
Amount Paid:        $254,969.97
2.  Edwin Byrd, III
Pettiette, Armand, Dunkleman, Byrd, Woodley & Cromwell, LLP
Amount Paid:        $235,308.90
3.  Ronald F. Lattier
Law Office of Ronald F. Lattier
Amount Paid:        $217,249.10
4.  Dannye Malone
The Malone Law Firm
Amount Paid:        $177,415.96
5.  Neil Erwin
Neil Erwin Law, LLC
Amount Paid:        $149,381.25
6. Reginald Abrams
Abrams & Lafargue
Amount Paid:        $117,647.07
7.  S. P. Davis
Davis Law Office
Amount Paid:        $74,698.31
8.  Timothy W. Hardy
Lemle & Kelleher Law Firm
Amount Paid:        $45,681.22
9. Ron C. Stamps
Attorney at Law
Amount Paid:       $42,803.15
10. Theodore Casten
Casten & Pearce
Amount Paid:    $32,362.15
11. Weems, Schimpf, Gilsoul, Haines
Amount Paid:    $13,046.32
12. Jennifer McKay
Tutt, Stroud & McKay/Barham, Warner, Stroud & McKay, LLC
Amount Paid:       $8,741.23
13. Scott Chafin
Law Office of Scott J. Chafin
Amount Paid:       $5,428.00
14. Alex J. Washington, Jr.
Washington & Wells, LLC
Amount Paid:       $5,098.50
15. Tom Bordelon
Law Office of Tom Bordelon
Amount Paid:          $287.50
TOTAL CONTRACT FEES: $1,380,118.63.
We once were reminded by former Chief Administrative Officer Tom Dark to keep a couple of things in mind with regard to the fees paid by the city to contract attorneys.
The amount of claims and judgments paid out  under one mayoral administration may have been part  of an ongoing legal battle from a previous administration.
And, some of the fees attributed to some attorneys may have been for real estate acquisitions or for escrow payments on property acquisitions.  That amount would have to be subtracted from the total fees paid.
It is entirely possible, therefore, that this was the case with the attorneys and law firms that received large amounts of money from the city.

From past to present
For comparison sake, here is a quick look back at how much the city of Shreveport has paid out in contract attorney fees since 1997:
Under Mayor Bo Williams
City Attorney: Jerry Jones   
1997 – $1,173,137.
1998 – $1,818,306.
Under Mayor Keith Hightower
City Attorney: Ramon Lafitte
1999 – $1,414,229.
2000 – $2,308,450.
2001 – $2,419,482.
2002 – $2,263,088.
2003 – Unavailable.
2004 – $3,598,799.
2005 – $2,105,870.
2006 – $1,911,360.
Under Mayor Cedric Glover
City Attorney: Terri Scott
2007 – $1,613,610.     
2008 – $1,401,964.
2009 – $1,207,524.
2010 – $1,380,119.


By Lou Gehrig Burnett, Publisher of Fax-Net, an email newsletter based out of North Louisiana

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