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Florida Law Targeting Plaintiff Lawyers Could Backfire

Economic Crisis

May 25, 2018

Florida Republican attorney general Pam Pondi wants to go after opioid makers and distributors with all the firepower she can muster, but some argue she’s running into trouble because of a state law that will cap the fees for any lawyers she hires. “I would never apply for that position or that task, and I don’t know any of the top-tier lawyers that would,” said a Tampa-based trial lawyer who was part of the team that won billions for the state in tobacco litigation during the 1990s. The cap, passed in 2010, limits contingency fees to $50 million (after expenses). That kind of money gets paid only in the most extreme and complicated cases, but this lawsuit would be that kind of case, notes this article from the Tampa Bay Times, and the defendants, including Walmart and Johnson & Johnson, would have very deep pockets. One of the main sponsors of the 2010 law is a former Florida AG whose clients now include the Chamber of Commerce. He is also quoted in the Times article, and he’s not sympathetic to the plaintiff lawyers. “There’s some really good law firms in Florida who could do this, and for the amount of money involved,” he said. “I’m sure she’s going to get some good candidates.”


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