41-4803. Contingent fee limitation; requirements; notices; applicability

A. This state may not enter into a contingency fee contract that provides for this state's private attorney to receive a contingency fee from this state's portion of the recovery in excess of an aggregate of all of the following:

1. Twenty-five per cent of the initial recovery of less than ten million dollars.

2. Twenty per cent of that portion of any recovery of ten million dollars or more but less than fifteen million dollars.

3. Fifteen per cent of that portion of any recovery of fifteen million dollars or more but less than twenty million dollars.

4. Ten per cent of that portion of any recovery of twenty million dollars or more but less than twenty-five million dollars.

5. Five per cent of any recovery of twenty-five million dollars or more.

B. The contingency fee received by this state's private attorney shall not exceed fifty million dollars, except for reasonable costs and expenses and regardless of the number of lawsuits filed or the number of private attorneys retained to achieve the recovery.

C. The state shall not enter into a contract for contingency fee attorney services unless the following requirements are met throughout the contract period and any extensions of the contract:

1. A government attorney retains ultimate control over the course and conduct of the case.

2. A government attorney with supervisory authority is personally involved in overseeing the litigation.

3. A government attorney retains veto power over any decisions made by the private attorney.

4. Any defendant's attorney that is the subject of the litigation may contact the lead government attorney directly without having to confer with the private attorney.

5. A government attorney with supervisory authority for the case attends all settlement conferences. For the purposes of this paragraph, "attends" includes attendance by phone, teleconferencing or similar electronic devices.

6. Decisions regarding settlement of the case may not be delegated to this state's private attorney.

D. The attorney general shall develop a standard addendum to every contract for contingent fee attorney services that the attorney general must use in all cases, describing in detail what is expected of both the contracted private attorney and this state, including the requirements prescribed in subsection C.

E. The attorney general shall post copies of any executed contingency fee contract and the attorney general's written determination to enter into a contingency fee contract with the private attorney on the attorney general's website for public inspection within five business days after the date the contract is executed, which shall remain posted on the website for the duration of the contingency fee contract, including any extensions or amendments of the contract, unless the attorney general determines that the posting may cause damage to the reputation of any business or person.  Notwithstanding the requirements of this subsection, posting on the website shall be made no later than when a lawsuit is filed. The attorney general shall post any payment of contingency fees on the attorney general's website within fifteen days after the payment of the contingency fees to the private attorney, which shall remain posted on the website for at least three hundred sixty-five days thereafter.

F. Any private attorney under contract to provide services to this state on a contingency fee basis, from the inception of the contract until at least four years after the contract expires or is terminated, shall maintain detailed current records, including documentation of all expenses, disbursements, charges, credits, underlying receipts and invoices and other financial transactions that concern the provision of the attorney services. The private attorney shall make all the records available for inspection and copying on request pursuant to title 39, chapter 1, article 2.  The private attorney shall maintain detailed contemporaneous time records for the attorneys and paralegals working on the matter in increments of no greater than one tenth of one hour and shall promptly provide these records to the attorney general on request.

G. This chapter does not apply to any contingent fee contract in which this state hires a private attorney to pursue debt collection and restitution cases for this state.