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January 22nd, 2016

Los Angeles Taxpayers Victimized by Plaintiffs’ Lawyers

California continues to earn its ranking as the nation’s #1 Judicial Hellhole as Los Angeles County’s litigation expenses ballooned 24% in FY 2014-2015.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, taxpayers ponied up nearly $120 million to defend lawsuits against the county, up from nearly $96 million the year before.  Claims against the Sheriff’s Department accounted for half of these expenses.  But what about the rest of the money, and how was it spent?

According to this year’s County Counsel Annual Litigation Cost Report, of the $118.9 million paid in litigation expenses this year, $59.9 million was paid in judgments and settlements – a nearly 50% increase compared to last year.

The other $59 million went to cover attorneys fees and costs, with nearly 80% of that going to outside counsel under contract to defend the county.  Meanwhile, fees for attorneys actually employed by the county were down 3%.

With $46.8 million going to non-county attorneys, taxpayers might appreciate some accountability and transparency in the process.  But the lawyers who contribute to the campaigns of county lawmakers like to keep their business quiet, so, notes CityWatchLA, there is no such accountability and transparency.

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