John O'Brien Apr. 22, 2008, 3:00pm
TRENTON, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram is defending the State's decision to hire a prominent law firm to assist in Gov. Jon Corzine's toll road plan.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom submitted a higher rate than its main competitor but still earned the contract, which has earned it and another firm nearly $4 million. The firm was recommended by then-Attorney General Stuart Rabner (now the state Supreme Court's Chief Justice) in Jan. 2001.
"We went with the firm that we believed had broader expertise and resources to handle the transaction," Milgram said Monday, according to a report in the Asbury Park Press.
Skadden's original bid was $548 per hour, almost $50 more than the one submitted by another competitor, the report adds. Milgram said Skadden's bid, though, offered a 10-percent refund if the toll plan is not approved, while the other firm required a 10-percent charge if it was, the report says.
Orion Energy Services recently hired Skadden to defend it against a federal securities class action suit. The firm employs more than 2,000 attorneys on four continents, with American offices in New York, Houston, Boston, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, Palo Alto, Calif., San Francisco and Wilmington, Del.
The report says another $3.9 million in bills are pending from the toll plan.
Corzine hopes to establish a nonprofit agency to manage and maintain toll roads.