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May 15 was a busy day for the name partners at the Tyler, Texas-based Martin Walker law firm. Each billed 14.5 hours at $750 an hour, for a total of $21,750, to review lawsuits six Texas counties were preparing to file against opioid manufacturers and distributors that day.
Facing complaints of excessive fees, Texas counties release billing records of their opioid lawyers for free
Texas counties that demanded tens of thousands of dollars to provide billing records from outside attorneys representing them in opioid lawsuits have mostly agreed to hand them over for free
Some Texas counties are demanding tens of thousands of dollars to comply with open-records requests for documents detailing the time and expenses private attorneys have racked up so far representing them in opioid litigation.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has found that a Texas County has violated state law by refusing to comply with a request for the billing records of private attorneys the county hired to sue opioid manufacturers and distributors
Some lawyers and Texas counties who have teamed to sue the opioid industry have not received the required approval from a state official.
When it hired outside lawyers to represent it in lawsuits against the opioid industry, Harris County agreed to pay a contingency fee of 35%, more than double the rate in Dallas County and equal to the highest in the state.