Rhode Island v. Lead Industries Ass'n.
- Case Date: 2/22/2005
- Project Name: Reining in the Plaintiffs' Bar
On June 2, 2006, the Rhode Island Supreme Court said that it would defer ruling on whether the State's Attorney General acted improperly in retaining plaintiffs' lawyers on a contingency fee basis to bring a nuisance action against companies that decades ago manufactured lead-based paint. WLF had filed a brief urging the court to bar such arrangements. WLF argued that such fee agreements create an inherent conflict of interest and constitute an improper delegation of a State's police powers. In its ruling, the court noted that an appeal from the underlying litigation, which alleges that the continued presence of lead paint on Rhode Island houses represents a public nuisance, is expected to reach the Supreme Court in due course. Although the court in 2005 agreed to address the attorney retention issue on an expedited basis, the June 2, 2006 ruling said that consideration of the issue was premature until the appeal of the underlying litigation reaches the court.
More Information and Downloads:
2/22/2005: Download the Brief
Litigation Update: Court Defers Ruling on Whether State May Hire Contingency Fee Lawyers