How much will Cuccinelli's legal forays cost?
After months of grabbing headlines for his aggressive legal actions, Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli and his staff have been spending a lot of time in court. One wonders how much all of this will cost taxpayers.
In Richmond last week, Cuccinelli's staff was in federal court defending his lawsuit over the health reform law spearheaded by President Obama claiming that the federal government has no right to force Virginians to buy health insurance.
Meanwhile, the University of Virginia has deployed its white shoe law firm, Hogan Lovells, to fight off Cuccinelli's civil investigative demands that he is using to probe possible fraud involving five research grants linked to Michael Mann, a former professor at U.Va. and a global warming specialist.
Cuccinelli spokesman Brian Gottstein says that filing the lawsuit against the feds cost $350 and that no lawyers in the office are being taken away from other work. He did not know how much the U.Va. action would cost. Carol Woods, a U.Va. spokesperson, did not return my phone calls.
Hogan Lovells is a high-priced law firm, formed recently by the merger of Washington's venerable Hogan & Hartson and London's Lovells. The new entity has 2,500 lawyers in 47 offices around the world. A Washington area lawyer told me that their rates could run from $500 to $1,500 an hour, depending on how many lawyers they put on the U.Va. case. It isn't clear if taxpayers will be stuck with U.Va.'s legal bill or how it will be paid.
Meanwhile, the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit advocacy group, claims that Cuccinelli's probe is flawed because he is misreading e-mails that surfaced last fall in a controversy at Britain's University of East Anglia, which collects global warming research for the United Nations. The science group says that some of the e-mail that Cuccinelli is using as evidence have nothing to do with Mann, who is now at Pennsylvania State University and who has been cleared by that school's look into the integrity of his research.
| July 6, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
Categories: HotTopic, Local blog network, Va. Politics, Virginia, economy, energy, environment, health care, public health, schools, taxes
Save & Share: Previous: Should the Pentagon hamper Metro access?
Next: Dear COG and Board of Trade: Democracy is healthy
Posted by: fendertweed | July 6, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: BruceFairfax | July 7, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: missingwisc | July 7, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.