Legal fees 25 percent in main part of savings bond case, worth $40 million potentially | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Legal fees 25 percent in main part of savings bond case, worth $40 million potentially

Posted By on Wed, Nov 25, 2015 at 7:06 AM

Just to clarify the record: I mentioned yesterday that lawyers in the case seeking state possession of  perhaps $160 million in unclaimed U.S. savings bonds were working on a contingency fee deal that would pay them 25 percent of the proceeds if the state eventually lays claim to bonds not now in its possession.

A Democrat-Gazette article this morning put the fee at 10 percent. Both are correct after a fashion, but the 25 percent is the most important figure.


In short, the letter says Cooper and Kirk of Washington and Kessler, Topaz, Meltzer and Check will get a 10 percent fee on any of the bonds already in the auditor's possession if a court orders they have reverted to state title, not simply custody. A 2015 law now allows the state to claim not just custody but ownership if unclaimed property and to cash in bonds if owners don't claim them two years after they've been declared unclaimed. Auditor Andrea Lea told me that's about $300,000 worth of bonds, or a potential $30,000 fee.

But the lawsuit is really about the $17 billion in unclaimed matured bonds being held by the federal Treasury, an estimated $160 million of which were purchased by people with Arkansas addresses. Says the agreement:

In the event of a monetary settlement or award received relating to bonds escheated to the state pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. 18-28-231 or as a result of litigation in the court of federal claims, counsel will be paid 25 percent of the amount of any compensation paid to the state.

The lawyers get nothing without a win. They stand a pretty good chance of picking up $30,000 or so. But the big money could take years. Lea has said she's begun the expected process of being denied a list of bondholders by the Treasury. Then she will go to the court of claims. Down that road lies a potential $40 million lawyer payday. 


Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • In Little Rock, Marco Rubio sells American exceptionalism

    This is Rubio's axiomatic answer to Donald Trump's insistence that he and he alone will Make America Great Again: America is the greatest, always has been.
    • Feb 22, 2016
  • Latest Obamacare repeal bill would hit Arkansas treasury hard

    The latest effort to undo Obamacare, the Graham-Cassidy legislation, would shift federal support for health coverage to a block grant system to the states. Bad news for Arkansas.
    • Sep 18, 2017
  • IHOP coming down, but .....

    I always scan the Little Rock City Board for items of interest this week and this one caught my eye: A zoning measure required by a proposal to tear down the IHOP at Markham and University.
    • Apr 30, 2016

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation