Contingent Fee arrangements for government lawyers:

Yesterday President Bush issued an Executive Order banning contingent fee arrangements for private attorneys who are hired to represent the government. The order is long overdue. Given that Senator Clinton's brother was the beneficiary of a manifestly corrupt government contingent fee, there is a risk that President Bush's Order might be overturned by a future President. Given the avowed determination of both parties in Congress to clean up government corruption, a bill to outlaw public contingent fees ought to attract wide bipartisan support.

In an Issue Backgrounder for the Independence Institute, I suggested that states should also consider enacting similar bans. At the very least, states should impose some sort of hourly-rate caps on contingent fees, to prevent politically-connected attorneys from receiving enormous windfalls for performing a trivial amount of legal work.