Mississippi attorney general awards large legal contracts to contributors

In 2014, Brent Hazzard, the principal of Hazzard Law LLC, gave Hood $10,000. That same year, Hazzard Law LLC received more than $4.7 million for legal work in litigation against the chemical company BASF in an alleged price-fixing scheme. The state received $22.5 million in 2014 from the settlement, in which BASF admitted it conspired to fix the price of vitamins and other supplements.

On Sept. 18, 2014, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC gave Hood $1,000 and also gave DAGA $15,000 in 2014 and $25,000 in 2012. In March, it received more than $5.4 million in contingency fees from litigation against Standard & Poor’s on behalf of Mississippi. The state sued S&P over alleged inflation of its ratings on mortgage lenders that might have helped ignite the 2008 financial crisis. The state received $33 million from the settlement.

The firm received more than $858,000 from litigation for alleged mortgage-backed securities fraud by Countrywide Financial and Merrill Lynch before their acquisition by Bank of America.

In 2011 and 2013, the law firm Zimmerman Reed PLLP contributed a total of $20,000 to DAGA.

In 2012, Zimmerman Reed PLLP received more than $405,000 in contingency fees from its legal work against Hitachi for alleged price fixing on liquid-crystal display panels. In 2014, it received more than $1.1 million for legal work against LG, also accused of alleged price-fixing on LCD panels. This year, it received more than $465,000 for legal work against Chi Mei Optoelectronics Inc. and $1.3 million in a lawsuit against AU Optronics for alleged price-fixing on LCD screens. The companies settled with 24 states in 2012.

Watchdog MS
10/28/15