George W. Neville and Jacqueline H. Ray, with the Attorney General’s Office, are listed as the lead attorneys on the lawsuits. Also helping to represent the state is attorney Michael S. Smith II of Musgrove Smith Law in Ridgeland, MS.
Hood’s office also has retained the Meridian, MS, law firm of Barry Thaggard May and Bailey LLP and its principal, William T. “Bill” May, to assist in the six cases, according to a list of contingency fee contracts found on Hood’s website.
“All contracts between the Attorney General’s Office and private attorneys are freely available for inspection and are a matter of public record,” the attorney general’s website states. “Regardless of the type of contract entered into, the Attorney General’s Office maintains full control over the litigation. The office supervises the work of all attorneys under contract and decides all litigation strategy matters.”
According to copies of Barry Thaggard’s contracts, the firm is entitled to compensation that, along with any award of attorneys’ fees, shall not exceed: 25 percent of any recovery up to $10 million; 20 percent of between $10 million and $15 million; 15 percent of between $15 million and $20 million; 10 percent of between $20 million and $25 million; plus 5 percent of any recovery exceeding $25 million.
A contract could not be found for Smith.