BRIAN PERRY: Musgrove puts on suing pants

….The MAEP Legal Group, led by Musgrove, also includes, as reported by the Associated Press, “Dustin Childers, the son of Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Travis Childers and Casey Langston Lott, the nephew of disbarred lawyer Joey Langston. The pair works for the Langston and Lott law firm in Booneville.”
This isn’t Musgrove’s first bite at the apple in contingency fee litigation involving the state. While this time he is suing Mississippi, in 2011 he won a lawsuit on behalf of Mississippi through a contract with Attorney General Jim Hood.

In October 2011, Hood announced settlements involving average wholesale prices with three pharmaceutical companies which would provide more than $25 million to Mississippi. Before the legislature could begin spending, then Governor Haley Barbour warned of the real result.

Barbour wrote to legislators, “The attorney general gave former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove’s law firm, which handled the litigation, a fee of $5,459,000. That does leave a balance of just above $20 million, but the State is not entitled to all that money. We cannot expect $20 million to be available for us to spend, as the federal government is entitled to at least 82.03 percent of that amount. Under the law, the federal government is entitled not only to its share of the recovery but also to half, or $2,729,500, of the attorneys fees Hood gave to Musgrove’s firm. Therefore, according to Medicaid’s best estimates, the State may actually retain for appropriation as little as $907,807.70. Of course, this means former Gov. Musgrove and his law firm will get more money out of the lawsuit ($5,459,000) than the State of Mississippi and its taxpayers receive – as much as six times more.”

Whether it’s sue you now or sue you later, lawyers involved always make money.

Madison County Journal
9/4/14