Simpson takes aim at Hood over attorney fees in tobacco case

The state’s legal team was headed by Lee Young, who worked on the original tobacco settlement, Hood said. All legal fees are going to be paid by R.J. Reynolds, he said.

His opponent in this fall’s election, Steve Simpson, has criticized Hood for selecting law firms to represent the state without independent oversight.

“If elected, I will ask the Legislature to establish a procedure to review the reasonableness of the contingency fees after an application by the law firm,” Simpson said in a statement. “I believe that our law firms in Mississippi are some of the best in the country and will ask that these firms be given preferential treatment when outside counsel is required.”

Hood said it makes sense for the state to hire those who best understand those areas of law. If cases were bid out instead to the lowest bidder, he said, “the winner could be some solo lawyer in Houston, Miss.”

Clarion Ledger