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October 06, 2011

Legal bill for defending DoMA triples

Bancroft PLLC, the law firm retained to represent House Republicans in defending the constitutionality of DoMA, has renegotiated its contract. Paul Clement and his then firm King & Spaulding initially agreed to do the job for fees of up to $500,000. (Clement left that firm last April after it pulled out of the case.) The new contract allows for reimbursement of up to $1.5 million. Apparently even the decision to concede DoMA challenges in Bankruptcy Courts isn't keeping the costs down enough to get by on half a mil. According to The Blade:

The U.S. House has tripled the cost cap for the legal expenses of hiring a private attorney to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court to reach a potential total sum of $1.5 million.

According to recently approved contract modification dated Sept. 30, House General Counsel Kerry Kircher has agreed to pay Bancroft LLC private attorney Paul Clement a sum not to exceed $750,000 to defend DOMA, but this cap may be raised to $1.5 million under written notice.

“It is further understood and agreed that, effective October 1, 2011, the aforementioned $750,000.00 cap may be raised from time to time up to, but not exceeding, $1.5 million, upon written notice of the General Counsel to the Contractor specifying that the General Counsel is legally liable under this Agreement for a specific amount,” the contract modification states.

The contract modification is signed by Committee of House Administration Chair Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) as well as Kircher and Clement.

Bancroft itself is keeping a low profile regarding its DoMA defense work, which is not mentioned either in the "significant matters" portion of its webpage or as part of Clement's bio.

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