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Monday, July 23, 2007

Outsourcing, Salem-style

The State of Oregon hired a Boise, Idaho law firm to defend it in the priest sex abuse lawsuits involving former inmates at the MacLaren youth jail. The legal tab has run north a million bucks so far.

O.k., that's pretty outrageous. But it gets better: The guy running the show on the case at that Boise law firm had just left the Oregon Justice Department before his firm took the cases:

Retracing the reasons for hiring outside lawyers, state officials said it made sense to contract with the Boise firm because of Tharp's prior knowledge and experience about the Sprauer lawsuits.

Tharp worked for the DOJ as a state assistant attorney general when the original lawsuits were filed in 2003-04. They wound up on his desk, and he performed much of the initial work on the state's defense.

In 2005, Tharp stepped down from the DOJ and joined the Boise firm of Greener, Banducci and Shoemaker.

Tharp's former bosses then scooped him up as a special assistant attorney general, hired to work for the state on a contract. His hourly billing rate: $215.

The Statesman-Journal does a bang-up job with the story, all of which can be found here.

Comments (3)

Not the first time, either: PERS is defended by a big California law firm.

Lord knows there's not a lawyer in Oregon capable of defending a sex abuse case!

Didn't the article also mention that the settlement payout to the people abused by the pedophile was about a million dollars, that will be split 4 or 5 way?

And the legal fees are more than the settlement!

One more win for the lawyers.

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