The West Virginia Attorney General’s Office is emphasizing the use of inside legal counsel for future cases.
“If the office of attorney general has the legal capabilities to represent our clients effectively, we want to use in-house counsel to do the job,” said Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
It’s part of many changes Morrisey said he would do to improve operations within the AG’s Office and save money. However, he admits they will not be able to handle all cases, in which case they will look outside.
“If we can’t do it and there are individuals on the outside that can provide very good competent council for the state, then we want to invite those individuals in to participate in a bidding process,” said Morrisey.
The Attorney General’s Office plans to conduct a pre-bidding process where they identify all the top practitioners in various subject areas and undergo a preliminary review to determine the eight or ten top performers in each area.
Morrisey said then they will move forward in one of two bidding processes.
“Depending upon the nature of the matter, we would either have a specific bid for a matter or we might be able to choose from a list of eligible firms with pre-negotiated rates,” said Morrisey.
Morrisey said they haven’t nailed down the exact process yet but plan to have it done soon.
The office is also working on coming up with some criteria or guidelines for determining when to seek outside legal counsel that works for both the office and their clients.
But Morrisey adds that the point he wants to get across is that they will always first look to inside counsel for each case before considering outside help.
Morrisey hopes to eventually have the court capabilities to handle any matter that comes into the state.