Texas AG candidates should sign ATRA transparency pledge

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As voters return to the polls for this year’s General Election, Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse (TALA) is calling on all candidates for Attorney General to prioritize transparency and open accountability in office.

The American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) has contacted Attorney General Ken Paxton and his challenger, Rochelle Garza, asking that they sign a pledge to embrace a general transparency code for the Office of the Attorney General operations. TALA encourages both candidates to sign that pledge and to commit to a principle of transparency in the AG’s office.

The American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) developed the Transparency Code as a collection of model policies that should govern the use of outside counsel by state attorneys general.

In 1999, Texas passed a law relating to how and when the state government could use outside counsel on litigation.

The law requires the state to attempt to handle all litigation through in-house counsel. It outlines how an agency should handle contracting for outside counsel when it’s necessary to use lawyers outside of those employed by the state, requiring a contracting agency first to seek an hourly fee arrangement.

In passing that law more than two decades ago, a bipartisan group of state leaders made transparency and accountability a top priority.

Learn more about the law and the renewed push for transparency and accountability at tala.com.

To see which leaders in other states have signed the Transparency Code, visit AGsunshine.com.