Rayner applauds the Administration’s policies on the retention of private attorneys general.

TRENTON, N.J. – Marcus Rayner, Executive Director of the New Jersey Lawsuit Reform Alliance (NJLRA) today applauded Governor Jon Corzine for signing an Executive Order to make the selection outside counsel more transparent and merit-based.

“As the volume and complexity of litigation has increased in New Jersey, the Attorney General’s office faces the difficult task of operating within tight budgets while also needing more attorneys and resources to deal with an ever-expanding docket of lawsuits. Like many states, New Jersey relies on contracts with private attorneys general to litigate the people’s business,” said Rayner. “The Governor’s executive order restates his commitment to requiring New Jersey’s private attorneys general to be highly qualified and transparently selected.”

“In other states, the practice of hiring outside counsel to address this challenge is often shrouded in secrecy, favoring powerful special interests over the interest of taxpayers. NJLRA is pleased that New Jersey has chosen not to tolerate such.

NJLRA has maintained that citizens have the right to know why certain lawyers are selected to work on state contracts, how much money they are receiving for their services, and what matters they are pursuing. Without the Governor’s Executive Order, the potential exists for pay-to-play.

“We applaud Governor Corzine for enforcing a new level of accountability in the Attorney General’s Office and for taking this important step to codify his policies for future governors. New Jersey has been a leader for the rest of the nation on this matter.”

Click here to read full text of the Executive Order.