[As Amended by House Committee of the Whole]

As Amended by House Committee
Session of 2000
By Committee on Federal and State Affairs

12             AN  ACT [concerning certain contracts;] enacting the private attorney
13             retention sunshine act; attorneys employed by a state agency contracts
14             for legal services by state agencies; concerning legislative review
15             of certain contracts for legal services; limitation on contingent fees[;
16             imposing limitations on the filing of certain law suits].
18       Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
19             Section  1. (a) This section shall be known and may be cited as the
20       private attorney retention sunshine act.
21             (b) For the purposes of this section:
22             (1) ``Contract for legal services'' means a contract in which a fee is
23       paid to an attorney or group of attorneys, in the form of a flat, hourly or
24       contingent fee and any expenses of such attorney, or group of attorneys.
25             (2) ``State agency'' means any state office, officer, department, board,
26       commission, institution, bureau, agency, authority, state agent or any di-
27       vision of a state agency.
28             (c) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, any state agency that
29       wishes to enter into a contract for legal services under this section with
30       a lawyer or law firm to perform legal services on behalf of this state,
31       which contract is reasonably expected by the state agency to result
32       in legal fees of $7,500 or more, shall not do so until an open and
33       competitive bidding process has been undertaken. The competitive bid-
34       ding process under this section means that the state agency, unless oth-
35       erwise required by law, shall publish in the Kansas register notice of
36       competitive bidding for such contract for legal services at least two
37       weeks prior to the deadline to receive such competitive bids, shall
38       select at least two qualified [lawyers or] law firms based upon the law
39       firm's experience with similar litigation, expertise generally and size, if
40       firm size is a relevant factor with respect to the proposed legal services,
41       and such other factors as the secretary of administration may specify by
42       rules and regulations, and shall select from among such [lawyers or]
43       firms for purposes of entry into a contract for legal services with the


  1       [lawyer or] law firm which makes the lowest hourly rate bid or total cost
  2       to provide such services.
  3             (d) No state agency shall enter into a contract for legal services ex-
  4       ceeding $1,000,000 without the opportunity for at least one hearing in
  5       the legislature on the terms of the legal contract in accordance with sub-
  6       section (e).
  7             (e)  (1) For purposes of the requirement of subsection (d), any state
  8       agency entering into a contract for legal services in excess of $1,000,000
  9       shall file a copy of the proposed contract with the chief clerk of the house
10       of representatives and the secretary of the senate who, with the approval
11       of the president of the senate in the case of the secretary of the senate
12       and the speaker of the house of representatives in the case of the chief
13       clerk of the house of representatives, shall refer such contract to the
14       appropriate committee of each house of the legislature chairperson and
15       vice chairperson of the legislative budget committee.
16             (2) Within 30 days after such referral, the legislative budget com-
17       mittee may hold a public hearing on the proposed contract and shall issue
18       a report to the referring state agency. The report shall include any pro-
19       posed changes to the proposed contract voted upon by the committee.
20       The state agency shall review the report and adopt a final contract as
21       deemed appropriate in view of the report and shall file with the chief
22       clerk of the house of representatives and the secretary of the senate its
23       final contract.
24             (3) If the proposed contract does not contain the changes proposed
25       by the legislative budget committee, the referring state agency shall
26       send a letter to the chief clerk of the house of representatives and the
27       secretary of the senate accompanying the final contract stating the reasons
28       why such proposed changes were not adopted. The chief clerk shall refer
29       such letter and final contract to the appropriate house committee and the
30       secretary of the senate shall refer such letter and final regulations to the
31       appropriate senate chairperson and vice chairperson of the legisla-
32       tive budget committee. Not earlier than 45 days after the filing of such
33       letter and final contract with the appropriate committees chief clerk of
34       the house of representatives and the secretary of the senate, the
35       state agency or agent shall enter into the final contract.
36             (4) If no proposed changes to the proposed contract are made to the
37       state agency within 60 days of the initial filing of the proposed contract
38       or any amendment of such contract with the chief clerk of the house of
39       representatives and the secretary of the senate, the state agency may enter
40       into the contract.
41             (5) Nothing in this section shall be construed to expand the authority
42       of any state agency to enter into contracts where no such authority pre-
43       viously existed.


  1             (6) In the event that the legislature is not in session and a state agency
  2       wishes to execute a contract for legal services, the legislative budget com-
  3       mittee shall execute the oversight duties as set forth in paragraphs (2)
  4       through (5) of this subsection. Identical deadlines and reporting respon-
  5       sibilities shall apply to the state agency and the legislative budget com-
  6       mittee as would apply to a standing committee of the legislature executing
  7       its duties set forth in paragraphs (2) through (5) of this subsection.
  8             (f)  (1) At the conclusion of any legal proceeding for which a state
  9       agency retained outside counsel on a contingent fee basis, the state shall
10       receive from counsel a statement of the hours worked on the case, ex-
11       penses incurred, the aggregate fee amount and a breakdown as to the
12       hourly rate, based on hours worked divided into fee recovered, less
13       expenses.
14             (2) In no case shall the state incur expenses in excess of $1,000 per
15       hour for legal services. In cases where a disclosure submitted in accord-
16       ance with paragraph (1) of this subsection indicates an hourly rate in
17       excess of $1,000 per hour, the fee amount shall be reduced to an amount
18       equivalent to $1,000 per hour.
19        (g) In any action in which the state of Kansas or any state
20       agency is a defendant and a contract for legal services is to be
21       entered into in accordance with this section, the district court may
22       continue the action at any stage of the proceedings to provide an
23       extension of time in order to provide the time required for the
24       state or the state agency to comply with the provisions of this sec-
25       tion. [In any such case, if the court does not grant a request for a
26       continuance for the purpose of complying with the provisions of
27       this section, then the state agency and the contract for legal serv-
28       ices shall not be subject to any period of time prescribed by this
29       section before the contract for legal services may be entered into
30       by the state agency.]
31        [Sec.  2. (a) No officer, employee or agency of the state of Kan-
32       sas shall enter into, or participate as a member of a class, on behalf
33       of the state of Kansas, as a plaintiff in a civil class action law suit
34       in federal or state court, except pursuant to statute or appropria-
35       tion specifically identifying the cause of action and defendants.
36             [(b) No officer, employee or agency of the state of Kansas shall
37       enter into any contract for legal services on behalf of the state of
38       Kansas which provides for fees to be paid by the state or any other
39       party on a contingency basis except pursuant to statute or appro-
40       priation specifically identifying the case and the maximum fees,
41       expressed as a percentage, hourly rate or dollar amount, which
42       may be paid or awarded to contracting attorneys. From and after
43       the effective date of this act, any contract entered into in violation


  1       of this subsection shall be null and void.]
  2        Sec.  2. [3.] This act shall take effect and be in force from and after
  3       its publication in the statute book.