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Republicans and Democrats ask state to pay more than $700K in redistricting legal fees

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: May 16, 2012 - 6:15 PM

Republicans and Democrats are asking the state to pick up the tab for more than $700,000 for their attorneys partisan work to fight over new political maps.

According to court filings made public Tuesday, Democrats are asking the state to pay $292,130 for lawyers fees. The Republicans hope to receive $245,985 for work in the lawsuit that resulted in new redistricting maps. A Democratic attorney, not working with the party, earlier asked the state to pay for $180,000 in legal fees.

The request for state payback comes because the DFL governor and the Republican Legislature failed to agree on a new congressional and legislative maps after the Census showed population changes. Instead, the maps were drawn by a court-appointed panel and fought over in courtrooms rather than the state Capitol.

The filings show that attorneys began work on the project even before lawmakers produced their own maps and well before Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed that solution.

They also reveal the hourly rates, and some of the work, partisan attorneys did to woo judges to their sides.

The top paid GOP attorney, former state Supreme Court Justice Eric Magnuson, says his rate was $620 an hour. The top paid DFL attorney, DC lawyer Marc Elias, says his rate was $650 an hour.

Democratic attorneys working for the party also provided a detailed breakdown of all their costs for working the redistricting case. The invoice includes items, from the firm of $515-an-hour attorney David Lillehaug, like a 20-minute telephone call with DFL legislative caucus staffer Jaime Tincher at a cost of $55 and an half-hour Elias spent on an email regarding the new maps last year at a cost of $195.

Correction: A previous version of this post misstated Magnuson hourly rate by $5.

 

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