Attorney general slush funds, cont’d

It’s surprising there isn’t more controversy over state AGs’ frequent practice of using moneys from lawsuit settlements for their own favored causes (as opposed to, say, handing it over to the state treasury). Now Arkansas AG Dustin McDaniel is drawing criticism for his funneling of cy pres funds to politically advantageous causes that don’t happen to have been voted appropriations by the state legislature [John Brummett, Arkansas News; Dan Greenberg, The Arkansas Project, and followup]

P.S. Related on cy pres in private class actions: Dan Popeo, WLF (Google Buzz settlement); Michael Tremoglie, LNL; Ted Frank.


  • Judges also misuse cy pres funds to give money to their law school, or to religious groups, as papers like the Washington Post
    have pointed out.

    They also use the money to bankroll liberal ideological causes. As I noted in the Washington Post,

    “The problem is even worse in state courts than it is in federal courts. In California, for example, state judges use class-action settlements for ideological purposes. Settlements intended to benefit consumers get paid instead to groups that lobby for affirmative action, hate-crimes laws, undocumented immigrants and public funding for abortion, even though many consumers have no interest in such political causes.”

  • Around the web, July 29…

    Coverage of the Rice Krispies objection from an interesting new original-reporting legal news website, Business Law Daily. [BLD] I wasn’t that impressed with the ABA Journal’s “30 Lawyers, 30 Books” list. And it seemed that they only found room for…