Feds hire Minneapolis law firm for Tobacco Suit
The U.S. Justice Department hired the Minneapolis law firm Robins, Kaplan, Miller and Ciresi to consult in the government's planned lawsuit against cigarette companies.
The firm agreed to advise and assist Justice department lawyers through June 30 at the substantially reduced rate of $75 per hour plus travel costs and expenses, according to Acting Assistant Attorney General David W. Ogden, who heads the department's tobacco litigation task force. The firm has experience and expertise in this area of litigation and had helped Minnesota reach a $6.6 billion settlement with the industry last year. Besides this law firm, the Justice Department has created a task force consisting of 20 of its own lawyers to prepare for the tobacco litigation. Odgen said that the outside law firm will play only a consulting role and the actual litigation team will consist only of Justice Department attorneys. Department officials have predicted that that the lawsuit may be ready to go by the end of the year.