The Faircloth Law Firm doesn’t even show as a blip on the Louisiana Office of Contractual Review’s (OCR) Top 50 list of legal contractors with the State of Louisiana for the Fiscal Year July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011.
Altogether, the top 50 contracts represent a combined total of $81.4 million, according to OCR’s list.
The list ranks state contracts from the largest—the Department of Justice (Louisiana Attorney General) at $18 million to number 50—the $276,000 contract of the New Orleans law firm of Vezina & Gattuso, but does not include Faircloth.
That’s because the Faircloth Law Firm received its payments in fiscal years 2012 and 2013 and did not show up on the FY-2011 list.
Most attorney contracts, with the exception of the Attorney General and public defender contracts, are awarded over a three-year period.
It should be noted that simply because a firm is awarded a contract of, say, $1.5 million, it does not necessarily reflect the actual amount paid the firm. Often, cases conclude long before the contracts are exhausted and in other cases, they extend beyond the financial terms of the dates of the contracts and must be amended or renewed.
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that Faircloth has received more than $1.1 million in contract work from various state agencies, which would put the firm about midway on the list of top 50 firms. Records provided by the Office of Risk Management (ORM) through the Division of Administration (DOA) show that the Faircloth firm was actually paid $931,000 in 2012 and 2013.
Most contracts awarded through ORM are done so at set hourly rates which are generally uniform from firm to firm, though there are exceptions where a firm will receive a contract with a higher per hour representation fee. And while LouisianaVoice was not provided with Faircloth’s hourly fee, it is assumed that it is higher than customary simply because he represented the governor’s office in several court cases, many of which he lost in the lower courts and in the appeals process.
More recently, the attorney general’s office has contracted Faircloth’s firm to represent the state in litigation against BP for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill and is also represented the state in litigation by CNSI which was fired from its $200 million Medicaid contract with the Department of Health and Hospitals.
Those two cases alone are expected to reap an additional $675,000 in addition to the $1.1 million already paid but Faircloth downplays that amount as insignificant in the overall scheme of things.
“I know what we do is a pittance compared to how much gets contracted,” he said.
With the $675,000 from CNSI and BP cases added to the $1.1 million already received, that’s almost $1.8 million total.
Of the 50 biggest legal contracts listed by OCR, only 10 were for more than $1.8 million and half of those were for either the attorney general’s office or four contracts of $5.1 million for the legal services for the defense of persons pursuing post-conviction relief of a capital conviction; $4 million for legal services for the Louisiana Public Defender Board and contracts for $2.1 million and $2 million for legal representation for capital cases where an ethical conflict in the representation of indigents is needed.
Faircloth denies that he is getting the lucrative contracts because of his ties to the governor as first his executive counsel and most recently as a member of the University of Louisiana Board of Supervisors.
Sean Lansing, a spokesman for Jindal first said the governor’s office doesn’t direct agencies to hire specific attorneys but later revised his statement when told that agency directors indicated that Jindal’s office had suggested hiring Faircloth in the past. “We have recommended Jimmy in certain circumstances because he is a great lawyer but at the end of the day, it is up to agency heads to decide on whom to hire.
“I don’t deny that I have the benefit of knowing all those folks,” Faircloth said of his connections to the governor’s office. “I would like to think that in my working with (state agencies), they would say, ‘Jimmy’s a very good lawyer. Let’s hire him.’
“I like to think I get the call because we give pretty good service,” he said.