Bryant signs law limiting attorney general's power

May 22, 2012 5:16:47 PM

  -

 

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has signed a law limiting the attorney general's control of the state's legal business. 

 

House Bill 211 was signed Tuesday and becomes law July 1. 

 

It requires the attorney general to appoint outside lawyers if he declines to represent an agency or elected official, or if there is a "significant disagreement" with an agency head or official. 

 

It also limits the share of a verdict going to private lawyers hired on contingency, normally capping payments at $50 million.  

 

The measure creates a commission of the governor, lieutenant governor and secretary of state to referee disputes. All three current officials are Republicans, while Attorney General Jim Hood is the lone Democrat elected statewide. 

 

Hood says limiting the attorney general's power is unconstitutional and has threatened to sue.