$7M recommended in legal fees over Okla. DHS case

By: From Wire Reports
By: From Wire Reports

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - A federal magistrate in Tulsa is recommending that the state pay $7 million in legal fees in a lawsuit that led to reforms in Oklahoma's child-welfare system.

U.S. Magistrate Frank McCarthy said Wednesday that the lawyers representing Children's Rights should receive $5.5 million in attorneys' fees and another $1.5 million in expenses and travel costs.

The plaintiffs' attorneys had sought $9.5 million, while attorneys representing the Oklahoma Department of Human Services argued that $2.6 million to $3.7 million was more appropriate.

Children's Rights Executive Director Marcia Lowry says they amassed more than 36,000 hours of work time in the four-year lawsuit, but DHS Director Ed Lake calls the $7 million recommendation "excessive."

The settlement resulted in the Pinnacle Plan, the state's $153 million plan for overhauling the foster care system.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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