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Law firm cuts lottery bill by 15% after scrutiny

Apr 20, 2004, 7:16 am

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Tennessee Lottery

A Nashville law firm has agreed to reduce its $892,000 bill for legal services to the Tennessee lottery by 15 percent, or more than $100,000 legislators said Monday.

Sen. Jerry Cooper, D-Morrison, co-chairman of the Fiscal Review Committee, said the reduction came after negotiations between the state attorney general's office, legislators and the law firm of Waller Landsen Dortch & Davis, which teams with other law firms under a contract with the Tennessee Education Lottery Corp.

Legislators had been critical of the billings earlier and had raised the possibility of summoning attorneys and lottery officials for questioning. The staff and some members of the Fiscal Review Committee had reviewed the bills.

With the 15 percent reduction, Cooper said it will not be necessary to formally investigate the billings. The lottery needed outside legal help to get started, but now has in-house lawyers and "hopefully this situation will not arise anymore," Cooper said.

"There was a message in what we did: We're going to scrutinize their bills," said Rep. Charles Curtiss, D-Sparta, the panel's other co-chairman. "I think the taxpayers are the winners."

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