City council looks to cap legal fees

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Last week's vote on former MLGW president Joseph Lee's legal bills was an emotional and contentious issue for council members and constituents alike.

Now, what may come out that battle is a resolution to cap legal bills that the city pays.

"A lot of members of the community expressed dismay and concern over the amount of the fees," said council member Wanda Halbert.

Halbert is now presenting a new resolution to put an end to future debates. "Now is a good a time as any to put a cap," Halbert said.

She wants to negotiate and cap hourly rates for legal fees the city will pay.

Myron Lowery, who voted against paying Lee's legal bills, said the cap makes it fair.

"Some attorneys are receiving $210 an hour, and we learned recently some were receiving up to $400 an hour."

He says the cap is a good idea and insists his vote against Lee was about hours worked, not hourly rates.

"The $426,000 figure was simply too high, and that is why I offered the alternative of $275,000. But the majority of the council did not accept my alternative," Lowery said.

If a legal bill cap is passed, the hope is that legal fees will not be issue of contention anymore.

Click here to e-mail Andrew Douglas.