SENATE FILE NO. SF0081. Sponsored by: Senator(s) Scott and Representative(s) Cohee and Iekel A BILL. for

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1 00 STATE OF WYOMING 0LSO-0 SENATE FILE NO. SF00 Contingency fee reporting. Sponsored by: Senator(s) Scott and Representative(s) Cohee and Iekel A BILL for AN ACT relating to attorneys; providing for disclosure of contingent fee agreements, as specified; providing for data compilation and report to the legislature by the Wyoming supreme court; and providing for an effective date. Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Wyoming: Section. W.S. -- is created to read: Attorneys; contingent fees. (a) An attorney filing any civil complaint or counterclaim pursuant to a contingency fee agreement between the attorney and his client shall file a copy of the agreement and any subsequent modifications of the agreement with the court at the time of filing the SF00

2 00 STATE OF WYOMING 0LSO-0 complaint or counterclaim or within thirty (0) days of making the agreement or modification, whichever is later. Except as provided by subsection (b) of this section, the agreement and any modification of the agreement shall be a public document. (b) The court in which the action is filed may, on 0 motion of the attorney, designate any portion of the agreement containing information subject to attorney-client privilege as confidential and protect that portion from release to anyone except an employee of the court or the attorney or the client involved. The identity of the case and the formula for computing the contingency fee shall not be subject to attorney-client privilege and shall remain a public document. (c) If a contingency fee agreement is not filed as 0 required by this section, the agreement shall be void and the attorney shall not be entitled to recover any fee under it or withhold from the client any amount of any recovery pursuant to such agreement. (d) For purposes of this section, a contingency fee agreement is any agreement or contract between an attorney SF00

3 00 STATE OF WYOMING 0LSO-0 and a client pursuant to which the client's obligation to pay a fee to the attorney or to pay any costs or expenses of the suit depends on the fact of recovery from another person or entity or is measured by the amount of recovery from another person or entity. (e) The Wyoming supreme court shall annually file a 0 report to the legislature of all actions in which contingency fee agreements were filed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, subject to the following: (i) For all civil actions settled during the previous year, the report shall include: (A) The total amount of the settlements; (B) The total amount of costs and expenses payable from the settlements pursuant to contingent fee agreements; 0 (C) The total amount of attorney fees payable from the settlements pursuant to contingent fee agreements; SF00

4 00 STATE OF WYOMING 0LSO-0 (D) The net amount of the settlements paid to or retained by the clients pursuant to contingent fee agreements. (ii) The information required by paragraph (i) of this subsection shall be reported in the aggregate without identifying individual actions, clients or attorneys. The information shall be categorized to show 0 separately the results of professional malpractice actions against health care providers and any other categories of actions the court deems appropriate; (iii) The year used for reporting purposes shall run from July of each calendar year through June 0 of the following calendar year unless the supreme court designates a different one () year period; 0 (iv) The court may require attorneys involved in the settlement of an action subject to a contingency fee agreement to disclose in a court filing the information required by paragraph (i) of this subsection but, upon request by the attorney or his client, this information shall be kept confidential and reported publicly only in SF00

5 00 STATE OF WYOMING 0LSO-0 sufficient aggregation to prevent association of the information with a specific action; (v) The supreme court may report actions settled or dismissed without payment as a separate category; 0 (vi) The supreme court may include in the report information on cases in which judgment was entered following a jury trial or trial without a jury if the information can be obtained at a reasonable cost; (vii) The supreme court may require reports from the clerks of the district courts as necessary to prepare the annual report required by this section; 0 (viii) The supreme court may require any reporting it deems appropriate of defense costs by defendants, provided that upon request such defense costs shall be held confidential and reported publicly only in sufficient aggregation as to prevent association of the information with a specific action. The supreme court may utilize information on defense costs already reported to the insurance commissioner and the insurance commissioner, upon request, shall furnish such information in his SF00

6 00 STATE OF WYOMING 0LSO-0 possession to the supreme court. The supreme court may include in the report required by this subsection any information on defense costs it deems appropriate. 0 (f) The supreme court shall include in the report required by subsection (e) of this section any analysis it deems appropriate of the costs to plaintiffs and defendants of obtaining justice through the civil justice system. The supreme court may include in the report a description of any actions within its powers it is taking or contemplating to reduce the costs of obtaining justice to either plaintiffs or defendants or both and to improve the net percentage of settlements or judgments received by plaintiffs. The supreme court may include in the report any recommendations it deems appropriate for legislative action to reduce the costs of obtaining justice to either plaintiffs or defendants or both or to improve the net percentage of settlements or judgments received by plaintiffs. 0 (g) The report to the legislature required by subsection (e) of this section shall be posted on an appropriate governmental website for access by the general public. Copies of the report shall be furnished to the SF00

7 00 STATE OF WYOMING 0LSO-0 joint judiciary interim committee and the joint labor, health and social services interim committee and any other legislator requesting a copy. Section. This act is effective July, 00. (END) SF00

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