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Quin Hillyer Calls Out Levee Board Lawsuit as “Pure Poison”

Columnist for The Advocate Quin Hillyer took to the pages of today’s paper to explain how the attorney “Gladstone Jones is taking Louisiana taxpayers for a very bad ride” through his relationship with activist John Barry and their pursuit of wetlands litigation. As Hillyer details the relationship, Barry is using his friendship with Jones to file unprecedented lawsuits through the levee boards and hire Jones as his plaintiff’s attorney.

What they don’t explain, and what Hillyer highlights here, is the financial motivation for creating this lawsuit and the legal work that comes along with it. More than 14,000 billable hours have been logged to date on the case. According to a clause in the contract, frequently called the “poison pill,” the law firm is guaranteed to be paid for services, whether or not the questionable suit proceeds ahead.

At LLAW, we’ve been paying attention to how out of line this situation is with past precedent and current common sense, but we’re not the only ones. Hillyer, who has a history of covering Louisiana politics and issues, states that this clause in the litigation “is one of the most irresponsible provisions in a government contract that [he has] seen in 35 years as a journalist and congressional aide.”

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