Attorneys on retainer worth keeping

Published 9:02 am Thursday, March 2, 2017

Large corporations and businesses across the world have attorneys on retainer to help with unforeseen future legal issues that are beyond what their internal legal staffs can handle. For the city of Port Arthur, this is no different.

Over the years, uniformed city officials and residents have questioned why the city of Port Arthur would need to keep attorney Carl Parker on retainer. Critics claim it to be an unneeded expense that would save city dollars should the contract be terminated. During Tuesday evening’s city council meeting, this once again came up when Councilman Willie Lewis made a motion that council agree to end the contract between the city and Parker. This motion was denied in a six-to-three vote.

The city of Port Arthur pays Mr. Parker $6,000 a month retainer fee. This amounts to $72,000 yearly invested to cover city business at state and national levels. Without an attorney on retainer for these types of issues, the city would need to hire an outside attorney. One with Mr. Parker’s experience would cost a minimum of $300 an hour. State and national legal issues could easily last more than three months thus potentially costing the city nearly $200,000 in legal fees or $128,000 more than they currently are.

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We feel keeping an attorney on retainer with Mr. Parkers experience is an absolute no-brainer.