April 23, 2019
Carson City, NV – Today, the Nevada Attorney General’s Office announced that the State of Nevada has entered into contract negotiations with the Nevada-based law office of Eglet Prince to address Nevada’s opioid epidemic. Outside contingent fee counsel will be retained to assist in the investigation and litigation of the manufacture, distribution, marketing and sale of opioids that have caused or contributed to Nevada’s opioid epidemic.
The process for contingent fee counsel was initiated on January 24, 2019 when
the governor, in consultation with the attorney general, issued a Declaration of Findings pursuant to Nevada Revised Statute (NRS)
228.1111(1)(a). The governor’s declaration recognized that Nevada is combating
an opioid epidemic, and that the State should enter into a contingent fee contract
with outside counsel in order to represent the State in related litigation.
In order to pursue this contract, the State used a first-of-its-kind
process created during the 2015 Legislative Session that required the governor
and the attorney general to consult about the use of outside contingent fee
counsel, and when agreed upon, to request approval from Nevada’s Interim
Finance Committee in order to move forward and enter into a contract. On
January 30, 2019, the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection
requested and obtained approval from the Interim Finance Committee to work in
conjunction with the State Purchasing Division to advertise for outside
contingent fee counsel through a competitive bidding process.
While there is no present conflict of interest, AG Ford voluntarily recused himself from the competitive bidding process and the following contract negotiation. AG Ford entrusted Nevada's consumer advocate and his committee to evaluate and score proposals from law firms. Under the direction of the consumer advocate, an evaluation committee was appointed, and begun working in conjunction with the State Purchasing Division to advertise a Request for Proposal, Number 03AG-S553, which can also be found here.
“The opioid crisis has devastated our communities, and claimed the lives of too many Nevadans,” said Consumer Advocate Ernest Figueroa. “By contracting with contingent fee counsel to work in conjunction with the Attorney General’s Office, the State of Nevada will be a formidable force to seek justice for those who have harmed our residents and State.”
The Evaluation Committee was comprised of diverse individuals who brought with them unique talents, professional interests and experience. Members of the selected committee include:
- Ernest Figueroa, Nevada's Consumer Advocate
- Mark Krueger, Chief Deputy Attorney General, Bureau of Consumer Protection
- Matthew Milone, Senior Associate Dean, Legal Affairs, UNR School of Medicine
- John. A. O'Rourke, Colonel, Nevada Highway Patrol
- Dagny Stapleton, Executive Director, Nevada Association of Counties
- Laura Tucker, Senior Deputy Attorney General, Bureau of Consumer Protection
- Stephanie Woodard, PhD, Senior Advisor, Nevada Department of Health and Human Services
The Evaluation Committee received a total of nine proposals. Members of the committee each scored the proposals and the three highest bidders were invited to give a presentation. The three highest bidders gave their presentations to the Evaluation Committee on April 17, 2019. The Evaluation Committee members each scored the presentations, and their scores were added to the proposal scores. A Letter of Intent was issued today announcing the law office of Eglet Prince as the winning bidder.
Following the confidential negotiation period and after the contract is awarded pursuant to Nevada Administrative Code (NAC) 333.350, the contract will be posted to the Attorney General's website. Additionally, the record of proposals and the proposals themselves will be made available upon request. Finally, all billing records and receipts and the payment of any fees by the Attorney General's Office to the contracted law firm will be posted to the Attorney General's website under the "AG Topics" tab.
The law office of Eglet Prince is one of the largest and most successful personal injury law firms in the State of Nevada. The firm represents all personal injury matters, including car accidents, defective products, catastrophic injury and mass torts. Eglet Prince has a reputation for handling large cases in the Nevada judiciary, and is known for obtaining some of the largest verdicts in the United States. The firm is currently retained as counsel in opioid-related litigation for other entities in Nevada.