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State Seeks to Intervene in Bristol Bay Price
Fixing Case at Request of Governor


November 28, 2003
Friday - 12:45 am

At the request of the Governor, Attorney General Gregg Renkes filed a motion Wednesday to intervene in the case of Louie Alakayak v. All Alaskan Seafoods, Inc., known as the Bristol Bay price fixing case. The motion asks the court to let the State of Alaska participate in all proceedings to determine the amount of attorney's fees to be paid from a $40 million settlement fund created when plaintiffs settled with several defendants before trial.

Even though the plaintiff's ultimately lost the case at trial, attorney's for the fisherman have asked the court for 30% of the settlement fund to pay for their attorney's fees, which amounts to $12 million. This would be in addition to nearly $4.5 million in out-of-pocket costs they already requested.

"The Governor is very concerned with the distribution of these funds considering the fact that plaintiffs were unsuccessful in their efforts to obtain billions of dollars for Bristol Bay fisherman. Every dollar that goes to the attorneys is less money available to help fisherman and their families," said Attorney General Gregg Renkes.

The motion filed by the state points out that the Bristol Bay fishery has been declared an economic disaster for five of the last six years. The motion also argues that the state's economy could benefit significantly from an infusion of extra money into this fishery.

"Because of the inherent conflict between class members and their attorneys when it comes to fee awards, the Governor wants to ensure the court is advised of all the relevant legal arguments," Attorney General Renkes added.

A hearing is scheduled for December 4 to discuss plaintiff's petition for attorney's fees.


Source of News Release:

Alaska Department of Law
Web Site


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