The Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled in two cases that legal fees paid to private lawyers to represent the state are public funds.
In Thursday's rulings, justices say because the money belongs to the public, it should've been paid out to the lawyers from the attorney general's contingent fund or from other money appropriated
to the attorney general.
A Hinds County judge in 2010 ruled the $14 million in fees paid to two attorneys for handling a state lawsuit against telecommunications giant MCI was properly handled.
Another Hinds County judge ruled the same in another case in 2010 involving $10 million in fees paid to lawyers for handling a state lawsuit against Microsoft.
The Supreme Court rejected arguments that the fees were the property of the lawyers, not the state.