Secrecy shrouds $1M public haul for local attorneys
SHREVEPORT, La. — The local law firm Abrams & Lafargue is cashing in on almost $1 million for its legal representation of only two public bodies in our area.
They represent the City of Shreveport and the Caddo Parish School Board (CPSB), so RealShreveport.com has collected those invoices for the past two calendar years by way of public records requests. Despite possessing all of these invoices, many questions remain.
Read the previous article in this series for more information.
Remember, the City Attorney’s office has 10 full-time attorneys on its payroll.
In analyzing invoices for the CPSB, we found the law firm charges $14,800/mo. for basic legal services, and bills for individual line items as well. It appears some line items could have been covered in the duties listed in the flat rate charges. Abrams & Lafargue bills the school board $185 hourly.
The graphic below demonstrates the firm’s effective rate for each month based on the monthly total and number of hours worked for the school board.
Travel reimbursement costs were also charged on the invoices. CPSB paid Abrams & Lafargue tens of thousands of dollars in traveling fees for 2015 and 2016.
Travel costs for the City of Shreveport were much lower, but it is possible the data set is incomplete or miscalculated due to heavy redacting.
We accounted for the number of redacted line items versus the total number of line items to see how much data was available in both sets of invoices. These numbers were difficult to come by due to the confusing nature of the documents. The majority of invoice line items are redacted, which can be seen in these graphics.
Several watchdogs doubt the redactions are legal according to public records laws in Louisiana.
More analysis on these documents will be available soon.
Linked below are all invoices in PDF form.
–CPSB: 2015 invoices, CPSB: 2016 invoices
–City: Jan. 2015, City: Feb. & Mar. 2015, City: Apr. 2015, City: May 2015, City: June 2015, City: July 2015, City: Aug. 2015, City: Sept. 2015, City: Oct. 2015, City: Nov. & Dec. 2015
–City: Jan. & Feb. 2016, City: Mar. 2016, City: Apr. 2016, City: May 2016, City: June 2016, City: July 2016, City: Aug. 2016, City: Sept. 2016