Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement

Oklahoma beneficiaries question payment to Cobell attorneys

Attorneys for the Indian trust fund lawsuit faced questions about their request for $233 million in fees at a meeting in Oklahoma last week.

Some beneficiaries said the request was too high. The fees will come out of the same pot of money that's going to account holders.

“The majority of money you’re asking for in this lawsuit is what is owed to account holders,” Marcianna R. Jacobs told the attorneys at a meeting in Anadarko, The Native American Times reported. “To me, I’m ashamed at this Cobell case … I hope you can live with yourself."

Keith Harper, a member of the Cherokee Nation, defended the request. “To get lawyers who are going to be dedicated without compensation for that many years; to do this kind of case and have it be successful as it is, it requires they be compensated fairly at the end," he said, the Times reported.

The $223 million represents 14.75 percent of the $1.5 billion going to account holders. Obama administration says the attorneys only deserve $50 million.

A federal judge will make the final decision.

Get the Story:
Oklahomans question Cobell attorney fees (The Native American Times 3/22)

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