The good news is that lawyers charged the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority a little more than half of what they charged in 2012. The bad news is that the total 2015 bill was nearly $700,000 as three law firms represented JMAA. Needless to say, the airport is a vewy, vewy good client.
The JMAA Board of Commissioners approved these invoices that appeared on the November and December claims dockets:
The Walker Group: $44,076
The May Law Firm: $14,179
The Walker Group: $39,439
The May Law Firm: $7,167
The fees mounted up as the commissioners approved a hefty sum of legal billings that appeared on the claims dockets in 2015 as it does every year.
Walker Group: $469,793 ($39,149/month)
May Law Firm: $125,140 ($10,428/month)
Baker Donelson: $101,064 ($12,633*)
Total 2015 legal billings: $695,997
Average monthly invoice for legal fees: $58,000
The Jackson Municipal Airport Authority has been a very good client for several law firms. Baker Donelson represented JMAA for many years. The board voted in December 2013 to replace Baker Donelson with The Walker Group. Attorney John Walker is the principal owner of that law firm. He is the personal attorney and close friend of Congressman Bennie Thompson. The board took the action at the first meeting after Mayor Chokwe Lumumba appointed James Henley, Reverend Jeffrey Stallworth, and retired bureaucrat Vernon Hartley in November 2013. The vote was 3-1 in favor of the action as the Lumumba appointments voted in en bloc.
The board voted in early 2014 to retain the May Law Firm for additional representation as well. The husband and wife team of John May and Regina Quinn are the partners of that law firm.
JJ reported on October 8:
Attorneys have billed over $3.4 million to the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority since 2012. JJ obtained the monthly billings through public records requests and reviewing claims dockets. The years have been good to law firms that represented JMAA. The overall budget for JMAA in 2014 was only $17.8 million. The billings are:
2014 billings: $980,747
2014 monthly average: $81,728
2013 billings: $684,754
2013 monthly average: $57,062
2012 billings: $1,293,633
2012 monthly average: $107,802
Total billings since January 1, 2012: $3,655,131
This correspondent can report that all three law firms would attend regular board meetings and work sessions. Each firm would send at least two people to each meeting and bill JMAA accordingly. The annual budget for JMAA is over $17 million.
*The board terminated Baker Donelson's representation of JMAA. BD's last invoice was in August.
October 8 post with copies of invoices.