Crow Wing County Board: Board retains attorney in budget lawsuit
Twin Cities attorney Scott Anderson will represent the Crow Wing County Board during the lawsuit it faces from County Attorney Don Ryan. Anderson is a founding shareholder of Rupp, Anderson, Squires and Waldspurger P.A. in Minneapolis. A biograph...
Twin Cities attorney Scott Anderson will represent the Crow Wing County Board during the lawsuit it faces from County Attorney Don Ryan.
Anderson is a founding shareholder of Rupp, Anderson, Squires and Waldspurger P.A. in Minneapolis. A biography of Anderson on the firm's website notes he is a senior litigator with 28 years of experience, and his primary client base is counties.
"He has direct experience in this field and has a decent track record, I think, of producing results," said Tim Houle, county administrator, at the board's Friday meeting to approve the expenditure. "I think we know him to be a professional and aggressive, straight-shooting kind of an attorney. I think he would be a good fit for us."
Ryan, who was elected county attorney in 1994, is suing the board over his 2017 budget proposal, alleging funds the board approved are not reasonable for the duties required of his office.
Houle said Anderson has been involved with 20 cases of this nature. Of those, 16 were settled outside the courtroom, and Anderson won three of the four that went to trial, Houle said.
Houle said Anderson's rate is $185 per hour and the cost of defending the county would depend on how long the litigation takes. Previous settled cases cost between $10,000 and $15,000, Houle said, and if it goes to trial, the county could expect an additional $10,000 to $15,000 in legal fees. This does not count the fees associated with Ryan's legal representation, for which the county will also be responsible.
Although Houle told the board Friday he had Anderson in mind, the hire was not official until this week. Houle asked the board to pass a broad resolution authorizing the expenditure, not naming a specific attorney.
"I thought he would be available," Houle said by phone Wednesday. "But out of professional courtesy, I think he wanted to have a chat with Don (Ryan), because he's worked with Don before, too. So I think that was the only reason why he wouldn't say for sure at the time I talked to him."