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2014 GAB 01 - Campaign Finance – Legal Fees

2014 GAB 01.pdf178.36 KB

Please see the attachment above for the full opinion.

In summary, the Government Accountability Board advises:

  1. A personal campaign committee or a legal defense fund may pay a law firm for representation in an investigation potentially involving both civil and criminal charges.
  2. The defense of a committee in a criminal matter can be paid for by a defense fund established by a candidate. A committee may pay a law firm and other related expenses in a civil matter. Payment to a law firm from either a personal campaign committee directly or from a candidate’s legal defense fund can be made in reasonable proportion to the types of claims being investigated, and subject to changing circumstances identifying specific civil versus criminal conduct.
  3. A personal campaign committee or a legal defense fund may also pay a law firm to represent the committee’s agents during an investigation subject to any constraints under the Attorney’s Code of Professional Responsibility.
  4. If criminal charges are brought against a committee’s agents, a legal defense fund may pay for their defense. A personal campaign committee may pay the costs of defending its agents in connection with civil complaints only if it can establish a political purpose for doing so.