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Open Records — attorney invoices

Open Records — attorney invoices

Attorney invoices are subject to disclosure under the Open Records Law.

“We conclude that there is no reasonable argument that under the terms of the insurance contract the parties did not anticipate the insurer’s collection of invoices from a law firm in the event that a defense was necessary. Under the contract, the County must send the insurer copies of any ‘demands, notices, summaries or legal papers received in connection with a claim or suit’ and must cooperate with the insurer in ‘the investigation, settlement, or defense of the claim or suit.’ The insurer, in turn, must defend any suit against the County seeking damages on account of a covered occurrence and must pay defense costs. Such a mandatory obligation on the insurer to provide a defense will necessarily result in the insurer’s collection of at least some documents (for example, the County’s forwarded copies of claims). As most relevant to this appeal, it is a certainty that, in the event that the insurer provides a defense through a law firm, the insurer will receive some form of an invoice or invoices from any law firm retained.

Reversed and Remanded.

Recommended for publication in the official reports.

2010AP2313 Juneau County Star-Times v. Juneau County

Dist. IV, Juneau County, Pollex, J., Blanchard, J.

Attorneys: For Appellant: Westerberg, Christa, Madison; For Respondent: Wright, Joseph P., Madison; Kleinmaier, Bryan, Madison

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