Lafayette Consolidated Government’s legal department is recommending that LCG execute a contract with a pair of attorneys practicing at a Kansas City, Mo., firm to challenge the National Cable Television Cooperative’s suit seeking a declaratory judgment against LCG, which filed a discrimination complaint with the Federal Communications Commission over the NCTC’s refusal to admit LUS Fiber into the co-op.
Up for final adoption before the City-Parish Council Tuesday is an ordinance that would allow LCG to sign contracts with Jennifer Bacon and Lauren McCubbin of the Polsinelli Shugart firm to serve as special counsel for LCG in Kansas City federal court where the NCTC filed suit. Under the terms of the contract, Bacon would earn $331.50 per hour; McCubbin would make $195.50/hour. Polsinelli Shugart bills itself as a “Top 100” law firm in the United States “with more than 500 attorneys in 14 cities stretching from Washington, D.C. to Phoenix.”
Bacon and McCubbin are admitted to practice law in the state of Kansas where the NCTC is headquartered and filed suit in May after LCG notified the cooperative in April of its intent to file a complaint with the FCC. NCTC’s suit seeks a federal judgement declaring that its refusal to admit LUS into the cooperative is neither discriminatory nor in violation of federal trade laws. In its complaint to the FCC, LCG charges that the cooperative is blackballing the public utility at the behest of Cox Communications, the NCTC’s largest member and a member of the co-op’s board of directors. Cox denies the charge.
The NCTC, as its name implies, uses the buying power of a large membership to negotiate favorable rates with television programming providers. LCG’s complaint before the FCC, which could take months before being ruled on, also alleges that LUS will be forced to spend up to $1 million more for programming over the next 18 months if it’s not given membership in the cooperative.
To read the contract with the attorneys, their bios and other memoranda related to the ordinance, click here.