Oklahoma Recommended To Pay $7 Million In Legal Fees Over DHS Ca - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

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Oklahoma Recommended To Pay $7 Million In Legal Fees Over DHS Case

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

A federal magistrate in Tulsa is recommending that the state pay $7 million in legal fees in a lawsuit that led to reforms in Oklahoma's child-welfare system.

U.S. Magistrate Frank McCarthy said Wednesday that the lawyers representing Children's Rights should receive $5.5 million in attorneys' fees and another $1.5 million in expenses and travel costs.

The plaintiffs' attorneys had sought $9.5 million, while attorneys representing the Oklahoma Department of Human Services argued that $2.6 million to $3.7 million was more appropriate.

Children's Rights Executive Director Marcia Lowry says they amassed more than 36,000 hours of work time in the four-year lawsuit, but DHS Director Ed Lake calls the $7 million recommendation "excessive."

The settlement resulted in the Pinnacle Plan, the state's $153 million plan for overhauling the foster care system.

7/25/2012 Related Story: $100 Million Plan To Improve Oklahoma Foster Care System Approved

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