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Judge rules for lawyers in Microsoft case

JACKSON — A Mississippi judge has upheld $10 million in fees paid to lawyers for handling a state lawsuit against computer software manufacturer Microsoft.

Hinds County Chancellor Denise Owens today dismissed the challenge filed by State Auditor Stacy Pickering.

Microsoft reached a $100-million settlement with the state last June. It agreed to pay $10 million to lawyers hired by the attorney general’s office to handle the case.

Pickering sued, arguing the fees should be paid with money appropriated by the Legislature.

Owens said state law allows the attorney general to hire outside lawyers. Those lawyers received no funds from the state, Owens said, and the legal fees were separate from the settlement.

In February, another judge threw out Pickering’s challenge to $14 million in legal fees paid to lawyers in a state lawsuit against MCI.

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