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Cost of Socorro Electric's Lawsuit Unclear

The cost of a lawsuit filed in New Mexico last year by Socorro Electric Cooperative against all of its approximately 10,000 member-owners is still unclear.  Judge Albert J. Mitchell Jr., who was appointed to the case by the New Mexico Supreme Court, has
August 15, 2011

The cost of a lawsuit filed in New Mexico last year by Socorro Electric Cooperative against all of its approximately 10,000 member-owners is still unclear.  Judge Albert J. Mitchell Jr., who was appointed to the case by the New Mexico Supreme Court, has yet to decide whether to award attorneys' fees and expenses to the lawyers who defended the case.  Judge Mitchell is also considering a countersuit, which could extend the life of the case.  Despite the uncertainty about the cost of the suit, and whether or not the coop's insurance will cover any of that cost, the information the coop turned over in response to an Inspection of Public Records Request revealed that attorneys' fees doubled during the year the coop filed the suit.  The coop General Manager Joseph Herrera said in an interview last month that the primary reason for a proposed $177,711 budget increase was anticipated legal fees.  The El Defensor Chieftain has more on the potential costs here.

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