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Reports: D.C. attorney hired for “legal advice” and help with potential litigation over redistricting

The Indiana House Republican leadership hired the Washington, D.C. firm of attorney Jason Torchinsky (above) in April “to provide legal advice regarding matters related to redistricting and elections,” noting that as his client they “may in the future participate as a party in a lawsuit against any of the redistricting maps to be adopted,” according to Indianapolis media reports.

The Indiana Citizen first reported Torchinky’s hiring on August 5, with a spokeswoman for Indiana House Republicans confirming only that Torchinsky would be working with the caucus on new congressional and legislative district maps but not providing specific details on his duties or what he would be paid.

PBS affiliate WFYI late Tuesday and the Indianapolis Business Journal on Wednesday also reported the hiring, with details provided by the GOP spokeswoman, including a letter of engagement from Tochinsky’s firm, Holtzman Vogel Josefiak Torchinsky, to House Speaker Todd Huston spelling out the terms, noting the firm’s regular hourly fees ranging from $350 for junior associates to $1,300 for senior partners and that the client would be billed at regular hourly fees with a 10% discount.

The letter dated April 28 from the law firm’s managing partner, Jill Holtzman Vogel, who also a Republican state senator in the Virginia General Assembly, to Huston states: “Specifically, the Firm has been engaged to provide legal advice regarding matters releated to redistricting and elections. Client may in the future participate as a party in a lawsuit against any of the redistricting maps to be adopted, and we are prepared to engage as desired in any litigation.” It also notes, “At this time Jason Torchinsky will be primarily responsible for overseeing representation and will serve as your principal contact with respect to this engagement.”

According to the WFYI and IBJ reports, the spokeswoman said Torchinky so far has been paid $2,761.87 from a $54,000 budget that each legislative caucus has received for redistricting expenses. The Indiana Citizen reported earlier that Senate Democrats are using political consultant and former state party executive director Tim Henderson to help them with map drawing. Henderson played the same role in 2011. — The Indiana Citizen