"The financial crisis is not a liquidity crisis as much as a litigation crisis," Romano said, alluding to the original plan that the trust itself would pay the managers. "The trust is rich in property and poor in liquid funds."
Wisan's attorney, Jeffrey Shields, said it was the state that started the process of seizing the trust and recruited Wisan to work as fiduciary.
"Who should pay this, should pay us?" Shields asked. "We're doing state work. … The court can, should and did order that these fees be paid."
He said it is hard to get people to work for the trust and those who do, do so out of a commitment to seeing the task to completion. Ultimately, the trust will pay for itself, but that will be a process, Shields said. The professionals hired to handle the trust shouldn't bear the costs in the interim.
The justices asked Romano what her concerns were about Lindberg's plan that involved the attorney general's office paying the fees now, but being later repaid with trust properties that would be held for that purpose.
"The fact that the state is ordering the state to make a loan in the first place … What is the basis for that?" Romano said, stating that she thinks Wisan, Utah, Arizona and the FLDS Church should pay the $5.5 million bill.
But if ordered to pay, she said her office will have to turn to the Legislature for funds.
The Utah Supreme Court also took the funding matter under advisement.
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