Steven Phillips served 24 years in prison after having been convicted in 1982 of sexual assault and robbery -- a crime for which he was exonerated in 2008, after DNA evidence revealed he was not, in fact, the perpetrator. As the Associated Press noted earlier this month, the Dallas resident will receive some $1.9 in compensation for his wrongful imprisonment, though Phillips says the amount will be closer to $4.09 million.
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Which has led to this lawsuit: Courthouse News has Phillips's petition filed in Dallas County District Court last week in which he alleges that in 2007, a Lubbock-based law firm convinced Phillips they'd help him get money for being wrongfully imprisoned. He says they had him sign a fee agreement, even though the firm should have known state law already allowed for compensation (an amount upped courtesy State Rep. Rafael Anchia-authored legislation that took effect September 1) without the need for any legal assistance whatsoever. Phillips says he fired the firm last week and doesn't want the attorneys to get a penny of the money he's due from the state.