Meet Richard Ciummo. In a state where 25 counties pay private attorneys to defend their poor in court, this Fresno attorney just may be the Sam Walton of California’s indigent defense industry.

Ciummo (pronounced choo-moh) is the principal of Richard A. Ciummo & Associates, a private, for-profit law firm that holds contracts for indigent representation in nine counties (.pdf). While Walton made billions selling bags of Ol’ Roy dog food and men’s socks on the cheap, Ciummo has perfected a similar, albeit much less profitable, business model offering local government a range of professional legal services at an affordable price.

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