SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah will spend $300,000 to bring in a team of three outside attorneys to help defend the state's same-sex marriage ban before a federal appeals court.

The Utah Attorney General's Office announced Thursday it has chosen Gene Schaerr to lead the team. Attorney general Sean Reyes says in a news release that Schaerr has handled dozens of cases before federal appeals court. Schaerr has agreed to charge the state $200,000.

Greg Kabel

The state will pay attorneys John Bursch and Monte Neil Stewart $50,000 each to help out.

Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican, pledged to defend Utah's same-sex marriage ban after a federal judge overturned it on Dec. 20. Utah has appealed to the Denver-based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Hundreds of couples married until the U.S. Supreme Court halted the weddings on Jan. 6.