It has been touted by some as an inventive new way to increase court access to individuals and small companies that do not possess the resources to shoulder the burden of litigation. Others, however, have derided it as a commercialization of litigation that should be banned because it is an unethical device that will further choke the nation’s dockets. Like it or not, alternative litigation financing “(ALF” – no, not the lovable alien from the ’80′s) is here.
Traditionally, third party capital to support litigation activity in the United States involved lawyers collecting contingency fees and doing pro bono work or insurers fulfilling their duty to defend and claim subrogation. ALF involves provision of capital by non-traditional sources to the parties in a litigation or their attorneys. Spanning distinct and diverse markets, ALF can come into play with corporate claims, personal injury claims, and law firm loans.
The business case in favor of ALF posits it as an efficient mechanism that encourages predictability, transparency, and timely returns. The hope is that it can weed out frivolous litigation, because no one will invest in less meritorious or speculative commercial litigation. Thus the champions of ALF say it encourages meritorious cases, rational settlements, competent attorneys, and a self governing market. On the flip side, those opposed to ALF see it as a way of creating a commodities market around lawsuits, encouraging litigation, and cheapening the justice system.
Professor Sebok has authored numerous articles about litigation finance and mass restitution litigation involving tobacco, handguns, and slavery reparations. He is the author of LegalPositivism in American Jurisprudence, articles and essays on jurisprudence, and is the coeditor of The Philosophy of Law: A Collection of Essays. His casebook, Tort Law:Responsibilities and Redress, which he coauthored with John Goldberg and Benjamin Zipursky, is used at several leading law schools. Professor Sebok is frequently quoted in the national media on timely legal issues, such as the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund. He is currently writing a book with Mauro Bussani of the University of Trieste on comparative tort law, which will be published by Oxford University Press.
B.A., 1984, Cornell University; M.Phil., 1986, Oxford University; J.D., 1991, Yale Law School; Ph.D., 1993, Princeton University.
Posts in Connected by Anthony include:
Professor Regan is the author of Eat What You Kill: The Fall of a Wall Street Lawyer (University of Michigan Press 2004); co author with Jeffrey D. Bauman of Legal Ethics and Corporate Practice (Thomson/West 2005); and co editor with Anita L. Allen, of Debating Democracy’s Discontent: Essays on American Politics, Law, and Public Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 1998), and numerous articles and book chapters.
B.A., University of Houston; M.A., University of California, Los Angeles; J.D., Georgetown
Paul Sullivan is Senior Vice President at Juridica Capital Managemnet. He has been a partner at a major US law firm practicing as a plaintiff’s lawyer representing clients in federal and stat courts throughout the country in the areas of complex litigation and dispute resolution. His practice focused primarily on the representation of corporate clients in civil litigation involving a wide variety of contractual disputes and tort liabilities, including intellectual property disputes, often on a contingency fee basis.
Mr. Sullivan earned his J.D. magna cum laude from Vermont Law School in 1997, finished second in his law school class, and was Senior Head Notes Editor of the Vermont Law Review. He is also a partner in Fields Sullivan PLLC.
Aaron Katz is a Director within the Leveraged Finance division of Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC. For the past 5 years, Mr. Katz has been one of the principals of Credit Suisse’s Legal Risk Strategies & Finance group, which provides hedging, monetization, funding and other capital solutions for complex litigation situations.
Prior to joining Credit Suisse, Mr. Katz was a Partner in the litigation department of DLA Piper in the firm’s New York office, where he represented corporate clients in a variety of commercial, securities, and mass tort matters. Mr. Katz served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. He began his career as an associate with Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York City.
Mr. Katz is a 1990 graduate of Harvard Law School, and was law clerk to the Honorable Anita Brody, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
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