Headline Professional Responsibility

Lawyers Receiving Money From Lenders

High net wealth individuals often look to invest their money outside of a bank.  These individuals might choose to invest in real estate or a professional sports franchise.  How about bankrolling other people’s lawsuits to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars?  It is happening, and it seems as though it has the potential to be quite a lucrative venture for those involved.

Anyone involved in the practice of law, especially when it comes to representing plaintiffs in contingency fee cases, will admit that preparing for and litigating matters costs a lot of money.  The rewards can be huge, but if you have too many losers, you could end up hurting in the wallet.  The high cost of litigation coupled with a troubled economy only makes it more difficult for attorneys who dream of taking on big plaintiffs cases.

There are numerous positives of having enough funding to pay for all the necessaries leading up to trial.  The glaring potential negative is that the investor(s) might seek to control attorneys’ actions.

Litigation finance companies have sprouted across the country to help infuse funds into firms who need help with money.  Is this just “another step in leveling the playing field between plaintiffs and defendants” or should it raise a concern that attorneys will not truly be making the decisions for their clients?