In October 2019, the New York City Bar established a working group to study the litigation funding industry and deliver a report by year’s end. Today is the deadline for the working group to receive comments from the legal community about the benefits of funding.
At Validity, we recommend the Working Group seize the opportunity to make clear that litigation funding is an important solution for allowing clients to access the legal system. Furthermore, because litigation funding is such an important tool in the legal arsenal, we would additionally recommend the Working Group encourage all trial lawyers to familiarize themselves with ethical issues and funding structures as part of the rules’ competency requirements. At a minimum, the Working Group should recognize that litigation funding is perfectly consistent with both the ethics’ rules high-level priority of serving clients, and its more specific regulations concerning fee-sharing and confidentiality. Finally, the Working Group should rebuff efforts to hobble litigation funding by opposing mandatory disclosure of irrelevant funding agreements