‘Borrowing in the Shadow of Death’ Takes a Look at Another Type of ‘Fringe Lending’ – Probate Lending

‘Borrowing in the Shadow of Death’ Takes a Look at Another Type of ‘Fringe Lending’ – Probate Lending

Here at Secondary Insurance Market Blog, we have examined legal issues involving secondary markets for insurance products from the point of view of insurers and other non-lending parties whose interests may be adversely affected by such transactions. The types of such transactions include life settlements, litigation funding, pension factoring, and secondary markets for annuities, lottery payments, and for structured settlement payment rights. Occasionally, we delve into analogous transactions – such as those for entertainment tickets, or the payday loan business…

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Judge Overseeing Consolidated Opioid Litigation Wants Litigation Funding Information

Judge Overseeing Consolidated Opioid Litigation Wants Litigation Funding Information

The judge overseeing the multi-district litigation claims involving the opioid epidemic has ordered plaintiffs’ attorneys to disclose whether they have entered into any litigation funding agreements. U.S. District Court Judge Dan Polster, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, is overseeing several hundred consolidated lawsuits where many government entities – including states and cities – have sought recovery from drugmakers and distributors for the costs of dealing with opioid addiction.  Plaintiffs have claimed that the pharmaceutical…

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New York’s Structured Judgment Law Bars Settlement Factoring Deal, Says Court

New York’s Structured Judgment Law Bars Settlement Factoring Deal, Says Court

New York’s structured judgment statutes are found in Civil Practice Law & Rules Sections 50-A and 50-B.  Section 50-A is entitled “Periodic Payment of Judgments in Medical and Dental Malpractices Actions”, and Section 50-B is called “Periodic Payment of Judgments in Personal Injury, Injury to Property, and Wrongful Death Actions”.  Both require, under certain circumstances, that certain awards to claimants be paid over time.  Both also provide that such payments over time are non-assignable, except in certain circumstances.  In particular,…

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Kansas Appeals Court Says Suspended Lawyer Did Not Demonstrate an Interest to Justify Intervention – But If He Had, It Would Have Been Barred By the Public Policy Against Champerty

Kansas Appeals Court Says Suspended Lawyer Did Not Demonstrate an Interest to Justify Intervention – But If He Had, It Would Have Been Barred By the Public Policy Against Champerty

A Kansas appellate court affirmed a lower court decision to reject the motion to intervene of a suspended lawyer to intervene in a personal injury case, saying that the same Kansas public policy against champerty would have barred his interest – if he had demonstrated a sufficient interest to justify intervention.  In Massali v. Farmers Ins. Co., No. 117464 (Kan. Ct. App. Apr. 18, 2018), the Kansas appellate court summed up the case as follows: Maria E. Massali was injured…

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Wisconsin Enacts First-In-Nation Law Requiring Disclosure of Litigation Funding Agreements

Wisconsin Enacts First-In-Nation Law Requiring Disclosure of Litigation Funding Agreements

Civil litigants  in Wisconsin state court will have to disclose any litigation funding agreements under a bill signed into law by that state’s Governor Scott Walker earlier this month. It’s the first state law of its kind, according to published reports. The law revises the state’s requirements for discovery in civil litigation. A National Law Journal article about the new law is available (behind subscription wall) here and a press release from U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform is…

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NFL Concussion Settlement: Judge Orders Attorneys Seeking Fees To Disclose Information About Litigation Funding Company Agreements

NFL Concussion Settlement: Judge Orders Attorneys Seeking Fees To Disclose Information About Litigation Funding Company Agreements

U.S. District Court Judge Anita B. Brody – who oversees the settlement of the National Football League players’ concussion injury settlement – wants information from attorneys who are seeking to collect attorneys’ fees for representing ex-player clients. Among the facts that she wants from those attorneys is whether they, or their law firms, have entered into litigation funding agreements. Judge Brody in December declared such agreements invalid.  See “Judge Overseeing Concussion Settlement Invalidates Litigation Funding Agreements With NFL Players“. One…

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Litigants May Waive Privilege By Sharing Protected Information with Funding Companies, Says Author of Article

Litigants May Waive Privilege By Sharing Protected Information with Funding Companies, Says Author of Article

What happens if a potential claimant shares privileged information with a litigation funding company, before the claimant signs any agreement with the company? Typically, the claimant waives the privilege. But there may be no waiver if the parties first sign a litigation funding agreement – the key word being “may”. Those are some of the points from an article, “Sharing Protected Information With Potential Litigation Funders“, in the Spring 2018 issue of Today’s General Counsel magazine.  (A link to the…

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Illinois Court: No Full Faith and Credit for Default Judgment, and Litigation Funding Agreement Was Unenforceable on Champerty Grounds

Illinois Court: No Full Faith and Credit for Default Judgment, and Litigation Funding Agreement Was Unenforceable on Champerty Grounds

An Illinois court need not give full faith and credit to a Minnesota default judgment, and need not give effect to parts of a litigation funding agreement that was unenforceable, on champerty grounds, based on controlling Minnesota law. That was the ruling of an Illinois appellate court, in Prospect Funding Holdings v. Saulter, No. 1-17-1277, 2018 Ill. App. LEXIS 126 (Ill. App. Ct. Mar. 13, 2018), which involved claims by a litigation funding company against an attorney for a wrongful…

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Wall Street Journal Says Court Rules Are Starting to Bring Litigation Funders Out from Under a ‘Veil of Secrecy’

Wall Street Journal Says Court Rules Are Starting to Bring Litigation Funders Out from Under a ‘Veil of Secrecy’

“Investors placing bets on commercial lawsuits have long operated under a veil of secrecy.  But as litigation funding in the U.S. has spread to more courthouses and transformed into a billion-dollar business, plaintiffs and their faceless financiers are confronting calls for more transparency.” So begins a news article, “Lawsuit Funding, Long Hidden In The Shadows, Faces Calls For More Sunlight“, that the Wall Street Journal published last week. The article points out that “the arm of the federal judiciary that…

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Alabama Court Rejects Settlement Factoring Deal, Awards Attorneys’ Fees to Insurers

Alabama Court Rejects Settlement Factoring Deal, Awards Attorneys’ Fees to Insurers

An Alabama court this month rejected a factoring company’s attempt to obtain judicial approval of a transfer of structured settlement payment rights – in a deal that would have traded more than $800,000 in settlement payments for an immediate payment of $4,000 – and awarded attorneys’ fees to the insurers that pointed out to the court how the factoring company failed to comply with applicable law. In CBC Settlement Funding, LLC v. Scott, Case No. CV-2017-092576.00, 2018 Ala. Cir. LEXIS…

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