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.  SeeJudge Overseeing Concussion Settlement Invalidates Litigation Funding Agreements With NFL Players“.

One litigation funding company appealed that ruling.  SeeIn NFL Concussion Settlement Litigation, Company Appeals Ruling That Enforced Anti-Assignment Provision To Nullify Deals With Ex-Players“.

Another litigation funding company is reported to have filed a motion for clarification, seeking Judge Brody’s further explanation of her December ruling.  See “Report: Litigation Funding Company Contends NFL Concussion Settlement’s Assignment Ban Is Unclear“.

The author of this and the previous Secondary Insurance Market Blog posts has also commented about whether Judge Brody pulled her punches in her December, 2017 ruling – since she could have not only ruled that the litigation funding agreements were void, but that the litigation funding companies could not recover on illegality grounds.  See “A ‘No-Call’ In The NFL Concussion Settlement Litigation? Litigation Funders May Think Twice About Ruling That’s Now Being Appealed” and a LinkedIn article (“A ‘No-Call’ In The NFL Concussion Settlement Litigation: Violation Of An Anti-Assignment Provision Did Not Lead Judge To Reach Question Of Sanctions“) here.

Which brings us to the March 28, 2018 order from Judge Brody that sets a May 15, 2018 hearing on the allocation of class benefit fees among attorneys representing the class of ex-players.

In setting the hearing, Judge Brody also ordered the attorneys who will be seeking fees to fill out a sworn declaration with details about their representation.  One question in particular gets very specific about litigation funding, in asking the following:

How many Settlement Class Members previously or currently represented by you, your law firm or any attorney associated with your law firm have entered agreements to assign their rights to a Monetary Award (“Assignment(s)”)?  Assignments include any agreements that are similar to the agreements attached to this Court’s Explanationand Order relating to the Third Party Funder Litigation.  Assignments further include, but are not limited to, any agreement with any of the following third party litigation funders:

  • Atlas Legal Funding, LLC (to include the following related entities: Atlas Legal Funding I, L.P., and Atlas Legal Funding II, L.P.)
  • Cambridge Capital Group, LLC (to include the following related entities: Cambridge Capital Group Equity Option Opportunities L.P., and Cambridge Capital Partners, L.P.)
  • Cash4Cases, Inc.
  • Global Financial Credit, LLC
  • HMR Funding, LLC (to include the following related entities: HMRF Fund I,LLC and HMRF Fund II, LLC)
  • Justice Funds/Justicefunds, LLC
  • Ludus Capital, LLC
  • Peachtree Funding Northeast, LLC/Settlement Funding, LLC (to include the following related entities: Peachtree Settlement Funding, LLC, Peachtree Originations, LLC, Peachtree Financial Solutions, LLC, Peach Holdings, LLC, PeachHI, LLC, Orchard Acquisition Co. LLC, JGWPT Holdings, LLC, JGWPT Holdings, Inc., J.G. Wentworth, LLC, J.G. Wentworth S.S.C. Limited Partnership, J.G. Wentworth Structured Settlement Funding II, LLC, and Structures Receivables Finance #4, LLC)
  • Pravati Legal Funding/Pravati Capital, LLC
  • RD Legal Funding, LLC (to include the following related entities: RD Legal Finance, LLC, and RD Legal Funding Partners, LP)
  • Thrivest Specialty Funding, LLC
  • Top Notch Funding/Top Notch Lawsuit Loans/Top Notch Funding II, LLC
  • Walker Preston Capital Holdings, LLC
  • Case Strategies Group (formerly, NFL Case Consulting, LLC)
  • Legacy Pro Sports, LLC

As discussed in the linked Secondary Insurance Market Blog posts linked above, RD Legal Funding is the litigation funder that has filed the appeal of Judge Brody’s December opinion, and Thrivest is the company that has moved for clarification.

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