The costs of litigation constantly increase, and persons with meritorious claims are less and less able to obtain redress for their grievances. A way to remedy this problem in part is to make financing available to clients and their lawyers with meritorious lawsuits, on a free-market basis, with the money going to the persons with the most meritorious claims involving the best prospects for monetary recovery. Frivolous claims are money losers and are not worthy of financing, thus the immediate objection which some persons will raise (that this would promote frivolous litigation) is a frivolous objection and the person making such objection is either without adequate information or has a hidden agenda (to discourage meritorious litigation against his/her clients). In many civil cases brought by impoverished clients using lawyers working on a contingent-fee basis, the costs of litigation can far exceed the monoey being spent by the prosecution or the defense in the famous O.J. Simpson case. For example, the attorney for Art Buchwald in his suit against Paramount reports that he spent $500,000 in out-of-pocket expenses and $3,000,000 in legal time up to that point (of book authorship) and the case is not over yet. Most clients and lawyers don't have this kind of money available for a lawsuit, but the lawsuit itself, if meritorious, can provide the basis, through lawsuit financing. The amounts do not have to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, either. Lawsuit financing can work for as little as hundreds or thousands of dollars, always depending on many factors which have to be considered.
Lawsuit financing is no more than another activity which is needed by a virtual law firm. Many major firms have so much money pouring in from their law practice that they are able to finance whatever lawsuits they choose to take, if any, on a contingent-fee basis. Also, personal injury and medical malpractice cases throughout the U.S. have the lawyers providing virtually 100% financing of the case, including expert witness fees, other out-of-pocket expenses, and the legal, paralegal and other time devoted to the case. Thus, PI and medical mal cases don't need LawMall's type of lawsuit financing - they already have their own financing program, which seems to work quite well. Commercial cases which are or need to be brought on a contingent-fee basis are an exception, for various reasons. One reason is that the cases generally have no insurance coverage for the defendant and therefore there is no "money on the file"; major law firms are retained as distinguished from insurance law firms which means to some extent that the case will be litigated more strenuously with less willingness to compromise (since the major law firms are not representing an insurance carrier whose business is to settle claims); the risk of summary dismissal of a commercial case is far higher than the risk of summary dismissal of a case involving a broken neck or back, whatever the merits; and the longer length of complex commercial litigation seems to encourage some judges to throw them out of court more readily than litigation which can be tried more quickly.
For persons who are interested, a copy of an offering circular for the offering of lawsuit shares which was declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission and filed with the New York Attorney General's Blue Sky (Securities) Office is available for review, just click on Lawsuit Offering Circular This does not constitute any offering, I should add, and the described actions are not pending anywhere.
This bulletin board is available free (until further notice) for lawyers, capitalists or other persons wanting to indicate that they might be interested in exploring the possibility of financing one or more lawsuits. Notice how vague my language is, and intentionally so. The first person to list is LawMall's founder and developer (Carl E. Person)
ListingDate, Name.........., E-Mail.............., Tel.Number, Fax.Number.
...1/1/95.., Carl E. Person, email@example.com, 212-307-4444, 212-307-0247
ListingDate Name E-Mail Tel. Fax.
Clients (i.e., persons with a meritorious claim or existing lawsuit) or their lawyers would check the second bulletin board for listings of persons who might be interested in financing a lawsuit. Be careful not to talk about specifics of the case without first ensuring that there is no conflict of interest. Also, it is suggested that the persons agree that the preliminary discussions will be held in confidence.
Lawyers, capitalists and others wanting to finance one or more lawsuits should check the first bulletin board for listings of persons who might have need for lawsuit financing. Once again, be careful not to talk about specifics of the case without first ensuring that there is no conflict of interest. Also, it is suggested that the persons agree that the preliminary discussions will be held in confidence.
Whether a person wants to obtain or provide financing, or buy or sell the shares issued as a result of a lawsuit financing, there are various factors which should be considered. See Lawsuit Financing Factors It should be noted that these factors are not the only considerations, but the list should help investors and others in analyzing a specific lawsuit from an investment standpoint.
As of the writing of this lawsuit financing section, there are no publicly-traded lawsuit shares of which LawMall is aware. Millions of contingent-fee lawsuits have created lawsuit shares for the lawyers representing the plaintiffs; other suits have been financed privately and there shares have been retired (such as in the Businessland litigation, in which hundreds of millions of dollars were involved) and some treasure ship admiralty litigation, where the shares in at least one matter are still outstanding. If LawMall finds any market for these existing lawsuit shares, it will point you to them or present the information directly under this heading.
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