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Litigation Funders’ ‘David v. Goliath’ Narrative Faces a Test

Aug. 27, 2020, 10:30 AM

Litigation funders have long pointed to their backing of “David v. Goliath” type cases as evidence that their capital can help level the playing field. That argument is getting a closer look in at least a certain part of the country.

Google Victory: Quinn Emanuel scored a victory on behalf of Google earlier this month when a federal judge in California ordered a plaintiff represented by Kirkland & Ellis to turn over documents related to a litigation finance contract.

Broader Issue: The disclosure of litigation funding contracts has long been a hot-button issue for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, but the funding industry has been relatively successful in keeping mandatory disclosure rules off the books. The case in Los Angeles is the second pro-disclosure ruling this year in a patent dispute. Roy Strom has the story in this week’s Big Law Business column.

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Libra Association Lands Former Homeland Security General Counsel
For the second time in three months, digital currency group the Libra Association has a new top lawyer.

Business of Law

Boy Scouts Seek to Curb ‘Misleading’ Sex Abuse Ads by Law Firms
The Boy Scouts of America urged a federal judge to limit law firms’ ads aimed at sexual abuse survivors who may have potential claims against the organization, saying many contain false and misleading information about legal recovery.


New York Tries To Reassure Test Takers About Online Bar Exam
The New York Board of Law Examiners is trying to allay concerns that the many strict rules surrounding the state’s online bar exam in early October are navigable, and won’t result in false allegations of cheating.


Tents, Smoke Machine: Judges Get Creative on Jury Trial Restart
Federal courts are getting creative in seeking to restart jury trials, and for some, that means outdoor settings and virtual proceedings are on the table.

When Your Boss is Notorious: Clerking for R.B.G.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is one of the Supreme Court’s most recognizable figures. The so-called “great dissenter” has served on the Court for nearly three decades and has become a cultural icon for her work on gender equality and social justice. So what’s it like to work for Justice Ginsburg? In this video, seven of her former SCOTUS law clerks tell us about their time reading briefs, researching case law, and helping draft opinions for the Notorious R.B.G.

Follow Bloomberg Law’s global coverage of the coronavirus pandemic on our Coronavirus Outbreak channel, and track the latest changes in the federal court operations with our interactive map.


Note: The Wake Up Call is taking a brief hiatus starting Aug. 17 and will return on Aug. 31.


INSIGHT: Law Firm Tech Needs to Meet Client Expectations
BigLaw clients expect their firms to keep up with legal technologies. Attorney Jean-Marc Chanoine, with Templafy, says law firms need to bring in compliance teams early in the digital transformation process to implement safeguards and remain competitive.

INSIGHT: DOJ Aims Scrutiny at Lab Testing Space During Covid-19
The Department of Justice is stepping up its scrutiny of health-care fraud, especially in testing laboratories, during the Covid-19 pandemic. Former federal prosecutor Jason Mehta, a partner with Bradley, says now is not the time to tout profits over patient care and offers insights on compliance.

INSIGHT: SCOTUS Should Clear Up Section 101 Patent Test Confusion
Recent orders by the Federal Circuit involving last year’s ruling on the patent eligibility test have only clouded the issues more. Michael Cicero, with Taylor English, says it’s up to the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case to end the abject uncertainty plaguing Section 101 law.


Husch Blackwell hired Elizabeth Benefield as senior counsel from Carolina Farm Credit, ACA; she also becomes the first new-attorney hire to join The Link, the firm’s virtual office | Fisher Phillips added Laura Bailey Brown as Of Counsel in the Kansas City office | Paul Hastings said that Derwin Jenkinson has joined as a partner in the Finance practice in London from Ashurst | Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney recently added Jerry Fedele as Of counsel to its Healthcare section in Fort Lauderdale; he previously served as president and CEO of Boca Raton Regional Hospital | Brown Rudnick added David Stein as a partner in the Orange County office as a member of the Intellectual Property and Commercial Litigation Practice Group | McCarter & English announced that William J. Palatucci is joining the Newark, NJ office as a partner in the Business Litigation Practice, effective Aug. 31, and will also support the Government Affairs Practice | K&L Gates has added Patrick Richards as a partner and Clare Frederick and Trevor Martin as associates in its IP Procurement and Portfolio Management practice in Chicago from Richards Patent Law P.C. | Michelman & Robinson added Tim Gorry, Jon-Jamison Hill, and Jackie Joseph in Los Angeles from Theodora Oringher; Tim and Jon join as partners and Jackie joins as Of counsel.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Jerome Ashton in Washington at