Welcome
Business & Practice

Litigation Finance Won’t Reach ‘Full Capacity’ of $85 Billion

June 11, 2020, 12:56 PM

There is no consensus figure for how much money investors plow into U.S. lawsuits each year. But it is not $85 billion, a number recently put forward as the “addressable market” for litigation finance by a publicly traded litigation financier.

Market Size: Omni Bridgeway says that is how much money U.S. plaintiff lawyers are estimated to earn in a year for commercial litigation. Litigation finance firms mostly pay plaintiff lawyer fees in exchange for a return of their cases’ rewards.

No Chance: A firm executive says the industry likely won’t reach that “full capacity” metric. But it’s unreasonable to suggest litigation funders even want to bankroll every plaintiff lawyer, and the 15-year-old industry’s relatively small penetration raises nagging questions about its potential, Roy Strom writes in this week’s Big Law Business column.

Was this email forwarded to you? Subscribe to our Business & Practice newsletter and get the best of our content delivered to your Inbox every morning.

DAILY BRIEF


Law Firms

Judge Awards $1 in Fees, Rebukes Law Firm in ‘Simple’ Wage Case
An Arkansas-based plaintiffs’ firm was scolded by a federal judge and permitted to recover only $1 in attorney’s fees for the work it did on a “run-of-the-mill” Fair Labor Standards Act overtime case involving more than 160 workers.

UnitedLex Acquires Paul Hastings Data Science Group
UnitedLex has acquired a 20-person Paul Hastings data science team led by lawyer Tom Barnett as part of a new partnership between the law firm and the technology and legal services provider.

Judiciary

Virtual Selection, Virus Screening Among Judiciary Jury Guidance
The federal judiciary issued recommendations on how juries can proceed in the coronavirus era that include pre-screening jurors based on health, using larger courtrooms for jury assembly, and virtual jury selection in certain circumstances.

Rule Barring Harassment by Lawyers Adopted in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania has become the seventh state to adopt a version of an American Bar Association rule aimed at curbing harassment and discrimination that critics say could chill speech.

Judge Awards $1 in Fees, Rebukes Law Firm in ‘Simple’ Wage Case
An Arkansas-based plaintiffs’ firm was scolded by a federal judge and permitted to recover only $1 in attorney’s fees for the work it did on a “run-of-the-mill” Fair Labor Standards Act overtime case involving more than 160 workers.

Minnesota Attorney General Urges Progressives to Seek Judgeships
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who is leading the prosecution of four Minneapolis police officers over George Floyd’s death, had a message for progressive lawyers attending the American Constitutional Society’s virtual conference: consider becoming judges.

California Judge Denied Appeal of Removal Order
A California judge lost his bid to have the state supreme court review his ordered removal from the bench for misconduct allegations that included gender bias.

Also in the News

Becton Dickinson Investors Get Lead Plaintiff for Software Suit
Becton, Dickinson & Co. investors who accused the company of misleading them about software errors in its infusion pumps secured a lead plaintiff for their would-be class suit in New Jersey federal district court.

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.

WAKE-UP CALL


Death of Ex-Baker McKenzie Chair a Suicide, Inquest Hears
In today’s column, as Big Law firms make cost cuts to ease the Covid-19 cash crunch, some are pressuring their landlords for breaks on their considerable real estate costs; Sidley Austin is representing pro bono a freelance photographer who says she was blinded in one eye by a police rubber bullet during Minneapolis protests over George Floyd’s killing; Fox Rothschild, noting the protests roiling the country, named a partner as its first-ever chief diversity and inclusion officer; Alston & Bird grabbed a white collar litigator who counts President Trump as a client; Simpson Thacher was No. 1 U.S. firm in London for revenue per lawyer last year.

PRACTITIONER INSIGHTS

INSIGHT: Supreme Court Affirms Bad Patents Exist, Saves Review Process
The U.S. Supreme Court recently reaffirmed the process that the Patent and Trademark Office uses to take another look and eliminate bad patents. Beau Phillips, executive director of US*Made, says Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s decision delivered an important message during a time when some on Capitol Hill deny there are bad patents and want to reform the review system.

INSIGHT: Ninth Circuit Denies Stay of Keystone XL Permit Decision
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently denied a request to stay a recent district court decision halting the Keystone XL Pipeline Project. Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr attorneys say the court’s ultimate ruling has broader implications for the general permitting process, and could serve as a basis for other courts to vacate and remand other nationwide permits applicable to development of all kinds.

INSIGHT: Doctrine of Primary Jurisdiction—An Ace for Dismissing Covid-19 Suits?
The recent dismissal of the Missouri Smithfield meatpacking worker safety lawsuit, applying the primary jurisdiction doctrine, may prove useful to employer-defendants in future suits involving worker safety, Ballard Spahr attorneys write. However, employers should keep in mind a number of caveats, especially in areas with many confirmed Covid-19 infections.

INSIGHT: Health-Care M&A Post-Pandemic—Opportunities, Not Opportunism
The health-care industry has been devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic, and post-pandemic deals, partnerships, and mergers are expected to rise. King & Spalding attorneys and a senior vice president at ReviveHealth say as health systems race to the altar to beat out competitors for M&A targets and other strategic relationships, it’s critical that they are thoughtful in structuring their deals, justifying the activity, and communicating the benefits.

INSIGHT: Protecting Key Employees, Trade Secrets in the Post-Covid-19 Job Market
As businesses reopen and realign after Covid-19, smaller employers or start-ups will have a chance to hire “big company” talent, and larger employers may be able to cherry pick talent from weaker competitors. Epstein Becker Green attorneys say restrictive covenants also may be less enforceable and protecting key employees and trade secrets is more important than ever.

INSIGHT: Trump’s Social Media Order Takes on First Amendment Rights
President Trump’s executive order targeting social media companies was challenged in court by a non-profit group that claims it violates free-speech protections under the First Amendment. Eckert Seamans’ Robert Gastner says this is not the first challenge involving the Communications Decency Act and First Amendment rights.

WORKFLOWS

Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Philadelphia office hired Darius Gambino as a partner in the Litigation Practice and IP Litigation Team | Ballard Spahr recently announced that Ann T. Loftus has rejoined the firm as senior counsel in the Business and Transactions Department in Philadelphia, along with David J. Karasko; both arrive from the former Zateeny Loftus, LLP | Thompson Coburn recently added mass tort and product liability litigatorDawn Wright as a partner in Dallas from Thompson & Knight | Alston & Bird hired Joanna C. Hendon as a litigation partner to its white collar, securities enforcement, and complex civil litigation and trial capabilities in New York from Spears & Imes.

Alexa users, now you can add Bloomberg Law’s top stories of the day to your Flash Briefing or tell Alexa to “Play Bloomberg Law news.”

If you haven’t already, be sure to follow Bloomberg Law on Twitter, Flipboard, LinkedIn, Reddit, Facebook and Telegram.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jerome Ashton in Washington at jashton@bloomberglaw.com

To read more articles log in.