jordanfurlong + litigation   60

Allegations Against Burford Could Muddy the Waters for Litigation Funding, Law Experts Argue |
Last week, Muddy Waters published a report calling Burford “arguably insolvent” and accused the litigation funder of manipulating its metrics for gauging financial returns. The next day, Burford issued a scathing rebuttal and hosted a lengthy shareholder call, slamming the report as false and misleading. On Sunday, Burford officially accused Muddy Waters of market manipulation. The Rosen Law Firm in New York is investigating the allegation on behalf of shareholders, and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and Morrison & Foerster are advising Burford.
The back-and-forth continued Tuesday with Muddy Waters ripping into Burford’s response. 

“Leave it to former trial lawyers to talk so much, and yet say so little,” Muddy Waters said in a statement. “BUR’s written response and numbing two-hour call did nothing to dispel our view that BUR a) aggressively marks its cases up to generate non-cash profits, b) manipulates its … metrics in order to justify its fair value gains, c) deliberately confuses investors about the extent of its fair value gains in each period, and d) has a fragile balance sheet with too much leverage, particularly given the excessive costs the business runs (of which a significant portion could be management compensation).” 
litigation  financ 
8 weeks ago by JordanFurlong
Litigation Funders Push Back Against In-House Lawyers' Call for Disclosure | The Recorder
Litigation funders have responded forcefully to a group of in-house lawyers who are asking for more fulsome disclosures of third-party funding in federal litigation.
A group of 30 current and former top lawyers at major companies including Google, Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc. signed onto a letter last month backing a proposed amendment to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 26(a)(1)(A) that would require the full disclosure of third-party funding agreements in civil actions.

In response, leaders from three major litigation funders Wednesday fired off their own letter to the committee at the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, which is considering the proposed changes. They call the in-house lawyers’ letter ”a PR stunt” by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform, which has sought to reign in the litigation finance industry. The in-house counsels’ request, the funders wrote, amounts to “a push for forced disclosure of irrelevant information that one party is simply curious to know.”
clients  litigation  financing  ethics 
february 2019 by JordanFurlong
What’s Happening with Litigation Funding?
Both of these messages imply the obvious: another party has a stake in some litigation. This raises some ethical issues. Funding companies are aware of these concerns and the smart ones require non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) prior to any conversations that could include confidential or privileged information.

The main ethical concerns raised so far center on the possibility that the funding companies might exert influence over the management of the case. Again, smart providers are very strict about not exerting influence over any litigation they fund.

That being said, bar regulators and courts are expressing concern about these and other issues. Regulators are studying the problem and considering changes to ethical rules and regulations. A stated challenge is the complexity of this topic given the types of funding that occur. One option being suggested is requiring disclosure of funding to the courts. The concern this rule would potentially address is over the growth of frivolous litigation.[3] Per the publicly available litigation funding company reports, this concern seems unfounded since there is no return for them on frivolous litigation.

But even a court rule like this becomes problematic in the way it interacts with ethics rules, especially when those rules will differ among jurisdictions. At this point, it is unclear what if any rules will emerge around litigation funding, but firms and clients utilizing these tools will need to keep an eye on this front.
litigation  financing 
january 2019 by JordanFurlong
Thomson Reuters to Offer Judicial Analytics with Westlaw Edge Update | Legaltech News
As a “next evolution” of the Westlaw Edge research platform, Thomson Reuters announced today the addition of a “Precedent Analytics” feature, which fully integrates into platform’s Litigation Analytics component. Jeff Arvidson, director of product management at Thomson Reuters, said the new feature will allow users to see and analyze “the cases and court judges rely on when they are drafting opinions.”
With Precedent Analytics, users can select a state or federal judge to see her or his past rulings in a specific area of law, then determine what cases and courts were most cited or referenced in those rulings. The feature also includes a heat map that visually displays the federal districts or circuits, or all 50 state courts that a particular judge often cites from.

Arvidson said Precedent Analytics aims to empower attorneys with insight into a judge’s approach to certain areas of law.
In a press release announcing the feature, Mike Dahn, senior vice president of Westlaw Product Management, explained the feature’s value
litigation  analytics  predictive  courts 
january 2019 by JordanFurlong
Why prediction in legal tech needs to die quickly – Samuel Witherspoon – Medium
For starters a machine stating a probability is less appealing than a human providing comfort and counsel. We underestimated this element of human behaviour. People in the midst of a legal dispute do not think rationally or reasonably.

Second — knowing what the likely outcome of something is misses a critical component — how to get to the outcome. The prediction itself ignores that the path to the result is long, winding and perilous. It ignores that if the other party is not behaving rationally no amount of forecasting will help you. If the legal system was rational people wouldn’t take two hours off work to fight a $30 parking ticket. Human’s are inherently irrational. The legal system is run by humans.

I assume under the phone is the prenuptial agreement since the person is behaving rationally when they get married too. Or maybe its just their vows. Or maybe its an empty folder since this is a stock photo. Also there is a small plant on the table.
Third — disputes are messy. Litigation is messy. In our case we were trying to provide a tool for people to negotiate with their spouse with in an effort to keep their divorce in the ‘uncontested’ stream (meaning they recognized that the outcome was a foregone conclusion so why argue about it). We solicited feedback from our customers relentlessly.
litigation  predictions  robo  data 
may 2018 by JordanFurlong
Consumer Litigation Funding and Medical Malpractice Litigation: Examining the Effect of Rancman v. Interim Settlement Funding Corporation - Xiao - 2017 - Journal of Empirical Legal Studies - Wiley Online Library
Consumer litigation funding, a growing industry in the United States, is an alternative credit source for cash‐strapped tort plaintiffs. Financiers give plaintiffs nonrecourse loans that are premised on lawsuit outcomes. This article is the first to empirically examine the effect of consumer litigation funding. Specifically, I explore the impact of nonrecourse loans on medical malpractice litigation outcomes by exploiting the variation in timing and geography from two Ohio policy changes: the Ohio Supreme Court's 2003 ban of funding in Rancman v. Interim Settlement Funding Corporation and the state's subsequent legislative legalization of funding in 2008. Using closed‐claim data from the National Practitioner Data Bank, I find evidence that the availability of funding increases claim payment and claim duration.
litigation  financing 
april 2018 by JordanFurlong
The Law Firm Disrupted: How Predictable Can Litigation Get and How Fast? | The American Lawyer
BLM, an insurance-focused firm in the U.K., announced this week a partnership with the London School of Economics that will advance its goals of becoming a leader in advanced data analytics. Three professors, including experts on decision-mapping, machine learning and an actuary, will work with the firm’s proprietary data to better understand the costs and outcomes of its cases.

Reporting on this development, The Artificial Lawyer said a “litigation prediction battle” is heating up among firms in the U.K. insurance space, with BLM’s rivals such as Clyde & Co and Kennedys making similar investments.

“The idea is to move from statistics to prediction,” said Andrew Dunkley, BLM’s head of analytics.

But how good can the predictions get? Dunkley said the goal is not to get to “95 percent accuracy” when predicting a case; rather, it is to predict better than the best human lawyer or to provide new information that helps that lawyer make a better prediction.
predictive  litigation  data 
february 2018 by JordanFurlong
Leading law firm joins forces with LSE professors to find ways to predict litigation - Legal Futures
National insurance law firm BLM has teamed up with three professors from the London School of Economics (LSE) in a two-year research project to create models that predict the cost, length and outcome of litigation.

Andrew Dunkley, head of analytics at BLM, said artificial intelligence (AI) would be an “important part” of the partnership, but the crucial thing was the way it blended technology with actuarial knowledge and ‘decision science’.

“What decision science looks at is taking decisions in an uncertain environment, like litigation, where you don’t have complete information,” Mr Dunkley said. “You may not have enough information to come to a confident prediction.

“At the start of the dispute, you have a bit of information about the case, but there is lots of information you don’t yet know. You still have to make a decision about whether or not to invest in the litigation.”

On the LSE side, the partnership will be led by Professor Henry Wynn, head of the decision support and risk group. He will be joined by Professor Pauline Barrieu, head of LSE’s statistics department and principal examiner for the Institute of Actuaries, and Professor Milan Vojnovic, chair in data science and expert on machine learning.
litigation  data  analytics  predictive 
february 2018 by JordanFurlong
Judging Lawyers: Objectively Evaluating Big Law Litigation Departments
Despite being better than the rest, these firms’ briefs were still at a level that would be unacceptable in other writing-focused professions (such as journalism). The difference is that while general purpose writing has spell-checkers and grammar-checkers, analogous legal-focused technologies are missing.

Nearly every brief we analyzed contained misspelled case names, miscited pages, and misquoted cases and statutes. Interestingly, about one third of the misquotes appear to be intentionally inaccurate.

More shocking was that eight of the law firms in our analysis filed briefs that misspelled their judge’s name (including some in the drafting top five). As an individual with an unusual name in the United States, I’m used to people writing “Itia” or even “Atari.” But it’s a glaring and automatic negative, and it creates a terrible first impression.
quality  metrics  firms  drafting  litigation 
january 2018 by JordanFurlong
The Decline of Litigation? Part 2 | Adam Smith, Esq.
Realization for transactional work is consistently, materially, higher than for litigation; and
Transactional realization is holding steady, starting at 85% and ending at 85%, while litigation is in virtually straight linear decline over the period, starting at 81.5% and ending at about 79%.  
Stated differently, for every $1.00 of transactional work you billed in 2014 you collected 85 cents, and for every $1.00 of litigation you collected 81-½ cents.  Today you still collect 85 cents for transactional, but barely 79 cents for litigation.  
The ratio is now 92% (inversely, 107%); if your average timekeeper bills 1,800 hours per year (and if rates across practice areas are equivalent), this means an 1,800 hour/year transactional lawyer brings in as much revenue as a 1,925 hour/year litigator.  Stated a bit more symmetrically, you should treat a transactional lawyer billing 1,735 hours as productive as a litigator billing 1,865 hours,
Let’s step back for a moment from the litigation/transactional differences:  This is not a pretty picture no matter how you slice it.  If clients are consistently, across our industry, saying that they value our work at 80-85¢ on the dollar, one or both of two things are wrong:
litigation  realization 
september 2017 by JordanFurlong
The Decline of Litigation?: Part 1 | Adam Smith, Esq.
Let’s start with what you might call litigation 101.  A primary reason we think it’s in long-run secular decline is simple: Clients hate it.  And in this case clients are not only right, they’re rational.
It’s a zero-sum game–a straightforward transfer of assets/wealth from one party to another, with no increase in the value of the overall pie–and it comes at the price of a big cut taken out for lawyers, so it’s actually a negative-sum game from the perspective of the parties.  Clients of BigLaw tend to be defendants far more often than they’re plaintiffs, so they get the short end of that net negative most of the time.  To be sure, occasionally BigLaw clients win, but so do some gamblers in Las Vegas.  In the long run you don’t want to bet against the house.
By contrast, corporate/transactional engagements are entered into with the hope of generating additional wealth for all parties concerned.  If there’s not a willing buyer and a willing seller, it’s unlikely anything will happen.  Successful deals leave everyone happy, and legal fees are at worst just an embedded transactional cost and at best the price of a critical service that opened new doors and created value in and of itself.
Second, historically litigation has been ghastly expensive.  Law firms could exploit, or shall we say maximize the benefits of, the high leverage model in litigation almost as a matter of course.  It was easy, and even justified in the name of zealous advocacy, to throw teams of associates at a dispute, who could bill their time against the matter all day every day for a long period of time.  By contrast, few corporate transactions require similarly-sized teams, and they don’t tend to require them for so long.  Deals close or they don’t (often against fiscal  year constraints), but litigation can go on forever.  
Other practice areas rarely offer up full-time single-matter engagements: Real estate, employment, private client services, tax, and IP all tend to force practitioners to jump from matter to matter to matter during any given day, which is inherently less conducive to racking up impressive hours.
september 2017 by JordanFurlong
We Won’t See You in Court: The Era of Tort Lawsuits Is Waning - WSJ
Americans, reputed to be the most litigious people in the world, are filing far fewer lawsuits.

Fewer than two in 1,000 people—the alleged victims of inattentive motorists, medical malpractice, faulty products and other civil wrongs—filed tort lawsuits in 2015, an analysis of the latest available data collected by the National Center for State Courts shows. That is down sharply from 1993, when about 10 in 1,000 Americans filed such suits.

A host of factors are fueling the decline, including state restrictions on litigation, the increasing cost of bringing suits, improved auto safety and a long campaign by businesses to turn public opinion against plaintiffs and their lawyers.

The nationwide ebb in lawsuits, which confounds the public perception of courts choked with tort claims, has broad ramifications for businesses, doctors, patients, lawyers and the courts themselves.

Companies and insurers on the receiving end of such lawsuits welcome the decline of what they regard as a lawsuit culture in which lawyer-driven litigation increases costs to both business and consumers.

Trade groups that represent these firms have long pushed for laws to raise the bar for filing lawsuits and rein in damages, portraying a large chunk of tort litigation as a drag on the economy that burns scarce judicial resources.
july 2017 by JordanFurlong
Guest post: The Magic Circle is doomed. Here’s why. |
The combination of being squeezed in your own backyard and slogging expensively to try to gain purchase in New York creates a terrible asymmetry, and forces the MC into that thing all military strategists warn against: fighting a war on two fronts.

The obvious solution would be merger, and many MC partners have fantasised over the years about creating a transatlantic titan – Davis Polk and Freshfields was often touted, for instance.

But there are only two ways to do a transatlantic merger. Either you find a firm of equivalent gravitas – as Hogan Lovells and Norton Rose Fulbright seem to have done, broadly – or you subsume one into the other and let the legacy identity fade into history – Rowe & Maw, Richards Butler, Rogers & Wells and so on.

True merger is impossible for the MC. All the New York firms of the requisite quality and pedigree have nothing to gain by a 'merger of equals', and even if any of the MC firms would agree to be acquired – a scenario which I have difficulty imagining – we'd have Rogers & Wells: 2, in London, as the more powerful partner's identity took over and key teams headed for the door.

So organic it is. And this is where resources come into play, and where the US firms have an insurmountable advantage over their UK rivals, thanks, in large part to the US preoccupation with litigation, a problem which is magnified thanks, of all things, to the English Bar.

While successive UK governments have kicked the backside out of litigation in the UK, the US tort 'industry' continues to grow, pushing in excess of $300bn through the US legal system every single year, much of it going directly into the coffers of US law firms. To put that into context, that is larger than either the US agriculture or mining industries.
global  firms  litigation 
may 2017 by JordanFurlong
Even After $6.8 Million Win, Litigation Still 'Last Resort' for GC | Corporate Counsel
While the case came out in TRX's favor, there was unsurprisingly a lot for the company's general counsel, Sid Nasr, to consider ahead of the decision to litigate. "You want to exhaust all your remedies first," he said, such as attempting to negotiate a settlement, considering an alternative dispute resolution and looking at business-oriented solutions, for example a licensing scheme with the other side.
"Litigation is the absolute, absolute last resort," Nasr said.
One reason is because of the uncertainty, according to Nasr. "It's hard to give up control and sit back and hope [a jury] will see things the way you do," he said. "Because the upside of winning is great. But the downside of losing would have been disproportionately worse."
Nasr added: "Losing would have emboldened a marketplace of folks [selling infringing products] who were eating into our revenues and we would've sunk a lot of money and would have had a lot of explaining to do."
litigation  client 
april 2017 by JordanFurlong
Clients Are Splitting Litigation Into Affordable Pieces, Report Says | Corporate Counsel
An upcoming academic paper claims sophisticated clients can access cheaper litigation by relying on judges for managerial duties and law firms for detailed budgets.
clients  litigation 
january 2017 by JordanFurlong
Alma Asay, Allegory Law, and the Pain Points of Litigation - Law Technology Today
Described as a “mobile and secure cloud-based litigation management software that helps lawyers win cases” through automation of tasks, connecting case information, and putting the answers lawyers need at their fingertips, Allegory considers itself the smartphone of litigation management.

The secret of Allegory is in its ability to collect and connect disparate or unconnected data. In other words, you can see not only how a particular document is being used, but also how it’s been used throughout a case. This can be especially helpful during depositions, since you don’t have to know in advance what the other side considers to be important. Allegory puts all the information at your fingertips so you can quickly find what’s needed, whether you know it’s coming or not. Sounds like magic right? That magic is the automation of everyday litigation tasks.
litigation  innovation 
january 2017 by JordanFurlong
Litigation Funders Planning a New Role: Law Firm Ownership |
There is a segment of the lawsuit finance industry that believes taking ownership in law firms could put litigation funders at odds with the lawyers they seek to work with. Others argue that better-capitalized law firms may cannibalize the need for more traditional funding of individual or groups of lawsuits before the industry matures. And equity investments in law firms would require a change from the “underwriting” method litigation funders currently use to analyze the likely results of potential cases.

“I don’t think you’ll have nonlawyers just handing money to law firm management and saying, ‘We trust you,’ ” said a litigation funding executive who declined to be named.

The discussion comes on the heels of Burford’s announcement this month that it had formed its own law firm under the U.K.’s alternative business structures (ABS) law. The firm, Molot said, is limited to a lawyer who will track down funds from litigants who try to dodge judgments that Burford’s investments have helped to win. Burford hired Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld counsel Tom Evans for the role, which it says represents “in-sourcing” an aspect of legal work that neither Burford nor the firms it funds typically specialize in.

Burford does not plan to hire lawyers to conduct its own case work, Molot said. The funder is wary to be seen as competing for legal work that it currently pays large law firms to handle, for fear of upsetting its relationships with those firms. Litigation funders typically rely on law firms to find many of the cases they ultimately invest in.

“That would never be our plan,” Molot said of creating a full-fledged ABS law firm.
litigation  financing  clementi 
october 2016 by JordanFurlong
A look at how one firm is trying alternative fee arrangements for litigation – Slaw
“We started to dig down into our statistics using practice management software. We gathered data reports including the average shelf life of a certain kind of file from opening to closing. Take a lower level personal injury file – we could look at hundreds of files and tell you, on average, the defence costs, the time it took to resolve, and how much was paid out. And we can do this down to the last dollar.”
With the data in tow, the firm was able to calculate the average fee that was charged per month per file based on a number of categories such as reserve limits. “We show the client the data. They know exactly how much a certain file cost over the span of hundreds of files and decades of experience. We then charge them a flat fee per month for a file of a certain type that is in line with the average data.”
Clients appreciate the open approach. “We can generate these reports based on virtually any set of criteria, and clients are confident the number is accurate. And potential clients love that we can quote them a fee based on hard data. Our fee isn’t just an approximation or a guess about how much a file is worth. It’s based on precisely what files have cost in the past and what they’re costing now.”
pricing  litigation 
october 2016 by JordanFurlong
Legal Malpractice Claims Settling Faster, ABA Study Suggests |
In its latest quadrennial report, the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability tracked malpractice claim trends from 2012 through 2015, looking at the area of law, size of firm and amount of payments, relying on reports from multiple malpractice insurers.

The study looked at the amount of expenses in malpractice claims, such as legal fees and other costs to defend such suits, and indemnification costs, such as settlements or court judgments.

According to the study’s report, the number of claims with combined expense and indemnity settlements between $50,000 to $200,000 nearly doubled between 2011 and 2015, from 4,717 such claims in 2011 to 8,670 such claims in 2015.

The total number of claims between $1 million to $2 million rose even more dramatically, from 49 in 2011 to 444 in 2015.

And claims resolved with indemnity payments of more than $2 million rose from 21 in 2011 to 76 in 2015, with 25 claims resolving over $5 million.

Meanwhile, the number of claims in which zero dollars in expenses or indemnity was paid dropped precipitously, the report said. In 2011, almost 60 percent of all claims were resolved for no expense or indemnity payment. In 2015, only 43 percent of all claims saw no payout, the report said.
malpractice  litigation  regulation 
october 2016 by JordanFurlong
Dentons pilots predictive litigation technology - Legal Futures
Its NextLaw Labs subsidiary – whose task is to reinvent the business of law with technology – is working with Paris-based start-up Prédictice, and Marie Bernard, NextLaw’s strategic adviser, said that so far its lawyers have been “really impressed” with the results.

Prédictice claims that the application of machine learning techniques to case law will allow it to extract a statistical analysis of litigation probability. It says this will eventually be used to “optimise litigation strategies by comparing their chance of success and identifying success levers”.
litigation  predictive 
october 2016 by JordanFurlong
Litigation Demand Down for Law Firms Despite Steady Filings |
Data released Thursday by Thomson Reuters’ Peer Monitor and Legal Executive Institute revealed that overall litigation demand softened by 1.1 percent as of the midyear mark, roughly on par with declines each of the past two years. Demand for litigation services at the firms, each of which reports billed hours in real time, has now declined for 15 straight quarters.

Within the group, however, there were some winners. Midsized firms surveyed—including 56 large boutiques, regional firms and some smaller national firms not on the Am Law 200 list—posted slight gains in litigation work so far this year, continuing the slow but steady demand increases that began in early 2015.

The midsized group’s gains appeared to come at the cost of the rest: The 53 Am Law 100 firms in the group drifted into negative territory this year, while the 42 Am Law Second Hundred firms surveyed experienced a second year of negative demand.

Peer Monitor’s analysis of individual firms had some other surprises. Those firms at either end of the spectrum—the biggest losers and gainers in litigation work—diverged faster this year. In 2015, a few saw as much as a 45 percent increase in its litigation hours billed. But so far this year, two firms’ litigation hours have jumped by roughly 50 percent or greater.

Meanwhile, net losers saw an even faster slide. Ten firms saw litigation hours billed contract by between about 20 and 35 percent in the year ended June 30,  while five contracted by at least 20 percent a year earlier.
litigation  clients 
september 2016 by JordanFurlong
As Litigation Rises, A Glimpse of What Keeps Corporate Counsel Up at Night |
Businesses are experiencing a rise in litigation and the main areas of concern for legal departments are contract disputes, labor and employment claims and regulatory investigations, according a recent survey of in-house lawyers and executives of more than 600 companies.

The 2016 litigation survey released by Norton Rose Fulbright polled attorneys working for 606 companies located all across the world—more than half with annual revenue of at least $1 billion. Topping their collective litigation worries were contract disputes at 42 percent, and a tie between labor and employment claims and regulatory investigations at 35 percent.

The survey noted that contracts and labor are most concerning to corporate counsel because of their prevalence and financial risk. Regulatory investigations also spark concern because of their complicated nature and reputational risks to the companies.
clients  litigation  commoditization 
september 2016 by JordanFurlong
Lawyers Launch Insurance Policy for Contingency Cases |
New York plaintiffs attorney Andy Buzin has already used Level. As a solo practitioner with many clients who can’t afford to pay an hourly billing rate, “there’s never any guarantee of an outcome,” he said. “This is something that you can use to lessen your risk in being the little guy who takes on insurance companies and big corporations on contingency.”

Defense attorney Mark Rose of Roig Lawyers in Deerfield Beach, Florida, said he doesn’t expect to see an uptick in frivolous cases filed by the plaintiffs bar, but “will it encourage, perhaps, riskier suits or more complex cases? I think so,” he said. “I think that’s a reasonable expectation.”

“You might see less well-funded firms, maybe smaller firms, that are more inclined to take on a more complex or riskier case,” he said.

Level’s founders say the company ultimately aims to provide coverage to larger law practices, as well as small firms and solos.

Plaintiffs attorney Philip Freidin of Freidin Brown in Miami is a litigator who brings multimillion-dollar personal injury, medical malpractice and tobacco cases to trial.
litigation  finances  insurance  innovation 
september 2016 by JordanFurlong
Prism Legal Litigation Finance - How It Works at Bentham - Prism Legal
As indicated at the outset, I thought financing could make litigation more efficient. I asked Dave if Bentham cares if firms handle cases efficiently. I expressed concerns, for example, that lawyers might treat financed matters as black holes where they can bill hours to meet quotas. Dave said Bentham wants efficient case handling and that financing works best for firms if they pick their best cases and use their best teams. Furthermore, he noted firms will have the highest ROI if they are efficient.

The same logic applies to fixed fees or other alternative fee arrangements. After talking to Dave, it’s not clear that financing will in fact drive efficiency. Instead, it may be yet one more tactic to postpone serious changes in how lawyers practice. Firms have protected profits by laying-off staff and partners and by reducing real estate cost. In my view, firms will eventually exhaust such steps. At that point, they will have to change how lawyers work and how firms operate. So far, though, most large law firms have staved off fundamental change. Financing may be yet one more way to postpone the hard work of real change.
litigation  finances 
september 2016 by JordanFurlong
Do Not Fear Robot Lawyers—Fear Robot Clients – Slaw
As you can probably see by now, it’s not really about robot clients. It’s about clients using machines and automation to structure their affairs to reduce complexity and ambiguity. Which are the two main sources of living for lawyers.
A common example of automating a transaction to eliminate complexity and ambiguity is a vending machine. It is a rare exception when something is in dispute with a vending machine. If the mechanical and payment parts work (and they usually do), the machine is guaranteed to dispense the product after you deposit your money. People who write about “smart contracts” like this example.
robolawyers  roboclients  it  litigation 
september 2016 by JordanFurlong
Legalist will fund your lawsuit if it thinks you have a winning shot - Business Insider
But Eva Shang, its cofounder, told Business Insider that it's not looking to become Peter Thiel in startup form — even though Shang is a Thiel Fellow, meaning that she took a $100,000 investment from Thiel's foundation to build Legalist.
litigation  finances 
august 2016 by JordanFurlong
Hey! Get Your Red-Hot Lawsuit Right Here! |
To be sure, the acquisition of a financial interest in the outcome of a lawsuit creates at least the potential for corruption of the process. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports federal legislation prohibiting champerty on the grounds that it enhances the amount of litigation; undermines the control client and counsel should have; prolongs cases that might otherwise settle; and diminishes the lawyer’s independence. These are, of course, legitimate concerns for our profession, but actual evidence that those unwanted consequences prevail wherever champerty thrives simply does not exist. What is certain, however, is that third-party funding has often leveled the litigation playing field by allowing David to stay in the game against Goliath. It plays a particularly useful role in sustaining the kind of cases that are prodigiously expensive, such as class actions and large commercial litigations.
litigation  finances 
july 2016 by JordanFurlong
Quinn Emanuel, Litigation Funder Team Up for Landmark $25B MasterCard Fight | The American Lawyer
The action is among the first to test on a large scale the U.K.'s Consumer Rights Act of 2015, which provides that British parties may "opt out" of a collective claim, rather than having to "opt in." The opt-out provision makes it easier to recover damages en masse in cases where liability is already established, though another provision prohibits law firms from collecting contingency fees.
finances  litigation 
july 2016 by JordanFurlong
Perspective: Thiel’s Financing of Hogan Case Raises Questions about Litigation Financing | Big Law Business
Shedding light on litigation financing is a good thing, because when this business is out in the open, it doesn’t look so good.

TPLF is the practice of third parties, unconnected to the actual lawsuit, investing in the cost of litigating a case in exchange for a cut of the judgment or settlement. Payouts can be 20 to 40 percent of the recovery or more.

The concept originated in Australia twenty years ago and migrated around the globe to Europe, Asia, and the world’s largest lawsuit haven, the United States. While there are a handful of litigation hedge funds that are publicly traded, no one knows for sure just how big the industry is because TPLF is virtually unregulated, and financing arrangements are almost never disclosed in litigation.

What we do know is that the industry is on the ris
litigation  finances 
june 2016 by JordanFurlong
Hulk Hogan Case Rattles Litigation Funding Firms | The American Lawyer
According to The New York Times, Thiel hired a legal team to help determine which cases to fund. The lawyers’ identities could not immediately be confirmed, but Hogan Lovells and predecessor Hogan & Hartson have previously represented Thiel and his hedge fund, Clarium Capital Management LLC, in litigation. Robert Hawk, a Hogan Lovells partner in Silicon Valley who has handled work for Thiel, declined to confirm whether he had advised the wealthy entrepreneur on the Gawker docket, saying that that doing so would violate Thiel's privacy. Hawk's law firm profile lists “privacy-related torts” as one of his specialties.
litigation  finances 
may 2016 by JordanFurlong
Despite Early Success, TAR’s Growth is Limited by Its Lack of Definition | Legaltech News
Predictive coding and TAR technology (PC/TAR) help ameliorate a problem that denigrates civil litigation: extortion by discovery when discovery costs “ force settlements for reasons and on terms that related more to the costs of discovery than to the merits of the case.”
More specifically, when searching some particular information, in some particular circumstances, as employed by some particular people who are pursuing some particular objectives, using some particular technologies, PC/TAR works well in some particular ways.
The problem is that while PC/TAR has been patented and promoted, it remains void of any particular definition of what it does, how to make it work and its particular limitations.
predictive  litigation  it  robolawyer 
january 2016 by JordanFurlong
Arms Race: Law Firms and the Litigation Funding Boom | The American Lawyer
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says all the cash flowing into litigation will increase costs for American companies, by triggering an onslaught of frivolous filings, prolonging litigation and raising settlement costs to meet demands of third-party investors. "Let's not fool ourselves," says Lisa Rickard, president of the chamber's Institute for Legal Reform. "You pour more money in, you're going to get more lawsuits. If that doesn't scare American companies, I don't know what else would." The chamber is pushing for a ban on investor control of cases, required court disclosure of funding contracts and a prohibition on the use of third-party funding in class actions, among other restrictions.
litigation  finances 
january 2016 by JordanFurlong
Legal Analytics, Data-Centric Lawyering and Early Case Strategy
I believe data-centric lawyering represents the biggest change in law since research moved from books to computers. I like to call this shift to a data-based approach “Moneyball for lawyers,” a reference to Michael Lewis’s popular book (and the movie) of the same name. In my view, analytics is changing law just as dramatically as rigorous statistical analysis has changed the way baseball teams evaluate and field talent.
data  analytics  litigation  innovation  metrics 
december 2015 by JordanFurlong
2015 Innovator Awards: Lex Machina | The Recorder
Litan was right. Law firms pay a lot of money— as much as $50,000—for the best patent-related research tools. Many of them are focused on prior art searches or portfolio analysis. But others have pushed into Lex Machina's patent litigation space. Docket Navigator, which launched about a year after Lex Machina, now offers an analytics tool. Sander's Docket Alarm predicts outcomes at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board based on judge, technology area, law firm and party name. RPX Corp. made much of its powerful search tool available to the public for free last year.
robolawyer  ip  litigation  data  analytics 
december 2015 by JordanFurlong
Litigation Funder Juridica Pulls Back After Bad Bets | The American Lawyer
Juridica Investments Ltd., one of a handful of major commercial litigation funders, said Wednesday that it is halting investments in new cases and cutting costs in the wake of courtroom setbacks. The news comes amid accelerating interest in litigation funding, including at many Am Law 100 firms.
litigation  finances 
november 2015 by JordanFurlong
What does the judiciary think about eDiscovery?
“If lawyers today talked to each other and voluntarily exchanged information, you could reduce the cost of litigation by over 95 percent.”
litigation  courts 
november 2015 by JordanFurlong
New 'Instadocket' Service Provides Docket Updates for Mass. Lawyers  - Robert Ambrogi's LawSites
Thanks to, attorneys in Massachusetts finally have electronic access to their case dockets in the state trial courts. However, the only way for attorneys to keep up with changes to the dockets for their cases is to regularly check in with the site.

Now, a new service eliminates the need to frequently check the site. Called Instadocket, the service notifies you by email of changes to your docket as soon as they occur.

Once your register, Instadocket monitors all of your cases based on the My Cases section of, which contains all of the cases for which you are the registered attorney. If it detects a new docket entry, you get an e-mail alerting you.

It can also check District Court and Boston Municipal Court civil cases not included in the My Cases section of the site. To follow those cases, you must email Instadocket with the case number and court.
courts  it  apps  litigation  innovation 
november 2015 by JordanFurlong
kCura Launches School Partner Program For E-discovery Skill Set Education | Legaltech News
But, in a behind-the-scenes take, technology is not worth much to those who don’t know how to use it. Therein lies the education aspect of such technological advances: How can new interfaces boost an attorney’s skill set? How can e-discovery technology benefit a company overall? These are questions that kCura’s Relativity Academic Partner Program seeks to answer, as the company moves along with an educational element for law and paralegal students.
it  schools  litigation  training 
october 2015 by JordanFurlong
Lex Machina Releases Trio of Legal Analytics Applications | Legaltech News
The first named application is Early Case Assessor, which allows lawyers to quickly assess the threat posed by a demand letter or a new case. “You enter the name of the plaintiff and their law firm, and you get a rich report providing overview of that plaintiff’s litigation history. How often they file suit, where they do it, the experience of the law firm with this type of suit, the clients they typically represent. It makes it easier to get a snapshot that allows defendants to understand the threat of a particular action,” Byrd said.
The tool also contains functionality that is not available in the general Lex Machina product, including the ability to compare the records of party and law firms for example.
The second tool, Motion Kickstarter, makes it easier for attorneys to draft successful motions by helping attorneys compare the arguments and motion styles that have been successful before a specific judge. “This emerged directly from demand of our users, who often use our platform when they are engaged in motion actions with a particular judge,” Byrd said. Lawyers can then compare granted motions and denied motions to see what has worked in the past via this tool.
Patent Portfolio Evaluator gives attorneys the complete litigation history for an entire patent portfolio in one report. Attorneys can see the district court, PTAB, and ITC cases in which each patent has been litigated, and examine any damages awarded or findings of infringement, invalidity, or unenforceability. Byrd said, “With this tool attorneys can see the damages awarded the rulings of validity and unenforceability, again with the goal of offering quicker intelligence that can help lawyers make decisions.”
data  analytics  litigation 
october 2015 by JordanFurlong
Irwin Mitchell promises “absolute certainty” with fixed-fee commercial litigation scheme
Jonathan Sachs, the firm’s London head of commercial litigation, said: “The obvious benefit of this product to a claimant is that he/she will have absolute certainty as to what it will cost to bring legal proceedings, and seek recovery of losses suffered. No extra costs above and beyond that which has been proposed will be charged.
pricing  litigation 
october 2015 by JordanFurlong
UPDATED Citi Analyst: There is a ‘Fundamental Shift’ in the Litigation Market | Big Law Business
In particular, analysts and attorneys pointed to a growing trend among corporate law departments to parcel lower end litigation work, such as document review in discovery and less significant lawsuits to “low-cost service providers,” which can include organizations located offshore or in the U.S., or an internal subsidiary within a law firm. Such a change is more likely to affect law firms that derive significant revenue from routine litigation work, which is growing increasingly scarce, the analysts said. Meanwhile elite law firms that work on the highest stake cases have been relatively immune to the changes.
litigation  clients  offshore 
october 2015 by JordanFurlong
Litigation finance: a terrible idea | mathbabe
However, there are two big problems with it as a concept. First, it means that there will be more money available to lawsuits in general. We’ve already seen what happened with college tuition when something that’s already too expensive gets access to loans: it gets even more expensive. It’s an arms race. According to Bloomberg, the typical client for these litigation finance firms are big companies which use corporate law firms.
litigation  finances 
september 2015 by JordanFurlong
Making the case to regulate third-party funding - badly
At the same time, there is no doubt that the TPLF market is growing and more UK litigation is being financed. There is little or no evidence of real harm to date and the question is, therefore, whether we should wait for something to go wrong – which might not happen, of course – or pre-empt that possibility now, bearing in mind Lord Justice Jackson’s recommendation that statutory regulation be revisited when the market was no longer nascent, as it was when he looked at it in 2009.
litigation  finances 
september 2015 by JordanFurlong
How Bassi Edlin Huie & Blum Won with Predictive Analytics - Law Technology Today
In mid-2013, our small team of trial specialists had just begun defending the City of Fort Bragg, California in a complex environmental case. Our opponent, deep-pocketed Georgia Pacific and their 700-lawyer firm, was formidable. To build our case and prove the City was not responsible for contamination at a 120-year-old lumber mill, we needed to review more than 11 million documents in a wide variety of file formats spanning 12 decades. Millions of dollars in clean-up costs the City and its taxpayers couldn’t afford were at stake. Adding to the challenge, our trial deadline left us very little time to get the job done.
predictive  litigation  innovation  robolawyer 
september 2015 by JordanFurlong
5 Takeaways from the 2015 Litigation Trends Survey | Business of Law Blog
2. Government investigations cause most headaches. “Regulatory and investigations matters are a focus for in-house counsel, with 39 percent of respondents citing those issues as their top concern. Among companies with revenues of US $1 billion or more, 51 percent indicate they have one or more regulatory proceeding pending against them. Half of respondents indicate their company has retained outside counsel for assistance in a government or regulatory investigation.”
compliance  litigation 
june 2015 by JordanFurlong
Is Litigation Financing The Future Of Law? | Above the Law
Litigation finance is an interesting topic for a variety of reasons. Some states such as California, New York and Texas allow for the practice (to varying degrees), while many others limit its use for three important reasons.
may 2015 by JordanFurlong
Should Law Firms Follow General Electric’s Lead? | Big Law Business
. Overall, I think demand for litigation is going to decrease, and probably continue decreasing for as far as the eye can see. Clients hate it. It’s basically a zero sum game with a big fat cost to the client. A lot of corporations see that and they’re asking, ‘Do we have to sue?’ Maybe not. You don’t have to pursue total war and scorched earth policy. I think corporations are just going to continue finding other ways to resolve disputes besides the classic litigation and arbitration forums. I think there’ll be even more mediation.

Big Law Business: That all makes sense, but have any law firms already eliminated or reduced their litigation departments?

MacEwen: I don’t think they’re going to have a choice. I’ve only seen it anecdotally at a few law firms that have let some people go or not hired some people. I don’t see a broader industry-wide recognition of this. But if you just look at realization rates, in other words what the law firm actually collects for every dollar that it bills, litigation is way lower than transactional. If you look at transactional, realization is about 90 percent. In comparison, litigation is about 80 percent.

Big Law Business: Are there any particular practice areas where this is more pronounced?

MacEwen: I think that employment law has become completely commoditized. I just don’t see any value there. I think that any law firm, unless that’s the only thing they do, should probably get out of that.
april 2015 by JordanFurlong
10 things judges can do to help business litigation be more efficient and less expensive - ABA Journal
Lawyers tend to pursue discovery so we can “know” the story and eliminate all uncertainty about “the facts” of our cases. Or we want to see if we can get summary judgment before we consider settlement. Many companies now eschew these traditions, instead recognizing that because most cases settle, a willingness to accept greater uncertainty about the facts in exchange for earlier resolution is a positive trade-off. Because of this, the settlement option should be pursued as a first option and exhausted before resorted to the traditional and expensive practices of all-out discovery. Judges would be well-advised to make the parties exhaust the settlement option first.
courts  litigation 
april 2014 by JordanFurlong
Technology Assisted Review Isn't Perfect, but It's Here to Stay
Focusing mainly on how TAR can save litigants a tremendous amount of money, as well as explaining the accuracy of the process itself, the panel was directed towards true believers as well as those uninitiated in the world of TAR. Additionally, the panelists looked ahead at possible uses of TAR other than e-discovery.
it  litigation  competition 
october 2013 by JordanFurlong
Firms ponder third-party funding for WIP | News | The Lawyer
Some firms, however, are considering whether to use external funds to help improve cashflow by funding work-in-progress.
february 2013 by JordanFurlong
The third degree | The Law Gazette
Crucially, the contents of the code were endorsed by Lord Justice Jackson at its launch. The judge is an advocate of TPF, which he believes can be ‘beneficial’ to access to justice, provided safeguards are in place. Jackson had called for a voluntary code of conduct for funders in his final report on civil justice reform, suggesting that the heavier tool of statutory regulation should not be considered until this nascent market matures. In the House of Lords in February, justice minister Lord McNally rejected Thomas’s call for the government to regulate TPF, saying that it preferred to see how the voluntary code developed first. So the code has successfully shielded the industry from government regulation that might have stifled its development, and it seems unlikely that government will revisit this approach for a few years. But while ALF has now issued applications for membership, it has yet to appoint its first member; this development is expected soon.
ethics  litigation 
april 2012 by JordanFurlong
3 Geeks and a Law Blog: The Rise of Third Party Litigation Funding - Part 1
Image [cc] Flood
This three part series will examine the emerging trend for third party litigation funding. In this first segment, we describe what it is and why clients will find it interesting.
litigation  innovation 
march 2012 by JordanFurlong
Solicitors Journal - World's biggest litigation funder buys Firstassist for £10m
Burford Capital, which describes itself as the ‘world’s largest dispute financier’, has today announced the purchase of Firstassist Legal Expenses Insurance, a leading ATE specialist, for £10m. The acquisition is subject to FSA approval.
litigation  finances  innovation 
december 2011 by JordanFurlong
DWF signs divorce-funding deal with Co-operative bank | News | The Lawyer
The Co-operative Bank has unveiled plans to launch funding deals for individual firms to provide clients with loans to fund divorce cases.
access  innovation  litigation 
january 2011 by JordanFurlong - More Attorneys Exploring Third-Party Litigation Funding
Solomon, who joined Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft earlier this year, counts corporations such as Bristol-Myers Squibb and PepsiCo as part of his book of business. Yet while companies like those still are generally paying his fees, lately the source of funds is not just his clients' corporate war chests but money they received from investors looking to take stakes in the lawsuits he files for them.
june 2010 by JordanFurlong
The Business of Law: Hot Topics and Emerging Trends – Slaw
ut the most important skill in litigation day in and day out, which is often ignored, is interviewing skills. Negotiation skills are a close second.
litigation  future 
february 2010 by JordanFurlong

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