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Ethical Issues in Litigation Finance (Update)

(776 reviews)

Produced on February 09, 2018

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Course Information

Time 63 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

The use of litigation financing has engendered spirited debate within the legal community. Attorney ethics requirements are a central focus of this debate. Issues including whether a funder’s investment impacts an attorney’s duty to use independent professional judgment, avoid conflicts of interest and protect the attorney-client and work product privileges all give rise to questions within the bar.

In this engaging and informative program, taught by Legal Counsel for litigation finance company Bentham IMF, participants will learn how to use litigation funding as a modern means of ensuring that meritorious cases get the commitment of resources they deserve. The speakers will address the basics of litigation finance and how the applicable Rules of Professional Responsibility intersect with litigation funding, as well the notable legal decisions that have impacted the litigation funding industry in 2017. A detailed appendix will be provided containing the ethics opinions and additional contents discussed during the program.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Review the evolution and foundations of litigation finance
  2. Consider the ways that litigation finance and attorney ethics intersect, including a discussion of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, including Model Rule1.7(a)(2) (material-limitations conflicts rule); Model Rule 1.8(a) (regulation of business transactions with clients); Model Rule 1.8(e) (financial assistance to clients); Model Rule 1.8(i) (acquiring a proprietary interest in a client’s cause of action); Model Rule 2.3 (hybrid confidentiality rules governing provision of evaluations to third party)
  3. Discuss the impact of recent legal case decisions on the subject, including In re DesignLine Corporation, 565 B.R. 341 (2017), Kelly, Grossman & Flanagan, LLP v Quick Cash, Inc. 2012 NY Slip Op 50560(U) (NY Sup. 2012), Maslowski v. Prospect Funding Holdings, LLC, No. A16-0770, 2017 WL 562532 (Minn. Ct. 2017), Boling v. Prospect Funding Holdings, LLC, No. 1:14-CV-00081 (W.D. Ky. 2015), Telesocial v. Orange, No. 3:14-cv-03985 (N.D. Cal. 2015), Viamedia, Inc. v. Comcast Corp., et al., 1:16-cv-05486 (N.D. 2016), AVM Technologies, LLC v. Intel Corporation, 15-33-RG (D. Del. 2013), Lambeth Magnetic Structures, LLC v. Seagate Technology (US) Holdings, Inc., et al., 2:16-cv-00538 (W.D. Pa. 2017)
  4. Ethically integrate litigation financing into every step of litigation strategy (including on appeal)

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


James Batson

Bentham IMF

James Batson is a Senior Investment Manager and Legal Counsel at Bentham IMF, a publicly traded litigation funder. Jim is one of the most experienced professionals working in litigation funding in the United States. In addition to having spent two years with Bentham IMF, Jim formerly held roles as Chief Operating Officer for Fulbrook Capital Management and Consultant for Lumius Capital LLC.

He possesses 20 years of experience as a trial lawyer with a prestigious plaintiff’s law firm that brought cases on a contingent-fee basis. An accomplished litigator, Jim tried cases in federal and state court and before the American Arbitration Association, JAMS, FINRA and the Chicago Board of Trade. He also handled regulatory proceedings before the SEC, the NYSE and FINRA.

Jim is a leader in the field of case management, including being a member of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York’s Advisory Groups’ Pilot Project regarding Case Management Techniques for Complex Civil Cases, and lead counsel in the famous case of Zubulake vs. UBS Warburg, which resulted in five seminal opinions by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York addressing a company’s duty to preserve documents and emails.

Jim received a B.A. in Economics and English from Cornell University, a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law, and an M.B.A. from Fordham University School of Business.

David Kerstein

Bentham IMF

David J. Kerstein is an Investment Manager and Legal Counsel with Bentham IMF’s New York office. Dave acts as a resource for companies and individuals seeking to mitigate risk or achieve their business objectives with non-recourse funding of commercial lawsuits. He also helps law firms use portfolios of litigation as collateral for financing.

Dave has fifteen years of experience in complex commercial litigation, including representing clients in state and federal courts and before arbitration panels in a variety of matters across the United States and internationally in cases involving breach of contract, fraud and securities fraud, corporate control contests, trade secrets, employment disputes and other matters. He has represented both plaintiffs, for whom he has recovered substantial sums or injunctive relief, and defendants, for whom he has achieved trial court victories or favorable outcomes.

Dave earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1999 where he graduated as a Toll Scholar, and his B.A. from the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Benjamin Franklin Scholar and received a degree in diplomatic history.


Robert G.

Great presentation

Michael J. L.

Excellent introduction to the area.

Alicia R.

nicely organized

Martin R.

Informative and convenient.

Richard m.

Very interesting topic and well presented

John A.

These two presenters were outstanding in both content and method of presentation!

Sherie C.

excellent summary. I learned so much!!

haggins s.

Interesting topic

Emmet C.

very thorough

Ben B.

Very insightful. Great job!

William H.


Thomas K.

Very nice presentation. Both presenters smoothly discussed their points!

Merrick W.

Excellent overview.

Werner L.

Excellent program.

Joy M.

very clear and knowledgable speakers. I learned alot

David E.

Interesting topic - enjoyed the presentation

Summer H.

I learned a lot about a subject new to me.

Andrew C.

This was a quality presentation -- very informative on an issue not well known to most.

Mark B.

Great course. Litigation funding is a complex area.

Christina C.

Good speakers. I bet they're great salesmen. I enjoyed listening to them!

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