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Ethical Issues in Litigation Finance (Update)

(850 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

Omni Bridgeway

Jim Batson is a Senior Investment Manager and Director of Business Development and Structuring-US and head of Omni Bridgeway’s New York office. Jim also assists his fellow Omni Investment Managers and Legal Counsel with formulating deal terms and structures. He monitors a multi-million-dollar investment portfolio and leads the company’s corporate outreach initiative working with decision-makers and influencers involved in legal, risk and capital management seeking non-resource financing for commercial lawsuits. Before joining Omni Bridgeway in 2014, Jim held roles as Chief Operating Officer and Consultant for two commercial litigation finance companies.  

Jim serves as a strategic partner, providing consultation on cases from initial review through final resolution. His guidance is drawn from 20 years of experience as a trial lawyer and senior partner with a prestigious plaintiff’s law firm that brought many of its cases on a contingent-fee basis. An accomplished litigator, Jim represented the plaintiff in Zubulake v. UBS Warburg, a case widely regarded as redefining parties’ e-discovery obligations in litigation. Jim proves to be a valuable resource for lawyers appearing in various jurisdictions. He has 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 frequently speaks about litigation finance at conferences, law firm seminars and other events. 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.


Paxton c.

Very informative. Great ideas for how to facilitate taking riskier cases.

marlene z.

Very well done.

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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