Fox Williams, a UK business law firm, recently hosted a debate on third party litigation funding. Byfield Consultancy presented the debate, which can be viewed on their website. For convenience, the debate was split into six videos, and covered topics including:
1. The text book definition of third party litigation funding and how it is practiced.
2. Is third party funding promoting access to justice?
3. The impact of the recommendations made in the Jackson review.
4. Should the third party litigation funding market be regulated?
5. Potential conflicts of interest.
6. How the United States and Australia are utilizing third party litigation funding.
Below is the first of the 6 videos:
To view the entire set of 6 videos, please click here.
DeBeers, the jewelry company whose famous marketing pitch is “Diamonds Are Forever,” is close to settling a class action lawsuit that accused them of monopolizing the diamond market. Their manipulation of the market resulted in inflated prices. They are also accused of conducting misleading advertising. The deadline to file a claim was May 19, 2008.
There are two settlement classes: the Direct Purchaser class, which includes customers who bought diamonds directly from DeBeers, and the Indirect Purchaser class, which includes diamond jewelry manufacturers and retailers. When the lawsuit settles, it will pay the Direct Purchaser class $22.5 million and the Indirect Purchaser class $272.5 million, for a grand total of $295 million. DeBeers would also stop conducting activities that violate federal and state anti-trust laws.
Recently, the Claims Administrator declared to be conducting final claim audits, and settlement funds should be sent out within the next few months.
Full details about the DeBeers class action settlement can be found at this website.
We at RD Legal Funding are pleased to announce some recent advances. We recently advanced $240K to a law firm from Arkansas on a class action settlement. In addition, we also recently advanced $750K to a Missouri law firm on a class action settlement.
RD Legal Funding can advance fees on almost any type of case, including personal injury, malpractice, class actions, mass torts, product liability, wage and hour disputes, and more. If you would like more information on our post-settlement legal funding solutions, please visit our website.
Syngenta, a Swiss agriculture company, has settled a class action lawsuit brought about by certain cities in the United States regarding one of its products called Atrazine. The lawsuit was settled after Syngenta agreed to pay $105 million to the communities affected by the chemical through their water supplies. The lawsuit was brought after community members found out Atrazine, which is marketed by Syngenta and other companies, was seeping into their raw and finished water supplies.
The case took eight years to resolve with both parties deciding to settle and with Syngenta claiming no responsibility over what happened. Those submitting a claim should do so before August 27, 2012 to receive payment at a later time designated by the Court.
The worldwide recession of 2008 was a big shock to the world financial systems. It left ruined companies in its wake and caused millions of people to be unemployed. The people that still have jobs are fighting to keep them and the ones that are coming out of school face an increasingly tougher market than their predecessors. In recessions, people go back to school to get the skills they need for the new economy, and one of the places people go to is law school.
Law has long been thought to be one of the most stable professions. The recession however has lifted the veil on unemployed lawyers and students graduating from law school not being able to find work. Law school is hard work and very expensive, and for students to end up without a job in the end is hard for many to accept. This statistic flies in the face of all the data from law schools touting that their graduates have had success finding good jobs, thus justifying the high tuition.
Recently, there have been lawsuits filed by former students against the law schools they attended because they say the false job statistics presented by the schools led them to attend and pay the high tuition. These kinds of lawsuits are being filed all over the country. With unemployed students being at the forefront, the lawyers have probably taken the cases on a contingent fee basis.
Litigation funding could actually play a major role in how this case enfolds. No matter what a person thinks of the basis of the student’s case against the law school, they deserve their day in court. If they didn’t have litigation funding, the schools could probably try and make this go away by offering a settlement, and if it were a decent offer to the students, they might take it.
This case is a once in a lifetime case where basic functions of how an entire system operates is in jeopardy. The law schools are not going to let a couple of students best them in court, so they will be throwing everything they have to keep the status quo alive. Litigation funding can help even the odds in a big way because it gives the lawyers and the plaintiffs enough funding so they can pursue the case with everything they have.
Normal cases take a lot of work, but landmark cases are even more labor intensive and always cost more than originally expected. The law schools will be well capitalized and their representation will probably be some of the best attorneys. The students can only hope for a good attorney and to have enough funding so they can make it through with their lives intact and for their lawyers to have enough money to fight the big defendants.
Download this interesting article that discusses the concept of the law school firm.
Every day, it seems like a company is being sued over deceptive advertising practices. There have been huge headlines about companies having to pay back their customers and the Federal Trade Commission for violating rules and standards in marketing. Skechers has recently been charged with deceptive advertising of their Shape-ups brand of sneakers.
According to the FTC website, Skechers has agreed to pay $40 million to compensate consumers who purchased Skechers toning sneakers. In addition, Skechers agreed to pay $5 million to settle state allegations, as well as an additional $5 million in legal fees. Any claims that Skechers makes about their shoes in the future must be true and supported by scientific evidence.
Misleading claims include that the sneakers could help you lose more weight than if you wore traditional running shoes. You may have seen the 2011 Super Bowl commercial featuring Kim Kardashian, where she exchanges her personal trainer for a pair of Shape-ups. In addition to deceptive advertising, Skechers also falsely pronounced to have clinical studies backing their claims.
Consumers who purchased various Skechers’ brands since August of 2008, including Shape-ups, Resistance Runner, and Tone-ups, are eligible for a refund under the settlement. Full details about applying for a refund are available at the FTC website, or by calling the Skechers hotline at 866-325-4186.
As the world moves towards becoming more health conscious, and a product is being marketed as a way to help that process along, the assertions it makes should match what is being promoted. This gap in truth violates people’s trust, as well as taking their money, which is prosecutable in criminal court and open to litigation in civil court. It is important for companies who engage in this activity to be prosecuted and litigated against by the government and consumers. This adds balance to the system and helps to protect consumers from misleading advertising claims.
Recently, a federal court in New York decided that the stop and frisk challenges can be considered under the class action statue, which means thousands of people who feel they have had their rights violated can sue the New York Police Department. This is important because it opens up the NYPD to various legal claims that most likely will be filed.
There are several issues at hand in regards to this decision. Issues like crime, civil rights, the law, community relations, and the police are just a few. For years, people in the communities where the stop and frisk program has operated have claimed their rights were being violated without any kind of recourse. Some lawsuits even claim violence to have occurred while being stopped and frisked by the NYPD.
Now with class action status granted, plaintiffs can make their case in court as a group. So far, the complaints have been a community wide problem, and individual challenges aren’t going to stop it. The stop and frisk program has been under the public microscope for years because of its blatant violation of civil rights and its focus on a segmented community. The judge, who gave this decision, has now given the people a way to fight back against perceived injustices . . . .
Which is exactly what the law is supposed to do: provide justice via access to the courts. It doesn’t mean the case is a win-win for the plaintiffs. But them having class action status means they will have a bigger voice, and it will have a greater impact than an individual lawsuit would.
Lawsuit funding’s potential role in this case . . . .
Lawsuits like this are very expensive to pursue. There are expert witnesses, regular witnesses, files, transportation costs, research, and other essentials that are necessary to do a good job. Lawsuit funding can help the plaintiff attorneys by providing access to adequate working capital to pursue the case.
In a case like this which has the potential to be groundbreaking, the NYPD will fight hard to make sure they come out on top. This will make the case much harder for the plaintiffs to win or settle. The issue has caused the opposing sides to be entrenched in their positions, so both sides are going to be fighting hard, which takes money many law firms may not have. Lawsuit funding allows the plaintiff attorneys, who usually work on a contingency fee basis, to compete on a more equal ground.
Football is arguably the most popular and profitable sport in the America. The National Football League is one of the most profitable sports enterprises in the country. The sport brings in tons of money through different sources of entertainment and endorsements. The brutality involved in playing the game is a primary reason many fans enjoy the sport. As football has evolved, medical professionals and scientists have studied the long term effects of playing the game. Some of the research points to devastating outcomes. Many former players have suffered concussions and other mental issues that have debilitating effects on them.
As the league becomes more profitable with last year reported as the most profitable ever, the former players who helped build the league are filing lawsuits against the NFL. They believe they are entitled to compensation for problems they are experiencing during retirement.
There are already effects of the lawsuit without a decision or settlement being reached. There is more testing being done on football athletes of all levels as well as better equipment. This is obviously a positive outcome, but does not help the players of yesteryear and the problems they are currently facing.
When players retire, their income usually drops significantly. For former players, that means returning to a normal lifestyle. For athletes who played in the 1970s and 1980s, their lifestyle wasn’t nearly as glamorous as today’s players. They didn’t make anything close to what players make now.
Litigation is their only means of getting what they feel is deserved from the giant phenomenon that is the NFL. If they need financial assistance while litigation progresses, they can seek out legal funding to help get them through.
Lawsuits are expensive, especially against companies like the NFL which are practically institutions. The type of legal maneuvers and money they bring to a case can almost intimidate anyone to taking what they offer. Legal funding actually evens the odds a little bit. It is not the secret to winning a lawsuit but it can help.
If the NFL decides to offer the former players suing a deal not worth taking, instead of accepting it because of their financial situation, they can keep fighting and put the pressure back on the defense. Lawsuits are always pressure against the plaintiff because it’s their case to prove, especially against a big business like the NFL who would like to get rid of this problem. Legal funding can give these former players a fighting chance to actually get some justice out of the situation. If the case does settle, post-settlement legal funding can act as a bridge for the plaintiffs from the time it settles to when the NFL decides to pay.