Litigation can be expensive and risky. Third-party litigation funding has emerged as a novel way to mitigate the costs and risks involved in pursuing or defending a claim. Such arrangements have the potential to increase access to justice, or “level the playing field.” However, there are criticisms that third-party funding could increase the amount of litigation and promote the profiting from others' harm. In response to questions about third-party litigation financing and its impact on the U.S. legal system, in June 2009, the UCLA-RAND Center for Law and Public Policy convened a conference to assess the regulatory implications of this approach, its effect on dispute resolution, and likely trends in the development of the practice as it becomes more widespread. Each conference session featured presentations by a series of expert panelists, who described the litigation finance landscape, the roles of insurers and contingency-fee lawyers, predicted challenges to novel funding relationships, and the regulatory issues inherent in third-party litigation funding. The conference concluded with a roundtable discussion guided by audience questions and featuring general recommendations as the U.S. legal system considers the advantages and disadvantages of litigation financing.
Full-text of the conference proceedings