Litigation financing allows third-party funders like Burford Capital to invest in other people's lawsuits, but it's long been considered unethical, and is illegal in many places. But justice can often hinge more on how much money each side has than on what's actually right or wrong. So Burford argues that allowing investments in lawsuits will give more people access to better justice. And it's been a good business for them. But others worry it might warp the justice system.Listen to "Capitalism in the Courtoom," episode 942, at NPR, here, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Thursday, October 10, 2019
Planet Money tackles litigation financing, champerty
One of my long-term favorite podcasts, Planet Money, last week tackled litigation financing. We talk a lot in Torts in law school about America's runaway transaction costs and how they affect, or impede, civil justice. Litigation financing can seem like manna from heaven when one thinks of tragedy-of-the-commons problems such as climate change. But then there are the problems of corporatocracy, secrecy, and the distastefulness of commodification. Planet Money traces our distaste to champerty in British common law. Here's the introduction: