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Paying the Piper But Not Calling the Tune: Litigation Financing and Professional Independence
As third-party litigation financing becomes more prevalent, some critics have asserted that funders will exercise control over the conduct of litigation, potentially threatening the independent judgment of lawyers representing the claimholder. Examples of alleged interference by third parties include Silicon Valley financier Peter Thiel’s funding of Hulk Hogan’s privacy lawsuit against Gawker Media and the support by public interest groups of the government of Uruguay in its defense of anti-tobacco legislation against a challenge by Philip Morris. This lecture first briefly describes the use of litigation financing by sophisticated commercial parties and then considers whether the predicted influx of capital into the litigation system will affect the things we traditionally care about in legal ethics, such as attorney independence, and the obligation to act in the public interest.
Free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.