Presentation of Report by the Litigation Funding Working Group


Third-party litigation funding has received significant attention. Numerous bar association opinions, news articles and publications have discussed the ethical and legal frameworks implicated by litigation funding. Following the Professional Ethics Committee’s Formal Ethics Opinion 2018-5, then-City Bar President Roger Juan Maldonado formed the Litigation Funding Working Group to study issues surrounding litigation funding. After more than a year of study, the Working Group issued a comprehensive Report addressing: (i) the ethics rules regarding litigation funding of lawyers and law firms and potential amendments, (ii) current practices in litigation funding and guidelines for the future, (iii) issues of disclosure regarding litigation funding, and (iv) litigation funding in the consumer arena.

In this program, a panel of Working Group members presents their findings. The panel includes a former federal judge, an ethics professor, a litigation funding executive, and private practitioners. They address the Working Group’s conclusion that it would serve the professional community and the public to revise Rule 5.4 of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct so that lawyers have less restricted access to funding, and present two alternative proposals for doing so. The Chair of the City Bar’s Committee on Professional Responsibility joins the panel to present the Committee’s alternative proposal to amend Rule 5.4. In addition, the panel discusses guidelines for representing clients seeking litigation funding; presents the Working Group’s recommendations regarding disclosure of litigation funding; and reviews the industry that provides funding secured by recoveries from civil litigation to consumers, including offering the Working Group’s views on potential legislation in New York that would regulate litigation funding in the state.

Lynn K. Neuner, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Debra L. Raskin, Vladeck, Raskin & Clark, P.C.

Margaret A. Dale, Proskauer Rose LLP
Katherine B. Forrest, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP
Aegis J. Frumento, Stern Tannenbaum & Bell 
Jordan Goldstein, Selendy & Gay PLLC
Bruce A. Green, Stein Center, Fordham University School of Law
John G. McCarthy, Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP 
David M. Perla, Burford Capital

Sponsoring Association Committee: 
Litigation Funding Working Group, Debra L. Raskin & Lynn K. Neuner, Co-chairs