Class Counsel as Litigation Funders

47 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2015 Last revised: 19 Aug 2015

Date Written: March 11, 2015


In a prior article, William Rubenstein and I explored the theoretical and policy rationales for making cost investment in class actions directly profitable, e.g., by awarding a multiplier on costs - a departure from current practice pursuant to which costs are merely reimbursed. This Article grapples with the doctrinal question of whether such cost profits are permissible. That inquiry traverses three ethical boundary lines which, as currently drawn, fail to fully acknowledge the distinct role played by plaintiffs’ counsel in class actions as litigation funders: the lines between “professional services” and other charges; consent and its absence; and permissible and impermissible conflicts.

Keywords: Ethics, Attorney's Fees, Class Actions, Civil Procedure

Suggested Citation

Ratner, Morris A., Class Counsel as Litigation Funders (March 11, 2015). Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, Vol. 28, p. 271, 2015, UC Hastings Research Paper No. 145, Available at SSRN:

Morris A. Ratner (Contact Author)

UC Law, San Francisco ( email )

200 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States

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