‘Written Testimony on Oversight of Third-party Litigation Funding Before the Committee on Oversight and Accountability United State House of Representatives’

11 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2024 Last revised: 4 Mar 2024

See all articles by Maya Steinitz

Maya Steinitz

Boston University - School of Law

Date Written: September 20, 2023

Abstract

Chairman Comer, Ranking Member Raskin, and members of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, thank you for inviting me to testify today. I appreciate the opportunity to share with you some of what I have learned over nearly 15 years studying, writing about, and advising on the phenomenon of third-party litigation finance. My name is Maya Steinitz and I am a Professor of Law and R. Butler Gordon Scholar in International Law at Boston University Law School. I have published numerous scholarly articles as well as publications intended for broader audiences on the topic and my forthcoming book, “Litigation Finance, Law Firm Ownership & The Future of the Legal Profession,” is expected to be published next year. My comments today will address what I have learned from this research. Specifically, I will discuss what are the benefits and pitfalls of litigation funding as they relate to plaintiffs, defendants, the courts, and the public and what might be possible directions for regulating this segment of the finance industry. These comments are made in my personal, academic capacity. I have not received any compensation in connection with my testimony, and I am not testifying on behalf of any organization. The views expressed in my testimony are solely my own.

Litigation funding is a utility - it can be well used or abused depending on the context. It can be beneficial to individuals, to businesses large and small, and to the public. It can also be harmful to individuals, to businesses large and small, and to the public. And its systemic effects implicate democracy at large, effecting as it does all of civil justice, an entire branch of government, and the structure and core tenets of the legal profession and of the attorney-client relationship which is a central, and therefore protected, relationship in a free society. Third-party litigation funding’s proper regulation—neither over nor under regulation and regulation of the right kind—should therefore be a matter of broad concern cutting across usual political divisions.

Keywords: third party litigation, litigation finance, mass torts, class actions, access to justice, arbitration, intellectual property, national security, FARA, consumer protection

Suggested Citation

Steinitz, Maya, ‘Written Testimony on Oversight of Third-party Litigation Funding Before the Committee on Oversight and Accountability United State House of Representatives’ (September 20, 2023). Boston Univ. School of Law Research Paper No. 4578171, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4578171 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4578171

Maya Steinitz (Contact Author)

Boston University - School of Law ( email )

765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States

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