CLE Credit: 3 General; 1.5 Ethics
This webinar on the Regulatory and Ethical concerns implicated in consumer legal funding will review the basics of legal funding and the typical transaction structure as well as describe the benefits of such transactions to the consumer with a pending personal injury claim. The presentation will delve into the current regulatory framework for legal funding and explore legal topics such as usury and champerty and maintenance. Ethical concerns will be explored through a review of both ABA rules and guidance as well as Florida Bar rules governing attorney behavior.
Speaker: Elizabeth Pekin, Esquire
Co-Founder and President of Momentum Funding, LLC
& Member of the Illinois Bar
>> Legal Funding Basics
- History and definition of consumer litigation funding
- Types of Legal Funding
- Legal Funding Industry
- The typical legal funding transaction structure.
- Benefits to the Plaintiff and Attorney
- Considerations prior to legal funding
>>Common Regulatory Concerns
- Statutory regulation:
- Why legal funding does not implicate usury (case law)
- Why legal funding does not implicate champerty or maintenance (case law)
>>Common Ethical Concerns
- Plaintiff’s attorney obligations
- Florida Rules of Professional Conduct 4.1.6 vs. ABA Model Rules 4.1.6 Confidentiality of Information
- Florida Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 4.1.8(e) vs. ABA Model Rule 1.8(e)
- Florida Legal Ethics Opinions
- The ABA White Paper on Alternative Legal Funding (2011)
>> Hypotheticals | Questions?
An attorney should not discuss non-recourse advance funding with a client unless it is done in compliance with Florida Bar Ethics Opinion 00-3. The Florida Bar discourages the use of non-recourse advance funding companies. An attorney may provide a client with information about companies that offer non-recourse advance funding if it is in the client’s interest and done in compliance with Florida Bar Ethics Opinion 00-3. The individual lawyer is responsible for ensuring that his or her conduct is in compliance with the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar and comports with Florida Ethics Opinion 00-03. The Florida Justice Association recommends that attorneys who do provide names of non-recourse advance funding companies to clients should provide only names of companies that are in conformity with the guidelines contained in the agreement between the New York Attorney General and certain companies dated Feb. 17, 2005. The Florida Justice Association makes no determination or representation as to whether any particular non-recourse advance funding company is in conformity with Florida Bar rules or opinions, or any other guidelines.