LevelEsq is proud to have provided more than $100 million in coverage for plaintiff lawyers with Litigation Cost Protection (LCP), an innovative product that reimburses all case expenses in the event of a loss at trial. Combine that with our fast, flexible Lawsuit Cost Financing (LCF) and you’ve got a powerful firm force-multiplier on your hands.
But the truth is, we’re just getting started.
As we bid farewell to 2021 and look forward to 2022, here are five reasons, drawn from the frequently updated LevelEsq journal, that our mission to level the playing field and allow you to focus more fully on pursuing justice for your clients is a (r)evolution you should absolutely join without delay.
Those on the defense side or big liability insurers may think Litigation Cost Protection (LCP) encourages frivolous suits or inspires attorneys to throw cases that become too lengthy or difficult.
Just as with their initial reserves or mediation offers or overall litigation strategies, these folks are wrong!
Aside from ethics rules that discourage such conduct, LCP creates absolutely no incentive for lawyers to litigate cases that they don’t believe have value or merit. Quite the opposite, in fact: LCP encourages the proper resolution and removes the increasing cost of litigation into the decision making of plaintiff’s counsel.
It was a stressor only all too common in the life of a trial lawyer.
The more of his own money attorney Justin Leto invested in a contingency case, the more profound the risk to his business.
It seemed like such a basic, fundamental problem that was being shared by so many other litigators.
Why had no one yet proposed a solution?
Enter Leto’s law firm partner and fellow attorney Larry Bassuk, who asked the key question: Most of us insure ourselves against the unforeseen cost of medical treatment and car wrecks and floods and hurricanes every day. Why shouldn’t the case costs incurred by a law firm be similarly covered?
Despite a large and growing need, the pair could not find any such product in the marketplace.
So LevelEsq founders Leto and Bassuk took the reins and developed Litigation Cost Protection (LCP), the first (and only) insurance policy that reimburses case costs in the event of a loss at trial.
Freed from the fear of those losses, attorneys can now not only focus more fully on pursuing justice for their clients, but also increasing case volume and profitability – i.e. running their law firm more like a business.
When the stakes are high, the defense knows that your cost exposure may influence your decision making. They know that your personal funds are on the line.
Are you focused on obtaining the best result for your client?
But the reality is, you have hard dollars in the case, and as it gets closer to a zero-sum game, the risk becomes more palpable. As trial looms, the real spending begins.
LCP removes this dynamic from your decision making as well as that of the defense. Put your LCP policy front and center!
At mediation, for example, LCP bolsters your settlement demand... When you’re armed with an LCP policy, the defense can no longer attempt to ‘call your bluff’ or try to take advantage of any perceived economic concerns.
They’ll be forced to reckon [finally] with a level playing field and a different class of lawyer.
You want to start a (r)evolution? So do we.
That’s why LevelEsq is eager to provide female attorneys comprehensive, affordable coverage that allows them to leave behind fear of case cost losses setting them back if a trial doesn’t go their way. With that peace of mind secured, they can move forward, placing the focus fully on fighting effectively for current clients—and taking on new ones. We are here to also make struggling to finance an important case a thing of the past for female attorneys and female-led firms. Access to capital and insurance creates a competitive advantage that can undercut gender discrimination.
LevelEsq has never been about following the pack. That would go against our foundational DNA. And that’s a good thing for women in the legal profession who have been failed time and again by that pack.
It’s time to go in a new direction.
LevelEsq’s founders, Larry Bassuk and Justin Leto, are both members of the Florida Bar. After the launch of Litigation Cost Protection (“LCP”) in 2016, they began the process of obtaining a written ethics opinion from the Florida Bar that would permit the premium ‘pass through.’ It was the beginning of a winding road that ultimately led them to Tallahassee to make their case to the Florida Bar Board of Governors.
The analysis raised many intriguing issues and even sparked a little controversy: Does LCP benefit the attorney, the client or both? Does LCP create a conflict of interest? What are the boundaries of freedom of contract between attorneys and clients? Is this champerty? Does a contingency fee compensate an attorney for taking on cost risk in the first place?
These were just some of the issues raised by the various Florida Bar Ethics Committees as the matter made its way through the ranks. Five-minute hearings routinely turned into hours-long Q&A sessions and debates. Being a matter of first impression, many committee members were equal parts curious and passionately opinionated.
Ultimately, the Florida Bar Board of Governors approved a Florida Bar Staff Opinion that permitted the treatment of an LCP premium as a reimbursable case cost if the attorney follows the guidelines contained in that Opinion. The well-reasoned Opinion comprehensively addresses the applicable Rules of Professional Responsibility and cites both theoretical and practical issues that were considered. The Opinion is informative for lawyers outside of Florida who decide to treat their LCP premium as a case cost, as the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct typically form the foundation of every state’s Rules of Professional Conduct, making the reasoning in the Opinion universal.