In the U.S., there are more than 85,000 units of local government, ranging from cities down to school districts. These public sector entities (PSE) represent varied demographics and economic circumstances and are driven by public policy. While there is little available data about PSE affirmative litigation spending, case duration, settlement amounts, or damages profiles, recent settlement amounts in the hundreds of millions of dollars have drawn attention to the scope and return of these cases, and at least one funder is interested in funding PSE plaintiffs.
Public sector affirmative litigation appears to be growing, encouraged by organizations like the Public Rights Project. Cities, including New York and San Francisco, have affirmative litigation departments. If even a fraction of the more than $3 trillion local governments spend annually is invested in affirmative lawsuits, those costs represent a significant expenditure. PSEs litigate complex cases, involving such matters as opioid claims and environmental harm, which demand sustained and intensive financial and legal resources.
At a time when the economic effects of the coronavirus are aggravating budget constraints, legal financing of affirmative litigation could allow PSEs to avoid deferring litigation, match the resources of their opponents, freely choose outside legal counsel, and obtain larger recoveries for constituents. Funders can also offer insights on case costs, timing, strategy, and collectability.
Funders may be put off by the possibility of increased vetting, disclosure of funding agreements, or a smaller return on investment, given the nature of PSEs. For their part, governments, like private sector litigants, need to consider how involving third-party funders in their cases will affect their independent decision-making. PSEs and funders alike must measure potential drawbacks against the benefits of entering a funding relationship.
If worries about costs are a potential drawback to you taking new plaintiffs’ cases against deep-pocketed defendants, LevelEsq’s lawsuit financing and lawsuit cost insurance are the tools you need. Our straightforward solutions let you avoid the controversies of non-recourse funding and enjoy the advantage of getting your case into court without risking the loss of out-of-pocket expenses.