May 16, 2018

Litigation Financing: Senate Bill Would Mandate Disclosure

We’ve previously blogged on “The Mentor Blog” about the growth in 3rd party litigation finance.  Now, Kevin LaCroix blogs that legislation introduced by Senate Republicans would mandate disclosure of these financing arrangements.  Here’s an excerpt summarizing the bill:

On May 10, 2018, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee introduced The Litigation Funding Transparency Act of 2018, which would require the disclosure of litigation funding in class and multidistrict litigation in federal courts. The draft bill is co-sponsored by Senators Thom Tillis and John Cornyn.

The bill has two operative provisions, one applicable to class action litigation and the other applicable to multidistrict litigation. The gist of the bill is that it would require class counsel and counsel for a party asserting a claim in a multidistrict lawsuit to disclose to the court and all other parties “the identity of any commercial enterprise … that has a right to receive payment that is contingent on the receipt of monetary relief … by settlement, judgment, or otherwise.”

The legislation also would require counsel to “produce for inspection or copying … any agreement creating the contingent right.” The mandated disclosure must take place not later than the later of ten days after execution of the agreement or the time of service of the action.

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s press release announcing the bill’s introduction notes that “third party litigation funding is estimated to be a multi-billion dollar industry but is largely unregulated and subject to little oversight, fueling concerns that such agreements create conflicts of interest and distort the civil justice system.” The proposed legislation is intended to promote transparency & improve oversight by establishing a uniform disclosure rule that would apply to all class actions and MDL proceedings in federal courts.

GDPR Enforcement: How Will It Work for US Companies?

A lot of companies with European operations have been gearing up to comply with the EU’s new “General Data Protection Regulation” or “GDPR.” Some U.S. companies are undoubtedly asking, “so if we don’t comply, what’s the EU going to do?”

This Womble Bond Dickinson memo says that the answer depends on the particular circumstances of each company. Here’s an excerpt:

– For US companies with a physical establishment in the EU – the GDPR can be enforced directly against them by EU regulators.

– For US companies subject to the GDPR that lack a physical presence in the EU – a local EU representative must be appointed unless an exemption in Article 27 applies. This EU representative may be held liable for non-compliance of overseas entities, although the contract with the representative may shift liability back to the US company.

– For US companies with no EU physical location or local representative – EU regulators will have to rely on US cooperation or international law to punish GDPR noncompliance.

Transcript: “The Latest on ICOs/Token Deals”

We have posted the transcript for our recent webcast: “The Latest on ICOs/Token Deals.”

John Jenkins