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Copyright (c) 2012 Wake Forest Law Review Association, Inc.
Wake Forest Law Review

ARTICLE: ALTERNATIVE LITIGATION FINANCE AND THE WORK-PRODUCT DOCTRINE

Winter, 2012

Wake Forest Law Review

47 Wake Forest L. Rev. 1083

Author

Grace M. Giesel*

Excerpt



Introduction
 
The United States judicial system is in the midst of great and fundamental change with regard to the funding of litigation. Historically, parties financed litigation out of their own literal or figurative pockets or, perhaps, with the assistance of some sort of contingent fee representation. 1 Third-party financing of litigation was frowned upon, if not specifically forbidden. 2 But, now, third-party litigation funding entities have begun, with much more frequency and success, to provide funding for small matters such as individual personal injury claims as well as larger commercial litigation matters between businesses. 3 The demand for this alternative litigation finance ("ALF") 4 clearly exists, 5 and the supply of funding has developed despite historical obstacles. 6 Doctrines such as champerty have faded somewhat 7 from the legal landscape, and old fears of having litigation funded and controlled by evil actors equal to the worst villain in any Dickens novel have receded in light of the notion that everyone deserves access to justice regardless of bank account balance.

As historical obstacles to litigation funding have waned, a new reality has emerged in which ALF entities increase access to justice 8 - at least for some. For others, funding from these entities allows litigants who have the means to fund litigation to shift risk. 9 Litigation funding alters the relative power of players in the justice system; it provides access to the playing field and also ensures that the teams show up at the field with the same ...
 
 
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