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Letters: Litigation finance evolution

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Litigation finance evolution

Your recent article by Stephanie Francis Ward on litigation finance (“Risky Business,” February-March, page 54) gives a false impression of commercial litigation finance as uniquely risky to law firms, focusing on a few outlier circumstances involving allegations of attorney malfeasance or default. In fact, commercial litigation finance is increasingly necessary, common and rarely offers anything like the drama described.

Looking forward, the International Legal Finance Association is working to further professionalize the industry, establishing best practices all funders should follow to maximize the overall value to litigants, law firms and financing entities alike. As this growing industry evolves and becomes more routine, we expect these standards to become ubiquitous so that commercial litigation financing can continue to play its critical role in ensuring a stronger and more equitable justice system.

Gary Barnett
International Legal Finance Association

Rights fight

Just a note to compliment you on your superb Intersection column (“Race to the Bottom,” February-March, page 11). You captured my thoughts precisely and succinctly. Thank you.

Dennis A. Rendleman
Springfield, Illinois

Thank you for the opinion piece you wrote on freedom, choice and the social contract. Cogent. Persuasive. Succinct.

Marie Breaux
New Orleans

C-suite inclusion

I am a member of the Missouri Bar. In Missouri, one of our CLE requirements is to have one hour of diversity training each year. In a few weeks, I will be presenting my third CLE on this topic. As part of my presentation, I have included information provided in Cynthia L. Cooper’s diversity article (“Inclusion & Equity,” December-January, page 44). It was outstanding!

In addition, although I am retired from the active practice of law, I am an adjunct professor at Avila University, located in Kansas City, Missouri. I teach a business law class to undergraduate students that discusses all of the U.S. anti-discrimination laws. We start with the Constitution and move forward to the current situation in the United States. Part of my class discussion early in the semester is on the topic of diversity.

Also, during the semester, I bring in guest speakers from various backgrounds. To illustrate, my students will hear from a transgender woman, a speaker whose parents were from Cuba and an African American businessman from the Kansas City area.

Larry Altman
Overland Park, Kansas

Journal slant?

Leave for another day why you decided to convert a lawyer’s magazine into a political journal. I frankly can’t imagine what goes on at your editorial meetings. Every issue of the ABA Journal has become heavily political, and the viewpoints are so unbalanced, so confrontational, I can no longer read it—and I’m a lifelong Democrat. You carry the disclaimer that the opinions of guest columnists aren’t necessarily those of the Journal. Well, OK. Such disclaimers are not uncommon. Perhaps you could reveal in a forthcoming issue which opinions aren’t yours.

Sam Rennick
Santa Fe, New Mexico

The genesis of lawyers

Regarding Marcel Strigberger’s web column, “A Few ‘Begats’ and ‘Thou Shalts’: An Abbreviated History of Lawyers,” ABAJournal.com, Feb. 15, I believe that the first recorded instance of lawyering was Abraham in Genesis 18:22-33, when he pleads on behalf of the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah. His plea on the law is successful, but like many of us, he is unable to establish the necessary facts: 10 innocent residents. No mention is made of a fee, so this is probably also the first pro bono legal work.

Herbert Lazerow
San Diego

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