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October 23, 2015

Legal Dispute Exposes Plaintiffs Getting ‘Traded Like Commodities’

“A legal dispute within a plaintiffs’ law firm that organizes massive torts is threatening to pull back the curtain on the mechanics of high-volume litigation,” reports Bloomberg‘s Paul Barrett.

The case involves 30-year-old financier Amir Shenaq who sued his former employer, Houston plaintiffs’ firm AkinMears, over $4.2 million in allegedly unpaid commissions. Shenaq says he earned those commissions for raising “nearly $100 million used to purchase thousands of injury claims from other lawyers.

“The suit portrays a claim-brokering marketplace that normally operates in secret, with clients recruited en masse through TV and Internet advertising who are then bundled and traded among attorneys like so many securitized mortgages,” writes Barrett.

“The allegation that a law firm used hedge fund money to buy and sell thousands of personal injury lawsuits shows plaintiffs have become little more than commodities,” said ILR President Lisa A. Rickard. “This case appears to be a new example of how litigation financing perverts the justice system and puts the interests of lawyers and financiers ahead of actual plaintiffs.”

Read the full story here.

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