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May 8, 2018

Ohio Judge Orders TPLF Disclosure in Opioid Litigation

The U.S. District Judge overseeing the multidistrict opioid litigation ordered all contingency fee attorneys to disclose to the court any third party litigation funding agreements, National Law Journal reports.

Judge Dan Polster of the Northern District of Ohio also ordered each lawyer to submit sworn affirmations that any funding arrangements do not “undermine counsel’s obligation of vigorous advocacy” or give funders “control over litigation strategy or settlement decisions.” He said he would sanction attorneys or consider unenforceable any agreement that does not comply with the order. Judge Polster’s order would only require disclosure to the court, rather than all parties involved.

U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform President Lisa A. Rickard said that it’s important that the court “recognized the critical importance of disclosure of litigation funding,” but added “there should be full discloure of the funding agreement to all parties in a case, just as defendants are required to disclose and provide insurance agreements to all parties.” 


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