Over the years, Appellate Advance has provided many million dollars of funding to trial lawyers and their clients. In most cases, the appeals are successful, but, as you might expect, we have absorbed our share of losses as well. Why do parties to an appeal, and / or their counsel, arrange for funding from us? There about as many reasons as there are clients. Here are several of the more interesting ones:
CLIENT: Our client funded a successful Silicon Valley company. Early on in the development of their company, they signed a contract with a group of attorneys who had been appointed to the steering committee of a multi district litigation issue. Despite signing a contract, the attorneys refused to honor the contract and defaulted. The client sued and won a judgment, but they appealed. Short of funds and facing personal and corporate taxes due, the client was referred to us.
SOLUTION: We were able to bridge the gap between trial court judgment and ultimate collection.
Living to Fight Another Day
CLIENT: After the founder of a successful company died, our client's siblings gained control of the limited liability company, allocating the tax liability of its operations to our client, but distributing the true cash only to themselves. Frozen out, on the verge of personal bankruptcy, our client received a judgment in trial court awarding his share of the firm a total of $1.5 million, but holding the bulk of that amount in escrow for a period of six years.
SOLUTION: With bad credit, taxes due and nowhere to turn, our client looked to Appellate Advance for funds needed to keep life and limb together pending resolution of the appeal, which only addresses the six year hold.
CLIENT: Our clients operated a law firm as a husband and wife team through good times and bad. Then, holding a multimillion dollar judgment which had been upheld at all levels but the US Supreme Court, the couple was expecting a seven figure payout in short order if the case were (as they believed it would be) upheld. Our clients decided to 'lay off' a modest six figure portion of their fee on us, knowing that whether it was upheld or not, there would be cash in the bank after SCOTUS review.
SOLUTION: Understanding the case, we were able to move in less than a week to fund. All parties, ourselves included, were rewarded a short while later when the case was affirmed and paid.
Horrific Symptoms from a Common Drug
CLIENT: Although it happens only rarely, sometimes a patient can succumb to horrific symptoms from allergy to Motrin tablets. It is a condition more likely to strike young people than adults. Reactions can include horrific scarring all over the patient's body, and significant vision impairment. Weakening the drug maker's legal position was evidence brought forth at trial showing that warning labels for overseas consumers were more severe than those on bottles sold in America. This is no longer the case, but try telling that to a nearly blind teenager. Trial lawyers in several states have been successful in winning very large judgments on behalf of those harmed by Motrin usage, and several plaintiffs with similar cases have settled on terms which remain confidential.
SOLUTION: Our firm has been involved in this type of case, bringing liquidity to the plaintiff's side while a deep-pocketed defendant chooses to pursue appeals.
We are up to date on the science and the law here, and prepared to act on very short notice.
CLIENT: Establishing a trial law practice can be very capital intensive. Each new case can require the hiring of experts and collection of documents, generating costs in the five- to six-figure range. This is especially exasperating for attorneys specializing in a certain type of claim, such as product liability or mass torts. They might have won a large judgment or two, and be holding a portfolio of dozens more similar cases waiting to be tried. Yet, as one told us, turning the ‘On’ switch on each additional case can require a low six figure investment.
SOLUTION: That is the thinking that led this attorney to liquefy some of the value in his early judgments still on appeal for investment into pressing forward with his case portfolio.
"If I think that each, say $150,000, I take from you is likely to earn me several million dollars in a new case, I’m going to do that all day long." Then he added, “It is especially comforting to know that if something happens in one of the early cases, you won’t come after me looking for money you’ve advanced. I run the case, but we share the risk. I like that.”
Let us know if the kind of non-recourse advances we make could make sense for you. Better yet, submit the express application online, and we’ll give you a very quick answer.
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