House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee defers vote on third-party tort financing bill

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The legislation is a priority for the Florida Justice Reform Institute.

The House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee deferred a vote on legislation to crack down on the $13.5 billion third-party litigation financing industry.

Subcommittee Vice Chairman David Smith announced a vote on HB 1179 was being deferred at bill co-sponsor and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Tommy Gregory’s request. No further explanation was offered.

HB 1179 had been added to the House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee’s Monday agenda hours after it had cleared its first committee of reference, the House Civil Justice Subcommittee by a 10-7 vote.

The bills are a top priority for the Florida Justice Reform Institute and the American Tort Reform Foundation, which repeatedly referenced third-party litigation financing in its 2023-24 Judicial Hellhole Report.

The bills would create a new section of law called the Litigation Investment Safeguards and Transparency Act and establish definitions for, among other things, “litigation financing,” “foreign persons” and “foreign principals.”

The proposals would require lawyers who enter into third-party litigation agreements to disclose that information to their clients as well as the court, opposing counsel, and any known person, such as an insurer, with a preexisting contractual obligation to indemnify or defend a party to the action.

The bills ban litigation financing companies from receiving a larger share of the proceeds than the plaintiffs after the payment of attorney fees and costs. Additionally, litigation financiers could not, under the proposal, make any decision concerning legal strategy.

If the litigation financing company has international ties, lawyers also must disclose the name, address, citizenship, country of incorporation, or registration of any foreign person, foreign principal or sovereign wealth fund.

Christine Jordan Sexton

Tallahassee-based health care reporter who focuses on health care policy and the politics behind it. Medicaid, health insurance, workers’ compensation, and business and professional regulation are just a few of the things that keep me busy.


2 comments

  • PeterH

    January 29, 2024 at 1:04 pm

    Per capita there are more lawyers in Florida than any other State in the USA!🇺🇸

    Florida has always been a sunny place for shady people, thus the influence peddling by such millionaire notables as the syndicate, Donald Trump, Hannity. Rick Scott and his Medicare fraud and of course the gambling criminals!

    Graft, grifting and corruption are emblematic in today’s Republican Party.

    Republicans are America’s worst enemy!
    Vote all Republicans out of office!

  • Larry Gillis, Libertarian (Cape Coral)

    January 29, 2024 at 1:27 pm

    As a practicing Libertarian, I am loathe to have the Government tell me to do anything. I do know, however, that courts (and juries) absolutely MUST know who the “true parties in interest” are in order to function properly. On the other hand, it should be entirely up to me whether the financers get more than I do if I win. So, I am open to further discussion on this question of third-party financing of litigation.

Comments are closed.


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