SAN FRANCISCO, CA—Legalist (www.legalist.com), a technology-enabled litigation finance firm, has announced the addition of Judge Richard A. Posner, former United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit as an Advisor. Judge Posner, who retired from the bench in 2017 to work on access to justice issues, will play a key role in Legalist’s outreach efforts and help bring litigation funding to a wider audience.
“The principal motive for my retirement was the failure of the court to treat litigants without financial resources fairly,” said Judge Posner. “Litigation finance patches an important hole for businesses with valid claims who lack the funds to hire an attorney.”
Since its founding in 2016 by two Harvard drop-outs, Legalist has funded dozens of civil suits brought by small businesses by using algorithms that monitor federal and state court dockets to source and underwrite investments. Unlike traditional litigation funders, Legalist exclusively focuses on “David v. Goliath cases” that require less than $1 million in funding. Repayment to Legalist only occurs if the case is successful.
“Since his retirement from the bench, Judge Posner has dedicated himself whole-heartedly to promoting access to justice in the court system,” said Legalist Chief Executive Officer, Eva Shang. “Litigation finance is an important tool that allows small businesses to retain quality legal counsel and secure the outcome they deserve.”
Judge Richard A. Posner has been called by the New York Times, “among the most provocative figures in American law in the last half-century.” He was appointed as a judge in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan, prior to which he was a leading figure in the economic analysis of law. Over his career, he has authored over 40 books and was identified by The Journal of Legal Studies as the most cited legal scholar of the 20th century.
“Legalist is a formidable company founded by two very sharp, very able Harvard college dropouts. My own long experience with litigation, dating back to the 1960’s equips me to play a constructive role in relation to Legalist as it grows,” said Judge Posner.
A graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School, Judge Posner was President of the Harvard Law Review and clerked for Justice William J. Brennan of the United States Supreme Court. Since his retirement from the bench in 2017, Judge Posner founded the Posner Center of Justice for Pro Se’s and is currently working on his forthcoming book, Preserving and Promoting American Law.
Legalist is an algorithmic litigation finance company that helps small businesses pay for their lawsuits. Headquartered in San Francisco, Legalist is the first litigation finance company to use machine learning and AI technology to source and underwrite litigation investments. Legalist is backed by premier Silicon Valley investors such as Y Combinator, Vy Capital, and Refactor Capital and has been featured in the New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and more.