In a letter to Chief Justice Hecht earlier this week, TCJL requested that rulemaking be initiated to require some form of disclosure of the existence of third-party litigation funding agreements to the court and parties under appropriate circumstances. Our letter asks the Chief Justice to refer the issue to the Supreme Court Advisory Committee for study and the promulgation of a proposed rule to the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.
Though rulemaking through the SCAC can be a protracted process, it would put the very real and substantive ethical issues posed by TPLF before sitting judges, representatives of both sides of the trial bar, the State Bar of Texas, and in-house and external corporate counsel. If the Court refers our request, we can expect a robust and perhaps contentious debate over these issues and the extent to which TPLF agreements should be discoverable in a particular case and by whom. Our request makes no distinction between consumer and commercial litigation financing for the simple reason that the ethical considerations are the same.
You can read the letter below.