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Why Litigation Funding?

Civil Justice Requires Capital

Too often, plaintiffs who lack financial resources to continue litigating are forced to settle for less than justice demands.  Defendants can leverage the cost and time of litigation as a tactic to drive final settlement figures down.  This is not the intent or design of the civil justice system.

…the costs inherent in major litigation can be crippling, and a plaintiff, lacking the resources to sustain a long fight, may be forced to abandon the case or settle on distinctly disadvantageous terms.”

Miller UK Ltd. v. Caterpillar, Inc., Case No. 10 C 3770 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 6, 2014)

If you feel that litigation financing would be necessary or beneficial to your case, please contact Mr. Van Dyke for a further evaluation of possible funding alternatives. There are many ethical and legal considerations involved in such financing and the added layer of complexity can become burdensome. For many clients however, third-party litigation financing presents the only viable way to prosecute meritorious cases against well-funded opponents. Read more about how the firm successfully utilized third-party financing to obtain a total victory for our client against a well-funded sibling.



Law Finance Group Funds Trust Case Resulting in $26MM Recovery for Disinherited Son

NEW YORK, NY and MILL VALLEY, CA–(Marketwired – Dec 22, 2015) –  Law Finance Group, one of the nation’s longest-running litigation funding firms with nearly 500 post-judgement appeals financed since its inception in 1994, announces today that a final settlement was entered in the case Sefton v. Sefton, resulting in a $26 million recovery for Thomas Sefton, Jr. (“Thomas”). Thomas was represented by Richard S. Van Dyke and Jim Bush of Van Dyke & Associates, LLP.

The case resolved a protracted controversy over the fortune of Thomas’ grandfather, Joseph W. Sefton, Jr. The litigation centered on Thomas’ father’s invalid attempt to exclude Thomas from the family fortune. In its first decision on the matter, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District reversed a probate court’s determination that Thomas had been disinherited (“Sefton I“). On remand, the probate court determined that Thomas was only entitled to $565,350 out of the $78 million trust estate, but the Court of Appeal again reversed the probate court (“Sefton II“). The final decision resulted in Thomas being entitled to a full one-third share of the trust estate along with his stepbrother and sister.

“When Van Dyke & Associates approached us with this case, we knew that we could assist in financing the remand and appeals process through to the deserved outcome for the client. We are proud of our proven track record in meeting the funding needs of plaintiffs and attorneys, allowing them to pursue and achieve justice,” said Law Finance Group CEO and Legal Counsel Alan Zimmerman.

Law Finance Group was engaged in the matter in 2013, after the Court of Appeal remanded the case to the probate court in its Sefton I decision. Law Finance Group provided financing to Thomas’ counsel, which funded the legal work through the remand, Sefton II appeal, and the final proceeding at the trial court. On August 12, 2015, the California Supreme Court denied defendants’ petition for review of Sefton II, cementing Thomas’ 1/3 share of the trust estate. Final settlement became effective in early December 2015.

“From the outset, we understood the significant uphill battle we were facing. Our disinherited client’s case was entirely in the hands of the court of appeal, and as a case of first impression, the outcome was not certain,” said Richard S. Van Dyke, managing partner of Van Dyke & Associates, LLP. “Law Finance Group stepped in to assist us when we needed them most. Together, we debated the merits and analyzed the probability of success. After two separate appeals, we finally emerged with a total victory for our client.”

About Law Finance Group
Founded in 1994 by attorneys, Law Finance Group offers funding solutions to plaintiffs and attorneys across the nation to address the complex realities and demands of litigation in today’s civil justice system. With a focus on post-judgment appeals, settled cases, and trust and estate disputes, Law Finance Group has funded more than 1,000 cases to date, including nearly 500 post-judgment appeals. Law Finance Group’s offices are located in Mill Valley, Calif. and New York City. Read more about the firm and its services here: https://www.lawfinance.com/.

About Van Dyke & Associates, LLP
Van Dyke & Associates, LLP is a boutique probate litigation law firm providing sophisticated legal services to clients nationwide facing complex trust, estate and related tax matters in State or Federal Courts in the Southern California area. The firm is based in San Diego, CA and appears regularly in courts throughout California. Read more about the firm and its services here: https://www.vdalaw.com/.


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