Until recently casino litigation meant law suits involving actual casinos. No more. Thanks to Peter Theil, the Paypal founder backing a law suit against Gawker media seeking vengeance, casino litigation now means some fat cat fueling litigation for profit or private purposes.
It’s spurious for a lot of reasons, most directly that litigation is not particularly a game of chance, and the investors are not suckers holding cards that were dealt from the bottom.
Third-party financing of litigation isn’t new, The most basic case, a personal injury case, is funded on one side by the plaintiff’s attorney’s line of credit and sometimes a litigation funding firm and on the other side by an insurance company. Not the same? What about issues-based non-profit organizations funding lawsuits to test principles? Flag-burning, integration, school prayer, women’s reproductive rights, etc. Some even are test cases, situations designed for litigation to test the principle. No disrespect to the plutocrat who funded the law suit against the well-healed dot-com, but the only thing new about this case is the personal nature of the animus that fueled it.
If you’ve visited a state courthouse recently and witnessed the under-staffing, slowness and dilapidated conditions, you can safely conclude that if this is the era of casino litigation, the odds are against the courts. Litigation has become an over-used tool of retribution, and the state court systems are not given the resources to keep pace with the case load. For those cases that are truly casino litigation, shouldn’t the house at least get a piece of the action? That’s the way it works in Vegas.