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In our classic image of an American lawsuit, including class actions, the plaintiffs lawyer pays the upfront costs and then hopes to recoup them from a share of the winnings. But today, this picture is incomplete. It is no longer only the law firm's own war chest that finances a case - so can outside investors and lenders.2 As Judge Hellerstein has just reminded us, the 9/11 cases he presided over involved such third-party financing.3 The Ecuadorian plaintiffs' environmental case against Chevron, now pending in the Southern District of New York, is another prominent example in the news.4