Champerty is bad

The New York Times reported this morning that the founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, has contributed funding to E. Jean Carroll’s lawsuit against the former guy. And it made me think about how Peter Thiel funded a few different lawsuits against Gawker until succeeding with Hulk Hogan’s suit, which led to the Deadspin or Splinter folks introducing me to the concept of champerty.

These days “champerty” is not considered a crime anymore, and to that end it has been renamed to the more anodyne “litigation finance.” But it still kind of sucks! Rich folks being able to fund lawsuit after lawsuit against a desired target until they get a result is yet another thing that’s poisonous to the rule of law, and it doesn’t matter whether I like or hate the target in any given case—

—Hang on, I am just getting word that the article continues:

Mr. Hoffman is part of the so-called PayPal Mafia, a network of well-connected tech executives and investors who got their start at the payments company in the late 1990s. That crew includes the tech mogul Peter Thiel, who is a prominent Republican donor and has secretly funded lawsuits. In 2016 Mr. Thiel paid $10 million for the wrestler Hulk Hogan to sue the media outlet Gawker Media for an invasion of privacy, ultimately leading to Gawker’s bankruptcy.

Holy fuck! I probably shouldn’t be posting this!