In April, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey announced an unprecedented, proposed amendment to its local civil rules that (1) would require all parties to a lawsuit to identify any non-recourse third-party financing, including a description of the interest and details of the agreement, and (2) purports to provide grounds for disclosure of “the terms of any [financing] agreement.” 

The proposed amendment would be added to local rule 7.1, the rule that requires disclosures to help judges make recusal and disqualification decisions. As the Code of Conduct for United States Judges notes, the corresponding rule applicable in all federal courts (FRCP 7.1) mandates very few disclosures for this purpose, in part because “[u]nnecessary disclosure requirements place a burden on the parties and courts.” That is very much the case with this proposal, and is particularly relevant to the District of New Jersey, which boasts the highest weighted caseload per judgeship and is currently in a state of “judicial emergency.”