The ABA Journal discusses a law student’s entrepreneurial solution to the legal job market: start his own market. It’s called Judgment Marketplace, and it enables trading court judgments. The aim is to make a dent in the nearly 80 percent of judgments in the U.S. that aren’t collected. The firm ultimately may “serve as a tool for potential investors to purchase large portfolios of judgments” and provide a mechanism for evaluating judgment sellers’ credibility and judgment collectibility.
This is one possible piece of law’s information revolution, in which the traditional cottage industry of lawyers advising individual clients turns into a robust information market. It’s also an example of the new opportunities that may replace the disappearing traditional law jobs.
This is sooooo cool. I am very excited for what this will become in the near future!
To be clear, what’s new here is the method of trading information, which can indeed enable a market that previously was narrow and sporadic.
But people have been selling judgments at a discount — for systematic collection by those who make that their business and specialize in it — for many, many decades.
I’m not surprised by that 80% non-collection figure. But that includes a huge number of uncontested cases in which default judgments were taken, and the judgment debtors often have no non-exempt assets that can be seized to satisfy the judgments. That’s why you can buy and sell judgments — like unliquidated claims that haven’t yet even been sued upon — in bulk and for pennies on the dollar.
This is, in other words, computerized bottom-fishing. /on Seinfeld-voice/ Not that there’s anything *wrong* with that. /off voice/