Maya Steinitz

Visiting Professor of Law

Spring 2018

Areeda 130

617-998-1680

Assistant: Thompson Potter / 617-496-5028

Biography

Professor Maya Steinitz teaches civil procedure, business associations, international business transactions, and international arbitration. Her research focuses on a wide range of topics including the intersection of civil litigation and corporate law, public and business international law, transnational dispute resolution, and the global legal profession. She is one of the nation’s leading experts on litigation finance. Her articles have been published by leading law reviews and law journals published by Yale Law School, Harvard Law School, Stanford Law School, University of Pennsylvania Law School, Vanderbilt Law School, Oxford University, and others. Her works-in-progress include a book about cross-border mass tort litigation titled "The Case for an International Court of Civil Justice" (forthcoming Cambridge University Press 2018); an article tentatively titled "Litigation Aggregation and the Corporate Form"; and a book project tentatively titled "Law and the Self: An Imaginary Exchange of Letters between H.L.A. Hart and G.H. Mead." Professor Steinitz's doctoral work drew on her training in social psychology and legal philosophy, while her work in recent years focuses primarily on law and economics and comparative law. Her publications are available on Social Science Research Network.

Prior to joining the University of Iowa College of Law as an Associate Professor in the fall of 2011, Professor Steinitz held a dual appointment as an Associate-in-Law and Lecturer at Columbia Law School (2009-2011). She has taught courses in comparative law, international law, and international dispute resolution at Columbia Law School, Tel Aviv University, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Prior to joining Columbia Law School, Professor Steinitz served as a litigator at Latham & Watkins, LLP (2003-2009) and Flemming, Zulack & Williamson LLP (2001-2002). She also clerked for the Hon. Esther Hayut, currently the Chief Justice of the Israeli Supreme Court (1998-1999).

While in private practice, Professor Steinitz led the representation of the emerging government of Southern Sudan in drafting its national and sub-national constitutions and provided legal advice on various aspects of the Sudanese peace process in what The Deal described as "the most ambitious international pro bono undertaking ever by a commercial law firm."

Today, Professor Steinitz remains active in international dispute resolution. She regularly serves as an arbitrator, expert, and counsel in international and domestic arbitrations and is a Member of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and of the Academic Council of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration. She served on the inaugural bench of the Israeli-Palestinian ICC Jerusalem Arbitration Center (JAC). She has also served as an expert witness and consultant to law firms, litigation finance firms, NGOs, and the United Nations on matters including litigation finance, international arbitration, and transitional justice.

Courses Taught (Past and Present)

  • Civil Procedure
  • Complex Litigation
  • Business Associations
  • International Business Transactions
  • International Commercial Arbitration
  • Global Mass Torts Litigation
  • Negotiation and Mediation
  • Capstone (Deals)
  • The Legal Aspects of the Israeli – Palestinian Conflict (with G. Fletcher)
  • Comparative Conflict Studies
  • Comparative Introduction to American Law
  • Comparative Civil Litigation (with G. Born)
  • Litigation Finance, and Law Firm Finance, and the Future of the Legal Profession
  • Legal Philosophy

Areas of Interest

Maya Steinitz, Incorporating Legal Claims, 90 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1155 (2015).
Categories:
Civil Practice & Procedure
,
Banking & Finance
,
Corporate Law & Securities
,
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Finance
,
Investment Products
,
Corporate Law
,
Corporate Governance
,
Securities Law & Regulation
,
Business Organizations
,
Mergers & Acquisitions
,
Litigation & Settlement
,
Practice & Procedure
,
Legal Ethics
Type: Article
Abstract
Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in commercial litigation funding. Whereas the judicial, legislative, and scholarly treatment of litigation finance has regarded litigation finance first and foremost as a form of champerty and sought to regulate it through rules of legal professional responsibility (hereinafter, the “legal ethics paradigm”), this Article suggests that the problems created by litigation finance are all facets of the classic problems created by “the separation of ownership and control” that have been a focus of business law since the advent of the corporate form. Therefore, an “incorporation paradigm,” offered here, is more appropriate. “Incorporating legal claims” means conceiving of the claim as an asset with an existence wholly separate from the plaintiff. This can be done by issuing securities tied to litigation proceed rights. Such securities can be issued with or without the use of various business entities. The incorporation paradigm also opens up the possibility of applying practices of corporate governance to litigation governance. Indeed, in certain previously overlooked real-world deals, creative lawyers used securities tied to litigation proceed rights as well as corporate governance mechanisms. This Article analyzes and then expands upon such instances of financial-legal innovation, suggesting how various business entities can be used to deal with the core challenges presented by the separation of ownership of and control over legal claims: specifically, the problems of (1) extreme agency problems; (2) extreme information asymmetries; (3) extreme uncertainty; and (4) commodification. In addition, this Article discusses how incorporation of legal claims can reduce various costs that litigation imposes in other transactions, such as mergers and acquisitions.
Maya Steinitz, The Case for an International Court of Civil Justice, 67 Stan. L. Rev. Online 74 (2014).
Categories:
Civil Practice & Procedure
,
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
,
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Litigation & Settlement
,
Class Action Litigation
,
Torts
,
Dispute Resolution
,
Courts
,
International Law
Type: Article
Abstract
We live in a world in which the victims of cross-border mass torts de facto (not de jure) have no court to turn to in order to pursue legal action against American multinational corporations when they are responsible for disasters. The only way to provide a fair and legitimate process for both victims and corporations is to create an International Court of Civil Justice (ICCJ). This Essay seeks to start a conversation about this novel institutional solution. It lays out both a justice case, from the plaintiffs’ viewpoint, and an efficiency case, from a corporate defendant’s viewpoint, for why a world with an ICCJ would be a better place. The Essay also provides an initial blueprint for such an ICCJ. In so doing, it explains why an ICCJ is politically viable and may, specifically, appeal to rather than repel the least likely constituency: corporate America. The Essay concludes with a call for action and a research agenda.
Maya Steinitz & Abigail C. Field, A Model Litigation Finance Contract, 99 Iowa L. Rev. 711 (2014).
Categories:
Civil Practice & Procedure
,
Banking & Finance
,
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Contracts
,
Economics
,
Finance
,
Venture Capital
,
Investment Products
,
Litigation & Settlement
,
Practice & Procedure
,
Transactional Law
,
Legal Ethics
Type: Article
Abstract
Litigation financing is nonrecourse funding of litigation by a non-party for a profit. It is a burgeoning and controversial phenomenon that has penetrated the Unites States in recent years. Since "most of the important phenomena of modern litigation are best understood as results of changes in the financing and capitalization of the bar," it is not surprising that litigation financing has been dubbed by RAND as one of the "biggest and most influential trends in civil justice" and by the Chamber of Commerce "a clear and present danger to the impartial and efficient administration of civil justice in the United States." In the past couple of years it has captivated equally the law reviews, the daily mainstream media, regulators, legislatures and the courts. However, there is a complete absence of information about or discussion of litigation finance contracting, even though all the benefits and risks embodied in litigation funding stem from the relationships those contracts shape and formalize. In A Model Litigation Finance Contract we (i) set out the efficiency and justice case for a model contract; (ii) build on previous work to make the case for using venture capitalism as analog and starting point for modeling contracts; (iii) describe the ethical and economic challenges faced by the parties entering into litigation finance contracts and narratively explain the contractual solutions they have devised to eliminate or minimize such pitfalls; (iv) provide a model contract and; (iv) conclude by mapping out a research agenda for the new field of litigation finance contracting.

Education History

Current Courses

Course Catalog View

Areeda 130

617-998-1680

Assistant: Thompson Potter / 617-496-5028