Crowdfunding for legal cases?

Crowd Justice is a platform to solicit crowdfunding for legal matters. Crowdfunding has its attractions – it can level the playing field in a  “David versus Goliath” situation. The legal system can favor those who can “afford” justice or just plain outspend the opponent. With platforms like Crowd Justice, a small business or individual can gather the necessary financial resources to engage in a battle for justice with deeper pocketed Goliaths and legal bullies.

Via crowdfunding and social media, readers and supporters can participate in a case of interest, by sharing, giving or possibly influencing its outcome in some more direct way. Sound far-fetched? More than half of adults receive their news through social media. It is the most direct route to solicit support for a legal cause with a compelling story. Digital communities dominate our culture. Think about how many digital communities you may interact with on a typical day: social media, crowdfunding, online reviews, and even comments to blog posts allow the digital community to interactively engage with one another.  That community can be hyper local or even spread across the globe.

As a member of the legal system, I have mixed feelings. I work with clients who could really use support in their fight for justice – financial and moral support. I could use the assistance with cost effective evidence collection and this could help uncover witnesses and documents I could never get on a client’s shoestring legal budget.  I do have concerns about the validity and relevance of the evidence offered. I also have some concerns about whether this will encourage frivolous litigation and claims, and whether it will actually make the small guy the Goliath who can legally bully good businesses and individuals.

For small businesses, this seems like a dream come true-  resources to fund legal battles. What are the pitfalls? I’d like to hear your thoughts to the downsides of legal  crowdfunding initiatives.