EP 14: Roni Elias – How Litigation Financing Helps Fight Your Case

Summary

Roni Elias’ Contact Info:

Email: Roni@YourTCP.com

Website: www.YourTCP.com

Show Notes

[00:03:11] Meet Roni in person at the Best ever Conference in Keystone Colorado (https://bit.ly/36utBb8)

Use coupon code “GOALS20” to save 20% at checkout

[00:04:08] Roni and his company donates to Hands Along The Niles (https://www.handsalongthenile.org/)

[00:11:39] Roni starts talking about litigation financing.

[00:13:16] Roni shares examples of how litigation financing works

[00:19:11] Roni explain why his company will only fund a case but will not step in as the lead litigator

[00:24:17] Ronis talks about what he looks for in a case to decide whether or not his firm will fund that case

[00:27:27] Roni shares example on a repayment structure

[00:31:29] Roni breaks down the differences in using litigation financing from a firm such as TownCenter Partners vs using a contingency law firm

[00:33:40] Roni tells us the reason behind why his firm doesn’t provide litigation financing in certain states

Transcript

Roni Elias 0:03
We have a short time on this earth, you know we’re it’s not infinite. So I think the year 2020 is gonna be a massive year of growth for us. I don’t want to steal, you know, Grant Cardone 10X line, you know I don’t know if he would be, you know, at 10 x multiple, but we think it’s going to be a multiple of growth and then use that not only as a multiple growth for us as a company and a team but also as a multiple growth, give back. So we can truly, you know, make a difference in as many lives as possible with our work.

Unknown Speaker 0:37
Welcome to the show. You are listening to The Real Estate Lab Podcast. In this lab. we decode the stories, secrets and skills of the most brilliant minds in real estate investing and turn their wisdom into practical advice and knowledge that we can use to boost our income. And now let’s turn it over to our host Vee.

Vee 0:57
Hey hey hey It’s a great day to be alive and to invest in real estate. My name is Vee Khuu and you’re now listening to my show The Real Estate Lab Podcast. Hey, it’s the third day of the lunar new year, the year of the rat. As I’ve shared with you on the first episode of my podcast, I’m Chinese so while you’re listening to this episode, I’m enjoying all the festivity all this celebration going on with the New Year 恭祝大家 身壯力健 新春大吉 新年快樂 万事如意 Chúc tất cả quý vị thính giả một năm mới an khang thịnh vượng và vạn sự như ý.

Vee 1:35
Alright, enough with the New Year greeting. Let me share with you about our guest for this episode. He is the lead asset manager of TownCenter Partners. He has worked in litigation cases reaching over nine and a half-billion dollars in recovery, manage a portfolio of over 520 million dollars in real estate assets at a previous firm. Our guest today received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from NSU, an MBA from Ashworth, JD from FAMU College of Law and LLM from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law. He holds multiple real estate licenses in Florida, DC, Maryland, Virginia and also holds a CCIM designation. He is also Florida Supreme Court certified family County Circuit appellate mediator and Florida’s qualified arbitrator. He’s going to share with us about a concept called litigation financing today. Our guest today, ladies and gentlemen, is Mr. Roni Elias. It’s a totally foreign concept to me at first, what is it? Why should you care? Well, you will find out soon enough from this episode. If you want to meet Roni live in person, you should go to the best ever conference in Keystone, Colorado from February 20th through 22nd of 2020.

Vee 3:11
He will be a speaker among an awesome speaker lineup such as Jeff Adler from Yardi Matrix. Matt Faircloth, author of the book called Raising Private Capital, Building your Real Estate Empire using other people’s money and Scott Trench, CEO President of Bigger Pockets, you can check out the rest of the lineup at www.BEC20.com. That is B EC with the number 20 dot com. Alright, let’s dive right into my conversation with Roni Elias.

Vee 3:52
Hey, welcome to another episode of The Real Estate Lab Podcast. I have Roni Elias here with us today. It’s an honor to have you here with us, Roni

Roni Elias 4:01
Thanks so much for having me on and very excited to do this with you today.

Vee 4:08
Now, Roni, I understand that you do a lot of giving back and one of the programs that you give money to is the Hands Along The Nile, what’s your connection with them?

Roni Elias 4:20
Sure, Hands Along The Nile. It’s a great organization, they predominantly help a lot of refugees, extreme people who are living I mean, in very, very poor situations, predominantly in the Middle East and so forth. And you know, the great thing about the organization, you know, they just help folks so of all backgrounds, all religions, and that just, unfortunately, due to either socio-economic reasons, or you know, the refugees are so forth. They’re just in such dire straits. They need assistance and not only, you know, do they get what you and I consider just salad, just normal stuff, you know, food, water and so forth. But they help try to train them. And you know, figuring out what is something you could do, how to get a job, you know, language skills and so forth. So it’s a great organization, and they do a lot of great work overseas in really very poor impoverished areas or where these folks definitely need a lot of assistance.

Vee 5:30
And you mentioned the Middle East a few times, are you from that region?

Roni Elias 5:36
The funny thing about it, I was born in Sudan, but my family’s background is in Egypt. And you know, I try to travel once a year or so forth. And, you know, just when you go back and you kind of see some of the conditions, folks are in, you can see it’s truly dire conditions that people are in.

Roni Elias 6:00
I mean, we would, you know, if we took, you know, whatever you want to consider here to be the worst of conditions, I think over there, it’s much even worse than that. So just trying to help those folks and, and it’s not just trying to help with it, hey, you know, here’s some food and money or whatever is, you know, trying to take that concept of, you know, what can we do to help truly make a difference in these folks’ lives and that’s really been through the programs they have, try and teach people skills, you know, of how to make something they can sell, you know, or trying to get a job and so forth. So, they can make a difference not only for themselves but their families and also trying to assist with educational purposes, because, unfortunately, a lot of people there, you know, probably after fifth or sixth grade in those areas, sometimes you know, there is no schooling and so forth, because they just have to go work to help put food on the table for the family.

Vee 6:30
And that’s, that’s awesome. And you. So you were born from Sudan and your family roots from really from Egypt?

Roni Elias 7:15
Correct

Vee 7:16
Right?

Roni Elias 7:16
Yeah.

Vee 7:16
Correct. So

Roni Elias 7:18
it was great, you know, moved around a lot as a child and then finally came here to the states in 89.

Vee 7:27
In 89, do you still remember the language at all?

Roni Elias 7:30
You know, as I always joke around, you know, yeah, the language that we speak is Arabic. So you know, how I usually say yeah, I can speak Arabic, but it’s kind of the word we use is macassar. Which just when you train select translate to English, it’s broken. So like, you know, it’s not 100% great Arabic but at least you know, hey, I can get to the toilet and you know, we can have a conversation and joke around a bit, and so forth. So, but yeah, I can somewhat, you know, get a full conversation out with folks and so forth. And, you know, English has become extremely as it has for many years. But also, I mean, right now with all the international stuff happening in Egypt, a lot of people speaking English over there also.

Vee 8:28
That’s great man. So, Roni Salaam Alaikum

Vee 8:36
No the reason I start with that is because you are a lawyer, so I just want to show the audience that not all the lawyers are sharks they have hearts too. And, you know, with the stuff that you do is truly truly amazing.

Roni Elias 8:52
No, I mean, you always have to give back and make a difference. You know, we’re we’re we’re very Teamwork oriented, we’re very much about making a difference with you know, not only our work, but you know, we also you have to give back, you know, I think if you were, you know, to follow some very, you know, wherever you want to call them either smart, very business successful folks, and if you try to kind of dissect quote unquote, their DNA, you’ll notice, you know, one thing that they consistently do is, you know, maybe you want to call it you know, they reap what they sow and so forth. But they, there is a portion of them that always gives back or wants to help folks that that need assistance. I think that’s a very important point to try and be successful in life and also, you know, just how we should all operate.

Vee 9:53
Yeah, definitely. We should always like Robert Kiyosaki said you always just have to give back because The moment you start giving back, you will get more reward from either the world or from people who, you know, you’ve been given to, you know, the more you give, the more you will get back.

Roni Elias 10:13
Oh, definitely. And, you know, there’s, I’m not the smartest person always in the room, but, you know, it’s it’s truly teamwork. I mean, you’ve got to build, you know, talented team around you and work with folks who are committed and, you know, can kind of work hand in hand with you to kind of help carry the whole team to that next level. And I think, you know, that can be translated easily into a real estate or into, you know, hey, we’re a manufacturing company. And, you know, we, we build cogs, and you know, how do we go from building a, you know, a million cogs a year to, you know, 10 million cogs a year. I mean, You really need to have a talented team with you.

Vee 11:03
Yeah, teamwork is a big thing. And just like anything in life, you cannot do anything by yourself and be a huge success. You’re, you’re limited by time, you’re limited by your energy manpower. So having a team is really great. And with that I want to transition over to your company now with Town Center partners, you are an Asset Manager at this company. And you have worked in litigation for a long, long time. So can you tell me a little bit about your niche right now with litigation financing?

Roni Elias 11:39
Sure. What we try to do is, you know, the worst thing you’re probably to ever have to deal with is getting a lawsuit and that could be I even think of it even the person who’s going to file the lawsuit. Nine times out of 10 they really don’t want file like, they would like to see, hey, I didn’t want to be in this situation, or let’s see how can we resolve it, and so forth. So what we do is we come in, and we say, we’re going to try, we’re going to turn your lawsuit, which is an expense item. Because you know, every month, you’ve got to write a check to your attorney. Or if you’re lucky enough, maybe you’ll find an attorney who can take it on a contingency fee basis. And all that means is, they’re going to tell you, hey, if we win this case, I will get a percentage of the possible winnings if we don’t win the case, you owe me nothing, and so forth. And in those situations, you know, there still might be you know, you have to pay for some expert witnesses. Or you might just because you’ve been harmed from this other company or individual. You still need, quote-unquote, cash in the door. And that’s kind of where we come in, you know, trying to take our what we do is litigation finance and you know, let’s say, you know, in the in the wheelhouse of real estate, some very prime examples that we’ve been involved in is the following.

Roni Elias 13:16
Let’s say you know, you’re a syndicator or you’re an apartment complex owner, God forbid, one day one of your buildings burns down. And let’s say that building has 16 units in it. And as you can imagine, now, the income of 16 units is done, call up, you know, Ring ring to Hi, Mister or miss insurance company, I’ve suffered the damage. You know, I am a loyal client of yours. I’m paying they come out and you know, the contractor comes in says okay, hey, to rebuild those 16 units is going to cost you know, and million dollars just to use a round number, insurance company says, ah, I don’t think we agree with that number, you know, what we think it’s worth, you know? $600,000.

Roni Elias 14:13
So, or we’re only willing to pay 600,000. So the person who is going to build it is telling you it’s going to cost a million dollars. And yeah, of course, you’re dealing with contractors, there’s some fluff here and there. But you know, there ain’t 40% of fluff. So now you have two options. Insurance Company only wants to pay you 600,000. So there’s a $400,000 hole. You know, one you could just say, yeah, I’ll take the 600,000 and then you’ll figure out how to make up the 400,000. Or you tell the insurance company, listen, here’s my cost. Here’s what it is. You have a policy you need to order, honor the policy. And if they tell you know, we’re not going to You know, pay you more than 600,000. Unfortunately, the only other situation you’re left in is you have to go and sue them.

Roni Elias 15:08
So you’ve filed the lawsuit against this insurance company. In the meantime, the bank, who has the mortgage every month tells you Hey, I know this happened. It’s an unfortunate incident, but we still want our mortgage payment on the first of the month. So we come in and we help fund your shortfalls. And then once you are successful, we would get repaid back. But if you are not successful in that lawsuit, no harm no foul, we then took on that financial loss so we step in and become your biggest cheerleader and give you that financial firepower to push your case forward. legally and ethically.

Roni Elias 15:56
We don’t tell you hey, you tell Mr. Mr. Insurance Company, we’re not taking a penny more than a million. We don’t exercise any control decision making on the lawsuit or anything like that, that’s left up to you. It’s your case. And that’s left up to your attorney to decide how to move the case. So we’re not exercising any control or decision making. So people love it, you know, you’re still in the driver’s seat. Someone has now giving you that financial firepower to push your case forward and so forth. Because the unfortunate thing is the other side, which is 99.99%, always some type of Fortune 500 or or extreme high net worth, company or individual.

Roni Elias 16:48
Their goal is to use time as an enemy for you because, you know, things in the court court system don’t move the fastest. They can drag things out, they can make a cost prohibitive and by doing that, every month, they know you’re out there burning money. Plus you, you’re losing money coming in the door, that they can get some type of discount against you. And we think that is not the proper way to do things. So that’s why we come in. And, you know, give folks that financial firepower and get them through this tough time so they can make an informed decision. They’re not kind of stressed or, or they’re like, Oh my gosh, I’m gonna do another two or three months of bleeding money here, or there robbing Paul to feed Peter. So that’s kind of an example that has worked really well in the real estate sector.

Vee 17:48
Man, Roni, I have to tell you the whole time you were describing that issue, I actually went through that exact same thing, but at a much smaller scale. I I had an eight unit to deal with and half of my building burned down. Yeah, so I had to do the same thing, but I didn’t know you exist. So I did everything myself, you know, having to fight with the insurance company and get every penny back at the end, we still did not recoup all the money that we needed to fix up the building.

Vee 18:26
So we still have to luckily it was just three of us partnering on the deal. So we each had to put in a little extra to you know, cover that that gap. But what you described there I have a few follow up questions for you if you don’t mind

Roni Elias 18:42
Yeah.

Vee 18:43
Okay. So, typically, you people say that no one care about your money more than you. So in your case, you saying that you fund the litigation, but the client is in control and the clients Council has to make the decision together with your client. Why not take the driver’s seat also and go through the litigation process yourself as a company? Because you are funding this, right?

Roni Elias 19:11
Correct. Because there there’s a lot of legal and ethical rules. At the end of the day, we are a financial firm. So we are just the best way to look at it. Let’s imagine me and you are at, you know, a football game together. Okay. And the team that’s, let’s say, you know, there’s the team on the left is, you know, red, the team on the right is green. The green is the plaintiff. They’re the one who was hurt. And the red is the insurance company.

Roni Elias 19:47
So we just give a check over to the green team. And they decided, hey, we’re gonna bring this type of player we’re going to do this type of actions and so forth. We don’t just sit on the sidelines, and are the biggest cheerleaders for you know, go green, go green. There’s a lot of legal and ethical concepts that come into play when you try to step into the shoes of the plaintiffs and control the litigation which causes problems for everyone. And another reason why we don’t First off, we can’t do it legally. And there’s a lot of ethics issues, but another reason why, even if for some reason we could, we would not want to do it. It’s our core principle. You suffered a damage and by you, I mean, the plaintiffs. And it’s your case, you decide what you think is a fair, reasonable offer, and, you know, take it forward from there with the guidance of counsel.

Roni Elias 20:55
You know, this is a very talented attorney. You have on your case, they have done very well before, take their guidance and you know, make a decision, you know, Hey, can you take x? Or if you don’t want to take x, no problem. The courthouse was built for a reason. And it was built to, you know, a jury of your peers will decide, was this defendant acting badly or not? You know, that’s what course houses were built for their for deal with cases. So come up and go forward. It has been our experience when we step in and help folks with that financial firepower. They’re able now to make a better informed decision. The other side then starts to see Oh, these folks don’t look stressed. You know, they’re not wanting to you know, take you 50 or 70 cents on The dollar, and then they really start to make some serious offers, which again, it’s up to the plaintiffs to take it or, you know, hey, we’re going to trial and, you know, we’re going to see what the jury decides from there.

Vee 22:17
So in your case, when you have funding the plaintiff, what’s the smallest case size that you will do? And what’s the kind of upper limit that you will do?

Roni Elias 22:27
Sure, I would say it’s kind of, you know, the range is massive. So we focus anywhere from $5,000 to a million dollars, that’s quote, unquote, our sandbox. And that’s where we have done extremely well. You know, we have a, we have a lot of colleagues in the space. So what we’ll do is, if someone calls us up and says, hey, I’ve got to sue fortune 500 company, I need, you know, $30 million. Well, already in my head, I’ve got one or two Colleagues I already know, I’ll tell him Okay, listen, I don’t I don’t want you to give me any privileged information but try, you know, paint me the, from 30,000 feet What happened? Then they’ll say that up. I was like, Listen, all right, I’m gonna go ahead and get you in contact with today, john doe. XYZ company. And at least I’ve got you in contact with someone specifically at this much larger funder. You know, go talk to them, good luck, hope, hope it works out. And again, that’s, you know, if we can’t take care of you, for whatever reason, it doesn’t fit with us or, or you know, it’s too big or whatever. We’ll try to connect you with someone else. And then, you know, we wish you all the best and hopefully, it works out and that’s kind of, you know, again, why we’ve had good relationships, you know, with with other funders, you know, some folks send stuff to ask because hey, it’s too small and We send stuff to them because you know, it’s, it’s too big everyone kind of plays in their sandbox and what they’re good at.

Vee 24:08
Okay, so besides the funding amount, what other things? Do you look at a case to assess what you will take on and what you will not take on?

Roni Elias 24:17
Sure, We’ll look at, you know, the facts will look out, okay, where is this case being filed? Because there’s some states we just don’t fund in. Like, I’ll give an example. We are we don’t fund in Maryland, we don’t find in Illinois and so forth.

Roni Elias 24:34
So we’re going to do kind of a very deep dive into the matter into the facts to kind of, you know, understand, hey, what got us near today, we are in 2019 at the end of 2019. Sometimes some of the lawsuits that we jump into they can be going on for three or four years, so we have to quickly digest, you know, sometimes and there’s you know stuff that even happened right before the lawsuit that caused the lawsuit. So we have to digest years of data to understand, you know, what got us to where we are today. And then, you know, we do our own internal right up of the matter, saying, okay, hey, you’re the contract calls for x, that the law says Why? And, you know, here the fact patterns that led us up to it, at the end of the day, you know, here is how the court has ruled previously on some cases. And, you know, here’s where there’s possibly some difficulties in the matter. And we review that all internally. And we quickly make a decision to say yes, we want to move forward on the case or no, we don’t and you know, Here are the terms that we’re willing to move forward on dollar amount, repayment structure and so forth.

Roni Elias 26:09
At the end of the day, these are not loans, because, you know, a loan puts a requirement on payment. These are just how we classify them and how everyone usually else does it. They’re non recourse advances. So, you know, let’s say, john doe moved in that lawsuit against the insurance company. And God forbid, you know, he lost the lawsuit, and we had funded him $100,000 no harm, no foul, we took that hundred thousand dollar loss. You don’t owe us anything, and so forth. So we’re truly here. If you think about it, we’ve come in believed in your manager giving you that financial strength to move forward and believe so strongly in your matter. Hey, we could get zero. And you know, we didn’t become a partner in, in your business or, or whatever. We just can’t believe that in your case and wanted to push it forward. And we felt that, you know, it would be, you should win and it makes economic sense for all the parties involved.

Vee 27:21
Can you talk about your repayment structure? How does that look like?

Roni Elias 27:26
Sure I can’t, because every case is so different. I can’t tell you, hey, so forth, I can try to give you a little bit of information. How we usually work is we’re going to fund you XYZ dollars could be anywhere from 5000 to a million dollars.

Vee 27:43
All right

Roni Elias 27:43
what happens is, every six month the repayment is increasing. So you know, let’s say if we find someone in December, you know, let’s just say sometime in June is you know, That would be the first initial amount deal. Now nothing is deal until the case settles or you win or whatever. So we’re all what we do is it’s is Alright, hey, two years from today, or, you know, six months from today, we refer back to the contract and we look at the time period. And if you’re within the six months, you owe that amount. Now, if the case does not settle, you lose it, you know, we don’t even need to look at the contract. It’s a very simple number zero. And, you know, that’s it. We, of course, always tell people, you know, litigation finance is not something that is cheap. I mean, this is not like, hey, you’re going out to the bank and you’re going to get a loan for five or 6%. You know, this is very expensive money. And the reason why it’s very expensive is because, you know, lawsuits are, you know, first off, no one really wants to put money and say, Okay, now let’s, you know, we’re, we’re fighting against each other and so forth. And, two, you might have a great case, but doesn’t mean you know, the court or the jury or whoever agrees with you, you know, again, you know, a jury of your peers doesn’t always mean you know, things are going to go your way. So there is very high risk, you know, things can still go south. And that’s why, you know, we always caution people, but at the end of the day, I think if you if you look at the industry as a whole, it has boomed, I mean, it’s now a multi billion dollar industry litigation finance and it has helped people who otherwise might not have been able to move their case forward, or they understand listen right now. I have 100% of zero. And why do I say that because at some point they’re going to run out of money or they can’t push this case forward, or maybe even from day one, they really can’t push the case forward. And they can say, Okay, well, maybe, you know, by the time I have to pay the litigation funder, okay, I gave up 20 or 30%. So I got 70%, you know, of a 100. While I was maybe in the beginning, you know, 100% of zero so, I think once people kind of sit down and and see where things are, it truly that they usually make the, of course, they talk with their attorney and their accountant and, and then you know, whatever decision they choose, it’s theirs, but I think people have continued to make the decision. litigation funding is something that truly works.

Vee 31:04
So Ronnie, tell tell me this. It sounds it sounds like the structure is very similar to if someone had a strong case and they went to law firm with contingency instead of going to your firm like Town Center partners, what’s the benefit of going with a litigation funding firm as opposed to a lawyer who has contingency?

Roni Elias 31:29
Well, you know, it really comes down to Okay, what’s going on with your business? And also, how is that set up with the lawyer because sometimes some law firms will tell you Okay, yeah, we’ll do contingency. But it’s up on you to cover the costs of experts or it’s upon you to cover you have some type of XYZ cost. So that’s where we might come in or They’ll tell you, I sure will cover everything, you know, when we’re going to do 33% plus you have to reimburse us for for costs. But the problem then starts to happen is that defendant has damaged you. And, you know, every month that goes by, you’re, maybe you’re, you’re bleeding, like, for example, like that building. It burnt down, you know, 16 units, and let’s say, you know, $1,000, a unit that was $16,000 coming in revenue a month. And you know, every month that goes by, you’re losing money. So you’re going to start to deplete cash reserves. or something’s going to start to happen where maybe you need to, like in your situation where, you know, hey, we have to do a capital call, everyone has to put money in, well, what happens if you know you can’t really put money in? So that’s where we come in, and kind of keep The business afloat, or you know, cover some type of expenses for the case. So it can continue to go forward.

Vee 33:09
That’s great. That’s great. Now, I just want to remind everyone, if you are in a situation where you need to get litigation funding, make sure make sure you go to Roni’s website, and that is yourtcp.com as www dot your TCP. com. Now Roni, I just want to go back to what you said earlier, for instance, you says you don’t fund in Maryland and Illinois. What’s the reason behind that?

Roni Elias 33:40
Sure, the very simple reason why we don’t do that. Maryland and Illinois have treated litigation funding, like bank loans. So one we would have to become, you know, pretty much organized like a bank and you know, Dark again, a lot of bad things can happen to us. And, and the case is because we’re not organized as a bank and so forth. So we just took it and says, okay, as much as we want to help folks in that state, the state legislation has made the decision to do XYZ. So unfortunately, we can’t be involved in those states. And that’s really the reason why because we just don’t. The goal is the end of the day is this. This capital infusion is supposed to kind of move the case forward and move everything forward. We don’t want the litigation funding to be a problem, or it creates again, you know, like we talked about teamwork. We are a team with our, you know, with the client who’s the plaintiff and the plaintiff law firm. We don’t want to create a situation where we start to become antagonistic towards each other, or so forth. So that’s why I’ve just for those reasons, one, stay away from, you know, Maryland, Illinois examples.

Vee 35:14
Are the other states that have laws like that.

Roni Elias 35:17
Yeah, Colorado is one. Mississippi is another. There’s a couple. That’s why I kind of when you go to our website, if you if you scroll to the bottom, there’s a couple of states, Vermont is another that have taken this legislation and, you know, we’re not going to complicate that the, it’s on the books, it’s been decided, you know, there’s nothing further to talk about it. But, you know, for those reasons, that’s why we kind of shy, shy away from those matters in those states.

Vee 35:51
And just to clarify question, then, when you talk about those states, are you talking about the company that was formed in those states or the property located in those states.

Roni Elias 36:02
It could be it could be either or it could be like, let’s say, for example, john doe, LLC is a Maryland LLC. So we’re not going to be able to fund it. Or let’s say, you know, john doe owned that apartment complex in his own name, and they’re a resident of Maryland, uh, you know, they’re the driver’s license is Maryland and you know, they pay Maryland taxes and so forth. So because john doe is a resident of Maryland, we unfortunately are not going to be able to fund him. And then usually, you know, a lot of people follow kind of the states that we don’t fund it. So again, you know, every everyone understands these rules and kind of, you know, doesn’t doesn’t want to get caught up, having to deal with, you know, the legislature and the courts. In that state because you know, they’ve already made the decision, hey, you’ve got to be set up as a bank, and you have to follow bank rules. And and, you know, we’re not a bank and you know, these are not loans. So that’s why the best way is to say, okay, hey, we’re not operating in that state.

Vee 37:19
Doesn’t matter if, let’s say in this in a case of a syndication and you have LPs from, from Maryland, does it matter, or no?

Roni Elias 37:30
no, because at the end of the day, it is the entity that is, let’s say that entity was, let’s say, you owned a large apartment complex in Florida, Vince Young forwarders. Very hot and everyone loves the sunshine state. So you own 300 units and let’s say john doe, LLC is a Florida LLC, but it’s got some investors from Maryland. Those are the LPS but the LLC that was hurt and the property The owner is a Florida LLC, and so forth. And, you know, that is that is the entity that is bringing a lawsuit more than likely in Florida, I guess, you know, whatever insurance company so that would be not a problem to fund and so forth. It’s just because of those other states. We have to be very cognizant of the rules because they’re at. And what’s happened is some people did fund there and then, you know, the courts came down extremely hard on those funders.

Vee 38:36
Got it got it I understood now. So, you know, before someone come to your company and yourself to ask if you could fund their case, what are some of the things that the operators can do to present a strong case to your team so that you could fund their, their trial or their case?

Roni Elias 38:56
Sure. One, what we like to do is, it’s Very simple sometimes will say, point just either you have two options, you can go to our website and fill out a funding request right there. Or you can call us up and set up a time to speak with us. And then we’ll kind of, you know, go through our points. We understand folks are you know, sometimes people are stressed and you know, there’s a lot of things they’ve got to deal with, when we when they’re dealing with a lawsuit. The first thing that, you know, we would want to know is okay, have you filed your lawsuit, who’s your attorney, who’s the parties and give us kind of the 30,000 viewpoint? from there? If all that, let’s say for argument’s sake, all that has happened, who say, Okay, next thing, what we’re going to do is we’re going to execute some of the common NDA, so we can try to all the conversations we have with you is protected, and you don’t have to worry that you know, hey, we’re gonna do something with this information. In The other side can’t try to hear this discussions and so forth.

Roni Elias 40:06
And then from there, the next step would would more than likely happen is we’ll say, okay, we’re going to go ahead and set up a call with your attorney, would you mind just kind of reaching out to them and saying, hey, it’s okay to talk to us, we probably do one or two phone calls with the attorney. And then from there, we’ll reach back out to the plaintiff and say, okay, we’ve made a decision. Yes, we want to get involved in the case, or No, we don’t. And then from there, there’s probably some more documents, we start to request, and then we make the offer of the terms and so forth. The usual, you know, if it’s a small matter, we can sometimes turn it around in a day. But if you’re talking, you know, a substantial mag are usually what we tell people from start to finish. It’s a two week process. And, you know, the only way that process gets pushed out longer, it’s just because we’re requesting documents, and we’re not getting it. Or sometimes, you know, the attorneys and trial, because you know, they’re a good attorney, they got other things going on. So we kind of have to just wait till they finish the existing trial they’re in, and then we can have conversations from there. But usually, it’s a very team oriented type of process. I mean, everyone kind of, you know, is working to a goal to make the funding happen. So it can can push the case in the next level. So everyone kind of, you know, accommodates everyone’s schedule. I mean, we’ve done calls at, you know, seven or eight o’clock at night, you know, on the weekends, whatever we can do to try to help accommodate the process. We do that so we can try and move things forward.

Vee 41:51
Okay. So, your company typically deal with the plaintiffs and you said 99% of the time your defendant is Big insurance company or some big fortune 500 companies, can you share with us, what are the common common myths about fighting these big enterprises?

Roni Elias 42:11
I wouldn’t say there’s, I’m almost gonna flip out and say there’s myth bouncing, you know, there’s some things we have consistently seen as the same tactics that they have done. And those tactics are, you know, to use time as a, as an enemy for the plaintiff. I think that is what we have consistently seen. And sometimes what we’ve seen also is, you know, this action might have, depending, you know, when is the year end books of the company, like let’s say if the company runs books from August to July, it will just happen that, you know, this bad act happens in June or July, and then it turns out to be Well, the reason why the plaintiff was damaged her in that time was it made, you know, either you know, that division or it made the PnL look better, because someone was wanting to make sure that you know, they get their bonus, or stuff like that. So we’ve kind of seen those type of things happen a lot, just because someone comes up with, you know, the bright idea, let’s take advantage of the of this XYZ, plaintiff and you know, hey, we look, then we will, you know, we hit our numbers or exceeded our numbers and, you know, everyone’s going to get their bonuses and so forth. And now say the last thing is, at the end of the day, you know, these big companies, they’re just people, you know, yes, you are, you know, international conglomerate, publicly traded blah, blah, blah. There are people that work there and the you know, unfortunate thing is, you know, people can sometimes do things that are not the right thing or the ethical or or you know, or the business prudent approach to doing things. So, that’s why you know, unfortunately these type of situations happen and so forth. So, you know, I always kind of joke you know, if you kind of remember the, the old days or when, you know, a doctor kind of had that little black bag and you know, they kind of open it up and, you know, they can pull out their stethoscope or so forth. I can tell people Hey, where do like that little black bag, you know, you pull us out if you need, you know, a scalpel, you know, we’re fine precision tool, or if you need to pull out, you know, a sledge hammer, then, you know, take a salad and use this as a sledgehammer because, you know, hey, we want to start you know, video, deposing all of these people, and you know, hey, it’s very expensive to do video deposition. Then you might have to fly, you know, if you’re, you know, your lawyers in XYZ state, but you know, there’s people all over the country got fly, there’s, you know, that starts to become serious money. But um you might not be able to get people on a video tape saying, Oh, yeah, it was, you know, we we did this action because you know, john told me to do it and he said if we didn’t do this action, no one was gonna get their bonuses. I mean and then once you get down there video tape I mean that’s that’s very damning for the other side. So that’s the great thing about us, you know, we’re, we’re just a tool, we leave it up to the plaintiff and their lawyer to decide how to use this tool to move the case forward.

Vee 45:48
So when you fund someone sounds like you’re giving a carte blanche to the attorney of that side to determine what to do to win the case. Almost

Roni Elias 46:01
well for the attorney does whatever he thinks is right. When it the best way to look at it, he’s the cap, he or she is the captain of the ship. They decide, Yo, I’m going to do X, Y, Z. I’m gonna we’re not making any decisions on what to mean that we’re just kind of, you know, what, every 90 to a 120 days when we will follow up and say, Okay, listen, give us a case status of what’s going on, you know, what’s, what’s happened so far, what’s the next you know, when’s the next if there’s a mediation? When’s the next court date and, and getting some documents and so forth. So we can kind of get a very detailed case update of what’s happening. But other than that, absolutely. The plaintiffs and the points of law law firm are in full Controlling, and they’re driving the ship, not us.

Vee 47:03
So at no point do you want to jump in and say, Hey, I don’t think this is going at the right direction, maybe you want to look at something else.

Roni Elias 47:10
We have to be very careful about that, you know, that’s not not our, not our place, if they say, you know, if we’re asked for, you know, some type of, you know, hey, where have you, you know, where are you seeing going on out there will will kind of share some information that’s not, you know, nothing privileged or anything that so forth. But again, that’s some of the due diligence that we’ve done upfront, we’re, we’ve looked at this lawyer, or this law firm and said, Okay, yeah, this is someone that has a solid track record, or they understand the issues of the case very well. And they know what, what’s going on because that’s at the end of the day. The lawyer here she is carrying that case so I mean, they’ve got to be able to eloquently explained the issues, you know, cut through the BS cut through the other sides trying to maneuver or mess the picture up. So it’s, yeah, there was a reason why we only wanted to offer him 600,000 their contractor was ridiculous. He was you know, whatever. You know, there is no, the other side never says how Yeah, you guys? Yes, we were, we were trying to pull a fast one. Our bad. They’re always going to have defenses and arguments to make. So how the plaintiffs law lawyer or law firm can kind of cut through those arguments and you know, presented in a very sometimes you know, we love the kiss method, keep it simple, stupid, you know, buying a present, this is just a very simple Matter, you’re on your Hey, we had a policy we were good to, you know, they told us pay $10,000 every month for this expensive insurance policy. We did that for multiple years. The policy says we have up to Xyz dollars, we were well below it. The contractor who, you know, is not my brother came out and told me it’s a million dollars to to do it. Other than that, I don’t know what, where I can tell you, it’s a million dollars to do it. You know, they just want to pay 600,000 you know, they need to honor the policy and the terms of their own policy and pay us a million dollars. So we found great success when sometimes folks can take care of take no matter what type of subject or or so forth and keep it kind of very simple and very controlled. So folks don’t get caught up inside issues indicates, which is usually what we try to see the other side does it tries to confuse the court or talk about, you know, 10 other different issues that have nothing to do with, you know, hey, we’re here for an insurance check payment. It can’t be any simpler than that.

Vee 50:27
And I just want to follow up with what you said there earlier about privilege. So when when someone become a client, do they have attorney client privilege with your firm or your just simple financials and you don’t have any privilege because

Roni Elias 50:42
we’re not a law firm. So we don’t practice law. We don’t you know, we don’t run into anything. But what happens is because our communications become attorney work product, or fallen there that attorney work product doctrine. They’re protected because this has to do with litigation, you’re already in a lawsuit. we’re communicating with your lawyer and so forth. So it falls all under something called the attorney work product doctrine. So it’s protecting, and there’s been some cases out there where the, where the other side will say, okay, Hey, are you working with a litigation funder? You might say yes. And then you know, the other side will immediately say, well, we want all of your communication with that funder. And the courts have ruled, no, they don’t need to turn that information over, it’s protected. And, you know, that really doesn’t have anything to do with it. You know, it doesn’t. It doesn’t matter if, you know, My Cousin Vinny is funding them or, you know, Joe Schmo from New York is funding them. You know, we’re focused here on the facts and so forth. So there’s been alive great case fall that has come out to protect the communication so forth.

Vee 52:01
That’s great. Awesome. Ronnie, thank you so much for your time today sharing a mountain of knowledge with us. Now, before I let you go, just have one last question for you.

Roni Elias 52:11
Sure thing

Vee 52:12
What’s your goal for 2020?

Roni Elias 52:14
I think the goal for 2020 is grow and expand. And, you know, give back also on a massive level, you know, I think, Hey, we’re, we have a short time on this earth, you know, we’re, it’s not infinite. So I think 2020 is going to be a massive year of growth for us. I don’t want to steal you know, Grant Cardone 10 x line, you know, I don’t know if he would be, you know, a 10 x multiple, but we think it’s going to be a multiple of growth and then use that not only as a multiple growths for us as a company and a team but also as a multiple growths to give back so we can truly kind of, you know, make a difference in as many lives as possible with our work.

Vee 53:01
Awesome Roni, thank you very much shukran. Now, if you’re listening to this podcast and you want to get a hold of Roni and his company, make sure you go check out www dot yourtcp.com or you can email him at roni@your tcp.com. Once again, thank you for your time, Ronnie,

Roni Elias 53:21
thank you have a wonderful rest of your day. And again, it was a true pleasure. And thanks so much for your time.

Vee 53:29
That’s the end of the show. Don’t forget to subscribe, leave a five-star rating and review on iTunes for The Real Estate Lab Podcast. Until next time, have a prolific week.

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