This case could really change the landscape, because everyone who has gripes about what the media has done is going to start thinking about dollars and cents and running to their lawyers, says Thomas Julin, a partner at Miami-based law firm Hunton and Williams who focuses on First Amendment litigation.

And it s going to get lawyers thinking, Maybe I should be more willing to represent other individuals against the media.'

When their clients win their lawsuits, Keller gets a cut of the winnings.

But using it for personal revenge or profit is relatively new—and so far, that version of litigation finance has managed to slip through the regulatory cracks.

Now that Thiel has done this successfully, however, the dynamic could change.

As insidious as that sounds, consider that under today s lax rules, such a fund could bankroll a lawsuit in which no one knows where the money is coming from.

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