"Patricia, like others similarly situated, could never mount the necessary fight against a very wealthy adversary and represented by one of the top law firms without help," said Gerald Lefcourt, a lawyer for Ms. Cohen.
Jonathan Gasthalter, a spokesman for Mr. Cohen, declined to comment on the litigation.
Mr. Cohen, 58, one of Wall Street's most successful stock traders and a well-known art collector, is represented by lawyers from Willkie Farr & Gallagher, a New York law firm with more than 600 lawyers in six countries. By contrast, Mr. Lefcourt, a noted white-collar defense lawyer, runs a four-lawyer firm in New York. He has represented the Black Panthers, Abbie Hoffman and Harry Helmsley, to name just a few.
Since first filing her lawsuit in Manhattan federal court in 2009, Ms. Cohen has gone through a succession of lawyers. Lawyers from at least eight other firms have previously represented her in some fashion.
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Seth Berman, the general counsel for Asta, declined to discuss the firm's financing arrangement with Balance Point or the litigation involving the Cohens. Asta's regulatory filings reveal that the company formed a joint venture in 2012 with Balance Point called BP Case Management and committed to provide up to $15 million to the venture along with providing Balance Point with a $1 million line of credit.
Ms. Cohen's lawsuit has had its ups and downs. In March 2011, a federal court judge dismissed the lawsuit. Two years later, a federal appeals court revived it and said the judge had erred by tossing it out.
Earlier this month, a different federal judge now overseeing the case ruled that Ms. Cohen's lawyers could ask Mr. Cohen about any insider trading that occurred at his former hedge fund during the coming deposition. The decision by Judge Loretta Preska, of the Federal District Court in Manhattan, could create some discomfort for Mr. Cohen, who still faces a civil claim brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission of administrative failure to supervise.
But Ms. Cohen may be facing her own awkward situation in the litigation as well. Lawyers for Mr. Cohen have asked Judge Preska to permit them to review "more than 400 communications" between Ms. Cohen and Ms. Napp that took place from May 2010 to April 2014, according to a court filing. Mr. Cohen's lawyers contend that Ms. Napp, a nonpracticing lawyer, took an active role in "directing" the lawyers Ms. Cohen hired to represent her.
Mr. Lefcourt has argued the communications between Ms. Napp and Ms. Cohen are protected by privilege and should be kept confidential because Ms. Napp was working as an agent for his client.
Commenting on his dealings with Ms. Napp and her firm, Mr. Lefcourt said: "I am totally independent. They don't tell me what to do."
Ms. Napp did not return several telephone calls to her Beverly Hills office. In 2010, shortly after she started her business, she said that she tended to prefer clients who were open to settling as opposed to winning a lawsuit at all cost.