This post summarizes a recent audio podcast interview of guest Jack Meligan by host Mark Wahlstrom for "The Settlement Roundtable", a regular, featured program on the Settlement Channel and the Legal Broadcast Network.
Jack Meligan and host Mark Wahlstrom, leading settlement planners, provide their professional analysis of two legal opinion letters currently being circulated among trial attorneys and the structured settlement industry in the most recent "Settlement Roundtable" audio podcast published on the Legal Broadcast Network (LBN) website.
The opinion letters, written by law professors Stephen A. Saltzburg of George Washington University and Erwin Chemerinsky of Duke University, are also posted on the LBN website. The opinion letters identify and address ethical duties and potential conflicts of interest faced by plaintiff attorneys and structured settlement experts when compensation is received from third party sources - including annuity providers and defendant structured settlement experts.
Last month Meligan and attorney Frank Johns, a leading settlement planning ethicist, analyzed the same legal opinion letters in separate presentations at the 2006 Annual Meeting of the Society of Settlement Planners (SSP). For a summary of their SSP presentations, see S2KM’s earlier weblog post titled “SSP 2006 Annual Meeting”.
During his “Settlement Roundtable” podcast interview with Wahlstrom, Meligan highlights his SSP analysis. Meligan says he anticipates important changes in structured settlement business practices resulting from these opinion letters. Characterizing the opinion letters as “one of the best things I have seen for the structured settlement industry”, Meligan urges plaintiff structured settlement experts to:
- Distribute and discuss the opinion letters with plaintiff attorneys;
- Address these issues proactively as part of the plaintiff’s negotiation strategy.
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