The National Structured Settlement Trade Association (NSSTA) hosted its 2006 Fall Regional Meeting last week at the Breakers Resort in Palm Beach, Florida. Approximately 175 members attended the program which NSSTA titled: "Who Does Your Client Trust?". For additional information and articles about the program, see NSSTA’s website.
- Congressman E. Clay Shaw, Jr. (R-Fl) – Congressman Shaw, whom NSSTA President J.P. Steele introduced as “one of Congress’ strongest proponents of structured settlements”, was NSSTA's honored guest and featured speaker. Congressman Shaw, the second ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, is a past recipient of NSSTA's James Corman Award. Congressman Shaw acknowledged he is facing a tough re-election contest as he campaigns for his 14th term of office. Congressman Shaw spoke about the challenges he and other Republicans face in this election. He promised to continue his leadership and support for structured settlement victims.
- Broker relations initiative – Jeff Bowers provided a progress report highlighting the results of a meeting held earlier this year in Chicago. He summarized the organizational accomplishments and identified four working groups plus group leaders. Bowers gave high praise to the work of participating brokers as well as Lynn Courier, the facilitator. He encouraged participation by all structured settlement brokerage firms. According to Bowers, NSSTA's immediate past President, "NSSTA does not control this initiative even though NSSTA helps fund the initiative".
- Settlement trust workshop - NSSTA committed two and one-half hours of its educational program for a settlement trust workshop. The workshop featured Brad Cantwell, Roger Bernstein, David Cover and Steve Brooks and included three case studies. Randy Dyer, NSSTA's Executive Director, cited the trust workshop as an example of NSSTA's plan to provide more in-depth learning for selected topics at NSSTA meetings.
- Legal Committee report - Formerly referred to as "The Tax Posse", and now known as "All Things Considered", this round table discussion is a regular feature at NSSTA meetings. In Florida, the presenters and topics included:
- Eric Vaughn - NSSTA's legislative challenges;
- Tom Ronce - Murphy v. IRS decision;
- Mike Miller - Stephen Sultzberg and Erwin Chemerinsky opinion letters;
- Michael Westcott - H.R. 5309;
- Mark Alpert - Settlement transfers of attorney fees.
- Non-qualified market - Dennis Drexler summarized the growing importance of "non-qualified" (under IRC Section 130) products for installment sales of businesses. Drexler explained the benefits and identified relevant IRC sections as well as product alternatives.
- Contrasting views of structured settlements - Plaintiff attorney Nancy La Vista offered her views of structured settlements including the criteria she uses to select structured settlement consultants. Ismael Acevedo provided a complementary presentation from the perspective of a casualty claims department.
- Marketing strategies - NSSTA's program included separate marketing presentations about branding and Internet marketing. Larry Larsen discussed traditional branding strategies including media relations and knowledge leadership. Jay Berkowitz outlined strategies and identified tools for improving search results on the Internet.
As organizational news, NSSTA announced the appointment by the NSSTA Board of Directors of three new directors (Martha Hunt; Jim Logan; and Theresa Triplett) to replace three directors (Gary Burke; John McCulloch; and Andy McLean) who have resigned from the Board since NSSTA's 2006 Annual Meeting.
Congratulations to NSSTA and its educational committee for another outstanding program. The NSSTA Winter Regional meeting will be held January 24-26, 2007 in Sante Fe, NM. For additional details see NSSTA's website.
For a complete listing of all S2KM blog posts about NSSTA, click here.
Check back for:
- Future S2KM blog posts about the NSSTA 2006 Fall Regional;
- Commentary about the NSSTA meeting on The Settlement Channel;
- S2KM's recommended learning resources for NSSTA's program topics;