Monthly Archives: May, 2013

A Response to the SEC Bulletin: The Truth about Factored Structured Settlements as an Investment Vehicle

On May 13, 2013 the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, issued an Investor Bulletin entitled, “Pension or Settlement Income Streams: What you need to know before buying or selling them.” It is the opinion of the authors that this bulletin is misleading and in some cases inaccurate concerning the sale of structured settlement payment streams and factored structured settlements as an investment vehicle.


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From Roger Baron – 5th Affirms Constructive Trust for ERISA plan of PI Proceeds Placed into SNT

Reprinted with Permission from Roger Baron

The personal injury attorney in ACS Recovery Services v. Griffin had been
successful in sheltering a settlement fund from a lien assertion made by ACS
Recovery Services.  The federal magistrate held that the reimbursement
claim was barred and the federal trial judge adopted the magistrate’s recommendation.  Subsequently a three judge panel of 5th Circuit affirmed.  The 5th Circuit granted a rehearing en banc and recently handed down its decision overturning the panel’s decision. 

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Harnessing the Power of Tax Deferral for Contingent Legal Fees

Lawyers who earn contingent legal fees have a unique ability to control the timing of their income with either attorney fee structures or deferred compensation arrangements.  While many lawyers fail to consider these vehicles due to lack of information, it is easy to see once one understands the options how powerful this can be for contingent legal fees.


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From Roger Baron – ERISA SPD does not Equal Plan Document

Reprinted with Permission from Roger Baron

In the wake of Cigna v. Amara, I am finding that many ERISA plans are
unable to produce a “plan document.”  As a result, plans are making the
argument that the Summary Plan Description (SPD) itself serves as the “plan
document.”  This argument was rejected in Wilson v. Wal Green, 2013
WL 1799599 (M.D.Fla.), decided 4/29/13. 

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Synergy Lien Resolution Services Success Story – Synergy resolves 8 year conflict with Medicare and obtains complete waiver of their claim

Employing experience and expertise, Synergy was able to obtain a
complete waiver and file closure letter from Medicare within 90 days of
beginning work.  After waiting a decade from the end of the original
litigation ,the heir is now able to finally put this matter to rest and is able
to enjoy an additional amount of settlement proceeds previously thought lost to Medicare.

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Financial Settlement Planning Tip – Forget the 4% Withdrawal Rule

For the past 20 years, financial planners have been using the 4% withdrawal rule
with clients.  The basic concept was a client could withdraw up to 4% of their funds each year and over time maintain a steady or growing principal balance.  However, the longevity of the low interest environment coupled with an erratic market has made the industry rethink this rule. 


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“Synergy is our guiding light for deferring our contingent legal fees and planning for retirement. The lawyers at Panter Panter & Sampedro, myself included, have been working with them for over ten years using different methods to defer comp and plan for retirement.”

Brett Panter
Panter, Panter & Sampedro

"I don't think I've directly said "thank you" for helping us with Bridgett’s case. We sent the reduced payment to Medicaid and called Bridgett's mom to tell her approximately how much money was going to be left for Bridgett and she broke down over the telephone. Given only $25k of insurance and a $850k medical bill from the hospital she didn't think Bridgett would ever see a penny."

Tom L. Copeland
Jeffrey Meldon & Associates, P.A.

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