Speaking of Justice

The Mraz matter, a case study on structured settlement misadventures

Episode Summary

The Mraz matter is an in depth look into how a major personal injury case victory can be inadvertently turned into a sour loss by the failure to use Qualified Settlement Funds and simple language in settlement or verdict instructions. Guest Patrick Hindert, VP of Business Development for Independent Life and the co-author of the settlement industry bible " Structured settlements and periodic payments judgments" joins host Mark Wahlstrom in what is a primer on how to avoid potential legal malpractice when attempting to preserve the planning options for personal injury victims. The Mraz case refers to a case in the Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 3, California in a case A.M., a Minor, etc, et al., Plaintiff and Respondent, v Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP. The West Law reference is 2019 WL 2433188 and it looks at what was a massively successful verdict by the firm on behalf of a minor client, that inadvertently and through a lack of utilizing some of the available planning options for structured settlement planning, ended up in a dispute about the loss of rights to structure payments for the plaintiff. This is an ESSENTIAL case for structured settlement professionals and trial lawyers to pay attention to in that it looks at why Qualified Settlement Funds and 468B trust are such a vital, but under utilized tool in litigation as well as the failure to simply include instructions or notations that preserve the right of parties to structure payments.