A lawyer should not agree to personally indemnify an opposing party, as it violates Florida rules and a lawyer should not require that another attorney enter into an agreement to personally indemnify an opposing party, as that also violates Florida Rules of Professional Conduct. This was the finding of Florida Bar Staff Opinion 30310, issued on April 4, 2011.

The context for this opinion was “whether an attorney representing a plaintiff in a personal injury matter under a contingency fee agreement may personally sign a settlement release containing a hold harmless and indemnification agreement in favor of the opposing party which would obligate the plaintiff’s attorney to indemnify and hold harmless the defendant for any future liability under the Medicare Secondary Payor Act …’MSPA’.”

Paraphrasing the opinion, it said that the Federal Government may recover past paid benefits and future medical expenses it may pay resulting from the injury to a plaintiff in some third party claims or litigation. Defendants and their insurance carriers must report to Medicare third party claims settlements. Damages may be recovered against the defense and plaintiff attorneys if the MSPA’s requirements are not followed.

This is a good article about Structured Settlements. The quote by Professor Christopher Coyne, a St. Joseph’s University finance professor is very insightful. He said, “Conventional investing logic doesn’t apply for plaintiffs in injury or wrongful death accidents. Guaranteed income is vital and few have experience creating plans to meet this need.”

Since a structured settlement annuity is the only investment that can provide safe, secure, income-tax free, management-free, payments that cannot be outlived, it is an investment vehicle that should be carefully considered in personal physical injury and wrongful death actions.

This fixed-income allocation is especially critical for catastrophically injured plaintiffs, minors, those who are now disabled or unemployable, and those without the training, experience, education and track record of investing large amounts of money to last a lifetime.

American International Group, Inc. filed an amendment today with the SEC that may allow a “going private” transaction and allows former AIG chairman Maurice Greenberg to protect his shares. AIG filed Schedule 13D that allows CV Starr, who has retained Perella Weinberg Partners LP, to advise “Reporting Persons” on a myriad of financial options. Besides the “going private” transaction other options include “acquisitions of assets from” AIG, loans, further investments in AIG, seeking board of directors, exploring a “merger, proxy solicitation, tender offer, exchange offer or otherwise”, and considering strategic plan items.

The filing further states that CV Starr may engage in discussions or cooperate with management, the board of directors and other AIG shareholders, and or other relevant third parties.

The filing also allows Reporting Persons to sell or transfer common shares, enter into “public or private transactions” and use privately negotiated derivative transactions, and stock options to hedge the market risk of their stock positions.

The Guide to the Transfer of Structured Settlements Annuities has been updated by the National Association of Women Judges. See the news release http://www.primenewswire.com/newsroom/news.html?d=131589 for more information.

It was written by two judges along with an executive of J.G. Wentworth, a factoring company. J.G. Wentworth is listed as a “Gold Sponsor” to the National Association of Women Judges. A gold sponsor contributes $30,000 a year over 3 years, see NAWJ sponsor list.

For more information about the the guide see National Association of Women Judges website and click progrrams and publications.

In their article entitled “Attorney Fees and Private Annuity Rules” TAX NOTES, January 22, 2007, http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=958185 Messrs. Raby and Raby embark on an intriguing discussion on this topic and argue that deferred attorney fees fit under the private annuity rules.

On page 311, item 4. they state that, “We believe that, looking at the economic reality of what has occurred, section 72 is broad enough to treat as annuity contracts obligations calling for payments in periodic installments at regular intervals, especially when the obligor has arranged for actual annuity contracts issued by insurance companies to be used to fund the payments. That is all that a private annuity is – an unsecured promise to make periodic payments over a period of time or for the lifetime of one or more annuitants. Since the attorney has traded his inchoate claim against the client for a third party obligation, with the trade being effective when the settlement takes place, the attorney has received an annuity contract.”

One should note that the proposed Treasury regulations

Former Executive Life Insurance Company policyholders who “opted in” will share $295 million in addtional distributions from an arbitration award. This resulted from a dispute being resolved between the National Organization of Life & Health Guarantee Associations and the California Department of Insurance.

See the full press release from the California Department of Insurance:


The Treasury Department has announced that the Society of Settlement Planner’s request to clarify section 468B’s tax treatment of a single-claimant qualified settlement fund is on their 2006 Priority Guidance Plan. In its August 15, 2006 joint statement it stated that the 264 projects should be completed between June 2006 and July 2007. This request has been with Treasury since June 19, 2003. http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/2006-2007pgp.pdf.