by John D. Darer CLU ChFC CSSC
John T. Bair, CEO of Forge Consulting, LLC in Buffalo, New York recently solicited at least one member of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association by stating, in writing, that Forge Consulting will complete their work "within the twenty one days provided under CPLR 5003a".
Can this be a true statement? NO, and here's why:
CPLR 5003-a specifically provides that a settling defendant “shall pay all sums due to any
defendant, of a duly executed release and a stipulation discontinuing action executed on
behalf of the settling plaintiff.”
- Clearly CPLR 5003-a does not speak to the work of a structured settlement broker or settlement planner.
- If your case simply involves a structured settlement, the issuance of a structured settlement annuity contract typically takes 30-45 days. Some structured settlement annuity issuing life insurance companies take even longer to issue contracts.
- This author opines (supported by previous Forge advertising that it is the "champion of the qualified settlement fund") that the Forge Consulting is wholesaling the use of a qualified settlement fund in an attempt to support a flawed business premise. First it is questionable, for a cash settlement, whether the use of a qualified settlement fund offers greater speed in recovering funds than simply "a duly executed release and a stipulation discontinuing action with prejudice executed on behalf of the settling plaintiff". Both must be paid within 21 days!
- This author opines that it is logically and logistically impossible for Forge Consulting to complete its work in 21 days as Forge Consulting claims it can, and its work includes, as it advertises (on its website), the "piecing together the optimal balance between structured annuities and liquid investments", the resolution and issuance of an annuity contract and satisfaction of CMS under the Medicare Secondary Payer Act, properly documenting everything and... and... AND everything else that this author as an experienced practitoner knows is needed to do the job.
- While a certain amount of efficiency is important, settlement planning is not a race. Think about it... the lawsuit being settled may have been about a rushed procedure, or rush to market that inspired a rushed manufacturing process, and your client was allegedly injured in that process. John Bair now implies that there is a double standard for life impacting financial decisions.
CPLR=New York's Civil Practice Law Rules
For further information on the Use of a Qualified Settlement Fund as a Settlement Resolution Tool, including some important caveats, click here