by Structured Settlement Watchdog®
How much time should a judge spend in determining the best interest standard before approving a petition to transfer
The Portsmouth Virginia docket seems to be setting records. The question is who benefits?
According to publicly available information, on June 9, 2014, between 9am and 9:50am, Portsmouth Virginia Judge James C. Hawks, was scheduled to hear 23 structured settlement transfer petitions, a criminal case and another "in re case" for good measure. That's 2 minutes per case on average. On the plus side, that's double the amount of time allocated by/for fellow Portsmouth Judge Dean Sword, Jr,, who on January 7, 2014 presided over 15 transfers in less than 15 minutes and who presided over 8 out of 11 of Terrence Taylor transfer decisions in 2 years, that cumulatively, could not have been in both Taylor's best interest or that of his dependent child. [ Judge Hawks did not preside over any of the decisions on the Terrence Taylor petitions].
Judge Hawks was quoted in a recent Wall Street Journal article as stating that he
he looks for " a genuine need or urgency" and generally relies on affidavits (as opposed to in person reviews) from sellers as sworn testimony, but supports the Virginia legislature enacting "some sort of requirement that a history of prior (transactions) be included in the application (to transfer)".
Who is the Structured Settlement Protection Act Intended To Benefit?
Structured settlement protection acts are intended to protect structured settlement annuitants. Among the requirements is that a judge must approve the structured settlement factoring transaction as in the best interest of the seller and any applicable dependents.
Portsmouth Virginia councilman Stephen E. Heretick is again listed as the only attorney on the 23 transfer files scheduled to be heard on June 9, 2014. His clients collectively include members of the National Association of Settlement Purchasers and others who control the majority of the market share.