by John Darer® CLU ChFC MSSC RSP CLTC
Should you bring a structured settlement expert to a mediation? While a few attorneys may think that the presence of such a consultant weakens the negotiating
position, here are 11 ways that a structured settlement expert can help attorneys or adjusters at a mediation or settlement conference.
- Quantify the cost of any element of future damages in today's dollars in real time.
- Calculate the cost to defendant of a judgment for a particular combination of elements of damages and across various scenarios. In New York, run CPLR 50A or CPLR 50B calculations, in real time.
- Use rated age surveys to help resolve disputes over life expectancy during settlement negotiations.
- Give plaintiffs a new dimension...something practical to visualize that puts them on track to a new normal instead of the abstract.
- Another set of eyes, another set of ears and depending on the experience, intellectual input and insight that may be helpful to clients and counsel.
- If a structured settlement is desired making sure that nothing is signed at mediation that would inadvertently eviscerate the opportunity to structure.
- For plaintiffs, someone for a client to speak with while the attorney is out of the room. Stress management.
- A structured settlement expert with Sudden Money training can make a difference for plaintiffs in transition, as most plaintiffs are. Sudden Money transition work can be done while the attorney has been called out of the room, making such time more productive and less stressful.
- Answer technical questions, in real time.
- Respond to developments during the mediation in real time. Most mediation centers have wireless and the structured settlement expert can conduct fine granular research, if needed on relevant items, leaving the attorney to focus on the job at hand. For example, can the plaintiff afford that house in Virginia Beach and do X, Y and Z with the settlement offer on hand? Let's start with the cost of a house in Virginia Beach, what are the taxes etc.
- Run structured settlement quotes and proposals.