On July 9, 2009 we first reported of a matter in which a structured settlement quote bearing the name of Little Meyers and Associates and one of its principals Karen D. Meyers was presented to a plaintiff attorney for an injured party by a Baird Vice President. A solicitation letter dated April 22, 2009 accompanied insurance and securities solicitation materials (containing glaring inaccuracies about structured settlements) implied such relationship. Furthermore our source confirmed with us that there is a writing dated July 8, 2009 in which the Baird Vice President represented a structured settlement quote dated July 7, 2009, to the same plaintiff attorney, bearing the name of Little Meyers' principal Karen D. Meyers, as "Baird's structured settlement proposal"
The following is an official statement released on behalf of Little Meyers & Associates at 8:08am EST this morning.
"John - I reviewed the R.W. Baird matter carefully with Tom and Karen. They confirm that they have and have had no relationship with Baird or any of its subsidiaries or assigns in interest or employees. They did not authorize Baird or any of its subsidiaries or assigns in interest or employees to present any proposal on structured settlements*. Their practice is to require that they present all of their materials directly to an attorney involved in a matter in which they are involved. Baird did not make any contact with them on the case involved in your recent web post. We would therefore appreciate your removal of any suggestion that Little Meyers & Associates, Karen or Tom had a relationship with Baird or had any responsibility - or even the ability - to engage in training of whoever at Baird may have made the comments described by you in your posting. We appreciate in advance your attention to my request.".
While this author is pleased with the statement made by Little Meyers (as I originally reflected, it was puzzling how its highly qualified principals could be associated with a structured settlement mischaracterization and false information of a fundamental nature ), questions of Baird and its Vice President remain...despite the sabre rattling directed at this author:
- We know from the April 22, 2009 letter ( that was posted July 9, 2009) and our source that a Baird Vice President presented the aforesaid structured settlement quotes to the plaintiff attorney, implying in one case and specifically representing in a writing (according to our source) another quote as "Baird's structured settlement proposal".
- Little Meyers states affirmatively that neither Baird nor any of its subsidiaries or assigns in interest or employees were authorized to present any structured settlement proposal (prepared by Little Meyers) per the above official statement.
- If Baird and/or its Vice President was actually appointed by Prudential Insurance Company of America for structured settlements, and authorized to use its software, it could simply run the proposals itself.
- This author has learned today that Baird allegedly has a "structured settlement point person" out of its Roseville, CA office, a member of the Society of Settlement Planners who has a relationship with Settlement Professionals, Inc. According to our source this person's role is purportedly handle incoming calls from Baird representatives and to make sure that the cases are handled properly. No clue as to why this person was not involved in "the deal" prior to the delivery of the April 22, 2009 letter to the plaintiff attorney.
Let us be clear once again with the intent of the Structured Settlements 4Real watchdog commentary...
In my capacity as a journalist, and professionally, I passionately believe that exposing a business practice is both healthy and newsworthy. It is in the best interest of tort victims, their families and their legal advisers, that the settlement planning discussion involve those that are properly trained in the topic, properly informed on the topic and, with respect to structured settlements, properly licensed and/or appointed). It has significant instructional and deterrent value to other practitioners and firms as well as those who may be caught in the cross hairs.
It is very much in the public interest that structured settlement and settlement planning watchdog commentary exists.
*Note: underlines and bold added for emphasis