Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association meeting.

Well, this week is one of my favorite weeks of the year as I get to head out of the heat of the appropriately named Valley of the Sun, and on to the relatively cooler climate of Wyoming for a few days.

I've been sponsoring their golf tournament for about 7 years now and playing golf with the "cowboy lawyers" of Wyoming is one of the highlights of my year. We will be playing this year at the Cheyenne Country Club and i expect the usual gang that can't shoot straight to be there making this duffer feel right at home.

I will also be speaking on Thursday at their conference on my topic of "The New Reality of Structured Settlements." As some of you know I give this talk all over the country to legal groups both large and small, and it is invariably well received. It is a historical look at the structured settlement industry, coupled with my personal reflections as to how it evolved from a highly deceptive, some would say fraudulent, practice of lying to plaintiffs about the cost of annuities in order to save money for the defense, to what it is today, a highly useful and practical settlement tool for trial lawyers to offer to their clients.

However, there is a lot more going on then that. You have changes in tax law, "taxable structures", the re-emergence of structured legal fees, improved assignment language, improved and codified commutation options, a vast array of trust products designed to deal with everything to defense intransigence to Medicare set aside provisions. On top of it all is a strong move in legal and administrative circles to consider it tantamount to professional negligence to NOT hire a settlement planner for the plaintiff to help them not just consider their structure settlement options, but their trust options, company selection, allocation of award, governmental benefits, etc.

So, on top of playing some very bad golf with some really good guys, I'll be speaking right after Attorney Todd Smith, President of ATLA this Thursday. I'll be bringing our Legal Broadcast Network road broadcast equipment and doing interviews with the past and future presidents of The Wyoming Trial Lawyers, among them Attorney Kent Spence, Attorney Mel Orchard and Attorney Frederick Harrison. As some of you know Wyoming was one of the few states to wisely turn back tort reform in the last election cycle, and I want to discuss with them how a small association of less then 360 members were able to fight the forces of tort reform in a Republican state like Wyoming. I'll be sending the podcasts of those interviews next week so be watching for those.

Until then, happy fathers day, and be watching for my dispatches from the road.

Posted on June 19, 2005 .