On November 1, 2007 the Wyoming Trial Lawyers and The Legal Broadcast Network (LBN) will be conducting their first combined live and video CLE at the beautiful Scottsdale Plaza Resort in Scottsdale, AZ. Most of the 14 hours of live and video CLE will center around topics of interest to trial lawyers, such as HRT litigation, the recent Prempro verdict in Reno, NV, the fentanyl and duragesic patch litigation and other major cases in the news.
However, there are going to be several hours of video CLE that is going to be produced in a unique talk show format by LBN and will be of considerable interest to both trial lawyers and settlement professionals. A summary of the hours of CLE that even non-lawyers might consider purchasing after the event would be:
1. Matt Bracy and Jan Schlichtmann on the rights, responsibilities and ethical factors faced by trial lawyers in factoring. In what will be an intriguing hour of hard questions by one of the nations leading trial lawyers, a list of questions and concerns every trial lawyer has will be presented to one of the nations leading experts on factoring for his answers. No one area, due to the massive advertising budgets of factoring firms and the resultant unwise decisions by consumers, caused more concern in the settlement community then does factoring. This hour will hopefully be required viewing by attorney's nationwide who are faced with the issue of how to answer settlement annuity clients who are looking to cash out of their structured settlement. A full review of the Structured Settlement Protection Act, various state laws and the current state of affairs in factoring will make this a don't miss hour of CLE.
2. Attorney Robert Wood and Jan Schlichtmann on this issue of 468b trusts and their use in taxable damage cases. With the recent decision in Murphy vs IRS, as well as a surge in sexual abuse settlements, qui tam cases, wrongful imprisonment verdicts and other taxable cases the necessity of tax planning has never been greater. Rob Wood and Jan will discuss the use of 468b trusts in these cases, the proper application of them, the ability to structure taxable damage cases as well as structure attorney fees on taxable damage cases out of a 468b trust. Our most downloaded podcasts in LBN history are the Murphy v IRS cases so a full hour of discussion on the law, it's application and how to use the planning tools of the 468b trust and taxable settlement annuity ( non-qualified annuity contracts) will be of keen interest to settlement professionals and trial lawyers alike, as well as CPA's, tax lawyers and others struggling with how to handle this new flood of taxable cases.
3. Mark Wahlstrom and Kenneth Winthrop on the use of structured legal fee annuities to fund qualified plans ( retirement accounts) for trial lawyers. The one area of settlement planning that has been utterly neglected over the last 3 years is the ability of trial lawyers to structure legal fees on both taxable and non-taxable settlements. While tax deferral using a structured legal fee is of value, it has been my belief that unless the money is invested in tax deductible accounts it will typically be spent. Ken Winthrop is one of the nations leading experts in defined benefit plans for professionals such as trial lawyers and will be sharing his insights into how a structured annuity can be used to safely fund a defined benefit plan for a trial lawyer, thus converting taxable income into a cash flow dedicated to fund a tax deductible income. This hour will explain in greater detail how trial lawyers, and the settlement professionals who work with them, can begin to create funded, secure retirements for trial lawyers, all while reducing the major tax hit most trial lawyers take on seven figure fee cases.
Finally, I will be conducting a very small break out session Friday afternoon at 4:30 pm on the topic of how trial lawyers can utilize a structured legal fee to defer their tax hit to future years, but at the same time obtain a loan against that deferred income provided the lawyer meets some underwriting requirements. This loan process could potentially create a greater demand for structured legal fees, but it does require some work with experts and we'd like to lay out just how this works and under what conditions.
As you can tell this will be a jammed pack week, all of it, every hour and every speaker, will be captured on HD video and will either be rebroadcast on LBN or available for sale from the WTLA web site the week after the event. I'll post highlights here in the coming weeks.