Over the last few weeks I have started a series of commentaries and video broadcasts looking at the current issues and market stagnation of the structured settlement profession. My first broadcasts looked at the defense side of the business and the decades of marketing, operational and institutional practices that helped bring the plaintiff side of the profession into existence. I think I appropriately addressed those topics in my prior posts on the Twin Pillars but if you missed it go back and read it over now.
This week I have decided to address the plaintiff structured settlement experts, also known as the settlement planning profession, for the flawed marketing, questionable ethics and substandard educational practices of many of those who claim to be plaintiff experts.
My two blog posts on this are available by clicking here, but essentially I rip into the opportunists, the alarmists, those who buy business from trial lawyers and the brokers who are too lazy to really learn how to help injury victims plan.
I have condensed my views in this video, which I should probably entitle “ Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son…” after the classic line from Dean Wormer in Animal House. It’s time for the structured settlement brokers who claim to be plaintiff experts to clean up their marketing, get some education in the real issues that injury victims and trial lawyers face every day and stop trying to buy the business and start providing some real value. In other words it’s time to grow up, get an education and start providing real value to injury victims and trial lawyers if you want to be taken seriously.
Obviously, I’m not speaking to everyone on the plaintiff side as there are some exceptionally professional, talented and capable people who put in a real effort every single day to work with injury victims and their lawyers to plan their futures. The group I am addressing are the PEINO’S ( Plaintiffs Experts in Name Only) people who think they see a gravy train and want to get on it.
Next week I end the critique of the structured settlement planning profession and move on to what can individual brokers and planners do to change the conversation from negative to positive and start educating lawyers, claims professionals, judges and journalists about the exceptional planning tools, talents and resources we possess and the amazing value you provide in the settlement and claims process.
( Mark Wahlstrom is the President of Wahlstrom and Associates located in Scottsdale, AZ and is generally considered one of the nations leading experts in Structured Settlements, Settlement Planning and Structured Legal Fees. You can view his videos on Speaking of Settlements or read his commentary at The Settlement Channel each week.)