On April 19-21, over 225 structured settlement industry leaders attended the 2017 NSSTA Annual Conference in San Francisco. By all accounts, the NSSTA Education Committee produced one of the strongest educational program agendas in the Association’s history. The NSSTA Annual Conference agenda included eleven panel sessions and a combination of knowledgeable industry leaders and highly regarded professionals from outside the structured settlements industry.
Highlights from the 2017 NSSTA Annual Meeting include:
- “Access to Justice: The Mission of Helping Injured Parties,” panel with Elise Sanquinetti, President-elect of the American Association for Justice, Laurie Klimchock, Chief Operating Officer of the Consumer Attorneys of California and Melissa Baldwin with Atlas Settlements, who provided a comprehensive overview of the major legislative challenges facing attorneys, claimants and structured settlement consultants in Sacramento and in Washington, DC. Ms. Sanguinetti and Ms. Klimchock delivered specific suggestions for enhancing the positive working relationship that has been established between structured settlement consultants and attorneys.
- “Getting Claims Professionals Invested in Structured Settlements,” panel moderated by NSSTA President Jim Early, featured two highly respected former claims officials--Dean Harring and Al Luther and included Taylor Smith, President of the Claims Litigation Management (CLM) organization, and focused on how to engage claims companies in the structured settlement market, tactics for providing education and opportunities for NSSTA members to work more closely with the community of claims professionals and the CLM. Industry leaders Brad Cantwell and Jerry Lothrop also participated on this Panel.
- “ABLE Act Implementation” Stephen Dale of the Dale Law Firm talked about the ABLE Act and how ABLE Act accounts can be used in conjunction with structured settlements. He covered state and federal law issues, potential reforms and how to direct clients in a way that will help them make informed decisions about their financial futures.
- “A Survey of Government Benefit Programs” Amos Goodall of Steinbacher, Goodall & Yurchack provided a comprehensive over of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income, and how these programs are related to structured settlement annuities.
- “Special Needs Attorneys and Structured Settlement Consultants” Pat Hindert led a panel including attorney Morris Klein and Ringler consultant Phillip Krause, which focused on the importance of establishing a relationship with Special Needs Attorneys. The panel also discussed the importance of understanding how trusts, government benefits and structured settlements work together.
- “Challenges and Opportunities in Educating Defense Counsel” included John Kouris, Executive Director of the Defense Research Institute (DRI), Kathy Martin, Assistant Vice President of AIG Structured Settlements and Nolan Robinson of Ringler provided real-life strategies to help structured settlement consultants work more effectively with claims professionals and defense attorneys.
Two claimants had the opportunity to share their experiences with members:
- Meg Busing, a structured settlement recipient, had a traumatic brain injury as a result of a car accident in the late 90s, and then developed epilepsy. Meg discussed her personal experience as a structured settlement recipient. Meg also discussed the work she does for children with epilepsy. Meg founded Camp YouCan with her husband Kael in 2011 — the first and only camp of its kind in the Midwest.
- After years of working as a worker’s compensation attorney, Judge Larry W. Quan (retired) was appointed as an Administrative Law Judge at the San Francisco Workers Compensation Board. Judge Quan held this position for over 10 years and adjudicated thousands of cases. In August 2011, Judge Quan sustained a central spinal cord injury, resulting in quadriplegia. With the help of his structured settlement consultant, John B. Allan of Prestwick Group, a plan was designed to meet Judge Quan's long term medical, housing and rehabilitation needs.
Thank you to all of the members that attended and participated in the NSSTA Annual Conference, and we hope to see you all in San Antonio at the 2017 NSSTA Fall Educational Meeting!