Structured Settlements and Periodic Payment Judgments – Release 74

First published in 1986, Release 74 for “Structured Settlements and Periodic Payment Judgments”  will be made available to subscribers this month by publisher Law Journal Press. Online subscribers will receive their update simultaneously with no additional subscription charge.

Structured Settlements and Periodic Payment Judgments” (herein sometimes referred to as “the book”) consists of 16 chapters with extensive footnotes and Appendix documents to help readers understand historical structured settlement developments and context as well as current settlement planning issues and to also fashion settlements and judgments utilizing periodic payments.

The book’s online version includes a search feature and download capability as well as link features to access individual book sections, appendices, footnotes, cases and statutes.

At various times, both the National Structured Settlement Trade Association (NSSTA) and the Society of Settlement Planners (SSP) have utilized the book as an educational resource for their certification programs.

Highlights of Release 74

Release 74 updates its extensive chronological history of the United States structured settlement market and discusses several key developments and recent significant case law.

This historical summary includes coverage of important 2023 events such as the Cordero v. Transamerica case and efforts by the National Structured Settlement Trade Association (NSSTA) seeking regulatory action by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to prohibit and punish abusive business practices by factoring companies.

Other important topics discussed in Release 74 include:

  • An update on the history of the Canadian structured settlement market and how that market differs from the U.S. structured settlement market.
  • A new section discussing and clarifying the legal contractual distinctions between the assignment of rights and delegation of duties and how those distinctions can impact structured settlements.
  • A new section that expands the textbook’s previous coverage of the 2020 NAIC Revised Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation.
  • An expanded analysis of complementary 2006 opinion memoranda written by law professors Erin Chemerinsky and Stephen Saltzburg addressing potential ethical issues related to the compensation of plaintiff structured settlement consultants.
  • An update of the section discussing judicial approval of structured settlement plans suggesting consideration of the definition of “consumer profile information” in Section 5.C. of the NAIC Revised Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation.

 Retiring Co-Authors

Release 74 represents an important milestone for “Structured Settlements and Periodic Payment Judgments”  as it marks the final installment for which original co-authors Daniel W. Hindert (Daniel Hindert) and Joseph. W. Dehner (Dehner) whose historical contributions to the book are described below.

New Co-Authors

Continuing book co-author, Patrick Hindert is pleased to announce and welcome his new book co-authors: John McCulloch and Matthew J. Meltzer.

As new authors, McCulloch and Meltzer promise to be exceptional successors for Dehner and D. Hindert Not only do they each possess the requisite structured settlement legal experience and expertise, McCulloch and Meltzer also are committed to maintaining the professional standards Dan and Joe have established for the book over multiple decades. McCulloch and Meltzer ‘s book contributions will begin with Release 75.

Recognizing Dehner’s and Daniel Hindert’s Accomplishments and Contributions

In addition to their book authorship, both Dehner and Daniel Hindert have made substantial contributions to the structured settlement industry throughout their legal careers.

Joseph Dehner

Dehner’s involvement in structured settlements started in 1977 when he began serving as legal counsel for Benefit Designs, Inc., a structured settlement consulting firm which subsequently added an affiliated life agency and investment securities firm. Benefit Designs, Inc. merged with two other agencies in 1999 to become what is now Arcadia Settlements Group.

Dehner’s law firm’s expertise included insurance, taxation and litigation – all of which proved especially relevant during our industry’s start-up phase when structured settlement specific legal knowledge was limited. Joe’s assistance with documentation drafting, tax and insurance advice as well as legal research proved immensely valuable in creating an initial structured settlement knowledge foundation for Benefit Designs and the book.

As structured settlements have transformed into settlement planning and expanded into non-qualified markets, Dehner’s own expertise in securities law, privacy law, and international law have all benefited his structured settlement clients and the book’s expanded coverage.

Dehner has spoken at numerous structured settlement conferences about off-shore companies, periodic payment judgments and factoring abuses among other topics. He has served as an expert witness in important structured settlement cases such as helping the U.S. Government successfully convict James Gibson, former owner and President of SBU Inc., on multiple charges of fraud and money laundering.

In recent years, Dehner has increasingly specialized in international law. He has served as general counsel to many small to large multinational businesses. As an international expert, Dehner has traveled to eighty countries, lectured on five continents and published broadly on global matters.  In addition, as a securities law expert, Joe has represented firms and individuals in almost two hundred securities arbitrations.

Among his many “outside” accomplishments, Dehner was the first Princeton student to serve on that University’s Board of Trustees, he is a two-time Greater Cincinnati Men’s Tennis Champion and recently published his first novel, a thriller titled The Seventh Trumpet.”

Daniel Hindert

Daniel Hindert’s interest in structured settlements began when he was a student at Vanderbilt Law School. His Tort Professor, Dean John Wade, was a member of the Commissioners on Uniform State Laws Committee when, in 1980, the Commissioners published the Model Periodic Payment of Judgments Act.

With Professor Wade as his advisor, Daniel Hindert won a national law school writing competition sponsored by the Federal Insurance Counsel. His article, titled “Periodic Payment of Personal Injury Damages,” earned a substantial monetary prize and was published as the lead article in Fall 1980 issue the Federation of Insurance Counsel’s Quarterly Journal.

Also in 1981, shortly after the Uniform Law Commissioners published their Model Periodic Payment of Judgments Act, Daniel Hindert and this author co-wrote another article titled “New Rules for An Old Game: An Evaluation of the Model Periodic Payment of Judgments Act,” which was published in the International Society of Barristers Quarterly Journal.

Note: for anyone interested in understanding the history of structured settlements, periodic payment of judgments played a strategic industry role from the late 1970s thru 1990. The book includes and continues to update three chapters specifically addressing periodic payment of judgment issues.

Following law school graduation, Daniel Hindert joined Benefit Designs, Inc., where he worked for two years before starting a successful legal career in Utah as a plaintiff attorney. During his tenure at Benefit Designs, he worked on several projects (many of which also involved Dehner) that helped to establish Benefit Designs as an innovative structured settlement pioneer and also created the foundation for the structured settlement book.

First, Daniel Hindert and Dehner collaborated with Charles Meyer of Coopers & Lybrand to help Benefit Designs obtain a favorable state insurance regulatory ruling (in Arkansas) which became the generally accepted statutory accounting model for buy and hold structured settlement funding. This ruling received significant attention among insurance regulators who until that ruling had provided limited specific guidance for structured settlement participants.

The enactment of IRC Section 130, as part of the Periodic Payment Settlement Act of 1982, transformed structured settlements by defining and encouraging the use of “Qualified Assignments.” Many agents and liability insurers nonetheless continued using buy and hold structured settlement funding for several additional years.

Second, Daniel Hindert was part of the Benefit Designs team, along with Tom Little (a future NSSTA President), John Gruber, and Linda Johnson (among others), who collaborated with Dr. Gary Kuzina, then Chairman of Xavier University’s Economics Department, to develop the structured settlement industry’s first comprehensive Economic Loss Analysis.

In addition to subsequently providing a valuable analytic perspective for the book, the “ELA” helped Benefit Designs establish “exclusive” national brokerage relationships with multiple liability and medical malpractice insurers.

Third, during a two-day visit to Benefit Designs Inc. in 1983, future National Indemnity Company President Donald Wurster and the three future book co-authors developed comprehensive financing diagrams for multiple structured settlement funding methods including what later became the Berkshire Hathaway reinsurance model.

Results from Mr. Wurster’s visit included: 1) a PLR approving Berkshire’s reinsurance funding methodology; and 2) publication of these structured settlement diagrams to help explain the fundamentals of various structured settlement funding alternatives when the book was first published in 1986.

Before leaving Benefit Designs, Daniel Hindert incorporated the results of these and other projects into a first draft of what subsequently became “Structured Settlements and Periodic Payment Judgments.”

During his 35 plus year legal career, Daniel Hindert has negotiated structured settlements for many personal injury clients. he has continued to speak and write about structured settlement issues. Perhaps his best recognized publication besides the book, is an article Daniel Hindert co-authored with former NSSTA General Counsel Craig Ulman. Titled “Transfers of Structured Settlement Payment Rights: What Judges Should Know About Structured Settlement Protection Acts,” and published in the Spring 2005 issue of the ABA Judges’ Journal, this article is cited as authority in almost every litigated factoring case.

Contributing Authors

Since it was first published in 1986, many professionals, in addition to the co-authors, have contributed to its semi-annual updates. Daniel Hindert, Dehner and the continuing co-authors wish to recognized and thank, in addition to persons already mentioned in this article: Andrew Larsen; Thomas Todd; Timothy Morbach; Brittany Gillingham; Simon Svirnovskiy; Jeremy Babener; Martin Mooney; Ronald Walters, Jr. David Lillesand; Timothy O’Driscoll, Sandy Jones; Edward Stone; Jimmy Atkins; Eric SoHayda; Courtney Barber; David Korsh; Karen Meyers; as well as the National Structured Trade Association; the NSSTA Legal Committee; the Society of Settlement Planners; Benefit Designs, Inc., Independent Life Insurance Company; and Ringler Associates.