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FAQ for Trial Attorneys
  1. Introduction
  2. What is a Structured Settlement?
  3. Advantages to the Plaintiff
  4. Disadvantages to the Plaintiff
  5. Managing the Disadvantages
  6. Appropriate Cases
  7. Inappropriate Cases
  8. Case Size
  9. Why Annuities?
  10. Annuity Pricing
  11. Reduced Life Expect. Discounts
  12. What is an "Assignment"?
  13. Structure of the Deal
  14. Insurance Company Ratings
  15. The Closing Process
  16. What Settlement Brokers Do
  17. How Are SS Brokers Paid?
  18. If the Defense Has Their Own Broker, How will My Broker Be Paid?
Home Page > "How to" For Plaintiff Attorneys >FAQ


To win compensation for their clients, trial attorneys must master a wide range of subjects and manage numerous complex tasks and procedures. Putting a good case together is only one part of the blizzard of activity required to run a successful practice.

Yet individual attorneys cannot master everything. Large firms can dedicate staff members to specilize in certain areas, but that is simply not practical for small firms or those in solo practice. The successful practitioner therefore becomes adept at identifying outside experts and using them to leverage time and knowledge.

Regrettably, as it relates to structured settlements, many plaintiffs' attorneys have had to go it alone. For years, defendants and casualty insurers handled the offering of structures in unilateral fashion, limiting the pool of available professionals and leaving plaintiffs' attorneys to select from a patchwork of part-time or fringe players.

Fortunately, this has changed. Plaintiffs' attorneys can now retain their own fully qualified structured settlement professional to help them with these arcane and increasingly complex transactions.

Yet even with an expert retained, it is important that the attorney have a working knowledge of structured settlements. This piece is not meant to be a definitive work on structures, but rather a primer for those who have been too busy to focus on them previously. It provides basic knowledge on what structures are, how they work, advantages and disadvantages, and practical tips.

We hope this guide will make it easier for you to use structured settlements effectively and with greater confidence for the benefit of your clients and your practice. To learn more, please review the "Frequently Asked Question" in the left-hand column.