Court appointed Guardians Ad Litem Are Not Independent Professional Advisors; Originally Posted on July 21, 2015, last updated on December 29, 2015 and reposted on February 19, 2019


From time to time we run across articles that we believe are well written, and not just for advertisement. When we do find such articles we like to share them with our readers. this is one of those articles we found, written by an attorney, and seems to be on the mark when it comes to talking about independent professional advice.

Guardians Ad Litem Are Not Independent Professional Advisors

The sale of a structured settlement to a factoring company will involve a court proceeding. It may also involve an independent professional advisor or a guardian ad litem. In this report, attorney Matt Bracy explains the differences between the two. The independent professional advisor is envisioned by the Structured Settlement Protection Act. A guardian ad litem, on the other hand, is a court-appointed officer, probably a lawyer. Bracy says that courts are authorized to appoint guardians ad litem whenever they feel one is needed, typically for minors or for people who are incapacitated and not competent to act in their own behalf. GALs “are officers of the court, and they report directly to the court.” Independent professional advisors, on the other hand, are lawyers or actuaries who provide advice to the seller of a structured settlement. The Settlement Protection Act requires factoring companies to advise prospective sellers to seek advice. As Bracy points out, in the majority of states, the seller of a structured settlement can seek that advice or can waive the right to receive such advice. In either case, a written document must be submitted to the court so that the seller’s choice is clearly documented. Bracy says that the right to waive receiving the advice is important. Some states require a seller to have the independent professional advisor. It matters, Bracy feels, because the advice is not free; a structured settlement seller will have to pay the advisor. Whether the payment is made in advance of the hearing or at the time the settlement is sold, there must be a payment by the seller. Requiring the services of an advisor seems to contravene our system of allowing people to make their own choices in litigation. Bracy adds that, in a lot of cases, it is important for a prospective seller to seek advice. “It’s very important for people to be . . . aware of what their legal rights are.” But, he says, he would never force someone to make that decision. Bracy suggests that a lot of structured settlement sellers know exactly what they are doing and shouldn’t be forced to pay for advice they don’t need. The independent professional advisor—a lawyer, for example—will have an attorney-client relationship with the seller. The advice given will be privileged. That means that no one would be able to ask about the substance of the conversations between the seller and the advisor. All a seller has to do to satisfy the statute is to affirm that advice was sought and received. Nothing further needs to be disclosed. On the other hand, a guardian ad litem is an officer of the court, acting on behalf of the judge. That means that the judge who appoints a guardian ad litem will be able to ask the guardian in open court to discuss all conversations with the seller. This is a very big difference from the usual situation. Matt Bracy is a partner in Scheef & Stone, L.L.P., Dallas, Texas, representing businesses and business owners in the areas of general business law, contract negotiations and drafting, business formation, transactions, collections, commercial litigation and government relations. Over his career he has represented diverse businesses and individuals in private practice, and in-house as General Counsel and Director of Government Relations for multi-million dollar companies. The Legal Broadcast Network is a featured network of the Sequence Media Group.

The Law Offices of Eugene Ahtirski is one of the leading names in the transfers of Structured Settlements,and has personally seen and represented thousands of these cases through the legal system. If you are considering buying, selling, or transferring a structured settlement, annuity payments, insurance payments, lottery payments, or other future payments and are seeking advice from industry-leading professionals, you’ve come to the right place. People decide to sell future payments to a structured settlement annuity buyer or buyer of future payments for many different reasons. Some plaintiffs decide to settle out of court with a structured settlement, always intending to sell their payments for a big, cash payment. Plaintiffs who always intend to sell their settlements differ from those who agree to a structured settlement to replace lost income and who later sell part of their settlement to meet sudden financial demands.

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Most Misunderstood Legal Courthouse Terms D-FOriginally Posted on December 29, 2014 and reposted on February 18, 2019

4 Article 2.3 Transfers of Structured Settlement Payment Rights Most Misunderstood Legal Courthouse Terms  D-F   Deadlocked – When a jury cannot reach a verdict due to irreconcilable differences of opinion.  The fact that a jury has ben deliberating for several days does not mean that the jury is deadlocked Declaration – A written statement made by witnesses, not under oath, subjecting them to perjury for its violation Default Judgment – A judgment entered after failure of a party to appear, or plead, or take some required step in a case at the appointed time Demurrer (de’-M’er) – A challenge […]

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A Hypothetical Transfer of Structured Settlement Case:Originally Posted on January 14, 2015 and reposted on February 17, 2019

Article 2.3 Transfers of Structured Settlement Payment Rights

A Hypothetical Transfer of Structured Settlement Case:  Is this like you?


Claimant “A” who is almost 21 today was injured in a car accident with her parents at age 5.  A minor settlement was approved by a judge, Judge “X” that normally doesn’t do structured settlements, because the other Judge was in a holdover session in another county.  That settlement provided for the payment of her medical bills, and 240 monthly payments that will begin when Claimant “A” reaches age 21, and her monthly payment will increase 2% every twelve months.  At the time of this request, Kim wants to sell all of her 240 payments (which will start at $5000 per month) to a transfer company.

  • The aggregate of all these payments would be $145,784.16
  • The discounted present value of that amount today is $93,442.00 (The discounted present value uses the applicable federal rate of 4.5%)
  • Claimant “A” wants to sell it today for a payment of $48,700.00. The $48,700.00 represents 52.10% of the estimated present value based upon the discounted value using the applicable federal rate.

Claimant “A” tells the judge, in support of her motion that she needs the money for a medical treatment of one of her two small children, who has a condition that requires a corrective procedure.  She can’t get government help because it’s not life threatening.


Claimant “A” works at Walmart making minimum wage and the father of the child doesn’t provide any financial support.


Claimant “A” presently has no ongoing medical treatment of her own, but she does still suffer from permanent injuries that cause her to limp and she’s often stiff at the end of each day.


Claimant “A” did consult a local attorney who indicated that it probably wasn’t a good financial deal, but it was a life choice that she’d have to make.  The Attorney General takes no position.


What do you think happened?  If you were a judge, would you allow Claimant “A” to go through with this transfer?


I have to bring up the question of:  if someone is working a minimum wage job, cash must be tough to come by.  How can a person work with a measly $500 a month?  How about $1,000 a month for 120 months?  This is why you need to consult an independent professional adviser:  to see if it is worth it to sell your payment rights.


Information gleaned from “North Carolina Superior Court Judges 2008 Summer Conference, “The Sale of Structured Settlements” AKA, “Deal……Or No Deal” February 2008 Presented by Judge Ron Spivey, Resident Judge Forsyth County”

Originally posted 2015-01-14 21:51:02. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The post A Hypothetical Transfer of Structured Settlement Case:<span class="entry-meta">Originally Posted on January 14, 2015 and reposted on February 17, 2019</span> appeared first on Structured Settlement Expert.