Lawsuit Alleging Billion Dollar Bribery Scheme Should Be Dismissed Because Assignment By Venezuela Oil Company Violated Champerty Law, Says Judge

Lawsuit Alleging Billion Dollar Bribery Scheme Should Be Dismissed Because Assignment By Venezuela Oil Company Violated Champerty Law, Says Judge

A federal magistrate judge has recommended dismissing a lawsuit filed by a trust company created by Venezuela’s state-run oil company to sue other oil companies over an alleged multi-billion dollar bid-rigging and bribery scheme because, among other things, the assignment to the trust was champertous. U.S. Magistrate Judge Alicia M. Otazo-Reyes concluded that the trust “lacks standing to pursue this action as the purported assignee of claims belonging to PDVSA” – Venezuela’s state-run oil company – and she therefore recommends…

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Life Settlement Company Files For Bankruptcy

Life Settlement Company Files For Bankruptcy

News reports indicate that companies affiliated Emergent Capital, Inc., filed for bankruptcy this month, apparently due to the possibility of a loan default resulting from changes in life expectancy estimates. Law360’s report, Life Settlements Firms Open Del. Ch. 11 As Debt Limit Nears, is available here. Another news story, Emergent Files For Bankruptcy, Fearing Loan Default, has been published by The Deal Pipeline.

Reardon Scanlon’s Partner Pointed Out, and Judge Agreed: No Independent Professional Advice Where Factoring Company Referred – and Was Going To Pay – Adviser

Reardon Scanlon’s Partner Pointed Out, and Judge Agreed: No Independent Professional Advice Where Factoring Company Referred – and Was Going To Pay – Adviser

As discussed in several recent Secondary Insurance Market Blog posts (here, here, here, and here), “independent professional advice” can be an important concept in the statutory scheme established by structured settlement protection acts for regulation of transfers of future structured settlement payments. While most of the 49 state SSPAs provide that a payee may waive the right to receive such advice, there are some state SSPAs that do not allow for waiver, and instead require that a payee receive such advice…

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Advice From Relatives Is Not ‘Independent Professional Advice’ About A Proposed Transfer Of Settlement Payments

Advice From Relatives Is Not ‘Independent Professional Advice’ About A Proposed Transfer Of Settlement Payments

Some state structured settlement protection acts provide that, for a court to approve a transfer and give legal effectiveness to a transaction, the payee must first receive independent professional advice from a lawyer, accountant, or other professional. The Ohio Structured Settlement Protection Act, before it was revised last year, was one such statute.  One Ohio court had to face the question of whether advice from relatives constituted “independent professional advice” under the Ohio SSPA.  Unsurprisingly, the court rejected that idea,…

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If Adviser Is To Be Paid From Proceeds Of Transfer, Advice Is Not Independent And Structured Settlement Protection Act Standards Have Not Beet Met

If Adviser Is To Be Paid From Proceeds Of Transfer, Advice Is Not Independent And Structured Settlement Protection Act Standards Have Not Beet Met

What happens if a payee receives the advice of a professional advisor about a proposed transaction, and the advisor’s compensation depends on whether the transaction happens? If the transaction is a proposed transfer of structured settlement payment rights under the Minnesota Structured Settlement Protection Act, then the deal cannot receive court approval and thus will never be a legally effective transaction. That was the opinion in a 2011 opinion of a Minnesota trial court, Teasley v. Velardi, No. 27-CV-1473, 2011…

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Under Some State Structured Settlement Protection Acts, A Payee Must Receive Independent Professional Advice, As One Minnesota Appellate Opinion Illustrates

Under Some State Structured Settlement Protection Acts, A Payee Must Receive Independent Professional Advice, As One Minnesota Appellate Opinion Illustrates

Most structured settlement protection acts provide that a transfer of the right to receive a future structured settlement payment is effective only when a court approves a transfer based on findings that (1) the transfer is in the payee’s best interest, (2) the transfer does not contravene a court order or statute, and (3) the payee has received independent professional advice, or knowingly, and in writing, waived the right to receive such advice. As to that last requirement, a New…

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Georgia Supreme Court Says Terms Of Litigation Funding Agreement Show That Arrangement Is Not Subject to Usury, Payday Lending Laws

Georgia Supreme Court Says Terms Of Litigation Funding Agreement Show That Arrangement Is Not Subject to Usury, Payday Lending Laws

The headline reads “Litigation funding not subject to Georgia’s interest rate laws, state Supreme Court rules.” And it is true that the Georgia Supreme Court ruled in favor of a litigation funding company, on the grounds that the state’s usury or payday loan laws did not apply. But the terms of the litigation funding agreements were the basis for the conclusion that the statutes were inapplicable, and had those terms been different – such as if the terms required repayment…

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Federal Appeals Court Affirms Conviction In Case Arising From Viatical Ponzi Scheme

Federal Appeals Court Affirms Conviction In Case Arising From Viatical Ponzi Scheme

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals last week affirmed the criminal conviction of an attorney who had been involved in a viatical company’s Ponzi scheme. The federal appeals court affirmed the conviction of Anthony Livoti, outside counsel for Mutual Benefits Corporation, concluding that the federal government had presented sufficient evidence for the jury to convict him of two counts of mail fraud, conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.  He had appealed his conviction,…

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By Allowing Litigation Funder to Recover From Ex-Player, Judge’s Ruling In NFL Concussion Litigation Both Raises Questions While Pointing To Possible Answer

By Allowing Litigation Funder to Recover From Ex-Player, Judge’s Ruling In NFL Concussion Litigation Both Raises Questions While Pointing To Possible Answer

As described here, the judge overseeing the $1 billion settlement of claims by ex-National Football League players against the NFL ordered attorneys for the ex-players to disclose information about prohibited litigation funding agreements. The same judge, Anita B. Brody, in December, 2017, had ruled that litigation funding agreements were violative of the court’s order approving the settlement. One litigation funding company appealed that ruling (see here). The December 2017 ruling did not go as far as it could have, in that…

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Attorney Appearing With Payee Was Paid By Factoring Company, So No ‘Independent Professional Advice’ Under New York’s Structured Settlement Protection Act

Attorney Appearing With Payee Was Paid By Factoring Company, So No ‘Independent Professional Advice’ Under New York’s Structured Settlement Protection Act

As described here, a New York court recently rejected a request for factoring company approval of a transfer of structured settlement payment rights, where an 18-year-old high school student would have sold future payments with a face value of more than $690,000, in exchange for about $265,000. One notable aspect of the court’s ruling in the case (captioned In the Matter of the Petition of American Farms, LLC For Approval of the Transfer of Structured Settlement Payment Rights In Accordance…

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