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In our latest episode of the Settle Smart Podcast, we're diving into a fascinating topic within the realm of structured settlements. Our guests, Britt Karp, an employment attorney at Alexander Morrison + Fehr LLP, and Chris Chan, a settlement consultant at Ringler, shed light on the untapped potential of structured settlements in employment disputes. Join us as we explore how structured settlements can be a game-changer for plaintiffs in such cases.
Meeting the Experts: Our expert guests, Britt Karp, and Chris Chan, introduce themselves and their background in the employment and structured settlements fields, respectively.
Exploring Employment Disputes: Britt provides insights into the nature of employment disputes, which often involve discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. She emphasizes the importance of establishing a connection between mistreatment and membership in a suspect class to succeed in an employment lawsuit. Chris chimes in to explain the tax implications of employment cases and how structured settlements can alleviate the burden of taxes for plaintiffs.
A Real-Life Success Story: Chris recounts a notable wrongful termination case in which structured settlements proved invaluable for a high-wage earner, helping her minimize tax liabilities and secure her financial future. The expert duo highlights the strategic use of annuities and deferred payments, showcasing how structured settlements can be tailored to suit the unique circumstances of each case.
Navigating Challenges and Considerations: As the conversation progresses, Britt delves into the challenges faced in employment cases, including the reliance on witnesses and circumstantial evidence. She explains the importance of considering various factors when choosing between settlement and trial, as juries can be unpredictable.
Structured Settlements and Lost Wages: Chris addresses a crucial aspect of structured settlements in employment disputes - lost wages. He clarifies that lost wages cannot be structured due to reporting limitations faced by life insurance companies. Instead, this portion of the settlement needs to be allocated as cash upfront.
Key Takeaways for Attorneys: In closing, Britt and Chris offer essential takeaways for attorneys in employment. They emphasize the benefits of structured settlements for employment clients, advise early involvement of settlement consultants, and provide insights into the unique guidelines for non-qualified structured settlements.
As we conclude this latest episode, it's evident that structured settlements hold immense potential in employment disputes. With Britt's legal expertise and Chris's insights into structured settlements, plaintiffs can find a viable option that maximizes their recovery while ensuring tax efficiency.