Structured settlements: A comment from John Darer deserves quoting. “In addition to the application of structured settlements for physical injury there are also non-qualified assignments (“NQA”) for the resolution of matters which do not qualify for the tax exclusion (but can be deferred through an NQA) and would be taxable all at once if paid in a lump sum. For example, an NQA could be considered in virtually any type of employment scenario, divorce, attorney fees, punitive damages, policy buyouts, installment sales of real estate or businesses (a new application, environmental clean up funding), and more.”
Independent counsel for audit committee of Board. For a solid article on this topic, which I only addressed in terms of legal costs and issues with the counsel chosen by the committee (or Board), see GC New York, Oct. 11, 2005 at 4. “The most obvious example of the need for independent counsel is when there are allegations of management misconduct.” (id. at 5) Could that be every class action or shareholders’ derivative action that names the CEO and other officers?
Law firms not distinguished for thinking innovatively. Fulbright & Jaworski’s Second Annual Litigation Trends Survey asked respondents, who were primarily GCs or senior law department lawyers, to “identify the three most distinguishing attributes of your most successful outside counsel.” The report (Full report at 80) lists eight attributes and “other.” The least often identified attribute was “creative.” Only six percent of the respondents included that attribute in their three. Either innovative thinking rarely comes from “most successful outside counsel” or law departments can’t accept new ideas so they spurn them, or law departments value every other attribute much more.