NSSTA ELECTIONS : MEET THE CANDIDATES

Randy Levine

ESS Settlement Services partnered with Sage Settlement Consulting

When making the decision to run for NSSTA’s Board of Directors, I considered what I could bring to the table to position our industry on the best possible trajectory. NSSTA’s board should represent a cross- section of our membership—plaintiff and defense brokers, former attorneys, life company representatives, industry stalwarts and industry neophytes. Although I am currently a plaintiff broker, my career previously included tenure as a defense medical malpractice attorney, working closely with adjusters and defense brokers. My diverse experience has provided the framework and context to deeply understand what’s important to all stakeholders. As your next NSSTA board representative, I wish to serve as the bridge between two sides of our industry that often find themselves in opposition when we all have one common goal…to grow structured settlements!

In terms of my background with NSSTA, I have been actively involved on various committees over the past several years. As a member of the Growth Committee, I was tapped to participate on the newly formed Innovation Committee, which included a role on the LMSA task force. Most importantly, I am so proud to have brought the test case for which we successfully obtained PLR-107009-19 on September 13,2019, expanding IRC Section 104 to include wrongful life cases. Now, a majority of the life companies are ready to help all NSSTA members’ wrongful life clients utilize structure settlement planning. I have served on NSSTA’s Education Committee, sharing knowledge and insight through moderating and participating in panel discussions and helping to develop engaging agendas for NSSTA conferences. I am also a proud contributor to NSSTA’s PAC.

Through our partnership with Sage Settlement Consulting, my business partner and I quickly became leading structured settlement producers and plaintiff advocates. I have been published by and have lectured with both the Practicing Law Institute and the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers (“The Academy”). Most recently, I was honored to lecture to trust and disability industry stakeholders at the prestigious Stetson Conference on the topics of structured settlements and Medicare Set-Aside best practices.

I have always demonstrated a strong proclivity towards action. While serving on NSSTA’s Innovation Committee, I witnessed the natural breakdown between defense brokers and plaintiff brokers as we tried to agree on a common position regarding LMSAs in 2019. Throughout my career, both my colleagues and my counterparts have relied upon my ability to passionately work and build a consensus and common ground. I am proud to say that even now, defense attorneys, defense brokers, judges, and mediators often contact me for my input, which I gladly share. It is my profound belief that if we are going to achieve our goals as an industry, then we must find a way to bridge the gap between plaintiff and defense.

We have the opportunity to create a “win-win” situation for all parties by first listening and understanding each other’s opinions and then synergistically developing a third, unified opinion. By working together to develop tools and solutions to improve the experience for the end user—the claimant—we also have the ability to drive up industry premium. When a case settles, there should only be one goal: a successful resolution that satisfies all parties.

In addition to uniting the two sides of the industry, if elected, one of my main goals is to focus on education surrounding LMSAs. As NSSTA members, it is our duty to work as closely as possible with CMS to shape policy and to ensure the passage of regulations and review standards that adequately protect all parties involved. We must identify and distinguish WCMSA and LMSA as they are not the same.

Another top priority is the protection of our industry from destructive forces that we are seeing with recycled annuities, predatory factoring and those promoting the false notion that structured settlements are irrelevant.

To be clear, I don’t seek this board position to add another notch in my professional belt, nor will it help my individual business. I was taught to always give back and leave a lasting footprint on this world. I look forward to continuing to grow as a leader within NSSTA and I do not see a single-term board membership as the end of that. I am in this for the long haul, and whatever our membership and our industry need from me as a leader, I am ready and willing to do. I care about the structured settlement industry and would like to be that leader for you.