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Settlement Nation

Author: Courtney Barber

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Conversations with leading trial lawyers and settlement professionals on topics ranging from advice and strategies from top trial lawyers, settlement planning for plaintiffs, tax planning for attorneys, and future innovations in the legal and insurance industries. Brought to you by Independent Life, the only plaintiff focused structured settlement provider, and hosted by Courtney Barber. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed on the Settlement Nation podcast are those of the guests, and not necessarily those of Independent Life or its affiliates.
60 Episodes
#60: Welcome back to the show, and to a brand new series - 'Things We Love & Need'. This series showcases simple and effective items that support the busy trial lawyer on the go! From office upgrades to travel hacks, cool tech gadgets and products you never knew you needed, each episode will feature items recommended by myself and fellow trial lawyers, so you can stay your most productive and focused self. In this episode I cover 5 items that will up-level your WFH experience: a lap desk that makes it easy to work from anywhere, a powerful and portable light for all those virtual calls, a way to keep your client meeting notes organized, a simple addition to your monitor for reminders and an easy way to get your daily greens (that actually tastes great). ***Get the Products From Today's ShowLap Desk - Ring Light - Notebook - Memo Board - Powder -***
#59 (Part 5): We are back with your favorite series and a brand new guest! In this episode I chat with James (Jim) Murphy from Claggett & Sykes Law Firm. Jim, now a plaintiff trial lawyer, has spent 20 years working as an insurance defense attorney and brings his unique perspective to Settlement Nation, shedding light on defense strategies. With a deep understanding of the tactics used by insurance companies, we cover defense assumptions, adjuster attitudes, coverage issues and many more important lessons from the trenches. A must listen episode! Stay tuned for Part 6. ***Website: https://www.claggettlaw.comContact: jim(at)
#58: In this episode of Settlement Nation I sit down with Jason Van Camp, a decorated Green Beret, Ranger and West Point graduate, turned successful entrepreneur and high performance coach. In Part 2 of this multi-part series, Jason shares more battlefield lessons from his book "Deliberate Discomfort", demonstrating how anyone can develop the warrior mindset and do more with their life. We discuss why you need to be taking small doses of 'venom' everyday, how looking up under pressure is so critical, the keys to developing inner resilience, actively choosing discomfort and how you can start living with relentless resolve! A not to be missed episode for trial lawyers, business owners and anyone looking to improve their mental toughness.***Deliberate Discomfort: Six Zero: https://www.missionsixzero.comWarrior Rising:
#57: In this episode of Settlement Nation I speak with Arkady Frekhtman from Frekhtman and Associates, a New York City trial lawyer passionate about helping serious injury victims and their families. Arkady and his firm have been able to recover over $900M for their clients, and have received some of the top verdicts and settlements in New York state history. Rated in the Top 10 personal injury firms in NYC, Arkady and I discuss client acquisition, valuations, why you should build your case for trial from the beginning, how to effectively brand yourself using Youtube and why learning the human story is the most powerful piece of your case. You can listen to more Arkady on his podcast Trial Stories.***Website: https://866attylaw.comPodcast: Guides Books MentionedTwelve Heroes, One Voice by Carl BettingerTrial by Human by Nicholas Rowley & Steven HaltemanRunning with the Bulls by Nicholas Rowley & Courtney RowleyDon't Eat The Bruises by Keith Mitnik
#56: In this episode of Settlement Nation, I chat with Ryan McKeen, the CEO and Co-Founder of Connecticut Trial Firm. Ryan is a trial lawyer, receiving the highest bodily injury verdict in the state - 100M, as well as a published author and Inc 5000 honoree. We discuss how to run your law practice like a successful business; everything from vision to scalability, systems, cash flow, identifying important tasks and how to get more cases in the door. A must listen for startups, solos or exisiting small to medium sized firms, that want to leverage their resources and maximize their returns. ***Website: cttrialfirm.comBook: Tiger Tactics:
#55: Welcome back to our series War Chest Wednesday, where we showcase tips, tools and resources to help power your fight for justice. This episode features Kristin Neerhof from Sage Settlement Consulting. Kristin assists plaintiffs and attorneys by developing comprehensive financial plans, that include strategies for tax deferral, wealth management, annuities, retirement and business growth. Whether you are a solo, small firm or large company, Kristin provides the tools and knowledge needed to establish a solid foundation of financial stability - for you and your clients. ***
#54: In this episode of Settlement Nation I sit down with Lauren Wood, a trial lawyer with Omega Law Group and the founder of the Women in Trial Travel Summit (WITTS). Lauren has obtained hundreds of six and seven-figure verdicts and settlements for her clients, and has tried numerous cases to verdict, either as a solo attorney or lead chair. She has been named a Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Star every year since 2016 and with her years of experience within the legal industry, saw an opportunity to cultivate events for women that include both personal and professional development. The Women in Trial Travel Summit hosts small group trips and conferences for female lawyers, mixing exotic locations with a space for women to network and grow their practises. ***Use Code: TRIALLAWYER for $50 off your ticket to the 2nd Annual WITTS Conference, April 12 - 16, 2023 in Punta Mita, Mexico.
#53: Welcome back to Settlement Nation in 2023! We start the year with a great interview with Adam Savin, Brian Kim and Maureen Hennessey from Savin Bursk Law. These three trial lawyers make up a dynamic team; from their marketing smarts to their results, with many huge settlements and verdicts between them, including a recent 18.79M jury verdict on a slip and fall case in California. In this episode we chat about the framework they used for calculating noneconomic damages for pain and suffering in this case, advice they have for other younger lawyers facing seasoned opponents in the courtroom and why nothing beats just doing the work. ***
#52: In this episode of Settlement Nation, I chat with Thomas E. Shaw from Dallas, Texas. Thomas has been practising law for over 38 years, has worked alongside some of the biggest names in the industry and has cultivated a reputation as a fierce advocate for his clients. Today we discuss his recent $206 Million verdict - but not as a 'war' story. Tom takes his time to show other lawyers what he did, how he did it and the experts he brought that made a difference in this case. We talk about his process, the power of mentors and the importance of timing. If you are a trial lawyer, then this episode is for you!***
#51: Welcome back to our series War Chest Wednesday, where we showcase tips, tools and resources to help power your fight for justice. This episode features Paul Littrel Jr. and Connor McDuffie from Stratejic Relationships. Stratejic harvests knowledgeable ex-employees that your defendant is praying you won’t find. Pioneers in 'insider witness mining', Stratejic documents the exact nature of systemic wrongs by defendant companies. They identify & obtain compelling testimony from former employees that help plaintiff lawyers win.***
#50: Welcome back to our series War Chest Wednesday, where we showcase tips, tools and resources to help power your fight for justice. In this episode I chat with Michelle Jordan and Rory Herington from Iconographics, a visual company founded by trial lawyers that know and understand trials. Iconographics ensure your client’s story is told through powerful and persuasive visuals – whether in a settlement opportunity letter, at mediation, or in trial.  From crash reconstruction animation to medical animations and color enhanced diagnostic images, Iconographics has a solution for your cases. ***
#49: In this episode of Settlement Nation I sit down with Chad Hennings, a man who really has achieved a legacy of excellence. Chad had a nine year NFL career and three Super Bowl Championships with the Dallas Cowboys, flew forty-five combat missions with the Air Force during the Gulf War, flying the A10 Thunderbolt, and is now a successful real estate entrepreneur and sought after key note speaker. In this episode we discuss how to thrive through massive pressure and responsibility, the keys to living a life of excellence and advice for those who perform on any arena of life, whether it's the field or the courtroom. Motivational and inspiring, this episode is not to be missed!***It Takes Commitment: of Engagement: of Character:
#48: In this episode of Settlement Nation, Courtney sits down with trial lawyer Kurt Zaner from Zaner Harden Law out of Denver, Colorado. Kurt has dedicated his legal career to representing individuals against modern day Goliaths, and becoming the champion for those that seemingly have the odds overwhelmingly stacked against them. He has many notable verdicts and settlements under his belt, including securing the largest premises liability verdict in the history of Colorado ($16M). Kurt is a published author of Federal and State case law, including a Colorado law establishing the right to punitive damages for victims of drunk drivers. In this episode we discuss the art of story telling, trial techniques and what is key when delivering big numbers to the jury. We also cover important lessons from Ancient Rome and how they can be applied today!
#47: In this episode of Settlement Nation we sit down with Jason Van Camp, a decorated Green Beret, Ranger and West Point graduate, turned successful entrepreneur and high performance coach. In Part 1 of this multi-part series, Jason shares his blueprint for getting comfortable with the uncomfortable and how to thrive under pressure. Discussing key takeaways from his bestselling book "Deliberate Discomfort", Jason shares the lessons he learnt from real life examples on the battlefield, translating them into digestible and relatable action items for trial lawyers and business owners. With special guest Jakob Norman, Jason provides the tools that we can all use to unlock our potential. ***Deliberate Discomfort: Six Zero: https://www.missionsixzero.comWarrior Rising:
#46: In this episode of Settlement Nation we sit down with trial lawyer Brian Breiter and actor Joseph Limbaugh from Improv for Trial - the preeminent academy for teaching improvisational theatre techniques to trial lawyers, helping you to become skilled at adapting to unexpected or unplanned situations in the courtroom. Brian was nominated for trial lawyer of the year for 2020 & 2019 by CAALA and has over 100M in verdicts and settlements, as well as performing in over 1000 improv shows. Joseph has over 30 years of professional improv, theatre and TV experience and currently teaches professionally at The New York Film Academy in Los Angeles. In this episode you will learn why improv techniques can greatly improve every aspect of your trial. They discuss how to develop a greater awareness of non-verbal communication, body language and tone to facilitate a deeper connection and understanding of people, overcoming stage fright, presenting the facts and your client's story in a compelling way and how to effectively think on your feet in the courtroom. A not to be missed episode!
#45: In this episode of Settlement Nation we sit down with Robert Wood, a managing parter at Wood LLP and tax expert, often listed among the top ten tax lawyers in the USA. Robert is a widely published author (Tax Notes, Forbes) known for explaining and demystifying complex tax concepts and advising plaintiffs, defendants, lawyers, and settlement funds on settlements and judgments. We discuss his latest article "Qualified Settlement Fund Tax Myths" (link below) and why Qualified Settlement Funds (468B) are such a beneficial tool for plaintiff attorneys and their clients, helping to assist in the settlement process, as well as providing flexibility and tax efficiency. A not to be missed episode!Article:* Independent Life and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. This presentation and any accompanying materials have been prepared for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal, and accounting advisers before engaging in any transaction.
#44: Welcome back to War Chest Wednesday, where we showcase tips, tools and resources to help power your fight for justice. In this episode we cover advanced attorney fee deferrals through structured settlements, and why this is something all plaintiff attorneys should be considering when they settle a case. Structuring your fees maximizes the amount of money you receive by spreading out your tax obligation, while designing an income flow that works for you & your firm. Find out why all the trial pro's are doing this, and why you should be too!
#43: Welcome back to our series War Chest Wednesday, where we showcase tips, tools and resources to help power your fight for justice. In this episode we chat with Amelia Brummel, the CEO of Brummel Legal Consulting; the go-to, trusted resource in providing personal injury case support services for busy attorneys.  Amelia provides services ranging from demonstrative aids for depositions/mediation/trial, to connecting attorneys with the best experts in the field of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Brummel Legal Consulting delivers lawyers and their clients the results they deserve!
#42: Come on in, guys! We are back with our Rising Star Roundtable series of Settlement Nation, featuring Rilee Harrison from the Cain Law Office and Jonathan Davidi from Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi. These up and coming trial lawyers share their experiences one year on from our last episode, now older and wiser with trials under their belt! We discuss what worked, how they prepared and lessons they learned through the process. We also cover ways that younger or new attorneys can sharpen their skills before trial and ideas, from a millennial perspective, that could help improve their mindset. 
#41 (Part 2): Welcome back to our special edition Trial All-Star Series, where we interview the best trial lawyers in the country and share their secrets to success over the past decade and beyond. In this episode we continue our sit down with Keith Mitnik, and discuss his trial preparation routine, what plaintiffs lawyers will learn from both 'Deeper Cuts' and 'Don't Eat the Bruises' and why all trial lawyers feel fear, but how to use it your advantage.
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