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Settlement Nation

Author: Chris Bua & Courtney Barber

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Conversations with leading trial lawyers and settlement professionals on topics ranging from the litigation process, 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 and Chris Bua. 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.
21 Episodes
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#21: In this episode of Settlement Nation we sit down with Mike Rafi, the founder of the Rafi Law Firm out of Atlanta, Georgia. Mike has recovered over $45 million for his clients through settlements and jury trials and has been recognized as a Georgia Rising Star by Super Lawyers and Atlanta Magazine for 3 years in a row. We discuss the great results he has achieved for his practise through simple and effective marketing strategies, the importance of the human factor and why it's ok to fail throughout your journey. 
#20: In this episode of Settlement Nation, we chat with Dan Schaar, a trial attorney with Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley (CZ&R) from Northern California. Dan talks with us about his current case Patrick Blumenthal v. Goldman Sachs, et al, which exposes the effects of hazing culture within the investment banking industry. We also discuss the recent Vanity Fair article that is covering this case -"Bullying, Booze, and Choke Holds: With Goldman Sachs's culture under the microscope, a former intern's abuse suit moves forward" and why it is so important for justice to be obtained at trial later this year. 
#19: In this episode of Settlement Nation I chat with James DeSimone,  the founder of V. James DeSimone Law. James is one of the most highly regarded employment lawyers and civil rights advocates in Los Angeles, successfully achieving multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts on behalf of his clients. James was voted California Civil Rights Lawyer of the Year 2014,  and also Top California Employment Lawyer 7 years in row. In this episode we cover what he has experienced over the past year as a civil rights attorney, the Derek Chauvin trial and what it's like to be involved in high profile cases throughout his extensive career. 
#18: In this episode of Settlement Nation we chat with Aimee Wagstaff, the founding partner of Andrus Wagstaff. Aimee has dedicated her professional life fighting against pharmaceutical and medical device companies. The vast majority of her litigation is done through national mass tort consolidations and she has been appointed by federal and state court Judges across the country to co-lead four national litigations, representing tens of thousands of injured claimants. In this episode we discuss how Aimee was the lead trial counsel in the only federal Roundup trial (Edwin Hardeman v Monsanto Company) resulting in a $80,267,634.10 verdict.
#17: In this episode of Settlement Nation we sit down with Brett Turnbull, the Founding partner of The Turnbull Law Firm, with offices in Alabama and Georgia. Brett has been recognized for his many multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements, representing clients in trucking, products liability, automobile defects, pediatric burns, traumatic brain injury and nursing home malpractice. We discuss Brett's courtroom tactics, notable verdicts and also his  trial lawyer training academy, Trial Structure, where he shares strategies for effective persuasion and trial success.
#16: In this episode of Settlement Nation we sit down with Olivier Taillieu, a partner of The Dominguez Firm and a distinguished and respected trial attorney. He has tried and won multiple jury trials in his outstanding career, and has recovered tens of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for his clients, including a $29,000,000 verdict in a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) case involving a pedestrian. We discuss his expertise in this area, the factors he considers when choosing cases and why doing the work always wins. 
#15: In this episode of Settlement Nation we chat with Bethany Schneider,  a trial attorney and the founder of Schneider Injury Law. We discuss what it was like branching out on her own, after years trying high-stakes personal injury and wrongful death cases for huge corporations. We also talk about the importance of marketing as an attorney and how she has leveraged platforms to build her brand awareness, the challenges she faces as a female in this industry, as well as breaking down her 5.5M jury verdict case from 2019, where she obtained full justice for her client after they suffered a permanent traumatic brain injury. 
#14: In this episode of Settlement Nation  we sit down with Greyson Goody,  a partner and senior trial attorney at the Simon Law Group, who has obtained over $40 million in jury verdicts. We discuss the advantages of being a younger trial attorney, how he is leveraging technology in this industry and his strategy behind using marketing and branding to reach a bigger audience. We also take a deep dive into the Pebley v. Santa Clara Organics case, where Greyson takes listeners through each step of this trial, which resulted in a jury verdict in Mr. Pebley’s favor, awarding him $3,644,000. 
#13 (Part 3): In the final episode of this multiple part series of Settlement Nation, I chat with Jason Neville from the Spence Law Firm and Jakob Norman from Trial Lawyers for Justice – both respected and seasoned plaintiff trial lawyers, who started their careers working for the defense. In this episode, we cover questions sent in by our listeners, as well as demand letters / settlement opportunities, policy limit demands, reinsurance and carrier responses. 
#12 (Part 2): In this multiple part series of Settlement Nation, I chat with Jason Neville from the Spence Law Firm and Jakob Norman from Trial Lawyers for Justice – both respected and seasoned plaintiff trial lawyers, who started their careers working for the defense. In this episode, we cover the anatomy of a defense attorney, how they view cases, their relationship with insurance adjusters and the challenges of defending personal injury cases. // Stay tuned for Part 3. 
#11 (Part 1): In this multiple part series of Settlement Nation, I chat with Jason Neville from the Spence Law Firm and Jakob Norman from Trial Lawyers for Justice – both respected and seasoned plaintiff trial lawyers, who started their careers working for the defense. In this episode, we take you behind the scenes of the defense perspective; discussing the inner workings of the defense counsel, insurance adjusters, their tactics, how they build their cases and how you can leverage this knowledge to maximize your case values and get more money - more often. // Stay tuned for Part 2. 
#10: In this episode of Settlement Nation  we chat with Arash Homampour, a trial attorney and the owner of the Homampour Firm in California, representing individuals in catastrophic injury/wrongful death, employment and insurance bad faith matters. Arash shares his success of obtaining between $2.5 million to $60 million in trial results in the last 5 years for his clients, as well as how he was an innovator in leveraging technology in the courtroom. We also discuss the secrets behind his big verdicts and what he does differently than other trial attorneys that lead to these results. 
#9: In this episode of Settlement Nation we chat with Jim Avery, a plaintiff attorney and the owner of Avery Injury Law in Missouri. Jim is a three-time combat veteran in the United States Marine Corps and Army National Guard, touring both Iraq and Afghanistan. Jim shares his story about serving in units that performed IED destruction missions and how he thrives under pressure, both in and out of the courtroom. He also covers what it was like to receive a $1 million settlement in his second year practising law, using techniques he learnt from Running with the Bulls, as well as advice he has for other newer attorneys.
#8: In this episode of Settlement Nation, we chat with Dan Schaar, a trial attorney with Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley (CZ&R) and Trial Lawyers For Justice (TL4J) from Northern California. We walk through Dan's $2.8 million verdict for one of California's largest slip and fall cases in 2018, advice for other trial attorneys that leads to better results for their clients and the benefits of working with a team. Dan also shares how using both a Qualified Settlement Fund (QSF) and structured settlement for his attorney fees, have ensured stability and security for himself, both personally and professionally. 
#7 (Part 2): We continue our chat with Keith Bruno, a trial attorney with Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley (CZ&R) out of Orange County, California. In this episode, Keith shares the story of his $40 million verdict for a wrongful death case with Nick Rowley, his Top Gun award for an $11.5 million verdict and how he sets himself up for success, both in and out of the courtroom.
#6 (Part 1): In the first of this two-part series on Settlement Nation, we chat with Keith Bruno, a trial attorney with Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley (CZ&R) out of Orange County, California. Keith shares insights into his beginnings as a young lawyer on NBC's "The Law Firm", what it's like to have 150 trials under his belt, as well as courtroom advice for up-and-coming attorneys. He also shares details on an acquittal in a first-degree murder case and why there is no substitute for doing the work. // Stay tuned for Part 2. 
#5: This episode of Settlement Nation we chat with Jason Lazarus, a legal settlement services expert out of Orlando, Florida. Jason discusses several of the topics covered in his new book, The Art of Settlement, intended to help attorneys avoid mistakes when finalizing a settlement. If you are a personal injury attorney, this is a MUST listen for you and your legal team. Jason's book can be purchased here:  https://geni.us/theartofsettlement 
#4: This episode of Settlement Nation we chat with with Megan Hottman, a powerhouse health and wellness advocate, cycling enthusiast and attorney out of Golden, Colorado. Megan shares her insights on running a successful practice while maintaining balance. We cover how she became "The Cyclist Lawyer", tips to increase your personal energy levels and presentation in and out of the courtroom and what it was like to be featured on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel". We also speak about the challenges she has faced and overcome, not only as trial lawyer, but as a female entrepreneur. 
#3: This episode of Settlement Nation we chat with Brian Ward, an attorney with Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley (CZ&R) out of Los Angeles. Brian shares his story, on how he was sworn in early straight of out law school, to begin his first jury trial, how his own personal injury has shaped the way he relates to the challenges his clients face, and advice for other attorneys on how they can improve their skills in the courtroom. Brian also shares what life is like conducting business on the road in his Airstream.
#2: This episode of Settlement Nation is a discussion with plaintiff attorney Grant Lawson, a partner with the Metier Law Firm and President-Elect of the Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association (WTLA). Grant shares his story, from being hired by The Spence Law Firm while he was still in law school, to being mentored by Gerry Spence, one of the greatest trial lawyers in American history. Grant also discusses what it's like to work as a trial lawyer in Wyoming, his key advice for any up-and-coming attorneys and a harrowing story of an encounter he had out in the wild.
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