The Art of Settlement

The regulatory landscape of the personal injury lawyer has become exceedingly complicated.

Assisting clients with catastrophic disabilities now exposes you personally to government recovery actions, damages, and malpractice risks. It’s vital that your personal injury practice has a comprehensive plan for compliance when resolving cases if you want to protect yourself—and protect your clients.

In The Art of Settlement, Jason Lazarus helps you navigate the complexities at settlement for catastrophic claims and provides you with the best course of action for each potential issue. As a nationally recognized settlement compliance expert, Jason shows you how to address important ethical issues, navigate settlement planning concerns, preserve government benefits, and employ lien reduction strategies. You’ll gain insightful, essential perspective on how to deal with Medicare compliance, fight ERISA liens, and leverage qualified settlement funds.

In today’s complex and nuanced environment, every PI lawyer can benefit from the principles laid out in this book. This is a trial lawyer’s ultimate resource for the world of regulatory compliance with catastrophic claims—a guidebook you’ll consult again and again.

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Book Reviews

Don't settle your case without reading this book!  Jason Lazarus is the most knowledgeable person I know when it comes to dealing with liens, Medicare and Medicaid compliance. Don't risk running afoul of the regulatory morass. They could come after you, not just the client. Read this book, call Jason. You will sleep better at night.

Sean C. Domnick
Domnick Cunningham & Whalen

Jason's book is an easy and excellent read. He not only guides you through post settlement issues but also navigates you through the pitfalls. Highly recommend.

Mike Crow
Beasley Allen

Jason D. Lazarus new book The Art of Settlement on things attorneys need to do in catastrophic injury cases is a must-read for any attorney who operates in this arena. Our world is changing and the practice of law is becoming more complex every year. As medicine has improved our clients are living longer and that has extended the length of time that we need to think about for what makes up “THE REST OF OUR LIVES”. Failure to address these issues with our clients is not only going to open us up to criticism but also will not help serve our clients best interest. We live in a world of liens and government health care and we must be able to navigate these changes. Jason’s book covers these areas better than anything I have read in the past. I highly recommend this book to all lawyers who want to fight for their client’s quality of life.

Robert Langdon
Langdon and Emison Attorneys at Law

Over the years navigating the increasingly complex issues of liens, benefits and tax consequences has become a malpractice  minefield for the plaintiff practitioner. It is frequently more time consuming and difficult to resolve lien and investment/trust issues at the conclusion of a case than resolution of the underlying case. This is why one needs to begin the process long before settlement and why one should consider the services of a specialist. Looking to expert assistance has become essential in order to protect the client, and importantly yourself, in most cases. This book lay’s it out and explains the challenges we face.

Robert E. Cartwright, Jr., Esq.
The Cartwright Law Firm, Inc.

Bought it. Read it. Promptly bought copies for all of my associates. Well done. An excellent primer on critical aspects of personal injury practice that are far too often overlooked.

Jordan Redavid
Fischer Redavid PLLC

Wonderful book with amazing advice based on many years of experience. This is a real valuable tool for all practitioners, whether on the plaintiff or the defendant side. Proud of you for putting this together and sharing it with our industry.

Rafael Gonzalez, Esq.

Why is Jason’s book important – and why should you read it?  If you are a personal injury attorney or settlement planning professional, Jason’s book has multiple relative strengths and educational value compared with any other available resources with which this writer is familiar.  First, following an introductory chapter, Jason's book provides a valuable discussion about “Ethical Issues at Settlement”. Second, Jason’s summary and analysis of lien resolution issues is a remarkable accomplishment. The topic is rarely addressed so comprehensively and understandably.  Third, Jason devotes eight chapters of his book to the Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) Act. This detailed discussion addresses: a summary of the Act; mandatory insurer reporting; Medicare conditional payments; Part C Medicare Advantage liens; and multiple chapters on both Medicare futures and compliance.  Fourth, Jason’s final substantive chapter offers an excellent summary analysis of Attorney Fee Deferral at a time when this particular structured settlement sub-market has become increasingly important for both plaintiff attorneys and settlement planning professionals.

Patrick J. Hindert
Independent Life

Attorney Jason Lazarus's book, The Art of Settlement, is excellent, well written, and I highly recommend it to any attorney who is practicing personal injury law so that he or she knows the steps that must be taken to protect the client from the loss of governmental benefits upon receipt of settlement funds. As outlined in the book, the options available to the client to preserve his or her Medicare or Medicaid benefits vary depending upon a number of different and complex factors. This makes it imperative for the personal injury attorney to have his or her client consult with an attorney who has expertise in this complex area of the law.

Paula C. Roman, Esq.
Roman & Roman PA

The words “must read” have never been truer than when talking about Jason Lazarus’ The Art of Settlement.”  Our friend Jason has really outdone himself with this quick read guide that all Plaintiff lawyers need to read and then read again.

I know many of us regularly buy the latest books on how to pick the best jury, or how to handle opening statements, or deal with damages when the property damage is minimal. While many of those books are outstanding and inspiring, if we are being truthful, those aren’t the issues we deal with on an everyday basis.  Far more often, we are going to be dealing health insurance issues, Medicare and Medicaid liens, ERISA nightmares and other post settlement or verdict concerns for our clients.  The Art of Settlement is the peak behind the curtain guide and road map for what we all need to know and do post settlement or verdict. Jason details what we all need to do to help our clients navigate the hazards of dealing with clients who are Medicare or Medicaid recipients, or on Disability or receive any type of Government assistance.  The consequences of not doing so can be dire to the personal injury settlement you worked so hard to obtain. The consequences of not handling situations where a client has private health insurance, ERISA liens, Medicare/Medicaid benefits, or other benefits through the government like SSI can cause real harm to our clients. 

If you are reading this, you have probably already dealt with Jason and his amazing team at Synergy Settlement Services.  If you haven’t, he/they are truly one of the most valuable resources all of us have as members of the Florida Justice Association.  In this book, Jason details the steps you need to take to protect your client’s benefits and settlement proceeds at the same time.  Not only is this information invaluable in protecting our clients, it provides crucial information that protects us as personal injury lawyers from easily overlooking important information and pitfalls that could subject the lawyer to a legal malpractice claim. 

While Jason has been a health insurance lien attorney helping personal injury lawyers for over 20 years, there is nothing that can make you more empathetic and give you insight than going through something yourself. Unfortunately for Jason, he had something catastrophic happen to him a few years ago while riding his bicycle.  An avid cyclist since he was a teenager, Jason shares with us, that he was out one morning riding near a shopping plaza when out of nowhere, he was struck by a pickup truck, changing his life forever.  He was rushed to the hospital, spent 9 days in intensive care, and 3 weeks in the hospital.  Every bone in his face was broken. He required surgery where the doctor installed a metal plate in his chin, his lip was ripped in half, and he lost seven teeth.  As if that wasn’t enough, he suffered a clavicular fracture that required more plates and screws.   He hired an attorney, and even though he is an expert in the field, he still had problems dealing with his insurance company.  

This experience was the inspiration for The Art of Settlement.  Jason explains that after his case resolved, he felt relief and catharsis that resolution can bring to someone who has endured months or years of litigation.  He also describes what it was like having to make many of the same decisions that he routinely discusses with clients. Even Jason had to figure out what to do with his recovery and how to protect himself.

While chapters such as as Ethical Issues at Settlement, Overview of Public Assistance Programs and Laws that Impact Settlement, Protecting the Recovery, Medicaid Lien Resolution Fundamental, Introduction to Medicare Compliance, can cause fear among most personal injury lawyers, Jason has a way of breaking these incredibly complicated and confusing issues down so they are understandable in a way that very few can.  It’s easy to see why his Orlando firm is in high demand throughout the state of Florida. 

The Art of Settlement is one of those books that you will want to keep close to your desk as a regular guide to problems that frequently come up in our practices.  Reasonably priced at under $9 on Amazon for a hard cover copy or Kindle edition with all of the proceeds benefitting the “Faine House,” an organization that provides a place to learn and life skills for kids who age out of foster care. This is a must have book!!

Joseph N. Nusbaum
Brotman Nusbaum Ibrahim & Adelman