This Texas attorney is a strong advocate for private individuals who seek to sell their structured settlement payment rights. In 2000, he was elected to the National Structured Settlement Trade Association Board as the first settlement broker who represented only plaintiffs, and eventually served as president. Taylor also performed as a dedicated lobbyist for the passage of the Victims of the Terrorism Compensation Act of 2001.
I graduated from Lamar University in 1969 with a business administration degree with an emphasis on economics. In 1976 I formed South East Texas Pension and Profit Sharing Associated, a pension actuarial consulting firm. Over the next thirteen year, I grew that firm into one that administered over one thousand client ERISA plans. It was there that I first encountered structured settlements, when my attorney clients began to ask me to certify the present value of structured settlements so they would know how much to charge their clients. Those were the days when the defense would refuse to tell the plaintiffs how much the structure cost, “because it would be constructive receipt and no longer be tax free”. Not exactly an accurate claim.
In 1991 I co-founded The James Street Group, the first structured settlement firm that worked exclusively with the plaintiff bar. It was there that I first encountered factoring companies who were purchasing structures settlements. James and I received a call from the Executive Director of the National Structured Settlement Trade Association (NSSTA) about a bill in the Texas Legislature that was scheduled to be voted out of committee that day. The bills provisions would be very damaging to the people selling structured settlements. We were able to get that bill tabled in committee and ultimately never reaching a vote in committee. That led to a series of hearings in the Texas Senate that culminated in the adoption of the Structured Settlement Protection Act in 2001.
That began my fight against the factoring of structured settlements in meetings with many state legislators. I was adamantly opposed to any sale of a structured settlement. In 1999, I formed Plaintiff Structures and was elected to the Board of Directors for NSSTA (2000) and in (2002 – 2003), I became the president of NSSTA. In 2001, as President elect of NSSTA, I was instrumental in getting the support of the Association of Trial Lawyers American (ATLA) for passage of a Federal factoring law. I spent a significant amount of time lobbying congress and particularly the offices of Sen. Chuck Grassley and Sen. Max Baucus working towards passage of Victims of Terrorism Compensation Act of 2001. This includes language regulating a structured settlement annuitant’s ability to transfer rights to receive future annuity payments.