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Chapter 11 Announced - Part 4 Revised Plan


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On 6/25/2021 at 5:38 PM, SilverPalm said:

Once again, I'm a day late to reply.  Apologies in advance for the tardiness.

I think this is where many of us are coming from.  Reading the eloquent posts from several of the victims here illustrates the point even further - why should a legal firm expect to take 40% of the compensation offered by the BSA to victims and survivors?  Many of these men have suffered for decades, and have pointed out that the abuse they suffered has severely impacted their lives.  Careers folding, earning potentials shattered, families wounded by fathers who simply cannot be all they want to be... of course the BSA needs to pay out.  And it needs to be enough to hurt the BSA.  Because these men, these former Scouts have been hurting ever since they were children.  Is any amount of money enough to assuage that?

I think I speak for many when I say that it is good and right that the BSA lives up to its promises and does everything in its power to, if not make this right, then at least make it less wrong, should such a thing be possible.  

I, however, fail to understand how a legal firm should be entitled to taking a third or four tenths or half of the award simply by virtue of having the knowledge of navigating the legal world.  Yes, I understand they are making and have made this settlement possible in the first place.  But if the BSA pays out a billion dollars, why should the survivors have to split up only a little better than half of that?  Is having a legal degree really worth $400 million?  Wouldn't that money be better off with the victims, the ones who actually had to live with this pain?

These lawyers didn't suffer the indignities and the pain of the assaults.  They didn't then go on to live shattered lives, to watch their potential earnings shrink, to watch their families grow distant because of this ever-present gulf they simply couldn't understand... they answered the phone, did some paperwork, and spent a year in court.  Right? Is that worth taking all this money from the victims?  

This is not intended as a criticism of the victims, nor of their right to legal representation.  Far from it.  If I had my way, these folks would have the finest representation available to them. 

That said, the sheer magnitude of the potential windfall for these legal firms is an embarrassment, especially considering that every dollar they take is a dollar not going to the victims.

I'm not a member of the legal profession.  I do not know what's typical in cases like this, or fair, or whether those two ideas even align.  But I do know that it feels wrong for legal firms to be taking 30 or 40% of the money that the BSA is presenting in an effort to set right the wrongs of the past... it sure seems that way to me.

That's all.  I think lawyers are providing a valuable service in giving voice to the voiceless... but taking such a significant chunk of the settlement money just smacks of indecency to me.  I think that's where the "(deleted) lawyer" comments are coming from.  The victims should be compensated.  The lawyers should be paid for their work.  But how much is really fair?  How much is even appropriate?

I don't know.  Maybe I shouldn't even be commenting on this.  I'm an outsider.  I'm just not sure that taking 40% of the settlement money is really the best way to help make survivors whole.

The issue of debating about lawyers could be compared to 'What came first the chicken or the egg".  I find from the above that you are speaking from both sides of a coin.  You pretty much say it is good but it is bad and you are correct.  Do I wish it was 10, 20, or 30 percent of course.  First contract I signed was 40% and then when my lawyer assigned me to another law firm it became 33.3% plus expenses.  It is a larger law firm handling many more of these cases and when I talked about it to my first lawyer he said he was happy for me (I am sure he will get his cut of the 33.3%). Could I have done this myself...well I could have filled out the POC beyond that no.  Original intent was to file in a court and then of course the bankruptcy came along.  Definitely could not have represented myself thru the court system.  Does it feel wrong that my law firm will get 33.3%...no.  When I consider that they have major amounts of overhead which includes many lawyers, support staff, rent, utilities etc. etc. well maybe you can see where I am going from here.  But how much is really fair....I would have to say fair is what I agree to.  How much is appropriate...well you might get what you pay for.  What really isn't appropriate is how much the BSA has spent on lawyers fighting to keep from paying money to survivors.   

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@CynicalScouter Thanks from me and frankly, surely everyone, for tracking on the status of National's bankruptcy pleadings, and the procedural steps, past and pending, in the Bankruptcy case. And your

Okay. Enough. If you aren't talking about court proceedings then drop it.  It would be a shame to lock this thread now.

A few random observations from watching this bankruptcy unfold over the past several months: The focus has clearly been on protecting the national organization first and then the local councils.

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1 hour ago, SilverPalm said:

If survivors are satisfied with the transaction, viewing it as payment for services rendered, who am I to argue?

Yes. The debate about the equity and morality of contingent fees is for another day and thread, perhaps. Frankly, it’s one I want to have as well. I personally agree it has gotten out of control in society and the legal community. My personal opinion. Also, as I’ve said, I believe the high percentages in a bankruptcy case don’t seem justifiable. The workload and expenses simply don’t run parallel with bringing a full-fledged civil case. Again, this my view and I’d love to talk more about it and tort reform. I appreciate hearing everyone’s view, so long as it doesn’t devolve into attacks.

For most claimants in this case it’s simply the price of admission. Want VIP passes to see the Stones? The ticket price is X? Go on safari? Pony up Y. Want to submit a claim in this Chapter 11 if you have no sense of what to do or where to go and/or want the firepower? Sign on the dotted line and agree to the contingent fee of 33%++. If it’s an eyes wide open engagement agreement, it’s perfectly fine and acceptable. The macro discussion is another matter.

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23 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

For example, I am outright shocked the Archdiocese of New York has never filed an appearance where the Archdioceses of Los Angeles and San Francisco and the Diocese of Brooklyn all have.

So, remember how I said it was interesting and somewhat odd all the Catholic dioceses had not shown up? They just did.

Notice of Appearance: https://casedocs.omniagentsolutions.com/cmsvol2/pub_47373/d754f950-fa71-4a4e-80c7-6a588fc4b8aa_5420.pdf

Verified Statement: https://casedocs.omniagentsolutions.com/cmsvol2/pub_47373/7a62ffb7-ae7b-44d5-9355-e497ca133d02_5421.pdf

Quote

 

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the undersigned hereby appears in the above-captioned cases pursuant to Rule 9010(b) of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (the “Bankruptcy Rules”) as counsel for the Roman Catholic Ad Hoc Committee (the “Ad Hoc Committee”) in the cases of the above-captioned debtors and debtors-in-possession (the “Debtors”).

 

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This was posted in another thread, but this section is relevant to this discussion. It is part of a statement from the Greater Hudson Valley Council and confirms that, due to NDAs, no LCs can say quite how much exactly they are going to have to pay into the settlement.

1 hour ago, RememberSchiff said:

We would like to take a moment to update you on the National Bankruptcy and how it will affect our Council. We, the Council Key 4 were required to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) regarding the bankruptcy, so there are some details (numbers) that we cannot share at this point. However, we can say that our Council has been assigned to pay a non-negotiable multi-million-dollar payment. The Council Board, which is made up of volunteers representing communities and districts from around the Council is discussing ways to satisfy this amount.

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On 6/25/2021 at 1:00 PM, ThenNow said:

I don't think was posted yet. Per the Amended Plan and Disclosure Statement, Pages 173-4:

13. Settlement Trust Expenses The Settlement Trust shall pay all Settlement Trust Expenses from the Settlement Trust Assets. The Settlement Trust shall bear sole responsibility with respect to the payment of the Settlement Trust Expenses. Additionally, the Settlement Trust shall promptly pay all reasonable and documented Settlement Trust Expenses incurred by any Protected Party for any and all liabilities, costs or expenses as a result of taking action on behalf of or at the direction of the Settlement Trust.

16. Compensation of Settlement Trustee and Retention of Professionals The Settlement Trustee shall be entitled to compensation as provided for in the Settlement Trust Agreement. The Settlement Trustee may retain and reasonably compensate, without Bankruptcy Court approval, counsel and other professionals as reasonably necessary to assist in their duties as Settlement Trustee, subject to the terms of the Settlement Trust Agreement. All fees and expenses incurred in connection with the foregoing shall be payable from the Settlement Trust as provided for in the Settlement Trust Agreement.

Managing 84,000 claims.  Fighting with insurance if they were real or not.  Establishing injury calculations.  Removing duplicates.  Managing allocations as dollars come in.   (... These $$$ are from camp $$$ which covers these 311 claimants with this finding of injury...  Sending funds (to victim or lawyer ... confirming both lawyers and victims really got their funds ...  ... oh wait ... that camp is across state boundaries ... and in another council ... what years was that and is it during a liability window ... )   ...  Billing rates starting at $300+.  Often $500+.  Sometimes $1500.  ... Allocating profit share off the top.

... 75% gone ...

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My personality is the kind that sees the glass half full not half empty. The solution to disappointing recoveries from the BSA and LC’s is making the pot much bigger with insurance carriers and CO recoveries. Chubb, for example, lists assets of 175B and 45B in premium revenues  It pays big dividends. Same with Hartford. And all the hundreds of other carriers with exposure  The dioceses have Catholic Mutual which is backstopped by the Vatican  The LDS church has insurance with huge reinsurers like XL Bermuda. The Church has a massive stockpile of assets the scope of which is which known only to the angel Moroni. Best estimates are north of a trillion  

So let’s be cheerful. There are insurance plaintiffs lawyers who are Jedi Knights when it comes to litigating against insurance companies.

 

Look at it this way, Do you want 66% of 5B or 55% of 30B?

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If you were to ask me to extract some billions from anyone (legally or otherwise), I would expect about half the take. It really doesn’t matter who you are or how tough life’s been for you. I’d need that much in order to arrange the resources for the next attempted extraction on behalf of whoever else for whom I may be asked to raid a castle.

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17 hours ago, qwazse said:

If you were to ask me to extract some billions from anyone (legally or otherwise), I would expect about half the take. It really doesn’t matter who you are or how tough life’s been for you. I’d need that much in order to arrange the resources for the next attempted extraction on behalf of whoever else for whom I may be asked to raid a castle.

This feels like you are saying that survivors of abuse are extracting (possibly illegally) billions and shouldn't expect half of the take (common word for stolen money?). That you would need that much to to extract (steal) if some one raided a castle (stealing again?). And it really doesn't matter who you are (abuse survivors) or how tough life's been for you (being, raped as a child and having to live with that for your life).  (deleted-personal attack)

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27 minutes ago, johnsch322 said:

This feels like you are saying that survivors of abuse are extracting (possibly illegally) billions and shouldn't expect half of the take (common word for stolen money?). That you would need that much to to extract (steal) if some one raided a castle (stealing again?). And it really doesn't matter who you are (abuse survivors) or how tough life's been for you (being, raped as a child and having to live with that for your life).  If this is what you mean than BSA should be ashamed to have you associated with it and I would tend to think that you are part of the problem definitely not part the solution.  

And it feels like you are writing an ad hominem, which violates forum rules. I respectfully advise you to relent. Meanwhile allow me to restate …
Plaintiffs get help in acquiring large sums. It doesn’t matter how vile the holder of those sums is, it doesn’t matter how righteous the plaintiffs’ cause, the party who helps will reasonably expect half the award so as to continue their agenda, whatever it may be.

If this is not neutral enough language, I’m happy to revise further.

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On 6/26/2021 at 10:56 AM, johnsch322 said:

The TCC has been extremely quiet.  Any idea about the next town hall?

 

Vegas odds say the next one will be Wednesday 6/30.  Stand by.

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21 minutes ago, qwazse said:

And it feels like you are writing an ad hominem, which violates forum rules. I respectfully advise you to relent. Meanwhile allow me to restate …
Plaintiffs get help in acquiring large sums. It doesn’t matter how vile the holder of those sums is, it doesn’t matter how righteous the plaintiffs’ cause, the party who helps will reasonably expect half the award so as to continue their agenda, whatever it may be.

If this is not neutral enough language, I’m happy to revise further.

Sounds less like attacking survivors.  I am sorry for being a bit personal.  I wouldn't wish my misery on anyone and I feel for those who are innocent of the acts that were committed upon my body and soul.  Conversely there is no amount of money that could actually compensate me or other survivors.  

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My apologies for delayed action in some cases, I've been preparing for and then attending summer camp for the last 12 days or so and the scavenger conversation got unfortunate traction.  All comments referring to lawyers as scavengers has been deleted along with those portions of responses that quoted the comments.  No penalties are being issued at this time,  but please take this as a reminder that the previously established rules for this thread still apply.

  • No generalized bashing of lawyers (though comments on specific attorney actions are acceptable);
  • No referring to victims as money-grubbing or anything of that nature;
  • No comments or posts without actually asking a question, making a point or explaining your rationale. (ie: no one-liner snide or sarcastic posts)
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