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Don't let defendants
and their insurers
dictate the financial
terms of the claim
-Dick Risk


“A negligent defendant responsible for causing injury to our
clients should not be able to dictate the terms of a structured
settlement. Qualified Settlement Funds are a vehicle for the
Plaintiff to take control of the settlement process. Dick Risk
has assisted us and several of our clients in navigating the
complex waters of QSFs. He has educated us on the benefits
of such funds, prepared opinion letters and drafted court
documents to establish the fund. Dick’s advice and work is
cost effective and delivered on time. His capable and
professional work has allowed us to maximize recoveries for
many clients and I am pleased to recommend him to my
colleagues around the country.”

Robert F. Spohrer, Esq. — Trial Lawyer, Member of Inner
Circle of Advocates, Listed in
Best Lawyers in America,
Spohrer Wilner Maxwell & Matthews, Jacksonville, Florida
Dick Risk knew there was something wrong with the way the
insurance industry in general handled structured settlements.
He was introduced to structured settlements some twenty-five
years ago, when they were first coming into use. Soon after
he placed his first annuity as a structured settlement
consultant, he realized that many liability insurance companies
and self-insured corporations who used structured
settlements as a negotiating tool to settle physical injury
claims were secretly profiting from them at the expense of the
victims. When he became a vocal critic of his own industry,
they ostracized him. Each time he attempted to clean up the
industry through legislation, the powerful insurance lobbyists
thwarted his efforts. Undaunted, Dick knew there was still one
viable avenue available to him—the courts. But, there was a
problem—he wasn’t a lawyer.

To resolve that issue, he entered law school at The University
of Tulsa at age 57, as a part-time student, graduating three
years later by spending his summers abroad, including TU’s
study program in Dublin, Ireland; Miami University's program in
London, and Tulane's program in Amsterdam. While in law
school, he was an honor roll student, an intern for two judges
and a law firm, a member of Phi Delta Phi legal honors
fraternity, and on the staff of the
Tulsa Law Review (nee Tulsa
Law Journal
), which published his comment, “Structured
Settlements: The Ongoing Evolution from a Liability Insurer’s
Ploy to an Injury Victim’s Boon,” 36 Tulsa L.J. 865 (2001).
That article foretold what would become his mission as a

Too old at age 60 to join a law firm as a junior associate with
the prospect of someday becoming a partner, Dick set out on
his own as a solo practitioner. While developing his nationwide
niche law practice, he collected facts about the structured
settlement industry and developed theories of damages to a
class of people who had settled their injury claims and were
cheated in the process. A couple years later, Dick was able to
convince a class action firm of the merits of his case, and he
signed three individuals as class representative plaintiffs.
Eventually, the litigation team grew to four law firms, including
Dick’s solo practice, and they filed a class action in
District Court, District of Connecticut (Civ. No. 3:05-cv-01681-
JCH), in late 2005 against one of the nation’s largest financial
services groups, alleging mail and wire fraud and violations of
the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
(RICO). After nearly five years of legal wrangling and a trip to
Second Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals, where class
certification was affirmed, and after two separate mediations
early in 2010, the defendants maintain their innocence of
wrongdoing, but they agreed to
settle the claims of some
22,000-plus class members for $72.5 million. His class action
lawsuit was followed by the insurer’s exit from the structured
settlement annuity marketplace. Some other insurers have
revised their structured settlement policies to allow plaintiffs
more rights in structuring their settlements.

Dick is a 1963 graduate of Oklahoma State University,
receiving a B.A. in Radio & Television, with postgraduate
studies at Boston University (Public Communications), The
University of Tulsa (Business Administration and Law) and the
University of Oklahoma (Public Administration). He received a
juris doctorate from The University of Tulsa College of Law in
2001 and is admitted to practice law in all federal and state
jurisdictions in Oklahoma. He is certified by the Supreme
Court of Oklahoma as a mediator.

In 2011, the University of Tulsa established The Richard B.
Risk, Jr., Practicum Endowment Fund in his honor, the
distributed annual income from which will fund an annual
practicum in the TU College of Law on a variety of subjects,
including settlement planning.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Dick served in the Senior
Executive Service of the United States in a sub-Cabinet
position as a bureau head in the administration of President
Reagan. He was an executive with two publicly held
corporations, and served as a staff officer, general’s aide and
commander in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam era,
receiving multiple decorations for meritorious service and the
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for a squadron that he
commanded in Thailand.
Click Here for
information on
$72.5 million
class action
(See Spencer v
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