Below is a list of items that should be included in the statement.
While not all of these occur on every statement, they should all be reviewed. Anything left off the statement could become the responsibility of the firm once all funds are disbursed.
1. Gross Settlement Proceeds – Amount to be disbursed and any structured amount. Please distinguish these amounts by listing out the payor/defendant, insurance company, if paid by an insurance company, and the amount of each check and/or structure.
2. Consult with attorney on whether there should be one settlement statement or multiple statements (i.e., wrongful death & estate, separate statement for each client, etc)?
3. Attorneys Fees – these should be on the client contract. Was the suit filed? If so, the fee may be higher. Was it appealed? This may also result in a higher fee.
4. If there is a referring or co-counsel, what is the fee split between our firm and referring counsel and co-counsel? Ideally, find the original writing. Attorneys often presume they know the split with co-counsel. Find out if the fee split was reduced to writing.
5. Any referring or co-counsel expenses – also need attorney name or firm to which the reimbursement will be payable, along with address and federal tax identification number.
6. Are there any subrogation claims or liens? If so, how much escrow should be withheld?
7. How much escrow should be withheld for future expenses? Keep in mind that credit card charges and Federal Express bills run a month behind.
8. Have all experts been contacted for their final bill? If you have any doubt about a certain expense occurring, ask.
9. Is there a vehicle (or exemplar) that will need to be sold?
10. Was there an advance made to the client? Was there a bank loan? Did the client get an advance from a settlement company?
11. How will the client funds be disbursed? By check? Are the funds going into a trust? By wire? If so, wiring instructions should include name, address and phone number with contact information from the bank, bank routing number, bank account number, name as listed on the receiving account.
That's it. The statement will be generated for you and appear in the client channel momentarily.