Women’s Bar discusses compromise orders at monthly CLE
The Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association (BWBA) and the Nathan R. Sobel American Inn of Court discussed death and infant compromise orders during a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) roundtable discussion at the Kings County Supreme Court on Thursday.
Judge Pamela L. Fisher was joined by lawyers Consuelo Mallafre and Michele S. Mirman during the CLE seminar titled “Compromise Orders 101: Death and Infant Compromise Orders.”
“A compromise order is any settlement that involves an infant, a minor, anyone under the age of 18 or an incapacitated person, where that settlement needs to be approved by the court,” Fisher explained.
The trio discussed what attorneys can do to make the process easier when they get to court. They also warned of pitfalls lawyers often fall into and suggested ways to avoid delaying the process.
“We get a lot of questions from lawyers and even court attorneys and court staff on some of the things that they should be looking for and what their concerns are so we focus on that,” Fisher said. “You don’t want to make it too onerous on the practitioners, of course, but the court has to protect the interest of the child. So you need to make sure that those two things go together.
“That’s really the whole purpose because, historically, when you read these old cases, they might have been settled for very little money even though the child might have been severely injured because the parents or someone else just wanted to get the money, or they might not have fully appreciated or understood what some of the medical needs would be going forward,” she continued.
Fisher, Mallafre and Mirman spent a lot of time discussing problems attorneys have when clients don’t understand what the money is for or try to restructure payments when needs arise.
“When you deal with people who, maybe, don’t have a lot of money, they may look at this as a pot of gold because there is all that money sitting there and they can’t pay their rent this month,” Fisher said. “But the purpose is to pay for future medical and custodial expenses for the child who is injured.”
The BWBA will host its next event, an Appellate Division lunch, on Wednesday, Oct. 28, and will host a spa day and ethics CLE seminar on Saturday, Nov. 14.
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