The Thursday Report 3.6.2014 – BP 5th Circuit Dec. and Much More

BP Claims Process – Appeals Fuel Delay in Payments and Confusion for Claimants

Please No More Tax Reform, an article by Denis Kleinfeld

Seminar and Webinar Announcements: Ave Maria Speaker Bruce Stone

Lawyer Tagged in Bankruptcy Court for $500,000 Transfer Through His Trust Account

Attorney Humor! – A Contradiction of Terms?

We welcome contributions for future Thursday Report topics. If you are interested in making a contribution as a guest writer, please email Janine Gunyan at

This report and other Thursday Reports can be found on our website at

BP Claims Process – Appeals Fuel Delay in Payments and Confusion for Claimants

By: John Goldsmith and Alan Gassman

Although Significantly Delayed by the Fifth Circuit Appeals, Recent Rulings May Allow Claims to be Processed Again.

BP, apparently no longer concerned enough with its reputation to act as a good citizen, is instead acting as an ardent litigator attempting to renounce the settlement it negotiated and urged the Court to approve. The result has been an injunction which had the effect of preventing the BP Claims Administrator from adjudicating or paying any claims for almost five months while the Fifth Circuit resolved BP’s attempt to get out of the settlement.  Two recent rulings by the Fifth Circuit, rejecting BP’s attempt to reject the settlement, may lead to resumption of the BP Claims Administrator adjudicating and paying claims.  BP did, however, win one important legal battle which may have a significant effect on the computation of certain claims.

The recent decisions of the federal District Court and the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals are summarized as follows:

  1. A three Judge panel of the Fifth Circuit, Court of Appeals has instructed the BP claims administrator from paying any BP claims, or making final determinations, until the Fifth Circuit resolves the issues discussed below. This injunction has slowed the processing of claims as well.
  2. The Courts recently required the BP Claims Administrator to develop new criteria to “match revenue with expenses”. It is not clear what that means, and BP and the BP plaintiffs’ steering committee have submitted competing guidelines to the claims administrator. The BP claims administrator issued draft guidelines two weeks ago but those guidelines have not yet been made public.  Given BP’s recent history it will likely challenge any proposed guidelines in the federal District Court, and then appeal any decision to the Fifth Circuit.
  3. The Fifth Circuit, in two recent rulings by different three Judge panels, ruled that claimants are NOT required to prove that their losses were caused by theoil spill. Rather, in conformity with the BP settlement agreement and with BPs original interpretations of the settlement, if the BP claimant has the required drop in revenue during the applicable period in 2010 in comparison to the same time period in prior years, and the required increase in revenue during the same time period in 2011, it is conclusively determined that any losses of a BP claimant were caused by the BP oil spill.
  4. A three Judge panel of the Fifth Circuit recently affirmed the Federal District Court’s December 2012 order approving the BP settlement agreement.  In an unprecedented move, BP joined the parties appealing the approval of the settlement agreement, thereby objecting to the same settlement agreement BP negotiated, agreed to, and actively sought approval from the Federal District Court. The Fifth Circuit specifically ruled that the U.S. Constitution and federal law do not require that each BP claimant make an individual claim showing that the claimant’s losses were caused by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This is an important victory for BP claimants and in keeping with the BP settlement agreement. BP asked the entire Fifth Circuit (referred to as “en banc”) to review this decision. 
  5. Based on these recent rulings, the Fifth Circuit ruled that the injunction preventing adjudication and payment of claims will be lifted as soon as the Fifth Circuit resolves whether it will review these decisions en banc. 

There is no deadline for a final decision on any of these issues. Our best guess is that no BP claims will be paid until June 2014, while these issues are hopefully sorted out. However, it could take much longer, perhaps more than a year. The only certainty is that there is a significant delay in the claims administrator making final determinations and payments on all BP claims.

Please No More Tax Reform
by Denis Kleinfeld


Congressman Dave Camp, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, has proposed the Tax Reform Act of 2014 (TRA) 2014.

The press release proudly proclaims that this piece of legislation is a means to fix the broken tax code by lowering rates while making the code simpler and fairer for families and job creators.

This will spur stronger economic growth, greater job creation, and puts more money in the hands of hardworking taxpayers.

It does all this without raising the deficit. Of course, it doesn’t reduce the deficit either.

No prior tax law has fixed the tax code, made compliance simpler, enabled job creation, spurred economic growth or let hardworking taxpayers keep more of their money.

Not ever.

Chairman Camp wants the American taxpayer to believe that this time it is going to be different.

We are expected to swallow this since the legislation has been analyzed by the “non-partisan Joint Committee on Tax (JCT).”

For those poor souls who are unfamiliar with that tower of credibility the JVCT, it is a congressional committee composed of equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans. Every congressperson appointed to the JCT is there precisely because they are fiercely political and fervently partisan.

There is no argument by either Democrats or Republicans that the income tax is a broken system.

The draft legislation as proposed by Chairman Camp is a 900 page monstrosity that raises $600 billion dollars in additional taxes.

It is widely praised by every form of lobbying organization. Anyone who makes a living of off the government thinks the TRA 2014 to be a godsend.  Tax professionals are just giddy over the prospect of another tax reform law.

To put congressional tax reform legislation in perspective, the Tax Reform Act of 1969 was passed just as I was starting my tax career. That was followed by tax legislation, as best as I can recall,  in 1970, ’71, ’72, ’74, ’76,’78, ’80, ’81, ’82, ’84, ’86, ’88, —-almost every year right up to the now proposed TRA of 2014.

Nobody running for congress has ever read the Internal Revenue Code, but does promise most sincerely during each election cycle that if elected they will reform it and create more jobs to boot.

This is a political scam going into its 101st year.  Politicians know and rely on the fact that taxpayers have little to no understanding of the income tax law.

Then again, it is questionable whether tax professionals or the IRS is much better off.

Chairman Camp says the TRA 2014 will tackle waste, fraud and abuse at the IRS. It is an old story and a good con to pull especially around election time. Congress told this tale in the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998.  Congress assured us then that the abuse of taxpayers would end.

It did not.

The Internal Revenue Code is already some 75,000 pages long. It has been “reformed” one way or another by congress nearly every year since 1969.

Do you think that the income tax as imposed on you will get better or worse if congress monkeys yet again with the tax law?

I think that this time we should tell congress, “Please, no more tax reform.”

Ave Maria Law School 1st Annual Estate Planning Conference

Speaker Profile: Bruce Stone


Bruce Stone will be speaking on “A Dozen of My Top Favorite Planning Ideas That I’m Willing to Talk About.” at the 1st Annual Ave Maria Estate Planning Conference on Friday, April 25, 2014 at Ave Maria School of Law in Naples, Florida.  For information about the conference please click here.

Bruce’s talk will focus on a wide variety of issues and problems in estate planning and administration, with an emphasis on practical solutions.  The problems will be presented through specific real life examples commonly encountered in estate planning and administration.  The legal issues involved in each discussion will be discussed, and specific solutions (including model form for us in will and trust drafting) will be offered.

Bruce is a shareholder of Goldman Felcoski & Stone P.A.  His practice consists primarily of estate planning for both domestic and foreign clients. A significant portion of his practice involves disputed or complex problem situations in which he is retained to find creative planning solutions or to serve as expert witness, mediator or arbitrator. Bruce is admitted to practice in Florida. He is a lifelong resident of Florida. He graduated from the University of Florida with high honors in 1971 and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He graduated from the Florida State University College of Law with highest honors in 1973, where he was first in his class and editor in chief of the law review.

Bruce is a Fellow and current Vice President of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and serves on its Executive Committee and Board of Regents. He is a past chair of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of The Florida Bar. Bruce is a member of the Joint Editorial Board for Uniform Trust and Estate Acts, which monitors and recommends updates to the Uniform Probate Code, the Uniform Trust Code, and all other trust and estate related uniform laws on a nationwide basis. He is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning. He is an Academician in the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law. He has been named as one of the top 10 or top 100 Florida attorneys in all issues of Florida Superlawyers since its publication, as one of the 45 best trusts and estates attorneys in the United States in the August 1998 issue of Town and Country magazine, and as one of the most influential people in Miami in the December 2012 issue of Poder Hispanic magazine. He is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, has been listed in every edition of Best Lawyers of America since 1987, and is rated by Chambers USA in Band 1 for Tax: Estate Planning. In 2001 he received the first ever Friend of the Trust Industry award from the Florida Bankers Association. He was the principal drafter of Florida’s legislation in 2000 authorizing dynasty trusts and allowing modification and reformation of irrevocable trusts, and a 2010 statute governing planning for homestead property through the use of irrevocable inter vivos trusts. He has been extensively involved in the drafting of Florida legislation concerning elective share rights of surviving spouses and the administration of trusts.

In addition to his practice, Bruce is an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law, where he teaches in the graduate master’s program in estate planning. He is a frequent lecturer for organizations such as the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, the American Bar Association, ALI-CLE, the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, and the Florida Bar. 

Lawyer Tagged in Bankruptcy Court for $500,000 Transfer Through His Trust Account

By: Travis Arango and Alan S. Gassman


Judge Michael G. Williamson is the Chief Judge for the Middle District Bankruptcy Court in Tampa, Florida. He graduated from Duke University in 1973 and from Georgetown University Law Center in 1976.  He practiced for many years in Orlando with the law firm of McGuire, Voorhis & Wells, which became Holland & Knight.  He was appointed to serve as a Judge in the Bankruptcy Court in 2000.  Judge Williamson recently ruled on whether a lawyer who allows money to pass through his trust account in a fraudulent transfer situation can be found personally liable to the creditor pursuant to Bankruptcy Code Section 550(a)(1).  Information on this decision should be of great interest to lawyers who represent individuals who have eminent creditor situations and is discussed below.

New case law may have you thinking twice about listening to your client’s request to disburse funds in certain ways. This may seem counter-intuitive to lawyers who have always been taught to be loyal and zealous advocates for their clients.

Harwell establishes that a lawyer may be held liable for disbursing funds in the way a client wishes, if they are being disbursed with the intent to defraud creditors. The facts are pretty straightforward. The attorney in question was representing his client in two separate matters, a shareholder dispute and a judgment entered in Colorado. The first matter resulted in the client receiving a substantial settlement from a shareholder dispute action that was to be deposited into an escrow account held by the attorney’s firm. The second matter was a judgment entered against the client for over one million dollars. Neither the client nor the attorney revealed to the party which held the million dollar judgment that the client was receiving settlement payments.

Instead of satisfying the existing million dollar judgment, the client instructed the lawyer to disburse the funds to third parties which included the client’s wife, father, and other various people. The attorney followed the client’s instructions with the knowledge that there was this substantial judgment in place. The attorney was eventually served with a writ of garnishment which he in turn had quashed. After the writ was quashed, the attorney obtained and distributed cashier’s checks payable to his client and other third parties. A month later, the client filed for bankruptcy in Colorado. The trustee of the bankruptcy estate filed a claim against the attorney under 11 U.S.C. § 550(a)(1) to recover the funds that were disbursed by the “initial transferee.” Section 550(a)(1) states:

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, to the extent that a transfer is avoided under section 544, 545, 547, 548, 549, 553(b), or 724(a) of this title, the trustee may recover, for the benefit of the estate, the property transferred, or, if the court so orders, the value of such property, from–

(1) the initial transferee of such transfer or the entity for whose benefit such transfer was made;

The procedural history of this case is like a roller coaster:

This case began in Colorado but was then moved to the Bankruptcy Court in the Middle District of Florida before Judge Williamson, who is a very experienced jurist. The issue before the Bankruptcy Court on summary judgment was whether or not the lawyer, Mr. Hutton, or his firm, was the initial transferee. Based on the facts presented, Judge Williamson entered summary judgment in favor of Mr. Hutton, concluding that he was not an initial transferee, but only a “conduit” for the transfers. Judge Williamson’s analysis centered around the fact that the money was never actually paid to Mr. Hutton but was instead put in an escrow account. Because of this, he was found to have not been the initial transferee, and the court’s analysis went no further.

On appeal to the Federal District Court in Tampa, Judge James S. Moody, Jr. affirmed Judge Williamson’s decision and concluded that Mr. Hutton and his law firm received the funds in question on behalf of his client. Thus, he was acting in a fiduciary capacity and obligated to disburse the funds in accordance with instructions from his client. The District Court’s reasoning was based on the fact that the funds in the trust belonged to the client, and not to Mr. Hutton and the firm.

The case was then appealed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which concluded that the Bankruptcy Court and the District Court did not employ the required two-part test of 11 U.S.C. Section 550(a)(1), which reads as follows:

Initial recipients of the debtor’s fraudulently transferred funds who seek to take advantage of the equitable exceptions to § 550(a)(1)’s statutory language must establish (1) that they did not have control over the assets received, i.e., that they merely served as a conduit for the assets that were under the actual control of the debtor-transferor and (2) that they acted in good faith and as an innocent participant in the fraudulent transfer

It would therefore have to be shown that both of the following elements were satisfied:  1. that the defendant did not have control over the assets received and 2. that the defendant acted in good faith and was innocent in the fraudulent transfer. The 11th Circuit concluded that Mr. Hutton was in fact an initial transferee under 11 U.S.C. § 550 (a)(1).

The case eventually made its way back to the Bankruptcy Court where the attorney and the trustee could offer evidence and arguments on whether he had control over the funds and acted in good faith. After listening to both parties’ oral arguments, Judge Williamson delivered a humble and solid opinion, which included the following statement:

I thought the law was that if it’s a conduit, you don’t even get to good faith or knowledge because the attorney never controlled it . . . you have to be a conduit in the sense it has to be a trust account situation like this one. And you have to take in good faith, and be an innocent participant in the transfers in and out of a trust account. So under these circumstances… I find that the transfers made back to Mr. Harwell were not made in good faith, and there were still part of the same set of transactions that were meant to get the money away from the prevailing party in the judgment against Mr. Harwell. Under the Eleventh Circuit ruling in this case, Mr. Hutton cannot claim conduit status even for those transfers.

Judge Williamson observed that there are no excuses for a lawyer who initiates and personally effectuates a fraudulent transfer for the purpose of hiding assets from a creditor when they do not act in good faith. That is to say, when the attorney gains knowledge that the transaction may be fraudulent, they must “immediately cease participating and take actions to return the money being held to the client and cease participating and assisting the client in the steps that the client is undertaking to fraudulently transfer assets out of the reach of the creditor.”

This decision may have put attorneys between a rock (the duty to your client) and a hard place (knowing when to deny your client’s request). First, a lawyer may still be the initial transferee even when the money goes directly into escrow. Second, as an attorney your loyalty is to your client; however, if you know or should know your client is attempting to make a fraudulent transfer using your services you cannot actively assist them. The court gave a couple of ways to handle this situation: 1. refuse to receive the funds or 2. do not distribute the funds in a fraudulent way and instead just give them to the client directly. Hopefully this decision does not make attorneys fearful of their clients and concerned about any transfer. The court stated there will be times when lawyers will transfer funds in the ordinary course of business with no warning that they are actually helping a client with a fraudulent transfer. In this situation, good faith will protect the lawyer. Just do not be oblivious to serious red flags, such as your client having a judgment against them and quickly wanting to move funds to friends and family.

But, what happens when the attorney thinks the transfer is fraudulent but is mistaken? The attorney may lose a client and/or have a bar complaint filed against him or her.

If you have enjoyed this roller coaster ride and are thirsty for more, take a look at In re Cargo Transportation Services, Inc., 502 B.R. 875, 880 (Bankr. MD. Fla. 2013). This is a case with somewhat similar circumstances to In re Harwell, but in this case Judge Williamson ruled in favor of the law firm, stating that they were a mere conduit and acted in good faith. In Cargo, the law firm handled funds from a settlement and transferred the funds pursuant to what the court found to be as follows:

[T]he processes by which the Law Firm received and handled the settlement funds—including the payment of its fees from the funds transferred to its client—were entirely subject to federal court orders, federal law, and rules of professional responsibility. The Law Firm followed these proscriptions to the letter, and the money flowed through as it was required to do pursuant to various court orders entered by the bankruptcy court presiding over the case in which the settlement was approved.

When the trustee of the bankruptcy estate pursued the firm under section 550(a)(1), the court held that it never had control of the funds, and that it acted in good faith, thus meeting the two prong “control” test discussed above. The court also cited other cases with similar factual patterns.

In the end, use your legal expertise and common sense to know when something is fishy. Always be a zealous advocate for your client but know when to protect yourself and catch red flags so that you do not participate in a fraudulent transfer. Much like the Colonel’s secret recipe, you may never know the exact formula to follow to avoid being on the losing side of one of these cases, but you can avoid conduct that has gotten others in trouble in the past.

Attorney Humor! – A Contradiction of Terms?
by Ronald Ross 

How to coax an attorney out from under his desk after he’s read a John Grisham novel:

“Honestly, there is no conspiracy to kill our clients in order to win control over their estates, and we’re not trying to kill you so you don’t find out about the alleged conspiracy……………Yes, you’re a valuable member of this firm, and I promise if there was an exciting conspiracy, we would include you………Okay, if there was a conspiracy you can choose the actor who plays you in the movie……Bradley Cooper? I don’t think he would fit under your desk.”

Applicable Federal Rates

Below we have this month, last month’s, and the preceding month’s Applicable Federal Rates, because for a sale you can use the lowest of the 3.




March 2014 Annual 0.28% Annual 1.84% Annual 3.36%
Semi-Annual 0.28% Semi-Annual 1.83% Semi-Annual 3.33%
Quarterly 0.28% Quarterly 1.83% Quarterly 3.32%
Monthly 0.28% Monthly 1.82% Monthly 3.31%
February 2014 Annual 0.30% Annual 1.97% Annual 3.56%
Semi-Annual 0.30% Semi-Annual 1.96% Semi-Annual 3.53%
Quarterly 0.30% Quarterly 1.96% Quarterly 3.51%
Monthly 0.30% Monthly 1.95% Monthly 3.50%
January 2014 Annual 0.25% Annual 1.75% Annual 3.49%
Semi-Annual 0.25% Semi-Annual 1.65% Semi-Annual 3.46%
Quarterly 0.25% Quarterly 1.73% Quarterly 3.45%
Monthly 0.25% Monthly 1.93% Monthly 3.44%

The 7520 rate for March is 2.2% and for February was 2.4%

Seminars and Webinars


Alan Gassman will be speaking on What Healthcare Lawyers Need to Know About Tax Law and Business Entities at this excellent annual Florida Bar conference that is attended not only by those who are taking the Board Certification exam but also healthcare lawyers and other advisors.

Other speakers will include Lester Perling who is the co-author of A Practical Guide to Kickback and Self-Referral Laws for Florida Physicians and a number of other books and publications, and Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and the “dwarf planet” formerly known as Pluto!

Date:    March 7 – 8, 2014

Location: Hyatt, Orlando, Florida

Additional Information: We thank Jodi Laurence and Sandra Greenblatt for all of their hard work in making this conference as successful as it is.  For more information please contact Jodi at or Sandra at



Alan Gassman and Christopher Denicolo will be speaking at the Hillsborough County Bar Association’s Health Law Section Luncheon on the topic of Tax and Asset Protection Basics for Those Who Represent Physicians and Medical Practices.

Date:    March 12, 2014

Location:  Chester H. Ferguson Law Center in Tampa, FL

Additional Information: For additional information please contact Co-Chairs Sara Younger ( or Thomas Ferrante (



On Saturday, March 15, 2014, Alan Gassman will join Judge Claudia Rickert Isom and Hillsborough County Bar Association President Susan E. Johnson-Valez for a panel discussion on the Benefits of Serving as a Community Leader.  We welcome any and all questions, comments and suggestions for this presentation. We are developing a criteria worksheet that professionals can use to decide what the costs and benefits are of the many different non-billable activities and causes that we all have the opportunity to support.

Date: Saturday, March 15, 2014

Location: Marriott Tampa Airport

Additional Information: To register for the program please email



Date: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 | 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Location: Online webinar sponsored by Strafford Publications, Inc.

Speakers: Alan S. Gassman, Christopher Denicolo and Edwin P. Morrow, III, Esq.

Additional Information: To register for the webinar please visit or email



Date: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 12:30 p.m. or Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 5:00 p.m.

Location: Online webinar

Speakers: Lester Perling and Alan Gassman

Additional Information: To register for the March 19, 2014 webinar please click here.  To register for the April 1, 2014 webinar please click here.



Alan Gassman will be speaking at the Wealth Council Florida Forum on Counseling Same-S** Couples in 2014

Date: Friday, March 21, 2014 | 10:30 – 12:00 p.m.

Location: Holiday Inn at the Orlando Airport

Additional Information: For more information and to register for the program please email



Date: Monday, April 7, 2014 | 12:30 p.m.

Location: Online webinar

Speaker: Alan S. Gassman

Additional Information: To register for this webinar please visit



Alan S. Gassman will be speaking at the FICPA Suncoast Chapter’s monthly meeting on the topic of THE FLORIDA CPA’S GUIDE TO PLANNING WITH PHYSICIANS AND MEDICAL PRACTICES

Date: Thursday, April 17, 2014 | 4:00 p.m.

Location: Tampa, Florida

Additional Information: For more information on this event please email or



Sponsored by Gassman, Crotty & Denicolo, P.A. Co-sponsors invited.

Professor Jerry Hesch will be speaking at a Donor Luncheon on the topic of CHARITABLE TAX SAVINGS: HOW TO MAKE SURE THAT UNCLE SAM CONTRIBUTES HIS SHARE TO MAXIMIZE RESULTS

Date: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 | TIME TO BE DETERMINED

Location: Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, Florida

Additional Information: For additional information please contact Suzanne Ruley at or Alan Gassman at



Professor Jerry Hesch will be speaking at the Ruth Eckerd Hall Planned Giving Meeting in Clearwater, Florida on the topic of INNOVATIVE CHARITABLE GIVING TECHNIQUES FOR THE WELL TUNED ESTATE PLANNER

Sponsored by Gassman, Crotty & Denicolo, P.A. Co-sponsors invited.

Date: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 | 4:00 p.m.

Location: Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, Florida

Additional Information: This session qualifies for 1 hour of continuing education credit for lawyers and CPA’s.  To attend please email Suzanne Ruley at or Alan Gassman at



Speakers: Speakers will include Professor Jerry Hesch, Jonathan Gopman, Alan Gassman and others.

Alan Gassman will cover Using Estate Planning Techniques to Optimize Family Wealth Preservation.

Date: April 25, 2014

Location: Ave Maria School of Law, Naples, Florida

Sponsors:AveMariaSchool of Law, Collier County Estate Planning Council and more to be announced.

Additional Information: For more information on this event please contact visit



Date: Thursday, May 8, 2014

Speakers and Agenda:

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. – How I ask Questions and Obtain the Right Documents and Information to Develop a Client’s Asset Protection Profile.

Speaker: Denis Kleinfeld, Esq.

9:00 a.m. – 9:40 a.m. – How I Structure an Integrated Income, Estate Tax, and Asset Protection Family Plan.

Speaker: Alan S. Gassman, Esq.

9:40 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. – The New Designer Entities B How to Use These Cutting Edge Tools to Protect Wealth.

Speaker: Howard Fisher, Esq. and Alex Fisher, Esq.

10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.  Break (Mingle and Exchange Cards)

10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – How I Decide Whether To Use Domestic or Foreign or A Mix of Both in Creating a Protective Plan.

Speaker: Barry Engel, Esq.

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. – What The Case Law Tells Me About Charging Orders and Declaratory Judgments.

Speaker: Jay Adkisson, Esq.

12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch (Box Lunch) – Income and Estate Tax Issues For 2014 B Q & A.

Speaker: Jerry Hesch, Esq.

1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – What We Think You Need to Know About Asset Protection Litigation and Obtaining A Good Result For the Client.

Speakers: Jay Adkisson, Howard Fisher, Alex Fisher and Denis Kleinfeld.

2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.  Break

2:45 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. – What are the Ethical, Legal and Administrative Liability Exposures in Wealth Protection Planning and How Do We Protect Ourselves.

Speakers: Barry Engel, Alan Gassman, Jerry Hesch, and Denis Kleinfeld.

4:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Open Forum Q & A

Speakers: Barry Engel, Jay Adkisson, Howard Fisher, Jerry Hesch, Alan Gassman and Denis Kleinfeld.

Location: Hyatt Regency Downtown, Miami, Florida

Additional Information: For more information please contact



Alan Gassman will be speaking at the Ohio Conference on Wealth Transfer on The Joint Exempt Step-Up Trust as well as participating in a panel discussion the evening before.

Date: June 4, 2014

Location: Hilton at Easton, Columbus, Ohio

Additional Information:  For more information on the conference and to register for the conference please contact



Date: November 13 and 14, 2014

Location: Century Center, South Bend, Indiana

We welcome questions, comments and suggestions on variable annuities, which will be Alan Gassman’s topic for this conference.

Additional Information: The focus of this year’s institute will be on “Business Succession Planning: An Income Tax, Estate Tax and Financial Analysis.”  As in past years, several sessions are designed to evaluate certain financial products and tax planning techniques so that the audience can better understand and evaluate these proposals in determining not only the tax and financial advantages they offer, but also evaluate limitations and problems they may cause in the future.  Given that fewer clients will need high-end estate tax planning with the $5 million exemptions, other sessions will address concerns that all clients have.  For example, a session will describe scams that target elderly individuals and how to protect the elderly from these scams.  As part of the objective on refreshing or introducing the audience to areas that can expand their practice, other sessions will review the income tax consequences of debt cancellation, foreclosures, short sales, the special concerns that arise in bankruptcy and various planning available to eliminate the cancellation of debt income or at least defer it with a possible step-up basis at death.  The Institute will also continue to have sessions devoted to income tax planning techniques that clients can use immediately instead of waiting to save estate taxes far in the future.