A nationwide practice of helping
injury victims through their attorneys
Biography: Richard B. Risk, Jr.
Don't let defendants
and their insurers
dictate the financial
terms of the claim
-Dick Risk
Dick Risk has devoted his law practice to issues relating to settlement
planning. He works with attorneys of injury victim claimants to help their
clients make wise financial decisions to rehabilitate themselves from their
injuries, make adjustments in their life style necessitated by their injury, and
refocus their life goals.

His services are engaged by plaintiffs’ attorneys and structured settlement
producers across the country to create and administer qualified settlement
funds (QSFs), advise on tax issues relating to settlements, and serve as
counsel or expert witness in litigation to secure the rights of injury victims
and their fair and ethical treatment. His class action lawsuit against a major
insurer was followed by the insurer’s adoption of significant changes in its
structured settlement practices. He is considered an authority nationally on
structured settlement law.

He has written court documents establishing more than 250 qualified
settlement funds and has personally administered the majority of them. He
frequently gets invited to oversee the resolution of personal physical injury
and environmental litigation with very high damage amounts. One attorney
client wrote: “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.”

His experience with structured settlements began in late 1985. His cases
as a producer involved high profile attorneys, liability insurers, self-insured
corporations including Fortune 500 companies, and the U.S. Department of
Justice. He is no longer a structured settlement producer, but applies the
extensive knowledge of the industry he gained from that experience in his
settlement law practice.

He 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.

He has had several articles published in law journals and in claim adjuster
periodicals, and for 11 years (1996-2007) edited and published the
nationally acclaimed newsletter, Structured Settlements™. Plaintiff attorney
associations of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado,
Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, New Hampshire, North
Dakota, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Wyoming have run articles written by
Dick in their respective magazines, web sites and newsletters, and he was
a regular columnist for The Advocate magazine of the Oklahoma
Association for Justice (OAJ). He has additionally been published in the
Tulsa Law Review (nee Journal), 36 Tulsa L.J. 865 (2001), Virginia Tax
Review, 23 Va. Tax Rev. 639 (2004), and Tax Analysts: Tax Notes Today,
2008 TNT 30-19 (Doc. 2008-3015). His articles have been cited by the
Internal Revenue Service. He has been a faculty member for numerous
professional education seminars throughout the country.

Dick is a founder and director of the Society of Settlement Planners (SSP), a
national public policy and educational organization dedicated to assisting
injury victims, claimants and attorneys in resolving their legal financial
claims, and advocating the injury victim’s right to choose settlement
planning advisors and financial and guarantee providers. He has been
overall coordinator of the SSP’s annual educational seminar for several
years and, as one part of each seminar, moderated tax issues panels,
including as panelists senior officials of the U.S. Treasury Department and
the Internal Revenue Service.

He also chaired the development and was co-author of the Standards of
Professional Conduct for Settlement Planners. The first president of the
SSP said in a message to the membership: “Dick has been a leader in the
battle for plaintiffs’ rights in this industry. ... Indeed, a major portion of this
industry’s movement toward accepting plaintiff specialists in the last few
years can be credited to his efforts.” The SSP has recognized him more
than once with a special award for his “tireless work and valuable

He was among the first 100 industry professionals from across the country
to earn the designation of Certified Structured Settlement Consultant
(CSSC), offered by the National Structured Settlements Trade Association
(NSSTA) through the University of Notre Dame’s executive program. He also
consulted with Texas Tech University faculty in the development of the
Registry of Settlement Planners educational component, and was among
the first 10 graduates of the program, receiving the Registered Settlement
Planner (RSP) designation. He is a member of the American Bar
Association (ABA), American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Oklahoma
Bar Association (OBA), Phi Delta Phi legal honors fraternity, and past
barrister member of the American Inns of Court. He is certified by the
Supreme Court of Oklahoma as a mediator.

He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University, 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 and is admitted to practice law in all federal and state
jurisdictions in Oklahoma. ■
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