This interesting article was published last year.
05 May 2010
Article by Leslie C. Giordani
The explosive litigation industry in the United States, capricious legislative bodies, and the volatility of financial markets and economies have evoked a powerful response. The buzz word among lawyers representing clients at risk is "asset protection." More than at any time in our legal history, attorneys are scrambling to find ways to protect and preserve the wealth of their clients. High net worth individuals perceive new and potentially devastating threats to their wealth, and creative lawyers must conceive and render more protective solutions. Traditional asset protection ranges from simplistic homestead and retirement account planning to family limited partnerships. Cutting edge approaches dictate the use of more sophisticated vehicles such as offshore trusts.
Threats to individual wealth from litigation arise across the spectrum of contract and tort law. The plaintiff's bar in the United States has been marvelously creative in its practice over the past decade. It has contrived new theories of liability in the malpractice, products liability, contract, securities, ultra vires, and employment areas and judges have accepted many such theories. The measures of damages (compensatory, punitive, and exemplary) for psychological, emotional, and other highly subjective injuries have also expanded tremendously.