Peter J. Vodola | Partner
Peter Vodola has represented life insurers, annuity issuers, and property and casualty insurers in matters involving claims of bad faith and unfair insurance practices, bankruptcy, class action claims, and broker-rebating, short-changing claims, and in connection with complex insurance liquidation issues. He advises insurers on regulatory and business issues, including product development, and counsels clients on effectively managing risks. In addition, Pete has successfully represented clients in cases concerning insurance, business torts, trademarks, trusts and wills, telecommunications, and in a number of cases, he has successfully argued issues of Constitutional law, including Due Process, Contracts Clause, and First Amendment matters.
Pete has extensive experience representing insurers in matters involving secondary markets for insurance products — including annuities and pensions — and acts as national coordinating counsel for a number of insurers on litigation involving structured settlements.
In such matters, typically involving state structured protection acts that govern the secondary “factoring” market for structured settlement payment rights, he has won dispositive rulings for his insurer clients in more than a dozen states (see, e.g., Symetra Nat’l Life Ins. Co. v. Rapid Settlements, Ltd., 2009 WL 1057339 (Tex. App. Ct. Apr. 21, 2009); Rapid Settlements, Ltd. v. Symetra Life Ins. Co., 2007 WL 1576437 (Cal. Ct. App. June 1, 2007); Rapid Settlements, Ltd. v. Dickerson, 941 So. 2d 1275 (Fla. Ct. App. 2006); In Re DeWitt, 2009 WL 3187571 (La. Dist. Ct. Sept. 18, 2009); Lu v. Settlement Funding, LLC, 2006 SD Wrk. Comp. LEXIS 18 (S.D. Dep’t of Labor Oct. 26, 2006); In Re Pikula, 2005 WL 3963777 (Minn. Dist. Ct. Nov. 3, 2005); In Re Morey, 71 Va. Cir. 435 (Va. Cir. Ct. 2005), pet. for appeal refused, 2006 WL 1584878 (Va. May 26, 2006); In Re Walker, 2005 WL 3963830 (Tenn. Cir. Ct. Feb. 23, 2005); J.G. Wentworth S.S.C. Ltd. P’ship v. Ortega, 2002 EXTRA LEXIS 672 (Fla. Cir. Ct. July 2, 2002)).
Pete’s experience in structured settlement litigation has also included successful arguments on issues relating to the fraud and misrepresentation by secondary market actors and other third parties, the tax treatment of structured settlements, pre-emption of state law by federal tax and arbitration statutes, applicability of bad faith and unfair trade practices statutes to claims to payments, statutory interpretation of structured settlement protection acts, contract interpretation involving settlement agreements and annuities, third-party actions amounting to tortious interference with such contracts, misrepresentation and fraud by secondary market actors, and third party claims involving rescission and other equitable principles. Frequently, Pete’s management of such disputes leads to resolving matters without contested hearings, often in ways that prevent risk-shifting from factoring companies to annuity issuers and structured settlement obligors.
Pete also has extensive appellate experience. He is a former appellate law clerk, and has obtained successful outcomes for clients in both state and federal courts, including the United States Courts of Appeal for the Fifth and Tenth Circuits, as well as in state appellate courts in California, Florida, Texas, Virginia, and elsewhere.
Pete was co-chair of the National Structured Settlement Trade Association’s Law Committee from 2009 to 2012. The Connecticut Law Tribune chose Pete as a recipient of its New Leaders of the Law Award for 2005, when he was honored with the Development of the Law award, given in recognition of attorneys whose efforts have substantially helped shape particular areas of the law.
Prior to law school, Pete was a newspaper reporter and editor, and a volunteer for VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) at a literacy organization. He has been active in a number of civic and community organizations, as a charitable board member, and with many parish organizations at St. Rose of Lima in Newtown, Connecticut.
Admitted to Practice
- United States District Court for the District of Connecticut
- United States District Court for the District of Colorado
- United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
- Boston University, B.A. and B.S. 1986
- University of Connecticut, J.D. 1996
- Co-Author, “Why Specialized or ‘Industry’ Lawyers Effectively Handle Appeals,” Certworthy, Vol. 12, Issue 2, October 15, 2010.
- Author, “Factoring in the ‘Best Interests’ of Dependents,” Connecticut Law Tribune, May 25, 2009.
- Author, “Connecticut’s Key Role in Structured Settlement Protection,” Connecticut Lawyer, Vol. 17, No. 4 December 2006/January 2007.
- Author, “Connecticut’s Affordable Housing Appeals Procedure Law in Practice,” 29 Conn. L. Rev. 1235 (1997).