I have focused my entire career on protecting people – first in serving as an Army captain and then in pioneering a national settlement planning practice. My firm, Milestone Consulting, works closely with plaintiffs and their attorneys, taking a holistic, whole-person approach. That way, we can be sure to discern the best plan for the monetary recovery that comes from a client’s civil lawsuit.
These lawsuits arise after a person is seriously harmed or wronged – oftentimes in unimaginable ways. And while it’s an attorney’s job to obtain just compensation for their client, it’s my team’s job to then help that individual safeguard their money and plan for the next phase of their life.
I’m always looking for ways to be better, to do better. Most recently, my firm announced a new partnership with Bridie Farrell, a national advocate for survivors of sexual abuse. Bridie was a nationally ranked speed skater who, at the age of 31, disclosed that she was sexually abused by her then-33-year-old teammate, an Olympic silver medalist, beginning when she was 15.
After stepping out and bringing her story to light, Bridie went all in on helping other survivors. She founded the nonprofit America Loves Kids and began spearheading legislation to change states’ statutes of limitations, giving survivors more time to come forward. Working with lawmakers, Bridie has succeeded in changing the laws in New York and Arizona to date. Multiple other states have also since updated their laws in varying capacities.
When Bridie sees an obstacle in front of survivors, she sets out to change it. Editing as many state laws as possible is one huge, important initiative. On top of that effort, she helps connect survivors with legal resources, including trauma-informed legal representation. Coming forward about past abuse is difficult enough; it’s critical for survivors to select an attorney who will not only prevail in their case, but will also compassionately guide them throughout the process.
So what does a settlement planning firm have to do with all of this? Contrary to what many may believe, settlement is not a cure-all for survivors. It’s a meaningful step in the process, but it’s certainly not the end of their story. On top of the emotion connected with coming forward, filing a lawsuit, and then winning that lawsuit, there’s often the overwhelming feeling of “What now?” Many survivors need the time and space to think about how their monetary recovery could meet their current financial needs and help them achieve their future goals.
Enter Milestone. Bridie has partnered with my firm because we are an ally for survivors and actively work to ensure their legal journey does not come to an abrupt and confusing end after litigation. We’ve innovated tools to give them the time and space to comfortably work with our trauma-informed team. That way, they are empowered to make the right decisions for their future.
In a press release about our partnership, Bridie said, “Working with Milestone is a logical extension of my commitment to helping survivors because we share the belief that society’s obligation to victims does not stop at the end of a lawsuit. We must think through a whole-survivor approach, and I’m excited to build on this with Milestone.”
At Milestone, we aim to help as many survivors as we can, and this partnership with Bridie is a major step forward in being able to do so. Bridie’s voice coupled with our firm’s expertise enables us to truly give survivors the level of service and care they deserve.
Interested in learning more about trauma-informed legal care? Check out the National Center for Equity and Agency, which offers resources and programs to help individuals and businesses better serve those who have experienced trauma.
A West Point graduate where he served as captain and military aviator, John Bair continues his commitment to our country through his efforts within the settlement planning industry. He has represented families of victims lost in the Flight 3407 crash, offered pro bono services to the families of 9/11 victims and drafted the first consumer protection bill for plaintiffs (H.R. 3699).