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Has anyone else been struck by the remarkable similarity between the facts of the more-than-century-old United States Supreme Court case of Warnock v. Davis and the 2008 decision of the Southern District of New York in Life Product Clearing, LLC v. Angel, 530 F. Supp. 2d 646 (S.D.N.Y. 2008)? Both cases involve elderly tradesman insureds (tanner, butcher) holding large life insurance policies purchased with the intent of assigning it to a trust owned by others as well as deaths coming remarkably soon after the issuance of the policies. Perhaps it’s because there are really only a few ways to do one of these STOLI (stranger owned life insurance) transactions; and, of course, its a Bayesian truth that we would only see the case if the insured died. But still, one almost wonders if the Life Product Clearning people read the Warnock decision and wanted to see if it was still good law, particularly in light of Grigsby v. Russell, 222 U.S. 149 (1911) (Holmes, J.). Unfortunately for them, it was.


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