Texas MedMal Law Hasn’t Cut Health Care Costs

In a recent blog, I wrote about how several experts in the health care arena gave their opinions about how the nation could cut overall health care expenditures, and not one of them mentioned tort reform as a viable method.

 

A recent article on the InjuryBoard Blog Network cites several sources confirming that the med mal tort reform legislation in Texas has not resulted in any decrease in the cost of health care.  The article cites several studies, including one done by a Texas law firm, as well as a review of the impact of the legislation by the Dallas Morning News and testimony provided to Congress by Joanne Doroshow of the Center for Justice and Democracy.  The studies show that although malpractice insurance premiums may have decreased in Texas, this has happened nationwide as well, and that the overall cost of health care to the consumer has not decreased.

 

Further evidence that tort reform is not a viable tool for decreasing health care costs.

 

Paul B. Myers

Chief Credit Officer

Share

Advocate Capital, Inc. In the News

As seen on Reuters, CNBC, Yahoo! Finance and other media outlets…

——————————————————————————————————————————————-

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Tina Burns, Marketing Manager at TBurns@AdvocateCapital.com

 

Christina L. Koch is the 2011 Paralegal of the Year

Sponsored by Advocate Capital, Inc. & the American Association for Justice

 

(New York, NY – July 25, 2011) – Christina L. Koch, ACP of Omaha, Nebraska, has been named the recipient of the 2011 Advocate Capital, Inc. / AAJ Paralegal of the Year Award.

 

Ms. Koch was nominated for the award by Inserra & Kelley, Attorneys at Law, where she has served as a litigation paralegal for over nine years. Ms. Koch holds a Two-Year Paralegal Degree, has received a Bachelor of Science in Business Management, and is currently working on a Master’s Degree in Justice Administration; all while working 50-60 hours a week at Inserra & Kelley. While balancing life between career and education, Ms. Koch has generously donated her time and finances to various charitable groups.

 

To be considered for this prestigious award, candidates must have demonstrated their value as members of a legal services team, shown dedication to the legal profession, and shown dedication to AAJ’s mission.

 

Ms. Koch was selected from numerous entrants by the AAJ Paralegal of the Year Committee. In addition to a beautifully engraved award trophy, she also received free airfare, hotel and conference registration for the AAJ Annual Convention which just concluded in New York, NY.

 

“Christina’s dedication to her work, education, and charitable organizations are impressive and her passion for AAJ’s mission is unsurpassed, commented Advocate’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Michael J. Swanson. We are so pleased to be able to participate with AAJ on this important award. Paralegals are a key component to any successful law firm.  We hope that this award will help bring well deserved attention to the crucial role that paralegals play in our Nation’s civil justice system.”

 

Advocate Capital, Inc. is the premier provider of strategic financial products and accounting services for successful trial law firms nationwide.  They have been serving the plaintiff bar for over 12 years from their headquarters in Nashville, TN and now enjoy a client base that extends nationwide. For more information, visit http://www.AdvocateCapital.com

Share

2011 Workers’ Injury Law Group Conference – Oct. 13-16

 

The Workers’ Injury Law Group (WILG) is having their 16th annual conference in San Diego, CA this year at the beautiful Loews Coronado Bay ResortClick here to download a PDF of the convention brochure.  Here is a video that WILG has put together for the event:

 

 

If you are not familiar with WILG I strongly recommend that you check them out as an excellent resource for your PI practice, especially if you do any workers comp cases.   We have many clients who are WILG members and a few who are officers.  I will be at the meeting along our other members of the Advocate Capital, Inc. team.  If you have any questions, drop me a line.  I hope to see you there!

 

Michael J. Swanson

President and Chief Executive Officer

Share

Robert Sykes Named Utah’s Attorney of the Year!

 

The Utah Bar Association has named Bob Sykes “Attorney of the Year.”    As noted in the press release, “This is not an award that a lawyer gets for winning the most cases, making the most money or for being the most popular; this award goes to lawyers who make a difference for their clients.”

 

Attorney Sykes is the founding member of Robert B. Sykes Associates, P.C. and the firm has been providing excellence in legal representation for the citizens of Utah since 1976.

 

Advocate Capital, Inc. extends best wishes to Bob and his team for a job well done!

 

Donna A. Jones

Vice President, Operations

Share

California Budget Cuts Deliver Blow to Consumers’ Access to Justice

 

The State of California has handed down $350 million in budget cuts since March 2011 according to an article published in The Recorder, AOC Recommends Trial Courts Cut Budget 9% This Year, 15% in 2012.

 

In a separate article published by The Recorder on July 18th, S.F. Will Close Complex Litigation Courts, Cynthia Foster talks about the multi-faceted impact of the budget cuts.  According to the article, the budget cuts are expected to include the closing of 12 of the 17 civil courtrooms beginning in October and will result in the loss of jobs for 200 employees and 11 court commissioners.  According to Katherine Feinstein, San Francisco County Superior Court Judge, “…civil cases will take up to five years to resolve due to lowered staffing levels…”  Judge Feinstein adds that she hopes to create “…a robust settlement program” to guide civil cases toward pre-trial resolution.

 

Ultimately, these budget cuts mean that consumers’ access to justice is delayed even further and the 7th Amendment Right to a Jury Trial is becoming even more elusive.

 

Lisa Wagner

Vice President, Client Services

Share

Don’t Just Talk About Hot Coffee – Take Action!

 

I recently had a chance to chat with Susan Saladoff in New York City at the AAJ Convention.  Of course I thanked her for her work on the awesome film Hot Coffee and congratulated her on its success thus far.  During our brief conversation she encouraged me to visit their website; more specifically their Take Action page.

Having done so, I’d like to encourage everyone who has been inspired and encouraged by Susan’s film to now take action!  The Take Action page has some great ideas for getting started.

 

Michael J. Swanson

President and Chief Executive Officer

Share

Experts Speak Out on Curbing Health Care Costs…With No Mention of Tort Reform

 

A very hot news topic lately has been the ongoing negotiations regarding our nation’s finances, raising the debt ceiling, reigning in expenditures, and the like.  A major facet of our spending that is getting a great deal of attention is entitlement program spending, of which health care expenditures make up a large part.  Those on the right usually try to argue that tort reform (i.e. caps on damages, waiving the right to trial by jury, etc.) is an effective way for health care costs to be restrained.

 

However, most states that have enacted tort reform along these lines (e.g. Texas) have not seen any cost saving benefits in the health care arena.  A recent article in Kaiser Health News interviews a number of health care policy experts and not one mentioned tort reform as a way to reduce health care costs.

 

An interesting view of the situation, with little to no political posturing, provided by experts in the field can be read here.

 

Paul B. Myers

Chief Credit Officer

Share

Newly Elected TAJ President Keith Williams Continues The Fight

 

Newly-elected Tennessee Association for Justice president Keith Williams is starting strong with a recent editorial in the Sunday, July 17 edition of The Tennessean.

 

Included in several good points raised in Keith’s commentary was the underlying premise, “this law takes away the basic constitutional right to trial by jury and gives big business and insurance companies more profits and more control.”

 

Clearly, this will be an uphill battle and Keith is renewing the TAJ pledge to continue fighting big business and special interest groups throughout the state to protect Tennessee citizens’ access to the courthouse.

 

Attorney Williams was a founding member of The Law Office of Lannom & Williams and now serves as President for the Tennessee Association for Justice and is also very active nationally as a member of the American Association for Justice and the Public Justice Foundation.

 

Full speed ahead, Keith, and keep up the good work on behalf of the Tennessee Association for Justice and the citizens of Tennessee!

 

Donna A. Jones

Vice President, Operations

Share

Advocate Capital, Inc. in the Big Apple (With Pictures)

 

 

Last week Advocate Capital, Inc. was in New York City exhibiting at the American Association for Justice Annual Convention. It was a great show in a great city.

 

Exhibiting at AAJ’s conventions is a great opportunity to network with new prospects, current clients and other vendors. The opening reception was held at The Museum of Modern Art, with a fantastic turn out.

 

I took advantage of the opportunity and snapped a few pictures of our booth visitors.

 

For the first time, Advocate Capital, Inc. sponsored the AAJ Paralegal of The Year Award. The winner of this prestigious award, Christina L. Koch, was announced and presented at The Sheraton. We are very proud to have sponsored this award and Ms. Koch is a very deserving recipient. To view pictures of Ms. Koch receiving this award please click here.

 

We also ran a successful fundraiser event in conjunction with AAJ’s convention and AAJ’s Seventh Amendment Fund. ACI is donating $1.00 to the Seventh Amendment Fund for every new “Like” we received on our Facebook page. During the convention AAJ and ACI encouraged attendees to help make this a success.  At Advocate Capital, Inc., we believe in every American’s right to a jury trial and are proud to support an organization that does just that.

 

Tina R. Burns

Marketing Manager

Share

Illinois Court of Appeals Affirms $16.56 Million Dollar Judgment

 

Congratulations to Heygood, Orr & Pearson and to the family of Janice DiCosolo on the recent decision as reported by PR Newswire by the First District of the Illinois Court of Appeals handed down on June 30th completely affirming the $16.56 million dollar judgment obtained in 2008 by the Dallas, TX based law Firm in the case of DiCosolo vs. ALZA Corp., et al.  Heygood, Orr & Pearson fought tirelessly in their pursuit of justice on behalf of the family of Janice DiCosolo, a wife and mother of three, who died on 2004 as a result of a faulty pain patch manufactured by ALZA Corp., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.   According to Cook County Medical Examiner, Lawrence Cogan, Mrs. DiCosolo died from excessive Fentanyl levels found in her bloodstream.  Final briefs in the appeal were filed in late April 2011 and oral arguments were heard in June.

 

According to attorney Jim Orr, “They knew this patch was dangerous and defective, but they continued to sell it knowing it could leak dangerous Fentanyl gel to its patients, which is exactly what happened.”   Attorney Michael Heygood added, “There was an alternative design for Fentanyl patches that prevented leaks, but they chose not to use it”.   According to Eric Pearson, “The facts are that there was an extensive history of selling leaking Duragesic Fentanyl patches to the public.”

 

It is not yet determined if ALZA Corp. will file an appeal with the Illinois Supreme Court.  Hopefully, the defendants will move forward in a way so not to further delay justice to this family who suffered needlessly because of the defective pain patch.

 

Heygood, Orr & Pearson and their team of experts pursue justice on behalf of people who are seriously injured by the negligence of others.  They represent clients nationwide in cases ranging from business litigation and serious accidents, to defective products.

 

At Advocate Capital, Inc., we are proud to support Trial Lawyers as they pursue justice on behalf of people who are injured due to negligent acts of others.

 

Lisa Wagner

Vice President, Client Services

Share

Case Expense Financing at a Net Cost of Less Than 1%*

clove panel