How To Prevent Your Kids From Texting While Driving

 

Our guest blogger today is Stuart Carpey of Kreithen, Baron & Carpey, P.C. 

 

From the blog:  “Distracted drivers are one of the leading causes of car accidents.  Accidents and fatalities caused by texting while driving are on the rise and will continue to increase if nothing is done about it.  According to a study from Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, cell phones were determined to be the most common driver distraction and that the risk of a crash or near crash was 23.2 times more likely to happen when texting.  Texting while driving is about 6 times more likely to result in an accident than driving while intoxicated.”

 

Read Stuart’s entire blog here for great suggestions regarding ways we can all travel more safely on the roads  by restricting the use of texting while driving.  Visit http://www.carpeylaw.com for more information about Stuart’s law firm.

 

Thanks Stuart!

 

Donna A. Jones

Vice President, Operations

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Sources of Capital for Contingent – Fee Law Firms

 

Are you using an expensive source of capital to finance your law firm? Watch this brief video blog by Michael J. Swanson. Ranking the most expensive to least expensive sources of capital for contingent fee law firms.

 

 

Tina Burns

Marketing Manager

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Media Headlines Don’t Tell the Full Story About Litigation

 

If you paid attention to media stories over the past 10-20 years, you would think that all possible civil litigation is frivolous and that plaintiffs’ attorneys are a bunch of money grubbing, ambulance chasers out to make a quick buck.  We all know that isn’t true.

 

A newly released white paper by the Center for Justice and Democracy at the New York Law School discusses the media treatment of civil justice in great detail.  In short, the study analyzed “…the media’s coverage of civil jury verdicts and found this coverage to be deeply skewed, fueling common misconception that civil juries routinely award plaintiffs eye-popping verdicts for frivolous claims.”  The media tends to report only the very large awards, of course, because they get people’s attention.  However, the study found that the headlines, and the stories themselves, rarely delved into the facts of the cases – i.e. the fault that lay with the defendant and why the jury found for the plaintiff. There is little sensationalism in the facts, but the dollar amounts are attention-grabbing.

 

The report discusses how people are now getting their news and the impact that has on attention span and the lack of desire to get “deeper” into a topic.

 

One notable finding is that the median plaintiff award in the articles studied was $4,600,000, while the most recent U.S. Department of Justice analysis shows the median jury award for winning plaintiffs is about $24,000, an amount statistically similar to the median award in bench trials, which is $21,000.  Quite a discrepancy between the real world and what the media would have you believe – a difference of 192 times!

 

Several other factors rarely reported by the media are considered in the study – caps on awards that are applied to verdicts, the lack of reporting on defense verdicts, etc.

 

As we know, the media has been partially at fault for driving the misconception that the civil justice system is out of control, which has led, in part, to the wave of tort reform efforts.  This study goes a long way toward debunking the myths.

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How David Beats Goliath Now Available on Amazon Kindle


The book recently written by Advocate Capital, Inc. CEO, Michael J. Swanson,  is now available for the Amazon Kindle .  You can now download a copy of How David Beats Goliath – Access to Capital for Contingent Fee Law Firms at the Kindle Edition page on Amazon by clicking here.  Mr. Swanson has pledged to donate all profits from the sale of the book to the Seventh Amendment Fund, which is an educational initiative of the American Association for Justice that promotes and protects the constitutional right of every citizen of the United States to a trial by jury.  Please consider purchasing a copy of How David Beats Goliath and supporting the Seventh Amendment Fund!

 

Tina R. Burns

Marketing Manager

 

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Music City Scores Pillsbury Winthrop Office

With the Advocate Capital Inc. corporate headquarters in Nashville, we were thrilled to see the article in the Nashville Business Journal this week, announcing that New York-based Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman will bring 150 employees to Nashville as part of an expansion.  Pillsbury expects the center to be fully operational by fall 2012 and will be the firm’s 15th office worldwide.  The complete NBJ article can be found here.

 

This international law firm specializes in energy and natural resources, financial services, real estate and technology sectors.  In addition to having offices coast to coast in the U.S., the firm also maintains offices in London, Shanghai, Tokyo and Abu Dhabi.

 

Pillsbury’s CFO, Sean Whelan, confirmed “After researching and touring several cities, I am confident that Nashville has the talent, infrastructure and cost advantages we need to build a world-class service center.”   Read the complete Pillsbury press release here.

 

Nashville continues to attract high-profile businesses and Advocate Capital, Inc. is pleased to call the city home.

 

 

Donna A. Jones

Vice President, Operations

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GRG Client Advisory: CMS Issues First Guidance for Liability Medicare Set-Asides

 

Today’s guest blog is from John Cattie at Garretson Resolution Group.

 

On September 30, 2011, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued its first guidance about the use of Liability Medicare Set-aside Arrangements (“LMSAs”). This one page document provides information about the propriety of an LMSA when a treating physician has opined about a claimant’s future injury-related care needs. This memorandum also serves as CMS’s first attempt to address the key questions surrounding LMSAs.

 

The memorandum advises that when a treating physician opines in writing that a claimant will not require any future injury-related care as of the date of claim resolution, then CMS considers its future interest to have been fully considered and satisfied. If that claimant resolves subsequent claims, the treating physician must provide another certification as of the date of that subsequent resolution. Furthermore, when a treating physician makes such certification, there is no need to submit the MSA proposal / certification to CMS for review and approval as CMS will refuse to review any such submission. Instead, the parties can rely on the certification from the treating physician, and should use that certification to document their files and memorialize the fact that Medicare’s future interest has been considered and satisfied.

 

The scope of this memorandum is limited to cases where the treating physician has opined that no future injury-related care is needed post-resolution. It does not contemplate cases where the parties have no such certification from the treating physician. However, with this memorandum, CMS has provided the first formal indications that there are rules surrounding the use and propriety of LMSAs. Parties can no longer rely on the fact that CMS has never issued guidance regarding LMSAs. Therefore, parties should have a formalized process in place for the review of LMSA issues as part of its formalized process for addressing other Medicare Secondary Payer issues (conditional payment reimbursement and MMSEA Section 111 reporting). GRG’s recently updated MSA White Paper provides the recommended means by which to be compliant on the LMSA issue.

 

The Garretson Resolution Group continues to monitor LMSA developments, and will report any future developments to the settlement community. For more information about this memorandum and other Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services, including conditional payment reimbursement, MSA services and MMSEA Section 111 reporting, please see www.garretsongroup.com. To view the memorandum in its entirety, please click here.

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Study Finds Users Responsible for Nearly HALF of Virus Infections

 

 

In its latest security report, Microsoft finds that only 5.6% of all infections with malicious software are the result of security holes.  Almost half the time (45%), users infect their computers by launching malicious software themselves.

 

Infected USB sticks are behind an impressive 26% of all attacks.  Infected network shares are behind 17.2% of all attacks.  Brute force attacks onpasswords and manipulation of Office macros are relatively negligible in spreading viruses at 1.7 and 0.3%.  Fake anti-virus software leads the Trojans.

 

This is the first time Microsoft has analyzed how viruses are disseminated in its report.  While this may seem somewhat self serving since Office macros and other applications fared well in the report, it is an excellent reminder for all users to be cautious when downloading new software and/or applications from the internet.

 

Microsoft offers instructions for IT experts & beginners for download to help identify and remove malicious software on their systems.

 

 

 

Donna A. Jones

Vice President, Operations

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Bank Lines of Credit

 

Do you use bank lines of credit to fund your practice? Watch this short video by our CEO, Michael J. Swanson, for some helpful information.

 

 

Tina Burns

Marketing Manager

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National Association of Injured & Disabled Workers

 

I was recently in San Diego at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort attending the annual convention for the Workers’ Injury Law and Advocacy Group.  At the conference, I met Jon Arbay.  He is himself a permanently disabled American who has turned his misfortune into a positive for thousands of other injured workers all over America.  In a very short period of time, Jon has created this vibrant and effective organization that provides injured & disabled workers and their families with the resources, support, and guidance they need to reclaim their lives. The mission of the National Association of Injured & Disabled Workers is to provide short-term financial assistance to injured & disabled workers and their families suffering from the results of injury, illness, pain, or disability.  I congratulate Jon in his efforts to make a positive difference in the lives of others.  Great job!

 

Michael J. Swanson

President and Chief Executive Officer

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Workers’ Injury Law and Advocacy Group

 

I just returned from San Diego where I attended my first Workers’ Injury Law and Advocacy Group convention (WILG).  What a breath of fresh air!  I attend many trial lawyer meetings every year, but this conference was notably different from others.  I was struck by the unity of purpose and genuine caring of the many lawyers that I met there.  They are definitely all about helping their clients!

 

If you do any amount of workers’ comp cases in your practice, I highly recommend that you check out WILG at www.wilg.org.  From their website: “Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group is the national non-profit membership organization dedicated to representing the interests of millions of workers and their families who, each year, suffer the consequences of workplace injuries and illnesses.  The group acts principally to assist attorneys and non-profit groups in advocating the rights of injured workers through education, communication, research, and information gathering.”

 

We have several clients who are members and leaders of WILG.  They all tell me how much they benefit from the networking and teamwork that they enjoy from being a member of this great organization.  Props to Juli Gaston who is the Assistant Executive Director of WILG.  Her organizational skills and leadership made this year’s conference a pleasure to attend.

 

Michael J. Swanson

President and Chief Executive Officer

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