1099 Reporting Deadline

 

What is a 1099 Form?  According to the IRS’ website, “Any person, including a corporation, partnership, individual, estate, and trust, who make reportable transactions during the calendar year must file information returns to report those transactions to the IRS.  Persons required to file information returns to the IRS must also furnish statements to the recipients of the income.”  These forms are known as 1099s.

 

The deadline to file 2011 1099s with the IRS is January 31, 2012.  If you make payments to individuals or other non-corporate entities, such as expert witnesses, independent contractors, or accounting firms, be sure to properly report these payments to the IRS.

 

Click here to access the IRS’ website and learn more.

 

Kelly A. O’Leary, CPA, MBA, CITP

Director of Finance and Administration

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How to Grow Your Law Firm

 

Want to learn how you can grow your law firm by 16% this year? Watch this short video blog by our CEO, Michael J. Swanson. In this video, Michael explains the benefits our clients obtain by using Advocate Capital’s Case Expense Financing product.

 

 

Tina Burns

Marketing Manager

 

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New and Improved Advocate Capital, Inc. Homepage!

 

We are pleased to announce the launch of the new Advocate Capital, Inc. homepage! The look may have changed but the ease and functionality remains the same.

 

On the new homepage you will find an adaptation of our latest advertisment featured in The Trial Lawyer magazine and Trial magazine, and our Key Points video designed and produced by Brandon White.

 

All of this was made possible by the creative people at Page1Solutions LLC. If you are thinking about redesigning your website they are experts in the field of legal web marketing and are unmatched when it comes to website design, internet marketing and SEO. We highly recommend their services for your law firm.

 

We hope you like the new look of Advocate Capital, Inc.!

 

Tina Burns

Marketing Manager

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U.S. Requiring Big Pharma to Report Money Paid to Doctors

 

I have blogged on numerous occasions about the big pharma practice of paying doctors to “opine” on the supposed benefits of their products.

 

In October, 2010, I blogged about the disturbing trend of pharmaceutical companies paying doctors and other healthcare providers to lecture about their products, including encouraging them to prescribe their medications for conditions for which they are not approved.

 

In December, 2010, I blogged about a report that not only were pharmaceutical companies paying doctors and other healthcare providers to lecture about the virtues of their products, they were also paying university professors and physicians at medical schools, whose policies specifically prohibit the practice.

 

A recent article in the New York Times reports that the Obama administration is ready to require that drug companies disclose the payments they make to doctors for research, consulting, speaking, travel and entertainment.  A report by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has found evidence that such payments can influence doctors’ treatment decisions and contribute to higher costs by encouraging the use of more expensive drugs and medical devices.  This is not surprising given that big pharma is all about profits – i.e. why would they spend money on doctors like this if they did not get a return on their investment.  The issue, of course, is that the physicians should not be swayed by these payments.

 

The reasoning for the new requirements should be obvious.  Allan J. Coukell, a pharmacist and consumer advocate at the Pew Charitable Trusts, said, “Patients want to know they are getting treatment based on medical evidence, not a lunch or a financial relationship.  They want to know if their doctor has a financial relationship with a pharmaceutical company, but they are often uncomfortable asking the doctor directly.”

 

According to Senator Charles Grassley, Republican of Iowa, “The goal is to let the sun shine in and make information available to foster accountability.”

 

In addition to requiring disclosure of payments made to doctors, the law also requires drug and device companies to report the amount of “any ownership or investment interest” held by doctors or their immediate family members, other than holdings of publicly traded stocks.”

 

The full article can be read here.

Paul B. Myers

Chief Credit Officer

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How to Hire the Best

 

In a recent guest column featured in the Nashville Business Journal, Nancy Reece revisits some traditional hiring principles and offers some new suggestions.   As many businesses begin to ramp up in 2012, here are some things to keep in mind:

 

 

 

  1. Have a written job description that includes specific skills and expected results for success.
  2. Document key behavioral questions for the interview that will focus on the candidate’s past experiences & behaviors.
  3. Most interviewers make their hiring decision in the first 5 minutes of an interview (guilty here sometimes!).  Instead, make an initial decision at 5 minutes.  Then make a second decision about 25 minutes into the interview.  Statistics show that utilizing this method changes hiring decisions 75% of the time.
  4. Plan ahead for skill challenges during the interview process.  Request a candidate to give an impromptu presentation or put together an Excel spreadsheet or PowerPoint presentation.
  5. Utilize behavioral profiling.  These questionnaires can be completed online and give amazing insight into a candidate’s normal behavior patterns as well as how that behavior changes under stress.

 

Advocate Capital, Inc. has had great success using the PI Midlantic (Predictive Index) service.

 

Nancy Reese is a senior consultant with The Human Capital Group Inc. and the entire article can be read here.

 

Donna A. Jones

Vice President, Operations

 

Photo Credit: Fundamentals of Human Resource Management book cover
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Google Kicks It Up a Notch!

 

Lance Ulanoff just posted a great article detailing some new developments from Google.  You can read the full details in his post titled “Google Merges Search and Google+ Into Social Media Juggernaut

 

It’s worth checking out, especially if you’ve been considering using Google+, or are already on Google+ but are wondering what do to with it (like me!).

 

Michael J. Swanson

President and Chief Executive Officer

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Jury Awards $4M in Medical Negligence Case against Nurse-Midwife

 

Congratulations to Christian C. Mester, his team and his clients on this verdict returned on November 28, 2011 following 3 ½ weeks of trial and 10 ½ hours of deliberation by the Bismarck, North Dakota jury.  The lawsuit filed by the mother on behalf of her minor child alleged that the midwife was negligent in failing to deliver the baby within a reasonable time period to provide health and safety for both mother and child.  In fact, the labor induction was allowed to continue for 61 hours in the hospital (including a 15 hour active stage of labor) before a physician was called in to deliver the baby by cesarean section.  By that time, the lack of oxygen and/or lack of blood flow to the brain had already caused permanent damage.

 

The child now suffers from mental retardation along with severe cognitive and behavioral issues all related to the birth injury to the frontal lobe of his brain.  Experts at trial (including the testimony of two treating physicians) confirmed that he will never be able to engage in full-time gainful employment.  This verdict allows for the child to have the 24/7 lifelong care required to provide him the proper quality of life following the negligence.

 

Attorney Mester, a partner in the firm Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester, LLC, concentrates his practice exclusively to victims of catastrophic injuries in the area of medical negligence.  While he is based out of Maryland, Christian has prosecuted birth injury cases all across the country, where he is moved in pro hac vice.  He is a former chair of the Medical Negligence Section of the Maryland Association for Justice and is a frequent lecturer and published author.   Mr. Mester has been featured in the peer-review publication TRIAL Magazine.  His article “Expert Preparation” was featured in the May 2010 issue and the July 2005 issue highlighted his “Head into trial at full steam” work focusing on trial preparation tips.

 

Christian received a preeminent 5.0/5.0 “AV Peer Review Rating” from Martindale Hubbell in Medical Malpractice.  He is also a member of both the MILLION DOLLAR ADVOCATES FORUM and the MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR ADVOCATES FORUM.  Less than 1% of the U.S. lawyers are members.  For detailed information regarding settlements and verdicts handled by Mr. Mester and his firm, click here or follow the firm’s achievements on Facebook here.

 

Advocate Capital, Inc. is proud to support trial lawyers like Christian Mester as they pursue justice on behalf of people who are injured due to the negligent acts of others.

 

Donna A. Jones

Vice President, Operations

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2012 Tax Filing Deadline Extended to April 17

 

The IRS has extended the 2012 deadline to April 17, 2012 to file 2011 tax returns and pay any tax due.  This extension is because April 15th falls on a Sunday and Emancipation Day, a holiday observed in the District of Columbia, falls on April 16th.  Click here to read the IRS’ announcement.

 

Kelly A. O’Leary, CPA, MBA, CITP

Director of Finance and Administration

 

Photo Credit: Ken Davidson - Kelowna Chartered Accountant from onlyimage.com
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Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer Named One of Top 10 Leading Bay Area Employment Practices

 

In their December 23, 2011 edition, The Recorder newspaper, named Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer in their Top Ten Leading California Bay Area Employment Groups. The dynamic Firm has been representing plaintiffs since 1978.   The Firm’s employment law team consists of partners, J. Gary Gwilliam and Randall E. Strauss along with associates Jayme L. Burns and Robert J. Schwartz.

 

Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer has championed the cause of victims’ rights and specializes in complex and serious personal injury and consumer law cases.  In addition to the firm’s excellent results in the employment law area, the practice includes civil litigation, professional malpractice, product liability, bad faith insurance and business fraud.  They recently obtained a $9,263,345.00 verdict in a business fraud case against a multi-national company for breach of contract and intentional and negligent misrepresentation.

 

Congratulations from your friends at Advocate Capital, Inc. on being recognized for the excellent work that you do on behalf of your clients.

 

Lisa Wagner

Vice President, Client Services

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Inadequate Funding for the Courts

 

It’s not often I find myself in agreement with the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, but even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and again.  In a recent Op Ed in USA Today, Lisa A. Rickard, President of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, and Bill Robinson III, President of the ABA, co-write a plea for adequate funding of state courts, noting that last year, “42 states cut much-needed funding for their judiciaries. The staggering toll of inadequately funded courts threatens the ability of people to file for divorce, seek custody of a child or save a home from foreclosure. It is also an emergent burden on our economy as the judiciary has experienced growing caseloads amid those declining budgets.”

 

I might normally expect a secondary argument from the U.C. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform to be that the issues in state courts are due to “frivolous” lawsuits, but that argument does not appear in this piece – Bravo!.  It’s just a common sense request for freer and more efficient access to the civil justice system for both plaintiffs and defendants.

 

We, at Advocate Capital,Inc., would find ourselves on the same side as the ILR on this issue.  State courts need to be given adequate funding so that individuals have access to the courts in a timely manner in order to have their grievances heard.

 

The full Op Ed can be read here.

 

Paul B. Myers

Chief Credit Officer

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

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