Are You Getting the Most From Your Facebook Posts?


Does your law firm use Facebook?  The article “The Secret to a Perfect Facebook Post” by Courtney Rubin, offers some interesting ideas to get the most return from your Facebook activity.  The advice provided includes:


  • Use brand-specific URL shorteners.
  • Post after hours and on Thursdays and Fridays for higher engagement rates.
  • Pay attention to industry-specific engagement times.
  • Keep things clear and simple.
  • Use the right words.
  • Ask a question.


This article makes you think more strategically about your social media efforts.  Take a minute to check it out here.


Kelly A. O’Leary, CPA, CGMA, MBA, CITP

Director of Finance and Administration


Are You Thinking Strategically About Your Law Firm?


 Copyright JasonBrown2013 via FlickrWe all know how the story goes.  Your firm starts out small and you find yourself doing it all.  As time progresses and your case load increases, you hire employees to start helping out.  The growth stage continues and more employees are brought on board.  At some point, you realize that your firm needs to move to the next level.  What does this mean for you?  It’s time to take off your “task” hat and put on your “strategic thinking” hat.


The article “6 Habits of True Strategic Thinkers” puts it all into perspective.  Author, Paul. J. H. Schoemaker, makes you stop and think about the future of your firm and encourages you to realize how you are the driving force in this transition.  Here are the six habits he presents:


  • Anticipate – “Search beyond the current boundaries of your business”
  • Think Critically – Get to the root causes of problems and challenge current mindsets
  • Interpret – Obtain information from multiple sources before coming to a conclusion
  • Decide – “You have to develop processes and enforce them”
  • Align – Encourage communication and build trust within your firm
  • Learn – Celebrate successes as well as failures that provide insight


Take a few minutes to read the full article here.  You won’t be disappointed!  Remember that your firm’s future is in your hands.  Embrace the need to become a strategic thinker!


Kelly A. O’Leary, CPA, CGMA, MBA, CITP

Director of Finance and Administration


Photo Credit:  JasonBrown2013 via Flickr

Haines & Associates Win Important Victory for Medical Malpractice Litigation

Can doctors be silenced?  No, says Philadelphia jury in an important victory for expert witnesses and medical negligence victims everywhere.  In this defamation claim, Dr. Stephen Graboff, a board certified orthopedic surgeon and well-known expert witness, was awarded $380,000 against the AAOS (American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons) and the law firm that that hired Dr. Graboff.  The law firm provided Dr. Graboff’s draft report to the defendants in the primary case after “whiting out” the word DRAFT from the report.   Since the law firm submitted the doctor’s report as a final when it was only draft, he was suspended from the AAOS.  The suspension was publicly listed on the AAOS website and in their newsletter resulting in significant damage to Dr. Graboff’s reputation as well as loss of income.

This important verdict has been featured on both Law Firm Newswire and MD     Read the entire article here.

Firm president, Clifford E. Haines feels “. . . medical associations like the AAOS are going after doctors who help prosecute a patient’s claim of medical malpractice.   The principle we’re fighting against – the silencing of doctors – is why we took on this case.”  Mr. Haines is a nationally recognized litigator, Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association and member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

Awesome job by Haines & Associates on this victory for expert medical witnesses and victims of medical malpractice everywhere!

Donna A. Jones

Vice President, Operations


The Myth of “Tort Reform”


Copyright: / 123RF Stock PhotoI have spent a great deal of time and effort in the attempt to keep folks updated as to trends and specific legislation regarding “tort reform” around the country.  However, sometimes in looking at the tree, you miss the forest.  Or better said – there are bigger issues at play that need to be considered.


A recent blog in The Pop Tort discusses the tort reform movement in more general terms and tackles the lies and deceit involved.  The ongoing blogging about this subject on The Pop Tort was recently cited in a well-researched academic study called, “The Empirical Effects of Tort Reform” by Theodore Eisenberg, The Henry Allen Mark Professor of Law at Cornell University’s School of Law.


The blog and the study outline several myths/lies regarding “tort reform” (summarized by key points):


  • The business community promotes myths about the tort system.
  • A good example of this distortion concerns punitive damages.
  • Patient safety is already suffering because too FEW patients sue.
  • There is no “lawsuit lottery” in medical malpractice cases.
  • Business and medical lobbies could care less about the continuing drop in medical malpractice lawsuits.
  • “Tort reform” interferes with patient safety incentives.
  • “Tort reforms” actually lead to an increase in the severity of claims.
  • “Tort reform” provides little in the way of health care savings.
  • There is no link between c-sections and liability.
  • There is no link between liability premiums and access to care.
  • Medical education must address the brainwashing of doctors.
  • Business group propaganda is polluting the product liability issue.
  • There’s little question that product liability promotes deterrence of unsafe products.


While these points may seem obvious and easily believable to readers of this blog, they are not as readily apparent to the public at large.  The great thing about the academic study by Professor Eisenberg is that it is empirical and based on facts, not propaganda or any vested interest in the outcome of the study.


I encourage you to check out both the blog and the study.


Paul B. Myers

Chief Credit Officer


Photo Credit: 123RF Stock Photo

Advocate Reviews How David Beats Goliath


How David Beats Goliath – Access to Capital for Contingent-Fee Law Firms was reviewed in the April 2012 publication of the Advocate.  Reviewer Jeffrey Isaac Ehrlich gave a very thorough, detailed and fair review of the book.  Here are a few brief excerpts:


“Swanson generally runs through every possible funding source available to the owner of a contingent-fee firm, and shows why it does not work very well for the lawyer over time.”


“…Swanson’s goal appears to simply heighten lawyers’ financial awareness and acumen, so they can make better choices.”


“…it’s a fast read, and its value is in helping lawyers think about the financial challenges they face, instead of just blindly doing what they have been doing.”

To read the complete review, click here.


To purchase a copy of How David Beats Goliath, click here.


Five More Great iPhone Tips


I’m always looking for ways to make my iPhone even more useful.  This blog on by Sharon Vaknin spells out five great texting tips for iPhone users to increase their productivity.  My favorite tip from the article is the technique of using customized Auto Text short cuts.  I hope you find the post as helpful as I did!  Click here for the full blog.


Michael J. Swanson

President and Chief Executive Officer


Insurance Companies Have Forgotten Their Roots


Copyright: <a href=''> / 123RF Stock Photo</a>It should be no surprise to any readers of this blog that the insurance industry is not as diligent in its quest to assist the public as it once was.  The industry’s focus has all too often shifted far toward the profit side of the spectrum, and away from honoring its responsibility to actually insure its policy-holders.


A great article in The Atlantic, sheds light on the history of the industry and goes on to give examples of how far the it has strayed from its roots.  Using Liberty Mutual as a primary example, the article walks through the history of its founding, all the way to the present time.  The writer asserts that the company (and others like it) has forgotten its true responsibility in lieu of profits and ridiculous compensation packages for its executives – particularly former CEO, Edmund Kelly.


The article provides a fascinating overview of the history of the industry and a moral lesson that should be learned by all.  The full article can be read here.


Paul B. Myers
Chief Credit Officer


Photo Credit: 123RF Stock Photo

Are You a Remarkable Boss?


We’ve all experienced them…less than stellar bosses.  It is often said that employees don’t leave their jobs, they leave their bosses.  I recently came across an interesting and well written article by Jeff Haden that focuses on “The 5 Qualities of Remarkable Bosses.”  As you continue to lead and grow your law firm, you may want to consider the five principles presented in this article:



  1. Develop every employee.
  2. Deal with problems immediately.
  3. Rescue your worst employee.
  4. Serve others, not yourself.
  5. Always remember where you came from.


I encourage you to take a few minutes and read the full article here.  Think about your interactions with your employees and how important these principles are in your daily lives.


Kelly A. O’Leary, CPA, CGMA, MBA, CITP

Director of Finance and Administration


Wise Words from Ben Franklin



Featured in Business Insider below are 14 action lessons we can all apply to life & business:




  • Less Talk, More Action

“Well done is better than well said.”

  • Don’t Procrastinate

“Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.”

  • Be Prepared

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

  • Don’t Fight Change

“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.”

  • Get Moving

“All mankind is divided into three classes:  those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move.”

  • Avoid Busywork

“Never confuse motion with action.”

  • Give Yourself Permission to Make Mistakes

“Do not fear mistakes.  You will know failure.   Continue to reach out.”

  • Act Quickly on Opportunities

“To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.”

  • Continue to Grow

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”

  • Keep Going

“Diligence is the mother of good luck.”

  • Know Yourself

“There are three things extremely hard:  steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.”

  • Don’t Self-Sabotage

“Who had deceived thee so often as thyself?”

  • Don’t Give Up

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.”

  • Wise Up

“Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.”


To read the entire article, click here.   Author Thea Easterby offers other inspiring tips on writing, career change and personal development on her blog


Donna A. Jones

Vice President, Operations


2012 Fight for Air Walk


At Advocate Capital, we are always looking for opportunities to support a worthy cause. On Saturday, May 19, our team members will be lacing up for 2012 Middle TN, Fight for Air Walk. This is a 5k walk to raise awareness and help support the American Lung Association.


We are gathering donations and walking to help fight asthma, lung cancer, COPD and dozens of other lung diseases. Our goal is to reach $1,500, but we need your help! If you would like to make a donation please go to our ACI donation page.


Here are some examples of how your generous donation will help…


  • $500 helps 250 smokers quit through the award winning Freedom From Smoking online program.
  • $750 provides access to medical care for 48 of our neighbors via the Lung Helpline.
  • $1,250 provides asthmas prevention and control training to staff in 10 schools and day care centers.


Please take a deep breath…and be thankful that you can.  Millions of others suffer from lung disease daily and your support makes the everyday act of breathing that much easier for many people.


Together we can fight lung disease.


Tina Burns

Marketing Manager


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

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