Tennessee Supreme Court Considering Tighter Restrictions on Attorney Ads


Copyright: Shmector via FlickrAccording to a recent article in the Nashville Business Journal, the Tennessee Supreme Court is considering imposing tighter restrictions on attorney advertising, including disallowing the use of actors, celebrity endorsements, and other advertising tools.


In May, 2012, the Tennessee Association for Justice (TAJ) filed a petition with the Supreme Court to amend the Rules of Professional Conduct relating to attorney advertising.  Later that year, the TAJ filed a brief in support of the petition, and attorney Matthew C. Hardin filed a separate petition proposing related but distinct amendments.  The Court asked for additional briefing to assist in the review of the matter, and both parties filed additional briefs in November, 2012.  The Court also opened the issue up for public comment, and the period for comment ended on January 25, 2013.  No decision has been handed down yet.


The full article can be read here and the petitions by the TAJ and Mr. Hardin can be read here.


Paul Myers
Chief Credit Officer


Photo Credit: Shmector via Flickr

Claude Wyle – Part Two – Motorcycle and Bicycle Litigation Expert


Click on the video to watch part two of Mr. Swanson’s recent interview with Claude Wyle of Choulos, Choulos & Wyle, LLP of San Francisco, California.



Take Justice Back Campaign and Auction


Have you heard about American Association for Justice’s new venture “Take Justice Back”?


Take Justice Back was created because of the great concern that our civil justice system is being swindled away by large corporations, and the money corporations are willing to pay to not be held accountable for their irresponsible actions. Take Justice Back is a group that is willing to expose how Americans are being robbed, injured and lied to by corporations.


Take Justice Back’s website also offers a public forum to share your story and reveal the truth, attempting to reverse the spin the media puts on civil cases. You can help spread the word about the important work Take Justice Back is carrying out.


Mass Torts Made Perfect will host an Auction and Party to benefit AAJ and the Take Justice Back initiative on Thursday, April 11th at 5:30pm at the Wynn Las Vegas. The Auction will be held in conjunction with the Mass Torts Made Perfect Spring Meeting, April 10th –12th , 2013 and with AAJ’s Board of Governors meeting, April 11th –13th, 2013 at the Venetian Hotel Las Vegas.


AAJ needs the support of everyone with an interest in protecting our civil justice system – would you please consider donating an item to support this vital campaign?


To make a donation to this significant cause please contact Kelly Martin, but hurry the deadline to donate is April 4th, 2013.


Tina Burns

Vice President


U.S Supreme Court Strikes Down North Carolina’s Medicaid Recovery Law



Copyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_350jb'> / 123RF Stock Photo</a>Congratulations to the Armstrong family and NC lawyer, Christopher Browning of Williams Mullen on the recent US Supreme Court decision that ruled that North Carolina’s law on Medicaid recovery allowing the state to recover a fixed percentage in Medical Malpractice cases violates the federal Medicaid law which limits a state’s recovery to the portion of awards attributable to medical expenses.


As reported by both Thomson Reuters and McClatchy, North Carolina claimed over $900,000.00 for Medicaid reimbursement from the proceeds in a $2.8 million medical malpractice settlement that was reached on behalf of a little girl. She was born with serious injuries that left her unable to work and live independently.   Attorney Christopher Browning sued the state, on behalf of the family, taking the cause all the way to the US Supreme Court, arguing that the amount claimed by the state violated the federal Medicaid law, which limits a state’s recovery for medical expenses.


The Federal Law permits recovery by the States on the portion of the recovery or settlement in cases that are allocated to medical expenses.   The issue is, that settlements rarely spell out the allocation for medical expenses and the amount recovered for pain and suffering.  Prompting some states to unfairly claim a lien for up to 1/3 of the victim’s full recovery.    According to Justice Anthony Kennedy who wrote for the majority in the 6-3 decision, “If a state arbitrarily may designate one-third of any recovery as payment for medical expenses, there is no logical reason why it could not designate half, three-quarters or all of a tort recovery in the same way,” Kennedy wrote.  North Carolina’s “one-size-fits-all statutory presumption” was incompatible with the federal Medicaid law, he concluded.


Thanks to Christopher Browning for his leadership and commitment in taking this important issue all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court! Click here to view the full opinion.


Lisa Wagner

Senior Vice President


Photo Credit: 123RF Stock Photo

Ken Shigley Discusses Case Expense Funding


Ken Shigley shared a blog post on his website last week about case expense funding, and we were so honored to have been mentioned. Ken Shigley is the immediate past President of the Georgia State Bar. Mr. Shigley is one of 18 Georgia lawyers who have earned double board certification in Civil Trial Advocacy and Civil Pretrial Advocacy from The National Board of Legal Specialty Certification and he is the lead author of Georgia Law of Torts: Trial Preparation & Practice (West, 2010-12).  In the American Association for Justice, he is currently secretary of the Motor Vehicle, Highway & Premises Liability Section and a board member of the Trucking Litigation Section. His experience and knowledge of personal injury cases makes him an exceptional attorney and a great Advocate Capital client. Mr. Shigley kindly shared the blog post about his thoughts on case expense funding and we would like to share it with you. Thanks Ken!


“…Therefore, in order to free up capital and increase capacity to do what needs to be done to develop serious personal injury and wrongful death cases, I maintain a litigation line of credit with Advocate Capital, which funds most of our case expenses. When cases are settled, the expenses are reimbursed to us out of the recovery. I then pay off the portion of the line of credit allocated to that case, and pass along as a case expense the nominal amount of interest incurred on those expenses. The transaction is a straight pass-through with full transparency and no markups.  Because we and Advocate track every expense by case number, that is a very simple bookkeeping exercise….”


To read the rest of Mr. Shigley’s blog click here


Tina Burns
Vice President


Workers Comp Reform in TN Advances


The workers comp reform bill proposed by Governor Haslam in Tennessee is moving quickly through the Republican-controlled General Assembly, according to The Tennessean.  On Tuesday, the legislation breezed through two committees and, unfortunately for the workers of Tennessee, appears to be quickly headed to Gov. Haslam’s desk.


As I’ve mentioned before, this seems to be yet another attempt by big business and insurance companies to restrict individuals’ access to the court system.  Here is what Rep. Mike Turner, D-Old Hickory, had to say – “This bill is the worst bill I’ve seen since I’ve been here, as far as working people goes.  This bill really disturbs me.”


Critics also contend supporters are “railroading” the reform effort through by stifling opposition. They cited the Senate committee’s limit on public comment; the House committee meeting in one of the smallest meeting rooms; and recorded comments made last week by Rep. Jimmy Eldridge, R-Jackson, that the bill would “fly” through the House committee, which he chairs.  Just business as usual in the TN General Assembly.


Opponents did notch one small win Monday: If passed, the measure’s effective date would be delayed six months to July 1, 2014.


The bills now advance to each chamber’s government operations committee.


Paul Myers
Chief Credit Officer


Photo Credit: © Jan Duke

Ken Shigley – Part Two – Trucking Litigation Expert

Click on the video to watch part two of Mr. Swanson’s recent interview with Ken Shigley, former President of The Georgia State Bar. Mr. Shigley is currently practicing in Atlanta, Georgia.



More than Access to Capital – A Resource for Information


Copyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_rtimages'> / 123RF Stock Photo</a>Here at Advocate Capital, Inc. we’re honored to have an opportunity to impact the lives of those who have been hurt or injured by providing our clients, some of the most successful and renowned law firms across the country, with numerous strategic business tools, including access to capital, to help ensure the best possible result for their clients.  What people may not know is that really, we provide so much more than access to capital.


With a team of smart, friendly people we work hard to share information, promote networking and serve as a resource for many of the business needs that our clients face in the day-to-day practice.  The Advocate Capital blog is one platform we utilize for sharing information and tools to help our clients enhance and grow their practice.  Readers can search the Advocate Capital, Inc. blog by category which includes, Law Practice Management tips, Industry News, Client Victories, Networking, Meetings & Tradeshows, etc.  Each category is full of helpful, useful information for trial lawyers and their teams. Take a minute to view some of our Law Practice Management tips.  There’s a wealth of information and surely something for everyone.  It’s a great resource, continuously updated to help viewers remain current on the latest business and technology tips.


Here’s a quick link to Law Practice Management tips for quick reference, saving to your favorites and sharing with your friends:




At Advocate Capital, we believe, “Feedback is the Breakfast of Champions”!   Let us know what you think and if you have tips and/or information you’d like to contribute.


Lisa Wagner

Senior Vice President, Client Services


Photo Credit: 123RF Stock Photo

Los Angeles Superior Court Continues Budgetary Cutbacks, now ADR



Photo Credit: unclebumpy via FlickrIn a notice issued on March 6, 2013 to attorneys, the Los Angeles Superior Court announced that due to state-imposed budget cuts, the LASC will cease providing Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) services for civil, family and probate courts via a planned timetable.   The schedule includes closure of ADR offices in eight (8) courthouses during the month of April and another seven (7) in the month of May.


Access to the civil jury system in this country continues to face many challenges in almost every state.  Our friends and clients in Los Angeles County are dealing with unprecedented changes in the court system as a result of budgetary cuts and the massive consolidation of their court system.  It was difficult enough for injured citizens to wait out the long dockets for their day in court.   Soon, even the ADR system will be unavailable.


To view the entire list of changes imposed by the court consolidation, click here.  It appears southern California citizens will now wait even longer for justice.


Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President


Photo Credit: unclebumpy via Flickr

Cruise Injury Attorney Recognized as Certified Specialist in Admiralty & Maritime Law

Today we welcome a guest blog from the Law Offices of Charles D. Naylor.
Donna Jones, Senior Vice President.

Cruise Injury Attorney Recognized as Certified Specialist in Admiralty & Maritime Law

Charles D. Naylor, a Los Angeles cruise injury attorney, is now recognized by the State Bar of California as a Certified Legal Specialist in Admiralty and Maritime Law.  Naylor is among an elite group of only 26 to be recognized as specialists in this practice area in California.
To be eligible for certification as a specialist, an attorney must prove that Admiralty and Maritime Law is, and has been, a substantial part of their practice for at least five years and must meet practice area specific continuing education requirements.  Eligible attorneys must then meet criteria that demonstrates their experience and proficiency through prior case handling or pass a written examination.  Additionally, they must also be favorably evaluated by other attorneys and judges familiar with their work.
“Specialization certification is significant because it will help direct people to the lawyers who are most qualified to handle their case,” says Charles D. Naylor of the Law Offices of Charles D. Naylor, a cruise injury attorney practicing maritime law for more than 35 years.  “With Maritime Law in particular, there are many nuances that can easily be missed or misinterpreted by a lawyer unfamiliar with or new to the practice area, and the results can be devastating to the client.”
Maritime law is a federal law that governs most injuries that occur on the high seas; navigable waters of the United States including many lakes and rivers; or on piers, docks, wharves and beaches.   A maritime personal injury lawyer is the best choice for injured and ill:

  • Cruise ship passengers and crew members
  • Jones Act seamen, including merchant sailors and commercial fisherman
  • Longshore, harbor and shipyard workers
  • Offshore oil and gas workers
  • Recreational boat passengers, including sail boats, yachts and jet skis

The State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization certifies specialists in 11 areas of law.  Charles D. Naylor served as commissioner of the consulting group charged with developing the standards and criteria for Admiralty and Maritime Law specialist certification in California.
“What we do is very different from state personal injury and state workers compensation.  I felt strongly that there needed to be more awareness about maritime law to protect the rights of the injured,” said Naylor.  “Injured cruise ship passengers are among the most in need of increased awareness.  When an injured passenger hires their local personal injury lawyer rather than a cruise injury attorney, they run the risk of blowing the statute of limitations or improperly filing the claim.”
For more information about the legal specialization process, visit the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization website.
About Law Offices of Charles D. Naylor
Since 1974, the Law Offices of Charles D. Naylor has been compassionately and aggressively representing injured workers from the maritime trades. With more than 100 years combined experience, our attorneys specialize in Maritime Personal Injury, Jones Act, Longshore & Harbor Workers Compensation Act and Cruise Ship Injury.
In 2007, Charles D. Naylor obtained a $55.2 million jury verdict against the now bankrupt DaimlerChrysler for the wrongful death of a longshoreman (Los Angeles Superior Court, BC 332487, Mraz v. DaimlerChrysler Corporation).
Charles D. Naylor received California Lawyer magazine’s prestigious CLAY Award in 2008, has a 5 out of 5 AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell and has been recognized by Southern California Super Lawyers as one of the “top attorneys in Southern California” (2007- 2013).


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

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