Great Employee Receives Recognition

 

Last month we started a new program of employee recognition here at Advocate Capital, Inc.  We call it “Pay it Forward”.  The idea came from Cory Cormier and the team at Legal Monkeys.  When someone goes above and beyond in their work, they get recognized for it.

 

Our first recipient was Claire Wood, our Operations Coordinator. As last month’s recipient Claire got to choose the next winner. She chose Shirley Johnson, Accounting Specialist.  Claire chose Shirley because Shirley did not hesitate to help with operations while Claire was out of the office, even though her own department was already short staffed for the week. Anyone here at ACI would testify that you would never find Shirley in the office without a smile on her face. We are so fortunate to have her on our team!

 

Stay tuned to see who will receive the award next!

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2013 Paralegal of the Year – Dennyce Korb

 

Last week I had the pleasure of presenting the 2013 Advocate Capital, Inc. / American Association for Justice Paralegal of the Year Award to this year’s winner, Dennyce Korb. The ceremony took place in San Francisco during the American Association for Justice Annual Convention.

 

Ms. Korb is a paralegal at the Johnson Eiesland Law Offices in Rapid City, South Dakota. Dennyce was nominated by Gregory A. Eiesland who was in attendance along with Dennyce’s family to watch her receive the award.

 

Dennyce has been a paralegal for over 30 years.  During that time she has worked with clients who have been injured by nursing home abuse and neglect, medical malpractice, or defective products.  Ms. Korb has actively participated in the trial of nearly 100 cases. During the award ceremony, Dennyce was gracious, enthusiastic and extremely appreciative for being selected as this year’s recipient.

 

Advocate Capital, Inc. and The American Association for Justice recognize the great importance of paralegals to the legal profession and are delighted to help recognize the paralegals who work so hard to help trial lawyers achieve justice for their clients.  We congratulate Dennyce on her achievements!

 

Click here to see the Facebook photo album of the award ceremony.

 

Michael J. Swanson

President and Chief Executive Officer

 

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Eric Fong Conquered Odds in Nursing Home Abuse Case

 

Seattle area attorney and Advocate Capital, Inc. client, Eric Fong, recently tried a nursing home abuse case in Iowa as part of a legal team with Nick Rowley, Pat Logan, Rod Ritner, and Joe Kruger. Against all odds, they achieved a record-breaking victory. Hotly contested on liability, they had received no offer at the time of trial. Eric explained that the battle was up hill all the way, as the judge appeared to be openly hostile to the plaintiff’s case, and one juror during voir dire, “said the plaintiff’s claim was ridiculous and went on a tirade about frivolous plaintiff cases and lawsuits”.  The case was tried in one of the most conservative jurisdictions imaginable.

 

Over the course of litigating this case, they battled several law firms, relentless motions and a long list of opposing expert witnesses.  Eric says, “We went toe to toe and dished it back plus one; whatever they gave us, we gave them a little more.”  Over the course of litigation, the nursing home fired two different law firms.

 

Eric describes the victim’s elderly, surviving wife as “sharp as a tack, witty, and funny,” and insisted on being in the courtroom during the trial. She married her husband seven days before Pearl Harbor.  She and her husband were married 66 years. Eric added, “The stories of their love, commitment, raising their kids, and contribution to the community inspired us beyond what words can express.”

 

Tina Burns
Vice President

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John Lancione Settles Horrific Birth Injury Case

 

Congratulations to John A. Lancione, his team and his clients on this confidential settlement.  The lawsuit filed by the mother and father on behalf of their minor child alleged that the attending obstetrical nurses and physicians failed to properly diagnose and treat the mother who presented at 33 weeks’ gestation with classic symptoms of placental abruption.

 

Specifically, the expectant mother arrived at the facility at noon on March 18, 2007 with complaints of severe abdominal pain and tenderness, uterine irritability a non-reassuring fetal heart rate and decreased fetal movement (no movement since 4 a.m.).  The admitting nurse documented an ominous fetal heart rate pattern.  The attending obstetrician (on call for the plaintiff’s regular OB), stated the heart tones were reassuring but not reactive.  Another nurse also evaluated the electronic fetal monitor although neither nurse invoked the chain of command required when a conflict arises in patient assessment.  The attending OB either left the hospital or L&D floor but was not immediately available to the nursing staff, patient and unborn child who was clearly in distress.  The patient’s symptoms escalated through the afternoon and at 2:30 p.m., her membranes spontaneously ruptured.  Still the attending OB ordered expectant management.  Around 3:45 p.m. and again around 4:19 p.m., the attending OB performed cesarean section deliveries on two other patients.  By 5 p.m., plaintiff child’s fetal heart rate began to seriously decompose.   At 5:20 p.m., a stat C-section was called.  There was no recorded fetal heart rate after 5:21 p.m.  The baby was delivered at 5:31 p.m. with no signs of life.  Following resuscitation, the baby was transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit where he remained until April 25, 2007.

 

In October, 2008, at the child’s 18 month well child visit, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).  In May, 2009, he was diagnosed with quadriplegic athetoid cerebral palsy.  The child is non-verbal and cannot walk or feed himself.  He is also incontinent of bladder and bowel.  This settlement allows for the child to have the necessary 24/7 lifelong care to provide him the proper quality of life following the negligent delivery that caused his injuries.

 

Attorney Lancione, a partner in the firm Lancione & Lancione PLL, dedicates his practice to victims of catastrophic injuries in the area of medical negligence, particularly birth injuries.  He was elected chair of the Birth Trauma Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice in 2008 and is a frequent lecturer on the subject nationally.  For detailed information regarding settlements and verdicts handled by Mr. Lancione and his firm, click here.

 

Advocate Capital, Inc. is proud to support trial lawyers like John Lancione as they pursue justice on behalf of people who are injured due to the negligence of others.

 

Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President

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David Hoey Interview – Part 4 of 4 – What is Arbitration

 

Click on the video to watch part four of Mr. Swanson’s interview with David Hoey of The Law Offices of David J. Hoey, P.C. in North Reading, Massachusetts.

 

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Winer & McKenna, LLP Announce New Partner

 

Congratulations to Kelli D. Burritt on achieving partnership status with personal injury law firm, Winer & McKenna, LLP.  John Winer and Alexis McKenna are pleased to announce that Kelli D. Burritt achieved partnership status effective June 1, 2013 and the Firm now boasts the new name, Winer, McKenna & Burritt, LLP.  The firm continues to specialize in plaintiffs’ civil litigation practice, including workplace harassment and discrimination law, serious personal injury, elder abuse, psychotherapist sexual abuse and child sexual abuse cases all across the Bay area and throughout Southern California.

 

Burritt, who has been providing exceptional legal services to those who have been injured her entire career, has an impressive background and proven success record with numerous multi-million dollar verdicts.  Click here to learn more about Ms. Burritt and a few of the multi-million dollar verdicts she has achieved on behalf of injured employees and consumers.

 

Burritt practices from the Firm’s Woodland Hills office providing expert legal services to clients in the greater Los Angeles area.   The Firm has offices in Oakland, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

 

Please join us in wishing Winer, McKenna & Burritt, LLP great success!

 

Lisa Wagner

Senior Vice President, Client Services

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Will the Real John Roberts Please Stand Up?

 

 

In two recent blogs, I have shed light on the impacts of recent Supreme Court rulings.  One of the more intriguing justices over the past couple of years, given his rulings and his background, has been Chief Justice John Roberts.

 

A recent op-ed in the New York Times by Linda Greenhouse gives some really good insight into some of Chief Justice Roberts’s recent rulings and what they say about him as a jurist and a man.  She analyzes Chief Justice Roberts’s rulings and thoughts on cases as varied as the Defense of Marriage Act ruling, the Affordable Care Act ruling and others.

 

After some really good analysis (and not a little conjecture), Ms. Greenhouse boils down the Chief Justice’s overall mindset as, “Congress can’t be trusted. The executive branch is out of control.  What’s left?  The Supreme Court.”

 

The full op-ed can be read here.

 

Paul Myers
Chief Credit Officer

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Knee Replacement & Resultant Death Claim Settled by The Cooper Firm

 

This confidential settlement represents another job well done and three years in the making by Advocate Capital, Inc. friend Lance Cooper and his team in Marietta, Georgia.

 

The plaintiff underwent knee replacement surgery in March 2010.  Following surgery, she was transferred to a rehab facility and placed on the anticoagulant drug, Coumadin.  The discharge order included an INR (blood test to monitor coagulation status) to be run twice weekly.  The rehab center employees changed the “twice weekly” INR order to “monthly INR.”  Because the INR was not monitored as ordered, the plaintiff became grossly over-anti coagulated, her INR rose markedly and she was prone to extreme bleeding.

 

The plaintiff became anemic and a rehab facility physician ordered a blood transfusion.  A surgeon inserted a large line into her jugular vein resulting in a massive bleed in her neck and chest area.  This bleed ultimately caused the plaintiff’s death.  Had the INR levels been tested twice weekly as ordered, the rehab center would have known that the plaintiff’s INR level was already high and they could have made appropriate changes to procedures or not performed the procedure until the INR was at a safe level.

 

Mr. Cooper is the founding member of The Cooper Firm, and concentrates his practice representing plaintiffs in substantial personal injury and wrongful death cases.  He is a former president of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association as well as the Cobb County Trial Lawyers Association.   Lance has also been included in the Georgia Super Lawyers by Atlanta Magazine from 2006 to 2011.

 

To read more about the verdicts and settlements achieved by The Cooper firm, click here.

 

We are appalled by the idea that knee replacement surgery and subsequent rehabilitation could result in death but everyone here at Advocate Capital, Inc. is proud to have an attorney like Lance Cooper working diligently to maintain accountability for medical negligence.

 

Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President

 

 

 

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Gary Gwilliam – Part Four – Trial Lawyers and Stress

 

Click on the video to watch part four of Mr. Swanson’s recent interview with Gary Gwilliam of Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer in Oakland, California.

 

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EEOC’s Historic $240 MM verdict is cut to $3.4 MM Due to Stringent Federal Damage Caps

 

In early May of 2013, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was celebrating the largest verdict in the commission’s history to then see the award dramatically reduced weeks later.

 

The EEOC filed suit against Henry’s Turkey Service, on behalf of 32 mentally disabled men, alleging discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The suit claimed the men were abused, denied medical care and were forced to live in squalor while being paid a mere .41¢ an hour.   The EEOC presented evidence that Henry’s Turkey exploited these workers, whose jobs involved eviscerating turkeys, because their intellectual disabilities made them particularly vulnerable and unaware of the extent to which their legal rights were being denied.  Specifically, the EEOC proved that for years and years the owners and staffers of Henry’s Turkey subjected the workers to abusive verbal and physical harassment; restricted their freedom of movement; and imposed other harsh terms and conditions of employment such as requiring them to live in deplorable and sub-standard living conditions, and failing to provide adequate medical care when needed.

 

The jury found in favor of the workers and awarded each worker $7.5 million in damages including $2MM in punitive damages.

 

However, since the plant employed less than 101 employees the statutory limit for recovery of damages is capped at $50,000 plus interest for each worker.  The commission stated the $7.5 million jury award was an “appropriate and meaningful measure of the actual harms suffered by these victims of discrimination”.   Unfortunately for the workers, the stringent federal damage cap drastically reduced their award from $7.5 million to $100,000 – which includes $50,000 in back wages.

 

For more information on the case and the EEOC click here: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/5-1-13b.cfm

 

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v Hill Country Farms, Inc. Iowa Southern 3:11-cv-00041

 

Although it is great to see a company that has been so blatantly abusing the Americans with Disabilities Act brought to justice, it’s too bad that “Henry and his turkeys” didn’t have to feel the real pain of the jury verdict.

 

Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President

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