Happy Fourth of July!

 

Advocate Capital Inc. July 4th Office HoursIn observance of the Fourth of July holiday, our offices will be closed on Friday, July 4th.  All payments, fundings and other transactions received on this day will be processed promptly on Monday, July 7th. Should you have any questions regarding the processing of any transaction, please feel free to contact our Accounting Team at 1-615-577-5448 or by email to this address: Accounting@AdvocateCapital.com.

 

Thank you for being our valued customer. The entire Advocate Capital, Inc. Team wishes a safe holiday to all of our customers, staff and their families.

 

Kelly O’Leary, CPA, CGMA, MBA, CITP, CIA, CFE

Vice President, Finance and Administration

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Tort Reform – 10 Years Later in Mississippi

 

Mississippi Tort Reform 10 years later, Advocate Capital, Inc.In the 80s and 90s, the state of Mississippi was seen as a haven for those filing lawsuits.  Populist juries in the state were known to side regularly with plaintiffs and award large punitive damages.

 

However, in 2004, then Governor Haley Barbour led the tort reform charge in the Republican-controlled legislature that made Mississippi one of the first states to cap noneconomic damages and punitive damages.  Governor Barbour and his allies argued that tort reform was needed to ensure that the state could have decent health care – the claim being that doctors and hospitals were “fleeing” the state due to the threat of litigation.  Also, they argued that tort reform was needed to ensure a stable and prosperous business climate.  These are arguments that have been made many times since, but most have never been proven out.

 

Of course, the plaintiff bar argued (and I agree) that the sole purpose of damages caps are to make litigation issues into actuarial issues – i.e. if a defendant or insurance company knows that their maximum loss is fixed, they know exactly how much they can get away with and still remain profitable.  With these “reforms”, a plaintiff’s right to access the courts and their right to fair compensation is given short shrift in favor of the interests of big business and insurance companies.

 

A recent article in The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, MS) gives a good, and relatively fair, overview of this issue.  The article can be read here.

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The 2014 Rainmaker of the Year Awards

 

Rainmaker of the Year 2014, Advocate Capital Inc. reportsDo you know a great law firm marketer?  Nominate them for the 2014 Rainmaker of the Year Awards, presented by LawMarketing.com, The National Trial Lawyers and The Rainmaker Institute®.

 

These awards will recognize the accomplishments of attorneys and marketing directors (employed by a law firm) who have applied themselves, demonstrated creative marketing strategies, and are getting real results for their law firm.

 

Click here to learn more or to make a nomination.

 

Michael J. Swanson

President and Chief Executive Officer

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Thanks MATA for a Fantastic Convention Experience

 

Advocate Capital Inc.'s Donna Jones and Jeff Glueck at the MATA Convention 2014Last week, Jeff Glueck and I had the privilege of representing Advocate Capital, Inc. at the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys 56th Annual Convention at the Lodge of Four Seasons in Lake Ozark, Missouri.

 

This convention is vigorously supported by MATA’s leadership, the participating law firms and the exhibitors.  As first-time attendees, we were uncertain what to expect; however,  the wonderful team who manage the events quickly welcomed us.   Special thanks to Sara Schuett, Executive Director, Jeannie Brandstetter, Director of Communications, Leanna Hagenhoff, Director of Legislative Affairs and ALL the members of this incredible staff.

 

Advocate Capital, Inc. is proud to support the important work done by trial lawyers across the country and this includes championing the efforts of outstanding organizations like the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys.

 

We look forward to the 2015 convention, which will again be held at the Lodge of Four Seasons June 25-28. Click on the links to view our Facebook and Google+ albums from the show.

 

Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President

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GM Recall Connected to False Conviction

 

(Photo: AP)

According to an article on Fox News Insider, a woman in Texas is suing General Motors Co. over her false conviction in connection to the recent recall. Candice Anderson pled guilty to criminal negligent homicide over the car crash death of her fiancé, Gene Erikson. When GM issued the faulty ignition switch recall, Ms. Anderson and her attorney, Bob Hilliard of Hilliard Munoz Gonzales LLP, reviewed her case and discovered that the recalled switch may have caused the crash of her 2004 Saturn Ion. This fact was later confirmed by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

 

The article states the Anderson lawsuit alleges GM “knew about the bad switches but failed to disclose the problem even though Anderson was pleading guilty.”

 

This story reveals the true impact of corporations choosing profit over public safety. Ms. Anderson was punished for a crime she did not commit and tortured by the guilt of her fiancé’s death for 10 years. Her case along with more than 50 other crashes and 13 deaths are all due to GM’s decision not to address the problem for more than a decade.

 

Who knows what other cases will emerge as NHTSA digs deeper into this recall?

 

(Read the full article)

 

Jeff Glueck

Vice President, Business Development

 

Photo Credit: AP
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Regina Valenti is the 2014 Paralegal of the Year

 

As seen on Boston GlobeReuters, and Yahoo! Finance

 

Advocate Capital and AAJ Paralegal of the Year 2014 Regina ValentiRegina L. Valenti, senior trial paralegal at the Herman, Herman & Katz, LLC, in New Orleans, Louisiana has been named the recipient of the 2014 Advocate Capital, Inc. / AAJ Paralegal of the Year Award.

 

Ms. Valenti was nominated for the award by Attorney Leonard Davis. Attorney Davis commented, “Regina is the top of the top notch paralegals who has worked tirelessly for many claimants in a number of cases. Her work is professional and she is a dedicated asset. We are glad she is on our team at Herman, Herman & Katz, LLC.”

 

As the senior trial paralegal, Ms. Valenti handles all aspects of file management, client contact and trials in multi-district litigation, mass torts, personal injury and products liability cases. She received her B.A. in paralegal studies from Nicholls State University and has spoken at continuing legal education courses for the American Association for Justice and the Institute for Paralegal Education. Ms. Valenti is a paralegal affiliate member of AAJ and active on the Paralegal Education Committee.

 

“Regina’s dedication to the paralegal profession is evident in her advocacy for her clients, her work and her passion for helping others,” commented AAJ Paralegal Affiliates Co-Chair Mary Skinner. “Regina has spoken at AAJ Conventions and other CLEs.  She was instrumental in starting the paralegal internship program in her firm, sharing her knowledge with the next generation of paralegals to ensure they are equipped and have the tools to become the best paralegals in order to get the job done, whatever it may be.”

 

To be considered for this prestigious award, candidates must have demonstrated their value as members of a legal services team, shown dedication to the legal profession, and shown dedication to AAJ’s mission. Ms. Valenti was selected from numerous entrants by the AAJ Paralegal of the Year Committee. In addition to a beautifully engraved award trophy, she will receive free airfare, hotel and conference registration for the AAJ Annual Convention July 26 – July 29, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland.

 

“We are so pleased to be able to collaborate with AAJ on this important award. Paralegals are a key component to any successful law firm.  We hope that this award will help draw attention to the important work that they do in our Nation’s civil justice system,” commented Advocate’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Michael J. Swanson.

 

The American Association for Justice, (formerly known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA®)), has supported plaintiff trial lawyers as the collective voice of the trial bar on Capitol Hill and in courthouses across the nation and by providing exclusive services designed for trial lawyers.  For more information, visit www.Justice.org.

 

Advocate Capital, Inc. is the premier provider of strategic financial products and accounting services for successful trial law firms nationwide.  They have been serving the plaintiff bar for over 15 years from their headquarters in Nashville, TN and now enjoy a client base that extends nationwide. For more information, visit http://www.AdvocateCapital.com.

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Advocate Capital, Inc. Birthday Party!

 

Advocate Capital Inc. employees celebrate 15th AnniversaryThis month we are celebrating our 15th year of being in business!  Thank you so much to all of our clients, employees, vendors and friends who have made that possible.

 

We love helping trial lawyers get even better results for their clients via our Case Expense Funding product.  While it’s fun being on a winning team, the best part is knowing that we are helping our law firm clients in their fight against injustice and protection of our 7th amendment rights.

 

We recently celebrated our anniversary with lunch and then some yummy cake and ice cream at our Nashville office. Click on the links to view the celebration pictures on Google+ and Facebook.

 

We are very fortunate to have such an exceptional team of employees who have helped us reach this milestone.  Here’s to many more celebrations!

 

Michael J. Swanson

President and Chief Executive Officer

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Tradeshows Galore

 

Advocate Capital Inc. Vice President Tina Burns with client Trey ApffelLast week was a busy week for Advocate Capital in the tradeshow world with Texas Trial Lawyers Association convention and Florida Justice Association convention having simultaneous dates.

 

Lisa Wagner and I were proud to represent Advocate Capital at the Texas Trial Lawyer Association convention in Austin. The convention provided an excellent opportunity to meet several clients including TTLA President Michael Guajardo and incoming Texas State Bar President E.A. Trey Apffel among several others. Thanks to TTLA staff for organizing a great show which had abundant energy. One aspect that makes TTLA convention different from other conventions is an opportunity to address the attendees for a few minutes and discuss your company. Giving us a chance to help increase booth traffic during the show.

 

Advocate Capital Inc. representatives Kelly O'Leary and Donna Jones at FJAMeanwhile in Florida, Donna Jones and Kelly O’Leary were representing Advocate Capital at Florida Justice Association’s convention in the beautiful Palm Beach Breakers hotel. FJA also provided a great opportunity to meet new faces and shake hands with current clients. Ms. Jones and Ms. O’Leary were busy with introductions and expanding Advocate’s presence in the great state of Florida.

 

This week Donna Jones and Jeff Glueck are off to Lake Ozark for the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys’ convention. I believe the tradeshow season is in full swing for 2014! Thank you to the marketing team at Advocate Capital for outstanding execution and planning.

 

Click on the links to view photos from the TTLA and FJA conventions.

 

Tina Burns

Vice President

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2014 Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys Annual Convention

 

MATA Annual Convention 2014Will you be attending MATA’s 56th Annual Convention in Lake Ozark, Mo. on June 19-22?

 

Donna Jones and Jeff Glueck will be representing Advocate Capital, Inc. at our booth during the convention. Stop by and discover how our case expense funding product can help you get even better results for your clients.

 

The 2014 MATA Annual Convention will take place at the Lodge of Four Seasons Resort on Lake Ozark. This convention includes three days of CLE programs featuring judicial forums, the Annual Update on the Law and a new employment law track for a total of 12 CLE hours with 2 hours of ethics. Social activities during the convention include a carnival, golf tournament, trap tournament and 5K run/1-mile fun walk.

 

Don’t forget to visit our booth and enter our raffle for a chance to win Pebble Smartwatch!

 

We hope to see you there.

 

Tina Burns

Vice President

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Bucci Bailey & Javins, LC Helps Ensure Legacy for Gas Well Worker Killed as a Result of Improper Safety Precautions

 

Advocate Capital Inc. clients Bucci Bailey and Javins LC

A 27 year old gas well worker was fatally pinned and crushed when unstable ground beneath the wheels of a rough terrain lift caused the lift to suddenly lurch into him.  The use of large wooden rig mats should have been used as a safety precaution to help stabilize the ground area on the site.  The site operator decided to cut costs by “getting by” using ½ the number of required rig mats for the site.  To make matters worse, the drilling contractor assigned an operator to the equipment without providing training for its safe operation on this rough terrain.  As a result, the young employee was killed.  OSHA issued citations for safety violations causing the death of the worker.

 

The young man left behind a 5 year old son, a mother, father, brothers, sisters and numerous extended family members.   The 27 year old was a critical part of his family unit in WV that was sustained almost entirely by their farm land and whatever they could produce on the farm.   Bucci Bailey & Javins, LC headquartered in Charleston, WV stepped up to help this family who had lost not only a beloved family member, but also a crucial member of a family unit trying to survive on their own land.

 

The actual results and parties are part of a confidential settlement agreement but we can tell you that Bucci Bailey & Javins, LC was able to secure for this family a settlement that would allow the parents to continue living on the family farm, make much needed repairs and ensure a future the young man had dreamed of for his 5 year old son.  The 27 year old paid the price for the costs saving decisions made by the gas well drilling company but, but Bucci Bailey & Javins helped the family achieve the dream he had for his family and ensured a legacy that will live on for many generations.

 

No company is too big for trial lawyers like Bucci Bailey & Javins when it comes to fighting for families, impacting corporate behavior and holding corporations and insurance companies accountable.

 

Join us as we congratulate the Bucci Bailey & Javins, LC for their work in ensuring the legacy of this young man.

 

Lisa Wagner

Senior Vice President, Client Services

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