Why We Need Even More Women in the U.S. Workforce


Authored By: Iris Garrett


Why We Need Even More Women in the U.S. WorkforceThere are many ideas and opinions surrounding women in the workforce. From equal pay to better paid maternity leave, the issue continues to be prevalent in today’s society. However, in an article in The Legal Examiner, John Bair writes instead about the dwindling number of women in the American workforce, and how the country that once led the charge of female workforce participation now ranks 17th among 22 developed nations.


Bair says from the beginning of the 20th century to the early 1990s, the U.S. saw a tremendous increase in the number of women on the job, especially from the 1970s onward. He says the trend hit a plateau in the last two decades as 75% of women between the ages of 25 and 54 are now working or seeking work. Meanwhile, he says 88.6% of the country’s male population in that same age category are working.


According to a study by Strategy&, increasing female employment to match that of males may have powerful economic and global implications. Not only would it increase the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) by 5%, but Strategy& also estimates that it could raise the GDP in Japan by 9%, the United Arab Emirates’ GDP by 12%, and a whopping 34% hike in GDP in Egypt.


Strategy& researchers also say boosting the number of working women would have an effect on children’s lives as well. They say women are more likely than men to invest their household income in a child’s education: “As those children grow up, their improved status becomes a positive social and economic factor in their society. Thus, even small increases in the opportunities available to women… can lead to dramatic economic and social benefits.”


Bair says the New York Times has also recently reported on the benefits of more female participation in the workforce. The newspaper says women have already contributed to widespread improvements in safety, productivity, and the health of American families.


So what can be done to help the country get back to its once high rate of employed women? Bair says researchers call for more laws and policies that enable more women to work, better rules regarding education requirements and employment after childbirth, and more flexible work schedules.


To read John Bair’s full article, click here.


Photo Credit:  racorn 

Make Your Solo Practice Even More Profitable


Authored By: Iris Garrett



Make Your Solo Practice Even More ProfitableWe here at Advocate Capital, Inc. know about some of the difficulties our clients face when managing their law firms. We also know that for a solo practice, things can be even more challenging, especially if you have just ventured out on your own.


Randall Ryder of Lawyerist.com offers several tips for attorneys trying to figure out how to balance their books, keep their overhead costs low, and make a profit. We’ve listed some of the tips below.


Be a Minimalist

Ryder says the biggest mistake solo attorneys can make is adding overhead they don’t need, like choosing an expensive office in a prime location or hiring an assistant before they can afford one. He says when you start your practice, you should instead focus on three things: taking care of your clients, keeping the lights on and paying yourself. Also, by tackling your own administrative duties, you know exactly how your finances are doing and can adjust your overhead and workflow as needed.


Go Paperless

Ryder says by choosing to run a paperless firm, you will not only save money on paper and postage, but you can rent a smaller office because you won’t need as much storage space for your files. He says paperless firms also allow you the freedom of working remotely. You don’t have to go into the office to pick up a file or print something, everything is stored on your hard drive.


Create Your Own Website Content

Ryder says writing the copy for your website is an excellent way to showcase your services before clients even walk through the door. He says outsourced material will cost you money and will probably read like a sales pitch. But by creating your own website content, your message will come across better to potential clients.


Like Ryder, our team at Advocate Capital, Inc. knows that running a solo practice can add a lot of responsibilities and challenges. Check out his full list of tips here to help you reduce costs and visit www.AdvocateCapital.com to learn about how we can help you and your law firm become even more successful.


Photo Credit: Dejan Bozic

Advocate Capital, Inc. Memorial Day Hours

In observance of the Memorial Day holiday, our offices will be closed on Monday, May 29th.


All payments, loan advances and other transactions received on this day will be processed promptly on Tuesday, May 30th.


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.


The entire Advocate Capital, Inc. Team wishes a safe holiday to all of our customers, staff and their families.

Photo Credit: Mike Flippo

Pedestrian Deaths at an All Time High


Authored by: Krista Kemmerly


Pedestrian DeathsWalking is known to be a peaceful, safe way to travel, but distractions have increased the risk of death significantly for pedestrians. J. R. Whaley from The Legal Examiner writes that from 2015 to 2016 there has been an 11% nationwide increase in pedestrian deaths which is the highest increase for a single year. Reports say that it will continue to rise during 2017 if more programs aren’t put into play to bring awareness and improve the walking atmosphere.


The two major influences for this high percentage increase are said to be cell phone usage and alcohol. Cell phones are the main distraction in today’s world and with the increase in people using them no wonder the increase in pedestrian deaths.


In a GHSA study, nearly half of all pedestrian deaths involved alcohol for either the driver or pedestrian. When you have been drinking and decide to walk home your judgment and sense of direction is poor and significantly increases the likelihood of you getting hit by a car.


Fortunately, things are being done to help lower the percentage rate of pedestrian deaths. Louisiana is in the processes of putting “Complete Streets” into effect. “Complete Streets” will be an introduction of a Safe Routes to Public Places programs and will construct bike and pedestrian facilities close to many different public places.


To read the full article from The Legal Examiner, click here.


Photo Credit: Dieter Hawlan 

The Legal Field’s Stigma Surrounding Mental Health


Authored By: Iris Garrett


Firms Handle StressIt is not hard to believe that lawyers lead stressful lives. Between getting no sleep, working long hours, and researching cases that would be hard for any regular person to stomach, no one would blame attorneys if their lives got a little too hard to handle. Yet, despite how easy it may be to sympathize with their demanding lifestyles, there is a huge stigma surrounding mental health issues when it comes to the legal field.


According to an article in Above the Law, lawyers are not only prone to addiction and depression, but they struggle with these issues at higher rates than the general population. Recent studies have shown 20.6% of lawyers classify themselves as heavy drinkers and 28% experience symptoms of depression. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also report that the legal field has the 11th highest suicide rate. These alarming numbers aside, the article says many attorneys choose not to seek out help because they are afraid to admit they have a problem (and their fears may be warranted).


The article says many law firms are hesitant to offer their employees psychological help for their mental-health issues because of privacy concerns. It says firms are worried it “would send the wrong message” or “competitors will say we have crazy lawyers,” statements that only further stigmatize those needing assistance or substance-abuse treatment. Additionally, if help is offered, the article says often times it is too late, and an employee’s performance has already fallen off.


However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. According to Above the Law, there are a handful of law firms tackling these issues head-on, offering on-site psychologists, weaving mental-health initiatives alongside their wellness programs, and training staff to spot changes in employee behavior. The article says if the firms worried about having “crazy lawyers” added services like these, they would create a more healthy work environment and produce more “stable, well-adjusted lawyers”.


To read the full Above the Law article, click here. You can also read our previous blogs to learn creative ways to help your employees manage stress.


Photo Credit: Elizabeth Engle 

$553 Million Settlement for Drivers over Takata Airbags


Authored By: Rachel Markin



Four Automakers Settle over TakataA group of automakers have agreed to pay more than $550 million to those affected by Takata’s faulty airbags.


The defective airbags have been linked to 11 deaths and 180 injuries in the United States alone and are the subject of the biggest recall in history.


In an agreement filed on May 18th the New York Times reports the automakers Toyota, BMW, Subaru and Mazda “agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit seeking compensation for drivers in the U.S. over losses and other troubles stemming from the recall of faulty Takata airbags.”


The New York Times says the money in the settlement is meant to reimburse current and former owners and lessees of nearly 16 million vehicles for car rentals, lost wages, towing charges and child care charges incurred while waiting for their vehicles to be repaired.


The settlement does not cover claims over personal injuries and deaths. It is still subject to approval.


Bloomberg reports the settlement has helped Takata, who is seeking a buyer, after the company’s stock rose as much as 18% in Tokyo. The increase is the biggest surge the company has seen in the last four months.


The settlement is expected to assist Takata’s potential buyer to assess liabilities and to also facilitate carmakers sued in class actions to reach similar agreements.


However, many challenges lay ahead for correcting the massive airbag problem for car owners, buyers and dealers alike. As reported in the New York Times, the process of fixing the millions of cars equipped with the dangerous airbags will take years. Replacement parts are still in short supply and many consumers have not responded to the recall.


Attorney Peter Prieto is a partner at the law firm Podhurst Orseck and has served as the lead counsel in the class-action cases. He recently told reporters, “Many consumers are unaware of the dangers their vehicles pose..It will take years to complete the recalls.”


Photo Credit: ricul 



Congratulations to Bell Law Firm Trial Attorneys


Congratulations Bell Law FirmLloyd Bell and his colleagues Michael Watson, David Schlachter, and Bruce Berger represented 58-year-old Sharon Donnell, who was severely injured at a major restaurant chain. Ms. Donnell was attending her daughter’s basketball team celebration when the incident occurred.  An employee of the restaurant was moving furniture to make room for the party, when he pushed a table into a chair that fell over on to Ms. Donnell’s foot.


Lloyd Bell said of the case,“This is an iffy case because the mechanism was weird; you wouldn’t think just having a chair fall on your foot could do so much damage, but you’ve got to meet the chair. It was like dropping a 20-pound free weight on your foot.”


The next day, Ms. Donnell went to the doctor and was diagnosed with a bruised foot and given a soft cast. Ms. Donnell returned to the restaurant later that day and reported the incident to the manager. Ms. Donnell was later diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome, which led to surgery to implant a spinal cord stimulator to help control the pain. Due to her injury, Ms. Donnell had to quit her job as a successful paralegal at a large Atlanta defense firm.


During the discovery process, the restaurant denied ever receiving the woman’s complaint, but did eventually turn the incident report over just a week before the trial started. During the trial, Bell invited the jurors to come down out of the jury box and feel the chair to gauge the weight and stability. Bell stated, “We did a demonstration having that chair falling over, I think you could hear it three courtrooms down.” The jury returned a verdict awarding the woman the full amount requested.


Advocate Capital is proud to collaborate with attorneys like Lloyd Bell as they help those who injured through no fault of their own.  Bell Law Firm is licensed to practice in Georgia, and represents clients in Medical Negligence, Wrongful Death, Traumatic Brain Injury, Car Collisions, Motorcycle and Truck wrecks, and Premises Liability.


Bell Law Firm Trial Attorneys are a top rated Super Lawyers, members of Georgia Trend’s Legal Elite, The State Bar of Georgia, AVVO “10” Rating; and the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association. Hats off to Lloyd Bell, and his colleagues Michael Watson, David Schlachter and Bruce Berger on achieving justice for their client.



Nursing Home’s Arbitration Clause Holds Up in Court


Authored By: Iris Garrett


Nursing Home’s Arbitration Clause Holds Up in CourtIt was a win for the nursing home industry earlier this week when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Kentucky arbitration clause. According to The Hill, the high court sided with the Kindred Nursing Home Centers L.P. after two women, Beverly Wellner and Janis Clark, sued the facility for allegedly providing substandard care.


The Hill says when Wellner and Clark’s relatives passed away and brought the lawsuits to the nursing home, it moved to dismiss, arguing that its arbitration agreements barred them from bringing their complaints to court. However, the Kentucky Supreme Court found fault with the Kindred Nursing Home Centers’ agreements, claiming that power of attorney did not clearly allow it to deprive the women of their right to access the courts. Wellner and Clark had signed with the power of attorney on their relatives’ behalf.


Despite the ruling from the Kentucky Supreme Court, The Hill says Justice Elena Kagan and others on the bench disagreed with the lower court’s “clear-statement rule”. The justices said it failed to put arbitration agreements on an equal plan as other contracts and violated the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA).


The Hill says only Justice Clarence Thomas dissented the majority opinion, claiming the FAA did not apply to state court proceedings. He said it could “not displace a rule requiring express authorization from a principal” before an agent may waive his or her right to a jury trial.


In a blog back in October 2016, we reported that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had issued a new rule preventing federally-funded nursing homes from using arbitration. Many lawmakers had argued that companies used the system to keep embarrassing practices or patterns of wrongdoing hidden from families and prevent those families from getting justice. However, according to Modern Healthcare, that rule was blocked by U.S. District Court Judge Michael P. Mills in November. It says the judge found that the CMS did not have authority to enact such a mandate without statutory authority.


To read The Hill’s full article, click here.


Photo Credit: Levente Gyori 

Attorney Robert Solomon Awarded in New Jersey’s Top 50 Verdicts


Authored By: Iris Garrett


Robert SolomonAdvocate Capital, Inc. would like to congratulate our friend and client, Attorney Robert Solomon. Not only did his New Jersey law firm, Robert A. Solomon, P.C. score a $450,000 verdict in the medical malpractice case, McGovern v. Lowrey, but it was recently named one of the state’s Top 50 Verdicts of 2016.


Attorney Solomon’s award-winning case dates back to an incident in September 2012. He says it was during that time that his client underwent a colostomy reversal. However, her relatively minor procedure resulted in a very serious problem when her surgeon failed to remove a portion of the pain ball catheter he had inserted during the operation. Three months after being discharged from the hospital, Solomon’s client was forced to remove the forgotten catheter when it suddenly exploded through her skin. This caused her to develop multiple infections along the incision line and endure countless hernia operations to correct the issue.


Before jury selection could begin, Solomon says the defendant offered to settle the case for $50,000 despite his and his client’s demand of $300,000. Solomon says they even conducted a focus group (which cost another $11,000) to determine if that figure was sufficient, and the group valued the case one step further at $400,000. That’s when Solomon says he knew it was time to take the case to court.


Attorney Solomon says by the end of the trial, he had spent an additional $15,000 on exhibits and expert surgical witnesses, on top of the cost of the focus group. However, that investment would earn him and his client a reward of nearly 10 times more. The jury returned a verdict of $450,000, and the judge added another $50,000 to cover medical expenses, making for a total of a half million dollars. Solomon says he could not have done it without the help of Advocate Capital, Inc.’s Case Expense Financing.


We are proud to partner and support plaintiff trial lawyers like Attorney Robert Solomon, and we acknowledge the work his firm is doing in the fight for justice. Solomon has extensive knowledge in personal injury and wrongful death cases and has represented injured people and their families in New York and New Jersey for nearly 40 years.



Behind the Scenes at Advocate Capital, Inc.


Authored By: Rachel Markin


From watching movie spoofs on YouTube to seeing breaking news unfold before the world on Facebook Live, viewing video is the most popular online activity.


In turn, online video is one of the most effective ways to share who we are and why we do what we do.


That train of thought is the reason our Advocate Capital, Inc. team decided to produce a new company video describing who we are and why we’re passionately supporting trial lawyers and the Seventh Amendment.


We partnered with Atlanta’s Crisp Video, a premiere video production company whose worked with some of our clients, like Attorney Lance Cooper.


On May 9th our management team met bright and early in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee to begin a full day of shooting.


We’re very proud of our managers work in the video, as well as Crisp project manager Kristin Lukich and cinematographer/editor Steven Ceballos expertise in producing the piece. Also, our marketing team has been excitedly working behind the scenes.


Advocate Capital, Inc. looks forward to sharing the video with you in the coming weeks.


For now, please enjoy an exclusive look of the company video shoot: Facebook Album or Google+


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

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