Advocate Capital, Inc. Law Firm Financing Blog

Law Practice Management Stories

QuickBooks® 2011 Support and Add-on-Services Expiring May 31st


Quickbooks changes, Advocate Capital, Inc. reportsIf you’re using QuickBooks® 2011 or prior versions, please note that technical support and access to add-on-services, such as payroll for QuickBooks® 2011 and prior versions will be discontinued after May 31, 2014.  For a full listing of the add-on-services that will no longer function on QuickBooks 2011 and prior versions, click here.


The great news for Advocate Capital, Inc. clients is that in addition to access to complimentary QuickBooks® training with official QuickBooks® ProAdvisors, Advocate Capital, Inc. clients are also eligible to receive discounted pricing on QuickBooks® upgrades and new purchases.


If you don’t need live technical support or to utilize any of the add-on-services, your existing QuickBooks® 2011 version will continue to work for you.  However, it’s relatively simple and inexpensive to upgrade to take advantage of enhanced features of newer versions.


To learn more about how to take advantage of the special pricing and complimentary training contact your Advocate Capital, Inc. Account Manager or click here to request the Advocate Capital, Inc. special order form.


Lisa Wagner

Senior Vice President, Client Services


NCAA March Madness Luncheon


Advocate Capital Inc. awards NCAA March Madness bracket winnersOn Tuesday, April 8, the Advocate Capital, Inc. team enjoyed the conclusion of NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament with box lunches from Bar-B-Cutie, cupcakes and prizes.


Prior to the tournament, employees submitted NCAA brackets online for a company-wide competition. The three brackets with the most points after the championship game received prizes and were announced during the lunch.


The winners were (from left):


  • First Place: Kelly Bubis ($100 prize)
  • Second Place: Donna Jones ($75 Academy Sports gift card)
  • Third Place: Nicole Buttrey (Two $25 Buffalo Wild Wings gift cards)


Please visit our photo albums on Facebook and Google+ to view more photos.


Tina Burns

Vice President


Maples Law Firm Obtains $3,000,000 Verdict in Fatal Nursing Home Neglect Case


Advocate Capital, Inc. client Ray MaplesCongratulations to L. Ray Maples, II and his entire team at Maples Law Firm on securing this $3,000,000 verdict for the wrongful death of their client, Betty Cushman, after severe nursing home neglect.


After colostomy surgery and a 37 day stay at Chicksaw Nation Medical Center, 81 year old Betty Cushman was sent to Ballard Nursing Center in good physical health for continued care and physical therapy. Within two weeks, Ms. Cushman was dropped by nursing home staff and fractured her clavicle. The injury inhibited her from participating in therapy and her condition worsened. She was in constant pain, 10 out of 10 on the pain scale according to every entity outside the nursing home, yet no pain was documented by the nursing home staff. Ms. Cushman’s family testified that she displayed classic signs of neglect and mistreatment including dehydration, malnutrition, infection and sepsis. They testified that when they visited her, she never received liquids or pain medications, and was found lying in soiled bedding. The nursing home staff failed to recognize and treat Ms. Cushman’s sepsis and urinary tract infection, which resulted in her death. The jury verdict included punitive damages against the owner of Ballard Nursing Center as well as the owner’s management company, holding company and the nursing home facility.


The wrongful death attorneys at Maples Law Firm in Oklahoma City fight to ensure that the victims and their loved one’s rights are protected and that the responsible party is held accountable. If you believe that your loved one is the victim of nursing home neglect, please contact the Maples Law Firm at (888) 226-6159 or visit their website for more information.


Advocate Capital, Inc. is proud to support the work of our clients, like the Maples Law Firm, who bring justice to the victims of nursing home neglect and their loved ones.


Michael J. Swanson

President and Chief Executive Officer


Advocate Capital, Inc. Offers Free Month Promotion for New Public Justice Foundation Members


As seen on Bloomberg Businessweek, Boston GlobeCNBC, MarketWatch, Reuters and Yahoo! Finance.


Hiigh Res Small Logo 19.8KBAdvocate Capital, Inc. announced they will pay the first month dues for individuals who sign up for monthly Public Justice Foundation memberships with the “Rustlers” team prior to the 2014 Public Justice ‘Super Thursday’ Phonathon.


‘Super Thursday’ will take place on Thursday, May 1st in Dallas, Texas with two teams trying to acquire the most new and renewed memberships. The “Rustlers” team, led by Advocate’s President and CEO Michael J. Swanson and Attorneys Dan Bryson and Tara Sutton, are utilizing the remaining time prior to the Phonathon to sign up as many members with this promotion and outperform the other phonathon team, the “Rangers.”


“At Advocate Capital, we believe in the important work done by plaintiff’s lawyers in their communities and by Public Justice nationwide.  It is our privilege to donate some of our

time and resources to help increase the membership for Public Justice.” said Swanson.


Public Justice members receive full access to a monthly Speaker Series – educational webinars designed to help them advance their practices, while earning CLE credits.  Upcoming topics include using social media to enhance a law firm and representing whistleblowers in qui tam cases.  Members can also access past educational sessions in the “Members Only” section of the Public Justice website.  For more information on the Speaker Series, click here


“Plus it’s so much fun – our members have told me that they’ve met some of their best friends through our organization.” said Maggie Barr, Public Justice’s Membership Manager.


To receive your free month, call Advocate Capital, Inc. toll free at 877-894-9724 or send an email to including a phone number and preferred times to be contacted. A credit card and preferred monthly membership level information are required at time of renewal.


The Public Justice Foundation is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable membership organization that supports Public Justice’s cutting-edge litigation and educates the public about the critical issues it addresses. Our membership includes leading trial lawyers, appellate lawyers, consumer advocates, environmental attorneys, employment lawyers, civil rights attorneys, class action specialists, law professors, law students, public interest advocates, and other people who care about justice. For more information about the Public Justice Foundation, visit


Advocate Capital, Inc. is the premier provider of strategic financial products and accounting services for successful trial law firms nationwide. They serve the plaintiff bar from their headquarters in Nashville, Tenn. and now enjoy a client base that extends nationwide. For more information, visit


Advocate Capital, Inc. Prepares for Public Justice Membership Roundup


Advocate Capital Inc. CEO Michael J. Swanson prepares for Public Justice PhonathonOur President and CEO Michael J. Swanson is getting ready to head to Dallas to join the “Rustlers” team in roping in new members for the Public Justice Foundation Telethon on May 1st.


If you sign up or renew your Public Justice membership with the “Rustlers” team before May 2nd, Advocate Capital, Inc. will pay your first month’s dues!


To receive your free month, call our offices toll free at 877-894-9724 or send an email to with your phone number and a good time to call you.


Advocate Capital, Inc. proudly supports the Public Justice Foundation and their network of plaintiff attorneys who fight injustice and preserve access to the courtroom for ordinary people.


Tina Burns

Vice President


US Supreme Court Takes Another Swipe at the Little Man


Supreme Court ruling voids limits on campaign contributions, Advocate Capital, Inc. reportsI have blogged in this space on a couple of occasions regarding how the US Supreme Court’s decisions have impacted individuals vs. big business.  A recent decision handed down by the court, though not impacting access or recourse in civil litigation, might end up being no less impactful to the everyday person.


On Wednesday, April 2nd, the conservative majority of the court voted to free wealthy donors to give to as many political candidates and campaigns as they choose.  The ruling essentially voids the overall federal limits on individuals’ contributions.  Due to the ruling, wealthy contributors can pour millions of dollars into both candidate and party campaigns.  While the conservative majority cited intrusion on 1st amendment rights in striking down the limits (much as it did in the 2010 Citizens United decision for corporate donors), the real issue is that both corporate entities and wealthy individuals will now have a much larger voice in the outcome of elections.


Writing for the minority, Justice Stephen Breyer stated, “If the court in Citizens United opened a door, today’s decision we fear will open a floodgate.  It understates the importance of protecting the political integrity of our governmental institution.  It creates, we think, a loophole that will allow a single individual to contribute millions of dollars to a political party or to a candidate’s campaign.”


Senator Chuck Schumer of New York said, “This in itself is a small step, but another step on the road to ruination.  It could lead to interpretations of the law that would result in the end of any fairness in the political system as we know it.”


I couldn’t agree more, Senator Schumer.


A full article regarding the decision can be read here.


The opinion issued by the court can be read here.


John Sloan New President of Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College®


New President of Gerry Spence Trial Lawyer College John Sloan, Advocate Capital, Inc. reportsCongratulations to long-time friend and colleague, John Sloan on his recent election to the presidency of the most renowned trial lawyers’ organization in the country.  As only the 3rd attorney to fill this leadership role in the college’s 20+ year history, Mr. Sloan attended the Trial Lawyers College as a student in 1998 and recalls his experience:


I came to the Trial Lawyer’s College in 1998 with the hope that I could become a better lawyer. I did not fully understand the profound impact on my life that would be sparked from that one month at the Ranch.  I believe that TLC has made me a better lawyer and a better person.



Read Mr. Sloan’s entire initial “Message from TLC President” here.


For those unfamiliar with the nationally acclaimed Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College®, founder and trial lawyer extraordinaire Gerry Spence established this revolutionary method for training trial lawyers for the people over 20 years ago at his Thunderhead Ranch in Dubois, Wyoming.  Among its many goals the college includes training those who are committed to the jury system, striving for justice on behalf of ordinary people and assisting criminal defense lawyers in defeating the death penalty.  To learn more about the amazing work done by this outstanding organization, subscribe to the quarterly newsletter, The Warrior by enrolling here.


The Trial Lawyers College has elected an exemplary leader in John Sloan.  Mr. Sloan joined the faculty at the Trial College in 2002, was elected to the Board of Directors in 2009 and then to the presidency in January of 2014.


Advocate Capital, Inc. is proud to count John Sloan and his Texas law firm of Sloan, Bagley, Hatcher & Perry among our esteemed partners who are making a difference in preserving our civil justice system and protecting the rights of our citizens.


Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President


Why Should I Join the Public Justice Foundation?



Watch this video to hear from Public Justice’s Membership Manager Maggie Barr as to why you should join me in being a member of Public Justice.


If you sign up before 5/1/14, Advocate Capital will pay your first month’s premium!  Click here for details.


Michael J. Swanson

President and Chief Executive Officer


Steel & Moss Facilitate Significant Settlement with CSX for Injured Worker


Steel & Moss settlement with CSX, Advocate Capital, Inc. reportsCongratulations to John Steel, John Moss, their client and the entire team at the Atlanta firm of Steel & Moss, LLP on their recent settlement mid-trial on behalf of a railroad conductor who fell from a moving train.


The Plaintiff was an inexperienced conductor and employee of CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSXT) who was riding the side ladder of a rail car in full compliance with all rules and practices of CSXT.  The evening in February was dark and cold as the train travelled at 19 mph across the bridge.  The rail car had no protection, guard or protective railing and the Plaintiff fell from the car into the Jackson River sustaining a traumatic brain injury, rib and facial fractures, hypothermia and pulmonary contusion.


Prior to this incident, CSXT supervisors had received numerous complaints from employees about the dangers associated with men riding the side of rail cars but Defendant failed to modify its practices, rules or policies.  In fact, CSXT supervisors had received complaints dating back to 1989 in safety committee meetings about the need for a “shoving platform” with protective railings and a flat standing surface.   CSXT did in fact have a shoving platform at the rail yard but neither made use of this equipment mandatory nor advised Plaintiff it was available.


In this FELA (Federal Employers Liability Act) lawsuit, CSXT argued that the injuries caused by the railroad’s negligence were not compensable because the Plaintiff could not recall any of the events from the night of the fall (due to the traumatic brain injury).  Mr. Steel delivered a classic argument that “common sense alone raises a jury question as to why Plaintiff was ever on the side of an unprotected car as it crossed the unguarded bridge with the Jackson River 40 feet below.”


To learn more FELA cases and other significant jury verdicts and settlements by the Steel & Moss firm, click here.


Advocate Capital, Inc. considers it an honor to support the efforts of trial lawyers like John Steel as they pursue justice for injured citizens due to the negligence of others.


Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President


Free CLE Webinar: “Reporting Fraud and Fighting Retaliation: Whistleblowers Playing Offense and Defense”


Free CLE Webinar on whistleblowers, Advocate Capital, Inc. reportsThis month’s free webinar from Public Justice is tomorrow, April 9th, at 2:00pmET/11:00amPT.


Federal regulators are relying more and more on whistleblower incentives to encourage individuals to report corporate misconduct. Congress has made this easier by enacting a series of laws that provide stronger protections against retaliation for employees who report such illegal activity, and the SEC has stepped up its efforts to take enforcement action against retaliating employers. Our next webinar is designed to help members understand more about litigating these cases.


Attorneys David J. Marshall and Robert Vogel represent whistleblowers before the SEC and in qui tam actions in a wide range of industries. During this one-hour webinar, they will discuss their work in helping taxpayers and shareholders recover moneys lost to fraud, corruption and securities violations, and also in securing rewards and protections for their clients. They will focus on recent developments in the law and on practice pointers for whistleblower lawyers, both experienced and new.


This free series is for “members only” and is another great reason to join Public Justice today!


Click here for more details.


CLE Credit Provided

* Approved for CLE credit by the Nevada CLE Board. The following states accept NV credits: AK, AR, CA, FL, GA, HI, IL, ME, MT, NE, NJ, NY, ND, RI, WV.


Tina Burns

Vice President


2014 Fight for Air Walk


Advocate Capital, Inc. team at 2014 Fight for Air WalkThe Advocate Capital, Inc. team will be participating in the Nashville 2014 Fight for Air Walk. The 5k walk will be held on Saturday, May 17 at Public Square Park in Nashville.


The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Over 35 million Americans are living with chronic lung diseases such as asthma, lung cancer and COPD. By participating in this walk, we will help support research efforts, develop programs, direct public policy and share up-to-date information on respiratory illness, their treatment and management. Our team goal is to raise $2,500.


Want to join our team or support the cause? Feel free to visit our team page for more information.


Together we can help fight lung disease.


Michael J. Swanson

President and CEO


Sloan Firm Named 2013 Recipient of Best Public Health/Safety Initiative Award


Advocate Capital, Inc. Client Sloan Bagley Hatcher & PerryThey are known in Texas as “the lawyers who give away helmets.”


This very simple yet progressive community outreach program by Sloan, Bagley, Hatcher & Perry Law Firm has earned them the 2013 Ragan’s PR Daily Corporate Social Responsibility Award for Best Public Health/Safety Initiative.  Read the full press release here.


The “Heads in Helmets” organization is dedicated to preventing head injuries to children.  The Sloan Firm created a board of directors passionate about child safety and also aligned 18 pediatricians to provide coupons and certificates for kids to get helmets at the firm’s Longview office.  The firm purchased 2,500 safety helmets and printed pamphlets with specific safety information about preventing traumatic brain injury in children.  Also, the firm trained its employees and volunteers to custom-fit the bicycle helmets for children at the firm’s offices or at special events during the summer of 2013.


"Heads in Helmets" CampaignThe Sloan firm has offices in Longview and Houston, Texas, has over 100 years of combined experience and is widely recognized as one of the premier injury law firms in the area.  To learn more about the firm and its many contributions, visit their firm website.


Advocate Capital, Inc. says Hats off (and helmets, too!) at to John Sloan, Laureen Bagley, Kevin Fullen and the entire team at Sloan, Bagley, Hatcher & Perry for setting the standard not only in representing the injured citizens of Texas but for leading the way in safety and prevention of injuries as well.


Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President


Advocate Capital, Inc. Debuts New Quarterly Newsletter


Advocate Capital Inc. Quarterly NewsletterAdvocate Capital, Inc. released its first Quarterly Newsletter last month. This emailed newsletter features popular blog topics, Advotrac® updates, client victories, testimonials, videos, employee events and tradeshows. By distributing quarterly, we can deliver quality content without cramming inboxes.


We hope this new communication piece will provide a brief overview of what’s new at Advocate Capital, Inc. and showcase some of the important work our clients do.


Please share our valuable newsletter with your fellow trial attorneys. As noted in the newsletter, we pay referral fees for every law firm that you refer to us that joins our family of clients.


(View the full Spring 2014 Advocate Capital, Inc. Quarterly Newsletter)


Tina Burns

Vice President


Join Public Justice Today and Get a Free Month!


Advocate Capital, Inc. Public Justice TelethonI have the privilege of being a co-captain of one of the Public Justice Telethon teams this year.  Dan Bryson, Tara Sutton and I are leading the “Rustlers” as we seek to outperform the “Rangers” in the acquisition of new and renewed members for the Public Justice Foundation.


Although the actual Telethon will be in Dallas, TX on Thursday, May 1st we are using the remaining time before the telethon to sign up as many members as possible in advance.  (If you are not familiar with Public Justice, check out the great work that they do.)


At Advocate Capital, we believe in the important work done by plaintiff lawyers in their communities and by Public Justice nationwide.  So much so that we have pledged that for every new or renewed monthly member that signs up with the Rustlers (my team) between now and May 2nd, Advocate Capital, Inc. will pay that member’s first month’s dues.


To receive your free month, call our offices toll free at 877-894-9724 or send an email to with your phone number and a good time to call you.  Please have your credit card ready and let us know if you’d like join at the $250, $100, $50 or $25 per month level.


We look forward to hearing from you!


Michael J. “Tex” Swanson, Rustler Co-Captain


Florida House Committee Passes Bill Protecting Nursing Home Investors


Bill protects investors, Advocate Capital, Inc. reportsThe Palm Beach Post reported that on Friday, Florida’s House Judiciary Committee approved a bill protecting “passive” investors in resident lawsuits against nursing homes. The bill would also require evidentiary hearings in nursing home suits if punitive damages are sought.


On the other hand, the bill contains provisions that will penalize nursing homes for not paying judgments, including the possibility of losing their licenses.  Finally, the bill would restrict how, and under what circumstances, residents’ medical records can be released to the residents or their representatives.


The bill will now be sent to the entire House for a vote. The article noted that the bill “is a result of negotiations among groups including the Florida Health Care Association, the Florida Justice Association and AARP.”


The full article can be read here.


Ways to Boost SEO by Being Social


Boost SEO by being social, Advocate Capital, Inc. reportsIn marketing and business environments, we are always searching for ways to improve our Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and stay ahead of the competition.


In a recent article by Darwin Digital Content Principal Monica Romeri, the success of SEO in 2014 depends on your business’s ability to create “social” content. Romeri states that “every time your content is liked on Facebook, tweeted on Twitter, “+1ed” on Google+ or shared on LinkedIn, it receives a stamp of approval—boosting its reach, increasing website traffic, enhancing SEO, and inciting greater lead generation and conversion.”


Here are a couple of Romeri’s tips on how to use social media to boost your SEO:


  • Embrace Google+ and AuthorRank: Let’s face it. If you want a better ranking on the world’s top search engine, you have to use more of their products. “Due to AuthorRank, the social media influence and reach of content creators has a major impact on their search rankings.” If you already have a Google+ page for your business, be sure to set up Google Authorship to build a creditable online reputation.
  • Use Coordinated, Social Content Promotion: Once you have created content, social sharing is crucial. “Amplify your social presence with coordinated cross-channel social promotion, which calls for a planned marketing effort across all your social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.” Always maintain a consistent message but feel free to tailor the content to fit each social media network’s culture.


Click here to read the full article.


Tina Burns

Vice President


IRS Rules Bitcoin Is Property, Not Currency for Tax Purposes


Bitcoin is property according to IRS, Advocate Capital, Inc. reportsAs reported today by Rob Wile, the Internal Revenue Service has ruled that Bitcoin and any other virtual currency are treated as property, not currency.  What exactly is Bitcoin?  Quite simply, digital coins that can be sent through the internet, person to person with no bank or clearinghouse involved.   This short video provides a quick overview.


What does this mean for users?   Every transaction ever made using the digital currency will have to be reported in some way.  Here are a few of the nuances:


  1. Anyone who holds the currency will need to calculate its value from the date it was received to determine whether a gain or loss was realized, and then report the result.
  2. If any Bitcoin mining has been done, the fair market value of the virtual currency as of the date of receipt is includible in gross income.
  3. If you pay anyone in Bitcoin, you must file a W-2.


The good news – the ruling may not stand forever as it also included a request for public comments.   Hopefully, our esteemed tax professionals will identify the many issues created by this ruling as well as proposed solutions.  As we all know, it takes years for formal regulations to be enacted so there is time to perhaps “reshape” the tax treatment of this new money concept.


Read the entire article featured in Business Insider here.


As always, digital progress comes with a price tag and in this case, some interesting and far-reaching tax implications based on the current IRS ruling.


Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President


Dallas Attorneys File Lawsuits Against Texas Hospital for Allowing Dangerous Surgeon to Operate


Dallas Hospital allow Dangerous Surgeon to Operate, Advocate Capital, Inc. reportsWFAA New 8 in Dallas recently aired an investigative report about Baylor Plano Hospital and allegations that they allowed Dr. Christopher Duntsch to operate on patients despite being warned that he was “dangerous.”


Attorney Kay Van Wey of Van Wey Law, PLLC, filed one of the lawsuits against the hospital. She stated in the interview that after Baylor Plano hired Dunstch, there were “multiple opportunities for them to stop him.” Victims of surgeries performed by Dunstch resulted in paralysis, injuries and death.


Attorney James Girards of The Girards Law Firm described one incident where another surgeon had to intervene during an operation. Girards stated “The altercation was witnessed by hospital staff but never reported.”


With multiple victims and statements from other surgeons, it will still be difficult to hold Baylor Plano accountable. According to Texas law, lawyers cannot just prove “negligence” but they will need to prove “malice” or that “Baylor meant to harm patients when they let Duntsch operate on them.”


(Read the full article and watch video)


Advocate Capital, Inc. supports our clients like Dallas attorneys Kay Van Wey and James Girards who fight to hold doctors and hospitals accountable and bring justice to the victims of medical negligence.


Tina Burns

Vice President


Advocate Capital, Inc. is now an Approved Needles Partner


As seen on Bloomberg Businessweek, Boston GlobeReuters, and Yahoo Finance.


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Advocate Capital, Inc. recently announced a partnership with Needles®, one of the premier software applications on the market for legal case management.


Needles® software provides a wide variety of case management tools including intake process, contact information, docket control, cost management, time tracking, and many, many more.   The software can easily be integrated with any existing platforms and their team provides unlimited training both during and following the implementation process.


“Many of our clients utilize Needles so this new partnership is beneficial to everyone. Our team is now equipped to provide specialized customer service and training for easier implementation of our Case Expense funding program. Another great perk for Advocate Capital, Inc. clients!” says Michael J. Swanson, Advocate’s President and CEO.


“Through this collaboration with Needles we are able to bridge the gap between our AdvoTrac® proprietary cost-tracking software and the law firm’s case management application to ensure maximum benefit of all resources for the law firm,” says Donna Jones, Senior Vice President of Advocate.


AdvoTrac® is a proprietary software platform that Advocate Capital, Inc. uses to track its law firm clients’ lines of credit on a case-by-case basis.  It’s this case-by-case tracking that converts borrowing costs in to reimbursable case expenses that can be recouped by the law firm.  “The cost of borrowing for our clients is zero for the cases that they win or at least get reimbursed for their expenses.  We know statistically this occurs about 95-97% of the time, resulting on a net average borrowing cost of well under 1%.” said Kelly O’Leary, CPA, Vice President, Finance and Administration.  “We are presently tracking over 33,000 cases in AdvoTrac® and the number grows every day.  These cases represent over 33,000 people that our client law firms are helping.”


Advocate Capital, Inc. is the premier provider of strategic financial products and accounting services for successful trial law firms nationwide.  They serve the plaintiff bar from their headquarters in Nashville, Tenn. and now enjoy a client base that extends nationwide. For more information, visit  For more information about Needles®, visit


AdvoTrac® is a registered trademark of Advocate Capital, Inc.


Shane Smith Offers Resource Library for Injured Georgia Citizens


Advocate Capital, Inc. client Shane SmithPracticing in Peachtree City, Georgia, Shane Smith has authored a collection “legal guide series” to help injured citizens of Georgia understand the various types of injury claims and guide them through the procedural aspects of the legal system.  The series of 7 books includes topics like:


•  Personal Injury Guide for Georgia


•  What Every Georgia Slip & Fall Victim Needs to Know

    About Premises Liability


•  What Every Georgia DUI Victim Needs to Know


For the complete publication list and information on how to obtain a free copy of any volume, visit the firm resource library.  There is also a video series available that addresses frequently asked questions.   This is accessible on the video tab of the firm website.


It is always gratifying for all of us here at Advocate Capital, Inc. to see friends and colleagues like The Law Offices of Shane Smith, PC not only providing representation for those injured due to the negligence of others but tools and resources to help victims anticipate and understand the process of our civil justice system.


Hats off to Shane Smith and his team!


Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President


Medical Malpractice Caps Hurt Everyone


Medical Malpractice hurts everyone, Advocate Capital, Inc. reportsMedical malpractice is the 3rd largest cause of death in America. Behind only heart disease and cancer, medical mistakes in hospitals account for over 440,000 deaths per year.


In a recent interview, Ring of Fire Radio’s Mike Papantonio spoke with American Association for Justice CEO, Linda Lipsen about the serious medical malpractice problem in America, the impact caps on damages are having on all consumers and how the state of California is pushing for change.


“What our nation should be focused on is safety and preventing the injury,” stated Lipsen. “Instead of making it more difficult for patients to recover damages following an act of malpractice, what should be happening is a real renewed commitment to safety and making sure the injury or death doesn’t happen in the first place.”


Lipsen talked about a recent effort in California to reverse a law passed 39 years ago which capped damages up to $250,000. This effort is not to eliminate the law but to tie it to inflation. “I’m hoping once California turns the clock back and creates a fair playing field for all patients that other states will also follow suit.”


(Click here to watch the full interview)


Advocate Capital, Inc. proudly supports the efforts of the American Association for Justice to improve patient safety and keep the public informed.


Tina Burns

Vice President


Mississippi’s Don Barrett Secures $84.9M Settlement for Truckers


Advocate Capital, Inc. client Don BarrettA Federal Judge in Arkansas recently approved an $84.9M settlement in the Pilot Flying J scandal.   The case centered on more than 5,500 truckers who were promised rebates by Pilot Flying J, the nation’s largest retailer of diesel fuel, but never paid the promised rebates.    Owners of Pilot reportedly had no knowledge of the alleged scheme, and worked with Plaintiffs’ attorneys to make things right with the truckers.


Attorney Don Barrett who represented truckers said, “…we couldn’t have had this result in this short amount of time had Jimmy Haslam not stepped up to the plate, said he was going to do the right thing in an honorable way and he did it….”


Attorney Don Barrett’s firm is known  for taking on corporate giants such as big tobacco, Ford and Firestone, food manufactures and countless others to ensure justice on behalf of consumers.   This time he was leading the charge on behalf of truck drivers.  With expert negotiation skills and the eye of a tiger, determined to see a fair settlement for these workers, Mr. Barrett was able to secure a settlement of $89.4M for truck drivers who have dedicated their lives, on the road day-in and day-out, to serving manufactures, retailers and consumers.


Advocate Capital, Inc. is proud to support the great work of trial lawyers like Mr. Barrett and his team of experts who work tirelessly every day to ensure justice on behalf of consumers.


Lisa Wagner

Senior Vice President, Client Services


Net Worth of Americans Exceeds 2007 Pre-Recession Levels


Net worth exceeds pre-recession, Advocate Capital, Inc. reportsEveryone can relate to the pain inflicted by the 2007 – 2009 recession on your home value, investment portfolio and other assets.  But there is some positive news.  The Federal Reserve has charted a steady recovery in US households’ net worth, especially over the last 2-1/2 years.  Even adjusted for inflation, the Federal Reserve is reporting US households have hit a new record high for net worth at the end of the 4th quarter of 2013.  (Net worth = the value of your home, cars, stocks, investments and other assets minus debts and other liabilities.)  Click here to view the full article.


The Advocate Capital, Inc. underwriting process contemplates the net worth of both the law firm and the guarantors.  The importance of an improving net worth cannot be understated.  Our clients practice law, but the reality is they are also running a small business enterprise and an improving economic environment and growing net worth helps their small businesses.


Dan A. Taussig



Trial Lawyer of the Year Nominations Now Open


Public Justice Foundation Trial Lawyer of the Year, Advocate Capital, Inc. reportsNominations are now being accepted for the 2014 Public Justice Trial Lawyer of the Year Award.


Exceptional, socially significant cases that were won or settled between March 16, 2013 and March 16, 2014 are eligible for this year’s award.  Finalists and recipients exemplify how trial lawyers use their skills and determination to create a more just society.


(Trial Lawyer of the Year Nomination Guidelines)


The Public Justice Foundation will announce the finalists for the Trial Lawyer of the Year Award in May 2014. The winner(s) will be announced at Public Justice’s Annual Awards Dinner & Gala in Baltimore on Monday, July 28, 2014.


Please send your Trial Lawyer of the Year Award nominations via e-mail to Catherine Behan at (with the subject line “2014 TLOY Nomination”). Please include the nominee’s name and firm, the name of the case, how you think the case impacts the public interest and why you believe this attorney or litigation team deserves the award.


(Download the Nominee Information Form)


Public Justice will contact the nominees, from whom they will seek specific information regarding their cases and, where applicable, their legal teams.


Don’t delay! The deadline for nominations is Wednesday, April 2, 2014!


Michael J. Swanson

President and CEO


Time Magazine Names Nashville “The South’s Red-Hot Town”


Nashville named The South's Red Hot City, Advocate Capital, Inc. reportsThe Nashville Business Journal recently recognized a feature by Time Magazine naming Music City as the “South’s Red-Hot Town.”  Among the factors noted in his article, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham (recent Nashville transplant) are the city’s strong employment growth, low cost of living (13% less than U.S. average) and overall population growth.  Key industries include health care, entertainment, higher education and government.


To quote Mr. Meacham, “Chief among the takeaways from the Music City’s revival: culture is commerce.”   Here, here – we Nashvillians couldn’t agree more!


To read the entire article in Time Magazine, click here.


Advocate Capital, Inc. is proud to call Nashville home to our corporate headquarters and applauds the continuing efforts and vision of our city leaders.


Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President


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

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