Advocate Capital, Inc. Law Firm Financing Blog

Law Practice Management Stories

Labor Day Holiday


Copyright : yupiramosIn observance of the Labor Day holiday, our offices will be closed on Monday, September 7th. All payments, fundings and other transactions received on this day will be processed promptly on Tuesday, September 8th.



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:



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


Michael J. Swanson

President and CEO


Photo Credit: yupiramos

Tips to Improve Your Email Marketing


Copyright : pixboxEmail marketing is one of the most cost effective ways for law firms to communicate with clients, prospects and referrals. One main challenge of this type of marketing is getting your contacts to open the email and respond either by clicking on a link or replying.


A recent blog from Stephen Fairley at The Rainmaker Institute shares a list of 11 ways to help “optimize your chances of having your email opened and acted upon.” Here are a few tips from the list:


  • Have a targeted list. “Your list must be targeted so you can create content that speaks directly to the interests of your audience.” Also, cleaning your list regularly will help eliminate invalid emails and opt outs.
  • Your subject line needs to kill. “Spend time on your subject line to really entice that recipient to open your email.” Keeping the subject under 140 characters and using ‘you’ or ‘your’ helps.
  • Include Call-to-Actions early. There’s nothing more annoying than opening an email and seeing paragraphs of text and no clear purpose. “Every email communication needs a Call-To-Action that lets the reader know what you want them to do.”
  • Share. “Adding social share buttons to your email marketing communication not only makes it more likely that your messaging will be spread to a greater audience, research shows that emails with social sharing buttons enjoy a 115% higher click-through rate than those that do not.”


(View the full article, ‘11 Surefire Ways to Boost Your Email Marketing Open and Click-Thru Rates’)


Tina Burns

Vice President


Photo Credit: pixbox

Marketing Discipline and Your Law Firm


Copyright : Ivelin RadkovHave you ever forgotten to follow up with a contact after a networking event? Do you feel like you are always too busy or overwhelmed when it comes to nurturing your business relationships? These issues are not uncommon and the good news is they can be remedied with organization, focus and discipline.


Sally J. Schmidt, President of Schmidt Marketing, Inc., recently shared some tips to help organize and create more marketing discipline at your law firm. Here are a few of her suggestions:


  • Create a list of contacts: “Put them in priority order, or organize them into buckets, for example, A = Bimonthly contact; B = Semiannual contact; C = Annual contact (e.g., holiday card). Update your list each year.”
  • Schedule marketing appointments with yourself: “Calendar a few hours a week for marketing administrative activities, like sending thank-you notes, setting up lunches or connecting with people on LinkedIn.”
  • Use technology tools: “You can create a contact management system through LinkedIn or Outlook, both of which allow you to keep private notes on your contacts and schedule reminders.” Another great tool is the app IFTTT which automates tasks. Learn more about this app here.
  • Take advantage of your firm’s resources: “Be sure your contacts are signed up to receive appropriate alerts, seminar invitations and webinar announcements. Request firm tickets to ballgames or concerts.”


(View the full article ‘Tips for Creating Some Marketing Discipline’)


Review these tips and see if you can integrate a few into your daily activities. You may not be a “natural” marketer but you can be more disciplined in your efforts. As Ms. Schmidt states, “Business development success hinges on building relationships with the right people, being strategic about your activities, and being persistent and visible.”


Tina Burns

Vice President


Photo Credit: Ivelin Radkov

Team Hope Hosts Red Cross Blood Drive


Advocate Capital Inc. Team Hope Red Cross Blood Drive


On Friday, August 28th, Advocate Capital, Inc.’s Team Hope hosted a blood drive with the Nashville Area Chapter of the American Red Cross. The blood drive was located at Advocate Capital’s office, where other local businesses could also participate.


A total of 16 units of blood were collected from all participants, making that enough to help up to 48 people in need! We would like to thank all of our employees who volunteered to meet a critical need in our community:


Jaime Bruder

Tina Burns

Lynne Cushing

Jeff Glueck

Shirley Johnson

Laszlo Kovacs

Paul Myers

Tiffany Orth

Michelle Rigsby

Donald Scott


If you would like to donate with the Red Cross in your community, please visit the American Red Cross online, , and find your local donation center.


View more photos in our Facebook and Google+ albums.


Tina Burns

Vice President


Layfield & Wallace Score $500K Settlement from the City of Lancaster


Advocate Capital Inc. client Philip Layfield Congratulations to Philip Layfield, the injured plaintiff, and the entire team at Layfield & Wallace!


The plaintiff, a 48-year-old married migrant worker, suffered catastrophic injuries after a car driven by the City of Lancaster’s Public Safety Manager ran over him. On the day of the accident, the plaintiff had worked a 24-hour shift before joining his friends for a BBQ at a local park. After lunch, the plaintiff along with two friends decided to relax under a nearby tree. Shortly after the plaintiff laid down, the defendant’s 2006 Jeep Liberty Sport struck him. The plaintiff suffered severe injuries to his shoulder, cervical spine, and ribs. Most significantly, he suffered a brain injury resulting in pronounced memory loss in his day-to-day life. The plaintiff underwent two surgeries and a third surgery is pending to repair his injuries.


Not surprisingly, the City claimed the defendant driver was immune from liability as a government employee. Layfield & Wallace successfully argued the defendant driver had breached his legal duty by driving off-road and was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injury. Shortly before the matter was scheduled for trial, the City of Lancaster offered to settle the case for $500,000.


Layfield & Wallace represents personal injury clients in the greater Los Angeles area. The firm fights for individuals who are injured due to the negligence of others. To read more about other cases and outstanding results achieved by the firm, click here.


Advocate Capital Inc. is proud to work with firms like Layfield & Wallace, APC who fight for justice each and every day. All of us here at Advocate Capital, Inc. send a hearty “job well done” to Philip Layfield and the entire team at Layfield & Wallace.


Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President


Todd Jackson Pays It Forward


Todd Jackson and Debbie Ivey Pay It ForwardA few weeks after being the recipient of Advocate Capital’s Pay It Forward Award, Todd Jackson paid it forward by recognizing another of our fabulous associates.


He had a difficult time determining who to transfer the award to, given the excellent team we have.  But in the end, he “paid it forward” to our longest-tenured employee and excellent Accounting Specialist, Debbie Ivey.



Debbie has been not only a great associate, always diligent and always doing what’s best for our clients, but she has also been a great resource to Todd.


Many thanks to both Todd and Debbie for their untiring commitment to our clients and to their teammates at Advocate Capital.



CAALA Annual Las Vegas Convention


Caala Vegas 2015 Advocate Capital Inc. booth 237

Will you be attending the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles’ Annual Las Vegas Convention at the Wynn Las Vegas on September 3-6?


Donna Jones and Lynne Cushing will be representing Advocate Capital, Inc. at booth #237 throughout the convention. Stop by and discover how our case expense funding product can help you get even better results for your clients.


CAALA Vegas Convention is “the largest convention of trial attorneys in the nation.” This convention, hosted at the Wynn Las Vegas, features networking events, over 100 exhibitors and education sessions presented by top trial lawyers, jurists and legal consultants from across the country. Attendees can earn up to 20 hours of MCLE in just one weekend in Vegas!


Don’t forget to visit our booth and enter our raffle for a chance to win a Bose® SoundLink® Mini!


We hope to see you there.


Tina Burns

Vice President


CyberSAFE – Protecting Your Organization from Online Risks


Bryan L. Smith, CPA, CITP, CISA, co-founder of CPA Crossings, LLCWe’ve all been faced with security issues related to the technology devices and the various platforms we utilize in our day-to-day business and personal activities. If you or a designated member of your organization would  like to learn more about the latest techniques to ensure you and your organization are utilizing the best tools and methods for safeguarding the organization’s data, this four (4) hour online live webinar may be just what you’re looking for.



CPA CrossingBryan L. Smith, CPA, CITP, CISA, co-founder of CPA Crossings, LLC, who partners with the North Carolina Association of CPA’s (NCACPA) and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), will be hosting a live online webinar, CyberSAFE – Securing Your Data & Devices in an Online World. At the completion of the four hour webinar, participants will have an opportunity to take a 20 question, online assessment toward earning the Certified CyberSAFE credential, helping to ensure end-users in your organization are equipped with the tools and information to properly safeguard the organization’s data.


The online live webinar provides 4 hours of CPE credit for CPA’s under the Computer Science field of study. Check with your local State Bar Association to determine if it will also qualify for CLE.


Advocate Capital, Inc. clients are eligible for a special 20% discount off the registration price. Contact your Account Manager for the discount code.


Click here for the full listing of available times and for additional details about the webinar.


Lisa Wagner

Senior Vice-President, Client Services


QuickBooks® Online vs. Desktop Versions – Things to Consider


Photo Credit: alexmillosMore and more consumers are enjoying the convenience and benefits of anytime, anywhere access to critical information. Instant access to information has become the norm and almost a necessity. What’s more important than accessing your Firm’s financial data anytime, anywhere?


Many law firms utilize QuickBooks® as an accounting solution and QuickBooks® Online has been available for many years. However, some firms are reluctant to transition from the traditional desktop version to the online version because of the lack of knowledge about the benefits of the online version and just how simple the conversion can be.


A few of the basic advantages of QuickBooks® Online vs. the Desktop solution include:


  1. Anytime access wherever internet connections are available.
  2. Increased productivity with automatically downloaded transactions from financial institutions & automatically categorized transactions.
  3. Apps available for smartphones and tablets.
  4. Easy 3 step conversion from Desktop to Online Version


Click here to see a comparison of features available in QuickBooks® Online vs. QuickBooks® Desktop versions and to view short video demonstrations. As with the Desktop solutions, there are several online versions available to meet individual firm needs. Click here to view a feature comparison chart for the various QuickBooks® Online versions.


Complimentary QuickBooks® support is available as an added value benefit to Advocate Capital, Inc. clients. For more information, contact your Advocate Capital, Inc. Account Manager or via email at


QB ProAdvisorLisa Wagner

Senior Vice President, Client Services


Photo Credit: alexmillos

California Court Upholds Consumer Arbitration Clause


Copyright : Ganna TodicaIn 2011, I blogged in this space about the US Supreme Court ruling in the AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion case, in which the court upheld the arbitration clause in AT&T’s customer agreement requiring the consumer to waive his or her right to take part in a class action.


Unfortunately for consumers, but not surprisingly, the trend continues.


Recently, the California Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s ruling that threw out an arbitration clause, citing the AT&T v. Concepcion SCOTUS ruling.


Gil Sanchez had purchased a Mercedes Benz automobile from Valencia Holding Company. The sales contract included an arbitration clause requiring that all claims and disputes be handled in arbitration, and not in court. The car began having troubles, and Mr. Sanchez brought suit against Valencia, accusing it of violating state consumer-protection laws in connection with its representations about the car’s condition, as well as disputes over certain fees and disclosures. Valencia cited the sales agreement and moved to compel arbitration. Sanchez argued that that the arbitration clause was unenforceable based on California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, which forbids contracts from forcing consumers to give up their rights to bring class actions. Sanchez pointed out that the sales contract read that if the arbitration clause was unenforceable, the entire contract was unenforceable. Therefore, Sanchez argued, the entire sales contract was unenforceable.


The trial court and the appeals court ruled in favor of Sanchez. The appeals court said the clause was “unconscionable” as it was unfairly one-sided in Valencia’s favor.


Valencia appealed, and unfortunately, the California Supreme Court reversed the lower court’s ruling, stating that whether an arbitration clause is unconscionable is “highly dependent on context.”


Writing for the majority, Justice Goodwin Liu stated,”Commerce depends on the enforceability, in most instances, of a duly executed written contract. A party cannot avoid a contractual obligation merely by complaining that the deal, in retrospect, was unfair or a bad bargain.”


The full California Supreme Court Opinion can be read here.


Photo Credit: Ganna Todica

Celebrate National Senior Citizen’s Day Today!


In August of 1988, President Ronald Reagan initiated National Senior Citizen’s Day to be observed every year on August 21.


Copyright : Cathy Yeulet


We should all make time in our busy schedules today to appreciate and thank someone from America’s “greatest generation” for their hard work, sacrifice and the legacy they have provided us all.


Let’s all make the extra effort today to honor our seniors.  Sometimes the smallest things are the most appreciated – – – help load or unload the groceries, cut the grass, clean house, run an errand.  It takes a small amount of time and effort but it makes a HUGE difference in the life of a senior citizen.


SENIORS – everyone here at Advocate Capital, Inc. salutes you today!


Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President


Photo Credit: Cathy Yeulet

CLE Presentation Tips


Copyright : Mohamad Razi Bin HusinPublic speaking can be stressful, even if you are used to being in front of large crowds (like a crowded courtroom). Like that courtroom appearance, preparation is the key to success. The same holds true in delivering a CLE presentation.


In a recent article on  author Mike Vraa takes up the topic and offers some very good advice for those of you slated to educate your peers during an upcoming continuing education event. You can read the full article here, but here are some highlights you might find useful:


  1. Pick an interesting topic! Unique topics will draw the most attendees especially if you position it in an enticing way.
  2. Preparation is the key to your success! From handing in materials in a timely manner, simple and thorough content, to the presentation slideshow and visual aid delivery.
  3. Prepare your body! Get enough sleep, eat right, wearing something familiar all seem like little things, but they will add up and leave your audience with a great impression


I hope you find the article as informative as I did, and I also hope these presentation best practices will be useful for you in the courtroom as well.


Jeff Glueck

Vice President – Business Development


Photo Credit: Mohamad Razi Bin Husin

The Carlson Law Firm Secures $1 Million Settlement for Car Accident Victim


Advocate Capital Inc client The Carlson Law Firm Julie PeschelCongratulations to The Carlson Law Firm and Attorney Julie Peschel on obtaining a $1 million settlement for her client, a 57 year old husband and father of two children. The victim’s vehicle crashed into a trailer hauling lumber when the defendant driver having apparently missed his turn was in the process of attempting an unsafe U-turn. The Plaintiff doing nothing wrong, rounded a corner crashing into the unexpected trailer blocking the road in mid U-turn.


Heavy rescue equipment was necessary to free the Plaintiff from the vehicle who was then air lifted for immediate medical attention.


The victim’s extensive injuries including profuse bleeding, multiple lacerations, injuries to multiple parts of the body and a collapsed lung, required nearly a month long hospitalization and subsequent painful physical therapy in a rehabilitation center.


Attorney Julie Peschel of The Carlson Law Firm was able to secure a $1 million settlement on behalf of the victim that will help ensure the best possible chance for recovery. Ms. Peschel commented,


Unfortunately, we cannot erase what happened to our client in the collision or even put our client back to the way they used to be before the collision, but we can help provide for him and his family.


Thanks to The Carlson Law Firm and other trial lawyers for helping those who are injured get the best possible chance for recovery.


Lisa Wagner

Senior Vice President, Client Services


H. Gavin Long Holds Allstate Accountable with $3M Verdict for Traumatic Brain Injury Victim


Advocate Capital Inc client Bisnar Chase H Gavin LongAfter three long years of tirelessly pursing justice, Bisnar|Chase Personal Injury Attorneys’ H. Gavin Long was finally able to secure justice on behalf of a Good Samaritan who suffered a traumatic brain injury while trying to save others. The Plaintiff was struck by a reckless driver while trying to direct traffic away from his friend who was trying desperately to rescue a dog who had just been struck by a vehicle on a busy street. Allstate, the defendant insurance carrier, avoiding accountability, blamed the Plaintiff and offered only $100,000 for the traumatic brain injury victim. Bisnar|Chase Personal Injury Attorneys’ Gavin Long said absolutely not. Obtaining just reward and recovery on behalf of catastrophic injury clients is critically important to ensure that the injury victim has the best possible chance for recovery. The jury spoke, awarding the Good Samaritan $3,000,000.


What a difference having a personal injury law firm like Bisnar|Chase Personal Injury Attorneys made for this traumatic brain injury victim. Congratulations to this Good Samaritan and congratulations to the jury on getting it right. Click here for more details about this case.


Thanks to attorneys like H. Gavin Long and his colleagues at Bisnar|Chase Personal Injury Attorneys for championing the fight for injury victims, taking insurance companies and corporate giants to the mat and winning!


Lisa Wagner

Senior Vice President, Client Services


Ciao Stress!


Advocate Capital Inc. employee appreciation Coco's Italian food truckOn Thursday, August 13, Advocate Capital, Inc. Nashville based employees enjoyed lunch and chair massages for August’s employee appreciation event. Delicious pasta, sandwiches and cannolis were provided by Coco’s Italian Food Truck.


After lunch, massage therapists from Mind Body Institute met with each employee privately for a 15 minute chair massage. Located in different areas around the office, these massages were set to peaceful music and helped melt the afternoon stress away.


Special thanks to the Accounting and Operations Teams for planning and hosting this relaxing event.


Be sure to check out our Facebook and Google+ albums to see photos.


Tina Burns

Vice President


Florida Court Lifts Caps on Non-Economic Damages in MedMal Cases


Copyright : niyazzIn another blow to the controversial 2003 Florida law that limited non-economic damages in med mal cases, the Florida 4th District Court of Appeals ruled that these “caps are unconstitutional not only in wrongful death actions, but also in personal injury suits as they violate equal protection…Whereas the caps on non-economic damages in (the section of state law) fully compensate those individuals with non-economic damages in an amount that falls below the caps, injured parties with non-economic damages in excess of the caps are not fully compensated.”


The ruling draws on a Florida Supreme Court decision last year that also rejected non-economic caps for wrongful-death cases.  The 4th District Court of Appeals cited the Supreme Court’s decision.


The decision can still be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.


The full decision can be read here.


Photo Credit: niyazz

Peyton Firm Resolves Products Liability Case Against Ford Motor Company


Advocate Capital Inc. client Harvey PeytonHarvey D. Peyton, founding partner of the Peyton Law Firm, PLLC has reached a confidential settlement on behalf of their client.


The Plaintiff, a 43-year-old mother of 2 died on May 3, 2011 when the Ford Explorer she drove was struck in the rear by a speeding, out of control truck. The violence of the rear collision caused the rear of the Plaintiff’s vehicle to lift. This lift, combined with the sudden change in acceleration, rotation, and deformation of her seat back caused the Plaintiff’s right elbow to strike the release button of her seatbelt and the Plaintiff became an unrestrained occupant. Because the belt was alleged to have opened on initial impact, there were no physical markings on belt consistent with pre crash usage.


Mr. Peyton argued that the Plaintiff became unrestrained because the Ford Explorer’s occupant restraint system for the driver’s seat was not reasonably safe. Further, that Ford’s failure to independently evaluate the use of this buckle and belt assembly was negligence. As a result of this negligence, Plaintiff’s status as an unrestrained driver following the initial rear end collision led to her ejection from her vehicle. Had the Plaintiff remained restrained throughout the accident, her life could have been spared.


The case settled shortly before trial. Due to the determination, commitment, and expertise of the Peyton Law Firm, this family was able to obtain justice for the loss of a precious wife and mother.


Advocate Capital Inc. client Peyton Law FirmHarvey D. Peyton has been practicing law for 42 years. His area of practice is very diverse; however, his emphasis lies in courtroom litigation and careful development of major injury and death claims. Mr. Peyton believes that it is his and every firm member’s obligation to provide first-rate representation to every client.


Congratulations to Harvey Peyton, his team and his client on this outstanding case resolution. Everyone here at Advocate Capital, Inc. is very thankful for trial lawyers like Harvey Peyton who fight tirelessly to insure that corporate America is held accountable.


Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President


Best Business Resources for Running Your Law Practice


Copyright : bowie15Owning and operating your own law practice is challenging. Whether you have an established firm or are just getting started, it’s always a good idea to look for business resources to keep you focused and motivated.


I recently read an article in BusinessCollective by the FounderSociety listing 10 Must-Read Books for Entrepreneurs and found a few of them may be helpful to you and your law practice. Here are a few suggestions from the list:


  • “The Art of the Start” by Guy Kawasaki: This book “provides practical tips on how to take a business from an idea to a reality.”
  • “Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future” by Blake Masters and Peter Thiel: In this book, the authors scold the notion to “run businesses based on incremental improvements over the competition” and urges the reader “to think bigger and shoot for the stars.”
  • “The Small Business Lifecycle: The No-Fluff Guide to Navigating the Five Stages of Small Business Growth” by Charlie Gilkey: Author Gilkey “talks about how to understand where you are currently in the business lifecycle and how to take action to propel your business forward.”


(View the full article ’10 Must-Read Books for Entrepreneurs’)


Since business basics are not taught in law school, you may be looking for a book a little more specific to personal injury law practices. Check out “The Power of a System: How to Build the Injury Law Practice of Your Dreams” by Advocate Capital, Inc. friend and client John Fisher. As stated on his website, this book ‘is a detailed “how to” book for every system you need for the technical, managerial and entrepreneurial growth of your firm.’


Tina Burns

Vice President


Photo Credit: bowie15

Importance of Jury Service


Saveourjuries.orgMany of us will walk through life without ever having to consider the importance of the Seventh Amendment. Many Americans do not even realize that the Seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the right to trial by a jury. Meanwhile, there are special interest groups and lobbyists working daily to limit and/or abolish every citizen’s right to a trial by a jury of his peers.


Fortunately, groups like Save Our Juries are working hard to educate consumers on the importance of the jury system and in particular, the crucial role we all can play as jurors when summoned. Learn more today by visiting the website here.


Jury service is a vital component of our justice system. Each of us should consider it an honor and a privilege of citizenship to serve when a summons arrives. It may not be convenient or opportune timing when one receives a call to service but it will be a life-changing experience for the people who entrust their lives and issues to the justice system.


Think about those who have been involved in an automobile accidents, suffered injuries on the job, or been injured by a defective product. What if there were no jurors available to help them obtain justice for their injuries? If not jurors, who will hold corporate America accountable for these activities?


Recently, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban shared his thoughts on the importance of jury service in this video:



Please consider the importance of jury service when summoned and fulfill this vital responsibility to our civil justice system and your fellow Americans.


Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President


Photo Credit:

New Apps for Lawyers 2015


Copyright : scanrailIn 2015, smart phones are helping us work on the move. Since we are spending less time in the office, we are always in search of new applications to make our lives easier and work flow more efficient.


In a recent blog, Attorney Brian Focht of The Cyber Advocate shares some of the best new apps for lawyers released in July.


Here are a few of his top picks:



  1. Multi-Platform App: Convo
    “Designed for teams that need to collaborate on various types of documents and share information securely, Convo’s systems are perfect for legal teams. Create a conversation around documents, presentations, images, from wherever you are using the new messaging features. Urgent messages and rescheduled meetings or hearings are updated wherever you are… even when you’re stuck in traffic.”
  2. iOS App: Send
    “Have you ever wished that email was a little more like text messaging? Well, whether you have or not (and if you’ve ever dealt with trying to collect corporate emails from people, you probably are among the latter), Microsoft has decided this app is necessary. Essentially, this app is designed to make sending that quick email to someone in your address book much easier than opening up your email app, and… you get it. Basically, like text messaging for people whose phone number you don’t know.”
  3. Android App: Dynamics CRM
    “Dynamics CRM allows you to make sure you arrive prepared for every appointment, and allows you to update your contacts, notes, tasks, calendar, and cases as soon as the meeting’s done. With full support for customization of the Contextual Business Process, you’re always able to track important data about your tasks, your clients, and your cases.”
  4. Windows Phone App: Feedlab
    “Group your RSS feeds into categories, use gesture-recognition to simplify daily use, and even pin your favorite categories to your home screen.”


(View the full article ‘Best New Apps for Lawyers – July 2015’)


All of these new apps are free to download so take some time to try them out.


Tina Burns

Vice President


Photo Credit: scanrail

Increasing Productivity – Keeping Your Bigger Goals in Mind


Copyright : Illia UriadnikovBeing busy is a great thing if you’re steadily moving you toward your bigger goals.  If you’re like me, you may have found yourself completely exhausted at the end of the day only to realize you had gotten off track and hadn’t accomplished any of the steps toward your main goals.



I recently read a great article by Scott Fegette called ‘6 Habits Guaranteed to Boost Your Productivity‘. In the article, Mr. Fegette lists easy-to-implement habits to keep us productive toward achieving our bigger goals. Here are a few of these habits:


  1. Make productivity personal. Countless technology tools exist promising to be the newest and best tool for organizing your life.  Avoid getting distracted by shiny objects.  Choose a solution that works best for you personally, whether it’s a special app you choose or if you’re more of a pen and paper person, the old fashion list works perfectly well.  Choose a productivity tool that works comfortably for you as an individual.
  2. Plan your work, work your plan. Your plan should include your biggest goals as a constant reminder of where you’re heading to help keep you focused.  The plan should also include individual steps necessary to realizing those bigger goals.  Review the steps regularly to ensure they’re leading you in the direction you want to go – toward your bigger picture goals.
  3. Capture everything, always. Make a habit of jotting down ideas and inspiration as they occur, which relieves you of the responsibility of having to remember them.  Your ideas become incorporated into your plans.   Now that you’ve captured your ideas, important dates, events, etc. prune the list regularly, prioritizing ideas with a focus toward your bigger goals.


(View the full list of tips in Mr. Fegette’s article)


Lisa Wagner

Senior Vice-President, Client Services


Photo Credit: Illia Uriadnikov

An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Tort Reform


Advocate Capital Inc tort reform empirical analysisWe have trumpeted our belief that tort reform has little real impact on society with the exception of protecting insurance companies, big pharma and large corporations from being held accountable for their behavior. A recent analysis done by Scott DeVito of the Florida Coastal School of Law and Andrew W. Jurs of Drake University School of Law provided the evidence to prove this to be true.


The authors researched “…an underdeveloped area by empirically testing the real world effects of noneconomic damage caps.” They put together a database of over 14 million actual cases filed between 1985 and 2009 and measured the effect of damage caps on filing rates. They found a “statistically significant reducing in filings in response to damages caps’ both in states with tort reform, but also in states that had not enacted tort reforms. They called this a “doubling-down” effect – i.e. “there is one drop in filings due to the damages cap, but there is another drop based on large background forces.”


Their data also shows that there is no appreciable increase in filing rates when damage caps are removed.


In the end, the authors conclude that these damage caps and tort reform are no longer impactful and should be removed. The summary quotes the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Trammel v. United States – “we cannot escape that the law on occasion adheres to doctrinal concepts long after the reasons which gave them birth have disappeared and after experience suggest the need for change.” The authors conclude that “Based on our empirical assessment, we conclude that tort reform has reached that point and call upon state legislators to reconsider these measures.”


The full paper can be read here.


Meet Attorney John Fisher


President and CEO Michael J. Swanson interviews Attorney John Fisher of John H. Fisher, Attorney at Law about how Advocate Capital, Inc.’s case expense financing has benefited his practice and his clients.



Play Ball!


Advocate Capital Inc. Nashville Sounds gameThe Nashville Sounds are the AAA affiliate of the Oakland A’s, and our hometown baseball team.  Earlier this year, the Sounds christened their new home, First Tennessee Park located on the historic Sulfur Dell site that is commonly known to be “Baseball’s Most Historic Park Since 1870”.


First Tennessee Park was also the site of July’s Employee Appreciation event as all Advocate Capital’s Nashville employees and their families were treated to a night of America’s favorite pastime…baseball!


The ball park is absolutely amazing, great food, terrific baseball led to a great time had by all.  The game went into extra innings, but in the end the Sounds fell to the Iowa Cubs in the 12th inning.


Despite the loss, it was a lovely evening. View photos from the event in our Facebook and Google+ albums.


If you ever find your way to Nashville be sure to check out the Sounds and this state of the art ballpark.  You will not be disappointed!


Jeff Glueck

Vice President – Business Development


El Dabe Law Firm Secures a $512K Verdict for Client


Advocate Capital Inc. client Edmond El DabeCongratulations to Edmond El Dabe and his client on this recent outstanding jury verdict.


In June of 2011, the plaintiff was involved in an automobile accident and was rushed to the hospital.  In the emergency room, plaintiff’s speech was slurred; she repeated questions and was confused. The doctors diagnosed her with a concussion and soft tissue injuries. The plaintiff spent three days in the hospital. The defendant’s insurance company offered to settle the case for $250,000. The El Dabe Law Firm was successful at trial and the jury awarded plaintiff $512,000 – more than twice the amount of the settlement offer!


The El Dabe Law Firm has office locations in Orange County and Los Angeles, California. The firm is proud to represent their clients stating, “We believe in helping our client get full compensation for their injuries, and we don’t stop until justice is served.”


Mr. El Dabe is admitted to practice in California, the United States Central District Court, and the United States Southern and Eastern District Courts. He is a member of the Orange County Bar Association, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, Consumer Attorneys Association of California, and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America.


Advocate Capital, Inc. is proud to partner with firms like El Dabe Law Firm as they pursue justice on behalf of others. We commend the firm and the plaintiff on your perseverance in securing this excellent result.


Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President


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

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