Advocate Capital, Inc. Law Firm Financing Blog

Law Practice Management Stories

We Continue to Pay It Forward


Lisa Larkin pays it forward to Matt Sturdivant, Advocate Capital, Inc. reportsLisa Larkin, as our latest Pay It Forward award recipient, recently recognized Matt Sturdivant by Paying It Forward to Matt. Matt has been a valued Advocate Capital, Inc. employee since March 2013 and received the award for his helpful nature. Matt is always willing to lend a helping hand with varying tasks throughout the office, as well as entertain us with his light office pranks and sense of humor.  Matt is a great addition to our team and plays an intricate role in the marketing department.


Congratulations, Matt! Well deserved!


Tina Burns

Vice President


Ben Martin and Client Receive $1.7M Jury Verdict


Advocate Capital, Inc. client Ben C. MartinCongratulations to Ben C. Martin and his client on this outstanding verdict received in a recent Dallas County trial.


The Plaintiff truck driver was completing a trip in an extra company truck when the transmission began having problems. The clutch began to pop, the shifter began to move out of gear and the truck began to “shimmy.” Finally, the transmission housing separated from the engine, causing the clutch pedal to pin the Plaintiff’s knee to the steering wheel. Plaintiff sustained injuries to his knee which required surgery and ultimately, a knee replacement.


The truck had traveled 64,000 miles since this rebuilt transmission had been installed. The defense argued that the Plaintiff should have stopped the truck when the transmission began having problems. Evidence was presented that the housing bolts had not been torqued properly.


The jury found the Plaintiff to be 25% at fault and the Defendant 75% at fault. The jury found damages for the Plaintiff in the amounts of $250,000 for physical impairment, $250,000 in past pain and suffering, $500,000 in future pain and suffering, $145,332 in past lost wages, $406,315 in future lost wages, $25,000 in past physical impairment, and $192,692 in past medical expenses.


The Law Offices of Ben C. Martin has pursued justice for thousands of clients injured in accidents due to the negligence of others. Mr. Martin focuses his practice on personal injury, complex mass torts, dangerous medical products, and intellectual property litigation. Mr. Martin is board certified in both Civil Trial Law and Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. This double board certification is held by less than 1% of Texas lawyers. Mr. Martin was named a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association in 2012-2014 and was named as a Texas Super Lawyer from 2003-2014.


CONGRATULATIONS on this awesome verdict!   Everyone here at Advocate Capital, Inc. considers it a privilege to support the important work done by trial lawyers around the country like Ben Martin.


Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President


Attorney Tessa King Named 2014 Rising Star by Super Lawyers


Advocate Capital Inc. client Tessa KingCongratulations to Tessa King, of Reisner & King LLP, for her recent selection as a 2014 Rising Star by Super Lawyers®.


Super Lawyers® rates lawyers from more than 70 practice areas through an extensive selection process including peer nomination, evaluations and third party research. The Rising Stars list recognizes the top up-and-coming attorneys under 40 years of age who have practiced 10 years or more. Super Lawyers® website states that “while up to 5 percent of the lawyers in a state are named to Super Lawyers, no more than 2.5 percent are named to Rising Stars.”


Ms. King is a firm partner at Reisner & King, LLP, and practices employment and personal injury law. Her experience includes representing clients in cases involving wage, break, and overtime violations, and has developed niche expertise in the area of pregnancy discrimination and matters involving pregnancy disability leave (PDL). Ms. King and the team at Reisner & King, LLP, are dedicated to achieving optimal results based on their clients’ needs and goals. Learn more about Reisner & King, LLP, visit their website at


Congratulations again from your friends at Advocate Capital, Inc.!


Tina Burns

Vice President


Massachusetts Jury Sends Message with $14M+ Verdict


Massachusetts jury awards $14M in nursing home neglect case, Advocate Capital Inc. reportsOn July 21, 2014, a Middlesex County jury awarded $1.425 million in compensatory damages and $12.5 million in punitive damages to the family of an elderly woman against the nursing home that neglected her for weeks and ultimately caused her death.  The verdict, with statutory interest, is the largest verdict against a nursing home ever reported in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  The plaintiffs’ team included David Hoey, Kris Sobczak and Bernard Hamill.


While at the nursing home, the plaintiff suffered a fall from her wheelchair and was admitted to the hospital. At the hospital, she was diagnosed with acute renal failure, appendicitis, bed ulcers, fecal impaction, hyperglycemia, urinary tract infection, sepsis, and multiple infections.  Despite the extensive injuries suffered by the plaintiff the nursing home admitted to only “select” breaches of the applicable standard of care a month before trial, but denied negligence in causing the plaintiff any harm. The jury felt otherwise and after several hours of deliberations returned the historical verdict.


David Hoey said of the verdict, “The jury’s verdict reinforces the principle that age doesn’t matter; any and everyone is entitled to the same proper level of care, safety and protections, regardless whether they are young or old.” This historic verdict has received a great deal of media attention and a complete recap can be here.


Our seniors deserve the utmost respect and the best possible medical care available when needed.  It is gratifying to all of us here at Advocate Capital, Inc. to know that attorneys like David Hoey and Bernard Hamill, gladly accept the fight for justice for people of all ages. Congratulations to the attorneys David Hoey, Kris Sobczak, and Bernard Hamill!


Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President


Strickland Settles Wrongful Death Case Against Trucking Company


Advocate Capital Inc. client Michael StricklandCongratulations to Michael Strickland, the entire team at Strickland & Kendall, L.L.C., and their clients on this recent outstanding settlement of $1.9M in a conservative venue where the largest known verdict was $700,000 for an MVA case.


The plaintiffs, a niece and her uncle, were seriously injured when the defendant driver ran a stop sign and slammed into the plaintiffs’ car.  Unfortunately, the uncle who was a belted passenger later died from a blunt force trauma sustained in the accident.   The niece was placed on life support and was not expected to survive after suffering broken bones, internal organ damage, and a collapsed lung.  The niece did survive but has been unable to return to work due to the permanent injuries sustained in the accident.


Initially, both the defendant driver who was within the course and scope of his employment, and the defendant’s employer denied liability and claimed the Plaintiffs’ automobile did not have its headlights in operation as the wreck occurred at nighttime.  The defense further claimed that the uncle died as a result of medical negligence by the hospital and not the blunt force trauma sustained in the accident.  Because of the excellent work done by Michael Strickland and his team, the defendants were unable to support their theory during discovery and ultimately agreed to settle the case.


Strickland & Kendall are located in Montgomery, Alabama and handle all types of personal injury and wrongful death cases.  A particular practice area of interest is the firm’s emphasis in disaster claims resulting from tornadoes, hurricanes and other natural disasters.   Click here to learn more.


Advocate Capital, Inc. is proud to partner with attorneys like Strickland & Kendall, who fight for justice for those impacted by negligence of others.


Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President


Missouri High Court Rules Against Caps for Some Punitive Damages


Missouri Supreme Court Caps on Punitive Damages, Advocate Capital, Inc.In a recent article, the Kansas City Star reports that the Missouri Supreme Court “brushed by the legislature’s limits on punitive damages this week, saying they don’t apply to a $1 million verdict a jury awarded to an Excelsior Springs woman.”  Lillian M. Lewellen “received the judgment in 2012 after she was defrauded by car dealer Chad Franklin.”  Lewellen had purchased a used Lincoln Town Car “after being told she would have to make payments of only $49 a month,” but “after several months, she learned she would have to pay $387 a month.”  After a Clay County jury ordered Franklin to pay Lewellen $1 million in punitive damages, “a judge cut the judgment in half, citing a state law that capped some punitive damage awards at $500,000.”  The Supreme Court “restored the judgment because Lewellen had filed her claim as a common law fraud, which has existed in Missouri since the first state constitution was written.”


Although the opinion is limited in striking down caps on punitive damages, it is gratifying to see some movement in that direction.


The full article can be read here.


A summary of the opinion can be read here, and the full opinion is here.


Reisner & King Awarded Attorneys’ Fees, Increasing Verdict to $1.2 Million


Adam ReisnerAdvocate Capital, Inc. clients Reisner & King, LLP and Tessa King persevered for their client last August with a 13-day trial and a jury verdict of $610,000. However, Judge Timothy L. Fall was not finished with the defendant and recently awarded attorneys’ fees of $659,131.37 to Reisner & King, increasing the total award to $1.2 million!


I previously blogged about this impressive jury trial verdict against the plaintiff’s former employer in Yolo County, California for workplace discrimination here.


Reisner & King’s experience, professionalism and courage allows them to provide the highest level of care and representation for the residents of Los Angeles and surrounding counties in the practice areas of employment law, personal injury and business litigation.


Congratulations Adam and Tessa!


Advocate Capital, Inc. is proud to stand behind plaintiffs’ attorneys, like Reisner & King, for the last 15 years, providing support and capital resources, needed to obtain justice and prevail in the face of discrimination.


Tina Burns

Vice President.


American Association for Justice – Distinguished Service Award


Advocate Capital, Inc. client Tim BaileyPlease join us in congratulating, Tim Bailey, on being honored by American Association for Justice with the Distinguished Service Award.


According to AAJ, “The Distinguished Service Award recognizes members of the AAJ Board of Governors who during the past year have been of special assistance to the President of the Association.  Recipients are honored for going above and beyond their commitment to the principles of the civil justice system and AAJ’s mission.  Through their leadership, these recipients were critical in membership recruitment, fundraising and issue advocacy.”


Tim Bailey has served on AAJ’s Board of Governors since August, 2011.  Attorney Bailey, along with his Partners at Bucci, Bailey & Javins, L.C., fight tirelessly for the rights of workers and consumers throughout West Virginia and all across the U.S.   No fight is too big or too far away for this Firm when it comes to preserving the rights of consumers and workers.    As a descendant of three generations of coal miners Attorney Bailey’s passion for the dignity and safety of workers runs deep.


At Advocate Capital, Inc., we’re honored to support committed, passionate Trial Lawyers like Tim Bailey and Bucci, Bailey & Javins, L.C., who dedicate their careers to protecting and advocating for consumers and workers and go the distance- the extra mile to ensure the civil justice system endures for us all.


Lisa Wagner

Senior Vice President, Client Services


Ron Netemeyer Obtains $1.25 Million Settlement for Client


Advocate Capital Inc. client Ron NetemeyerCongratulations to Ron Netemeyer, the entire team at Harper, Evans, Wade & Netemeyer and their client, who recently obtained a settlement through mediation of $1.25 Million.


The Defendant, who was driving drunk, turned immediately in front of the Plaintiff, causing a collision. The Plaintiff suffered a stroke, numerous fractures, (including a neck fracture), a dislocated right knee, a lesion on her liver, stomach bleeding, severe back pain and jaw problems. She was initially hospitalized for one month, before having to return for additional surgeries.


The Defendant was driving his father’s vehicle at the time of the crash and the owner had moved to Mexico. Mr. Netemeyer moved quickly to file a suit against both father and son in Missouri. The Defendants had the case removed to federal court due to diversity of jurisdiction, following the Defendant’s move to Mexico. The federal judge ordered the parties to mediate the case. The case was settled at the mediation for policy limits on 2 insurance policies held by the father.


Ron Netemeyer is a partner in the firm of Harper, Evans, Wade & Netemeyer based in Columbia, Missouri. Mr. Netemeyer handles product liability cases, railroad crossing accidents, automotive negligence, tractor-trailer accidents, nursing home litigation and medical malpractice matters for his clients. He is a member of the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys and the American Association of Trial Attorneys. He has been practicing law since 1998.  To learn more about the outstanding work done by the firm, click here.


Congratulations to Ron Netemeyer and the entire team at Harper, Evans, Wade & Netemeyer on this outstanding result for your client. We at Advocate Capital, Inc. are proud to support trial attorneys as they fight for justice on behalf of their clients.


Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President


Protecting Children & Sending Message in Day Care Abuse Case


Attorney Rasansky files suit against daycare center, Advocate Capital Inc. reportsDallas Attorney Jeff Rasansky is representing the parents in a case alleging that a North Texas daycare center, Heart2Heart Day Montessori Academy in Willow Park, TX, intentionally withheld water from children in order to minimize the number of diaper changes and used duct tape to restrain children.  Luckily, a daycare worker, appalled by the behavior, took appropriate action by taking photos, reporting the abuse and resigning.


Attorney Rasansky points out in a recent news story, “…it’s about sending a message to daycare centers that this type of conduct-this behavior will not be tolerated…”


Click the video below for more on this story:



Thanks to Jeff Rasansky for helping ensure the safety of defenseless children by sending the message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated and for holding this day care accountable.


Lisa Wagner

Senior Vice President, Client Services


1st Annual Pirate Day Luncheon


Advocate Capital Inc. pirate day lunch

Aaarrrggh Mateys!


To celebrate National (Talk Like) Pirate Day, the Advocate Capital, Inc. team enjoyed our first annual festivity on September 17.  We began with a pirate costume contest and had great participants from all departments.  All employees voted and the Best Costume honors went to Matt Sturdivant.


We enjoyed a traditional buccaneer lunch of fish and chips courtesy of Uncle Bud’s.  The team was then treated to fabulous desserts from Sweet 16th Bakery here in Nashville.


The highlight of the day was the Treasure/Scavenger Hunt.  All “hands on deck” was the theme as everyone began the hunt for 26 different items – - one for each letter of the alphabet.  The search continued feverishly inside, outside and all around!  The winner crowned was Buffy Escue who gathered all 26 items in just over 12 minutes.


Thanks to all who participated in their pirate costumes and hunted like scavengers.  Special thanks to the quality assurance team for planning and hosting the event.


Please visit our photo albums on Facebook and Google+ and feel free to tag any of the ACI team you recognize.


Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President


IRS Telephone Scam Continues


IRS warns telephone scam, Advocate Capital Inc. reportsRecently, the IRS informed taxpayers that a phone scam continues throughout the country.



The IRS published five easy ways to spot suspicious calls:




  • Call you about taxes you owe without first mailing you an official notice.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.


The IRS’ article also provides tips on what to do should you receive one of these phone calls.  To read the entire publication, please click here.


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

Vice President, Finance and Administration


John Lancione Settles Misdiagnosed Meningitis Case


Advocate Capital, Inc. clients Lancione & Lancione PLLCongratulations to John A. Lancione, his team and his clients on this confidential settlement.  This medical negligence case was brought by the parents of a four month old infant who was not properly and timely diagnosed with bacterial meningitis.


The parents brought their infant to the facility on March 17th, with symptoms of cough and a fever that had reached 105 degrees.  The admitting nurse documented an elevated pulse and respiratory rate.  The attending physician did not see or examine the infant.  He was discharged with a diagnosis of bronchiolitis.  At discharge, he still had a fever of 103.2.  Two nights later the parents returned to the hospital when his condition did not improve, and in fact had worsened. The emergency room attending physician noted some very troubling findings in his notes.  The chief complaint was “cough, respiratory distress, and loss of appetite and fever”.  His vital signs were abnormal.  He was discharged again around 2:30 pm on March 19th, though his parents were not comfortable with the discharge and notified the treating doctors of such.


While at home on the 19th and 20th, the infant did not improve.  The night of March 20th, the infant began having seizures.  He was taken by ambulance to the facility where he was ultimately diagnosed with bacterial meningitis.  He developed septic shock, requiring mechanical ventilation and was in a coma.  Imaging studies later showed severe brain damage.


The parents claimed the facility was negligent for failing to perform appropriate tests that would have diagnosed bacterial meningitis.  Specifically, the standard of care required that the facility perform a blood culture and a lumbar puncture, which would have revealed bacterial meningitis. He would have been treated and he would not have gone on to suffer severe brain damage and loss of hearing.   This settlement allows for the child to have the 24/7 lifelong care required to provide him the proper quality of life following the negligence.


Attorney Lancione, a managing partner in the firm Lancione & Lancione PLL, is a third generation attorney who has dedicated his career to helping others.  During his over 22 years of service, he has earned a national reputation for accomplishments in birth injury litigation as evidenced by him being elected the Chairman of the Birth Trauma Litigation Group of American Association for Justice in 2008.  For detailed information regarding settlements and verdicts handled by Mr. Lancione and his firm, click here.


As parents and family members ourselves, everyone here at Advocate Capital, Inc. is so thankful for attorneys like John Lancione who work tirelessly to protect the rights of our children.


Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President


Free CLE Webinar: “Working on High-Profile Civil Rights Cases with Daryl Parks”


Public Justice Speaker Series Daryl Parks, Advocate Capital, Inc. reports

Public Justice is offering a special installment in their monthly Speaker Series tomorrow, September 16th, at 2:00pmET/11:00amPT.


This special webinar will feature one of the foremost civil rights litigators in America, Daryl Parks of Parks & Crump, LLC.


During this webinar, attendees will learn:


•  The social context of police shootings in America.


•  Strategies for investigating the key facts in a police shooting case.



•  Strategies for litigating and trying police shooting cases.


•  Handling the interplay between criminal actions and civil cases for families and victims.


•  Dealing with the media storm in high-profile cases.


Daryl Parks has been a member of the Public Justice Foundation since 2005 and currently serves on the Board of Directors. He has appeared on many national television broadcasts including MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, and Dr. Phil. Nationally known as an attorney for the family of Trayvon Martin, Parks is currently working to secure justice for the family of Michael Brown.


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


Click here for more details.


CLE credit is available for most webinars. See CLE requirements for your state.

(CLE from the following states is available through CLE reciprocity: AK, AZ, CA, CO, FL, ME, MO, NJ, NY, OR and WI. Please check your state’s bar website for more information on reciprocity requirements.)


Tina Burns

Vice President


Technology News: The Surprising Impact of 1994


Technology since 1994, Advocate Capital, Inc. reportsIt is hard to believe 20 years has passed since 1994.  If you are like me, time passes very quickly and before you know it, you are securely enjoying middle age and all of the technological advancements making our lives convenient and fast paced.  I never would have given the year 1994 a second thought.  Turns out 1994 was a year that changed the lives of nearly every single person on Earth.  Take a moment to think about what life was like 20 short years ago.  The progress is nothing short of astounding.


Remember “bag phones”, Radio Shack’s TRS80, or The Commodore 64?  How about WordPerfect, Atari, Pong, or the never ending page loads and R2D2 noises of AOL dial up computing (You’ve Got Mail!)?


Julie Bort, Editor, Enterprise Computing for Business Insider takes us down a memory lane of sorts in her article entitled “No Google.  No Netflix.  No iPhone.  This Is What Tech Was Like In 1994”.


I encourage you to grab a cup of coffee, and remember life without the demands of constant emails and connectivity and how glorious it was to “unplug” at the end of each day.  That is exactly what everyone did…well, except for manning the fax machine of course.


Jeff Glueck

Vice President – Business Development


Orange County Trial Lawyers Name 2014 Top Gun Recipients


Orange County Top Gun Brian Chase, Advocate Capital, Inc. clientCongratulations to friend and client Brian D. Chase on being named by the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association 2014 Top Gun Trial Lawyer of the Year for Products Liability.


According to the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association, award recipients have demonstrated exceptional trial skills, as well as commitment to their clients and dedication to the principals of legal ethics.


Attorney Chase is being honored with the award based on his work on behalf of client Jaklin Romine in the case of Romine vs. Johnson Controls, et al., (an auto defect seatback case which resulted in the plaintiff being rendered an incomplete quadriplegic) which resulted in a $24.7 million dollar verdict.  The case went up on appeal and the appellate court affirmed the trial court’s ruling that the consumer expectation test was appropriate to prove defect.  This is the first published opinion in California affirming that the use of the test to prove defect was appropriate. A great victory for the consumers of California.


With a life-long passion for safety and holding the automobile industry accountable for decisions that cause harm to consumers, Mr. Chase shares his auto product liability experience and expertise in his book “Still Unsafe at Any Speed.”


Brian Chase and his Partner, John Bisnar of Bisnar | Chase Personal Injury Attorneys have dedicated their careers to providing superior client representation to referring attorneys and to their clients, as recently featured in the cover story of the Orange County Edition of Attorney Journal Magazine.


Congratulations on this honor and the well-deserved recognition.


Lisa Wagner

Senior Vice President, Client Services


FREE CLE Events from Synergy Settlement Services


Free CLE events from Synergy Settlement Services, Advocate Capital, Inc. reports


Synergy Settlement Services is hosting FREE CLE events in a city near you.


Space is limited. RSVP today to guarantee your spot!


  • Baltimore, MD – Tuesday, September 16, 2014 – 8:30am-1pm – Hotel Monaco, Baltimore (RSVP by September 12)


  • Richmond, VA – Wednesday, September 17, 2014 – 8:30am-1pm – Hilton Richmond Hotel & Baltimore (RSVP by September 12)


  • Washington, DC – Thursday, September 18, 2014 – 5:15pm-8pm – Social Reform Kitchen (RSVP by September 12)


  • Tallahassee, FL – Wednesday, October 1, 2014 – 8:30am-12:40pm – Governors Club


  • Pensacola, FL – Thursday, October 2, 2014 – 8:30am-1pm – New World Landing


  • Birmingham, AL – Friday, October 3, 2014 – 8am-1:10pm – Hilton Birmingham at Perimeter Landing


  • Charleston, WV – Tuesday, October 7, 2014 – 8:30am-1pm – Four Points By Sheraton Charleston


Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from industry leaders discussing trending topics including Medicare Secondary Payer Compliance, Lien Resolution Techniques and Ethics, while earning CLE credits. Click on desired seminar location to locate number of CLE credits by state*.


To reserve your spot, email Morgan Knox at


Learn more about Synergy Settlement Services by visiting or call toll free 877.242.0022.


Michael J. Swanson

President and CEO


*Please note: CLE credits not offered in the Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC locations.


Industry News: Standly Hamilton Wins $27 Million Verdict Against McDonald’s


Chris Hamilton of Standly Hamilton, LLPCongratulations attorney Chris Hamilton of Dallas, Texas firm Standly Hamilton, LLP for your $27 Million verdict against fast food giant McDonald’s.


February 18, 2012, two teenagers died as a result of lax security at the fast food restaurant. They died in the early morning hours after a car of four teenagers stopped at the College Station Texas location where police were repeatedly called due to fights among patrons. Two of the teens were attacked by a mob of 15 to 20 and were seriously injured after being kicked and stomped by more than 15 attackers. One teen died on the way to the hospital from the injuries he sustained in the fight, and another teen died when the car they were traveling in collided with a car and then hit a pole. Families claimed that McDonald’s was negligent by not providing adequate security at their College Station restaurant location, despite more than 20 calls to police to break up fights in the year leading up to the teens’ deaths. McDonald’s never hired any security personnel and never installed any security cameras to help protect customers.


Mr. Hamilton is quoted as saying:


We hope this verdict sends a powerful message to McDonald’s and the other companies that protecting customers is more important than late-night revenue. The night these two kids died was a dangerous location, and McDonald’s knew it. Yet they did nothing to prevent their senseless deaths.


We should all be thankful for law firms like Standly Hamilton, LLP who work every day on our behalf to protect us from future tragedy like what happened to these innocent teens and their families. No amount of money will bring those teenagers back, but the hope is this corporate accountability will prevent similar acts of violence from happening in the future.


Jeff Glueck

Vice President, Business Development


Executive Order Ends Corporate Immunity for Federal Contractors


President Obama signs executive order, Advocate Capital, Inc. reportsAccording to recent news reports, President Obama has signed an executive order, which will take effect in 2016, that will require the approximately 24,000 companies in the US which have federal government contracts to disclose all of their past labor law and other violations.  In addition, the order will put an end to the practice of corporate-paid arbitrators settling discrimination suits for these companies.  According to Paul Bland, the Executive Director of the Public Justice Foundation, the order represents the “biggest step forward in civil rights in the United States probably since the 1991 Civil Rights Restoration Act.”


A full report on the order and its impacts can be seen on here and here.


Michael J. Swanson to Present at Nevada Justice Association Informational Lunch


Advocate Capital Inc. CEO Michael J. Swanson presenting at UNLVMr. Swanson will be traveling to Las Vegas next week to appear as a guest speaker at the Nevada Justice Association Informational Lunch.  His presentation “Law Firm Finance 101 – What they don’t teach you in Law School” provides practical guidance for trial lawyers to successfully manage their law firm finances and features content from his book, How David Beats Goliath – Access to Capital for Contingent-Fee Law Firms.  The lunch is scheduled for Wednesday, September 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. PT and is free to all NJA members.


Click here for more information.


Tina R. Burns

Vice President


Important Vote on November 4 in California

Vote Yest on Proposition 46, Advocate Capital, Inc. reports



At the CAALA (Consumer Attorneys Association of California) Convention this past weekend, we learned about a very important issue on the ballot for Californians this November known as California Proposition 46.



In short, Proposition 46 proposes to demand accountability from the medical profession with these changes to existing law:



  1. Increase the state’s cap on damages that can be assessed in medical negligence lawsuits to over $1 million from the current cap of $250,000.
  2. Require drug and alcohol testing of doctors and reporting of positive tests to the California Medical Board.
  3. Require the California Medical Board to suspend doctors pending investigation of positive tests and take disciplinary action if the doctor was found impaired while on duty.
  4. Require health care practitioners to report any doctor suspected of drug or alcohol impairment or medical negligence.
  5. Require health care practitioners to consult the state prescription drug history database before prescribing certain controlled substances.


If approved, Proposition 46 would create the first law in the United States to require random drug testing of physicians.


Under the current regulations known as the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA), which was signed in 1975 by Gov. Jerry Brown, noneconomic pain and suffering damages as a result of medical malpractice are capped at $250,000.   Experts agree that if MICRA was pegged to inflation, the noneconomic cap would now be set at $1.1 million.


Advocate Capital, Inc. is proud to support trial lawyers like the members of the CAALA organization by pledging financial support, spreading the word about this important vote and challenging any/all trial lawyers, vendors and other businesses to join the fight for this important change in the law.  Join us in supporting this worthy cause by visiting to learn more and make a donation.


Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President


Free CLE Webinar: “Ask Public Justice’s Executive Director Paul Bland”


Public Justice Executive Director Paul BlandThis month’s free webinar from Public Justice is Wednesday, September 10th, at 2:00pmET/11:00amPT.


This special Q&A session with Public Justice Executive Director Paul Bland is a great opportunity to let your voice be heard as a member. By attending, members will learn more about Public Justice cases, future plans for the organization under Paul’s leadership and more.


Paul Bland has been a senior attorney at Public Justice since 1997 and presented at more than 100 continuing legal education or professional conferences in more than 25 states. As Executive Director, Paul manages and leads a staff of nearly 30 attorneys and other staff, guiding the organization’s litigation docket and other advocacy.


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


Click here for more details.


If you would like to submit questions to ask Paul during the webinar, please email Maggie Barr after registering. Questions will also be allowed during the webinar.


Tina Burns

Vice President


John Hawkins Settles Gas Explosion Case


Advocate Capital Inc. client Attorney John HawkinsCongratulations to John Hawkins, his colleague C. Logan Rollins, and their client on this confidential settlement.  In February of 2013, the plaintiff rented a camper from the owner.  After loading items into the trailer, an explosion occurred.  A witness nearby stated the plaintiff rushed staggering out of the trailer with severe burns – with the skin melting off his body.  The fire totally consumed the inside of the trailer.


Plaintiff suffered severe burn injuries to his face, arms and legs along with inhalation injuries causing acute respiratory failure.  In addition to numerous surgical procedures for grafting, a tracheostomy and gastrostomy were also required to stabilize the plaintiff.  The mechanical ventilation and feeding tubes remain in place and even when plaintiff is discharged from the hospital set-up, he will require extensive treatment in a rehabilitation facility.  It is unlikely that he will be able to obtain gainful employment in the foreseeable future and will also require psychological counseling to overcome his grief, physical incapability and emotional instability.


Attorney Hawkins is the managing partner of The Hawkins Law Firm and dedicates his practice to personal injury victims throughout the state of South Carolina.  Prior to founding this law practice, Mr. Hawkins served the citizens of South Carolina as a state Senator and member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, crafting the very laws that govern the state today.


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


Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President


Closing Out Summer In Style!


Advocate Capital Inc. Jamaican Me Crazy BingoBoy, it is hard to be believe Labor Day Weekend is already here…the un-official end of summer for 2014!  As a show of appreciation to all of our hardworking associates (even those remote employees), the  Business Development Team hosted our first annual Jamaican-Me-Crazy Bingo lunch for all employees.  We enjoyed a lunch of savory Jamaican jerk chicken and traditional sides while we spun the Bingo wheel for cash and gift card prizes.  As a company we grew 17% in the last 12 months, and the business development team is poised to deliver our busiest August in company history.  We could not accomplish any of this if not for the hard work and dedication of our Nashville employees.  They all live and deliver our mission and value proposition of helping our customers get even better results for their clients.


View more photos from the lunch in our Facebook and Google+ albums.


On behalf of everyone at Advocate Capital, we wish you a glorious long weekend full of rest and relaxation with your family and friends.  We are looking forward to autumn, football, and finishing the year strong.


Jeff Glueck

Vice President – Business Development


Choulos and Client Receive Policy Limits on the Brink of Trial


Advocate Capital, Inc. client George ChoulosCongratulations to longtime colleague George Choulos and his client on this outstanding settlement.   Defendants repeatedly denied liability, had offered -0- up until the week before trial, and then accepted plaintiff’s statutory policy limits offer.  Rounding out the plaintiff’s team was Scott Righthand, also located in San Francisco.


The motorcycle-automobile accident that is the subject of this litigation occurred in 2007 in Gilroy, California.  The plaintiff was riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle in the northbound lane of travel.  The defendant driver was operating his Mercedes automobile ahead of the plaintiff, also in the northbound lane of travel.  Defendant admitted that he was unfamiliar with the area, en route to a party, and recognized the party house AFTER he had already passed it.  Suddenly and without warning, the defendant made an unsafe, last-minute U-turn.  The plaintiff was faced with an emergency situation and in an attempt to possibly avoid the collision, he chose to veer left into the southbound lane of travel.  Unfortunately, the motorcycle collided with the Mercedes causing catastrophic injuries to the plaintiff.  The defense hotly contested liability on the basis that the plaintiff was following too closely until the very end when Plaintiffs’ team of experts convinced them they were likely to lose at trial.


The plaintiff was rendered a paraplegic and suffered permanent brain damage.  Plaintiff incurred out-of-pocket medical expenses in excess of $1.9M.  He was unable to return to work and it is believed that he will never be able to maintain gainful employment.  Future medical expenses are estimated at $11MM+.


Mr. Choulos is a partner at Choulos, Choulos & Wyle.  While handling all types of catastrophic injury cases, the firm is renowned for its experience in handling motorcycle and bicycle accidents, as well as pedestrian accidents and brain injury claims.  Clearly, this expertise and experience made a huge difference in this case with the defendant denying liability all the way up to trial.  To read more about motorcycle case results and ALL case results by the firm, click here.


Advocate Capital, Inc. is thrilled to support the important work done by trial lawyers around the country and in particular, those like Choulos, Choulos & Wyle who have the experience and wherewithal to fight for injured citizens even when justice is 7 years in the making.


Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President


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

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