Advocate Capital, Inc. Law Firm Financing Blog

Law Practice Management Stories

Employment Litigation Leaving Plaintiffs at Odds

 

Authored By: Iris Garrett

 

courtroomIt’s not looking good for plaintiffs involved in employment lawsuits. According to new data by Lex Machina, a research company that provides legal analytics to law firms, this type of litigation is mostly only working out well for employers.

 

In an article in the ABA Journal, Lex Machina is said to have reviewed nearly 72,000 cases over the last few months, covering lawsuits on employer retaliation, hostile work environments, race bias, and discrimination, and almost three-fourths of those cases ended in settlements. Lex Machina also found that employers prevailed 13 percent of the time when it came to summary judgement in these cases.

 

Lex Machina says the high settlement rate in employment litigation cases stems from the median time to termination, which is less than a year. It also says the median time to summary judgement is 19 months and two years to trial.

 

In the ABA Journal article, Lex Machina general counsel, Owen Byrd, says that though the findings should help plaintiff lawyers address employment discrimination and retaliation claims, the information also may add some reassurance to employers facing them, as well as their big law defense. However, Lex Machina says with more software advances, solos and small firms representing claimants can have a more level playing field, tailor their arguments to include these cases, and go head-to-head with larger firms.

 

To read the full article in the ABA Journal, click here.

 

 

Photo Credit: Wavebreak Media Ltd.

 

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Excel Tips & Tricks – Maximize the Find & Replace Feature

 

Authored By: Billie Hardison

 

Man on ComputerIn our continuing series of Microsoft Excel tips and tricks that I have gathered over the years, today we consider the “find & replace” functions in Excel.   Many people use the “Find” feature in Excel to find a word or phrase that they are looking for. Do you ever use the “Replace” feature? This tool can come in handy when manipulating data.

 

To use the “Find” feature in Excel, simply hold down the control button on your keyboard and hit “F”. Here you can type in a word, any part of a word, or a phrase to find data. There is an additional tab in this window called “Replace”. Click on this tab and enter the word or phrase you would like to replace in the “Find what:” box. Then type the phrase you want to replace it with in the “Replace with:” box. You can replace every occurrence or you can replace the word one instance at a time.

 

What most people don’t realize is that this tool can be used to remove unwanted data from your spreadsheet.

 

Let’s say you export a list of names from your accounting software, but all of the names have some sort of appendix on them, like “xx”. Use the find and replace function to find “xx” and replace it with……nothing! Now, you have just removed the unwanted data from your file!

 

Be Careful: If you are replacing data, make sure you don’t replace anything that should be kept. In the example above, a person named Alexxa in the list would have the xx’s removed from the name.

 

If you are an Advocate Capital customer and need help preparing or manipulating data in the Excel application, feel free to contact me at BHardison@AdvocateCapital.com.

 

Here at Advocate Capital, Inc., we are not your everyday  lender.  We offer unlimited training to all our customers in a variety of applications.  This is just one of the many reasons you should become an Advocate Capital client today!

 

 

Billie Hardison

Training Specialist

 

 

Photo Credit: Dmitriy Shironosov
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Attorney John Fisher Hosts “The Mastermind Experience”

 

Authored By: Iris Garrett

 

Advocate Capital, Inc. client and friend, Attorney John Fisher, is hosting a special event on Thursday, September 7th called “The Mastermind Experience”.

 

This one-day meeting in Washington, D.C. will bring together some of the top lawyers in the country to discuss strategic action and ideas for taking your injury practice to the next level. If you’re hoping to improve your firm’s management and marketing techniques, this Mastermind can help you do it!

 

Attendance for “The Mastermind Experience” is limited to 15 lawyers, but these members are also given a lifetime of advice from alumni, including weekly and monthly newsletters, tips, video conference calls and forums to keep them immersed in the Mastermind even after the one-day meeting comes to an end.

 

Attorney John Fisher says there are only a few spots left to sign up for this valuable event, so if you would like to join in “The Mastermind Experience,” register today!

 

You can also find more information about the event by clicking here.

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Ron Netemeyer and Jill Harper Secure a $45 Million Judgment for Client

 

 

Ron Netemeyer and Jill HarperCongratulations to Mr. Ron Netemeyer, Ms. Jill Harper, and their client on receiving an outstanding bench award!

 

Mr. Netemeyer’s and Ms. Harper’s client, a 25-year old man, obtained justice after suffering a severe injury while playing in a large inflatable ball in a local Missouri mall.  The man went to the mall with his family and visited the Knockerball establishment with his nephew. While in the “Knockerball,” the man suffered a spinal fracture and spinal cord injury resulting in paralysis.

 

A “Knockerball” is a large inflatable clear rubber ball with a built-in shoulder strap harness. Participants are fitted and strapped in the ball and can play soccer, perform stunts, and crash into other participants.

 

Netemeyer and Harper claimed the employee at the establishment failed to fit, harness, and instruct their client on the use of the Knockerball. The complaint filed against the company included negligence, strict products liability and premise liability.  The defense failed to timely answer the claim although given an extension by Netemeyer and Harper. After reviewing the young man’s life care plan, medical bills, and economist’s report, the judge awarded the man approximately $45 million.

 

Mr. Netemeyer firmly believes in the utmost service to his clients, his community, and his country. He is a member of many civic organizations and contributes to a great number of charitable causes. Ron was a non-commissioned officer and served nine years in the Missouri and South Carolina Army National Guard. Ron earned both his B.S. and J.D. from the University of Missouri. He is a member of the American Association of Trial Attorneys, the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys, and the Boone County Bar Association.

 

Ms. Harper continues to provide great results and customer service for her clients. She focuses her practice primarily on personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice and worker’s compensation cases. She is a graduate of the University Of Missouri Columbia School Of Law, is a member of the Boone County Bar Association, the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys, the Missouri Bar Association, and is an approved Missouri Fraternal Order of Police attorney.

Harper, Evans, Wade, Netemeyer, is Located in Columbia, Missouri, and serves clients throughout the state in personal injury claims, family law matters, and criminal defense. The firm’s lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience and have a team of skilled legal professionals that stand ready to help you.

 

Advocate Capital, Inc. is proud to support the firm Harper, Evans, Wade, Netemeyer, and all plaintiff attorneys as they pursue justice on behalf of those injured through the fault of others.

 

Michelle Rigsby

Executive Client Manager

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Is Giving Free Legal Advice Beneficial?

 

Authored By: Krista Kemmerly

 

Lawyer meeting with clients.

Do you find yourself questioning whether free legal consultations can be valuable to you and your firm? Will Ashenmacher with Lawyer Marketing has questioned the same thing.

 

Ashenmacher has found that legal consumers find free consultations to be a top feature when they are considering which law firms to hire.

 

However, the legal marketing blogger says some time-strapped attorneys wish they could share the resources that free consultations require more profitably.

 

Ashenmacher says there are 5 points to keep in mind when giving free legal advice.

 

  1.  Understand Meetings Are An Audition:

You must realize you aren’t the only one in decision mode. Your goal is to sell your firm to take on new clients. Make a connection with the potential client. Once you have the relationship, you’re becoming closer and closer to landing a paying client during this marketing process.

 

  1. Keep Up With The Competition…Or Leave It In The Dust:

You don’t want to give too much free legal advice, because then people could take advantage of the situation. Take time to think about the cases being presented to you and look at it through a marketing prospective. Would the case be beneficial for your image?

 

Ashenmacher says lawyers should continue to be open minded when it comes to giving free legal advice, but also be mindful of how much is too much.

 

Click here for the last 3 steps and for Ashenmacher’s full article.

 

 

Photo Credit: kzenon

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How to Handle Negative Online Reviews

 

Authored By: Rachel Markin

 

A woman talking to a man in an office.Social media and online business listings are cost effective ways to promote a personal injury law firm. Cultivating a strong online presence enables lawyers and firms to better manage their brand image and connect with clients and potential clients.

 

Will Ashenmacher of LawyerMarketing.com writes that legal professionals should encourage online reviews of their services. While “conventional wisdom” says those writing online reviews just want to complain, Ashenmacher’s article says the majority of people enjoy leaving positive reviews.

 

For example, sixty-seven percent of reviews on Yelp are four or five stars.

 

However, the very nature of the accessibility of online communities allows people to write things they would never say in person.

 

The possibility of negative firm reviews has troubled many lawyers, but Ashenmacher encourages attorneys to build a powerful online presence and to learn how to correctly handle negative reviews.

 

If an individual does leave a lackluster comment on your online page, Ashenmacher has some tips for handling negative reviews.

 

He first suggests that you do not ignore the review. It may be tempting to hope it will simply fade away over time, but that’s not an effective strategy. Rather, Ashenmacher says that nothing on the internet truly goes away and allowing a negative review to sit without response gives the impression to others that it is the truth.

 

For more healthy ways to handle negative online reviews, visit Will Ashenmacher’s article on LawyerMarketing.com.

 

 

Photo Credit: sjenner13

 

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The Power of Addressing Your Weaknesses

 

Authored By: Krista Kemmerly

 

Woman at computer.No one is perfect; we all have our weaknesses. But, the way we address our weak spots can make all the difference.

 

Josh Camson with The Lawyerist, explains how lawyers can identify their weaknesses in a few simple steps. Camson says identifying our weaknesses can help us also identify our strengths.

 

The first step is assessing your weakness. This is where you want to think of quick solutions. Do you have a bad memory? Maybe try writing everything down. Or, are you messy? Vow to become organized. These all seem like easy solutions but before you can put these to work you need to address the “why”. Why do you have bad hand writing? Why are you messy? Until you reveal they “why” you will never be able to get out of the cycle of your bad habits.

 

Once you have the why you can now use this knowledge and turn your weakness into a strength. Let’s say you have discovered you are messy because you get sidetracked easily and don’t have the correct organizational tools. This will take you to your final step, using the knowledge of why to turn your weakness into a strength.

 

Camson goes on to say that in this last step you now have 2 choices; “You can either become hyper-vigilant about your weaknesses and thus make that your strength, or look at the flip side of your weakness as a strength in and of itself.”

 

For the full article click here.

 

 

Photo Credit: Vadim Guzhva
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Workplace Injuries Can Be Avoided

 

Authored By: Iris Garrett

 

Injured worker filling out Injury formAccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 5,000 workers were killed from injuries sustained in the workplace in 2015, the highest death toll in this category in eight years.

 

Our team at Advocate Capital, Inc. works with many law firms across the U.S. who specialize in workplace injury cases. Along with our clients, we know how often these incidents can occur, and though there may be no way to protect your employees from all types of workplace injuries, Bryan Pope of The Legal Examiner says there are steps you can take to make them less frequent. We’ve shared his steps below.

 

Get Basic Training

Pope says by offering basic training on proper lifting techniques, safety practices, and help when job duties change, you can reduce many common workplace injuries (like back and shoulder pain). He also says employers should emphasize the importance of taking regular breaks.


Recognize Hazards

Pope says physical, ergonomic, chemical, and biological hazards are the four main types of workplace hazards workers can fall victim to, but each can be prevented if you recognize the risks beforehand:

  • Physical hazards are those involving spills, heights, and loud noises.
  • Ergonomic hazards occur when working conditions cause discomfort to an employee’s body.
  • Chemical hazards include fumes, toxic vapers, and flammable materials.
  • Biological hazards are those involving people, plants, and animals.


Take Advantage of Safety Equipment

Pope says wearing personal protective equipment (goggles, gloves, safety shoes, earplugs, etc.) is essential to preventing workplace injuries. He says employers should ensure their workers are not only provided with these tools but are also properly trained on how to use them.

 

To read Bryan Pope’s full article, click here.

 

 

Photo Credit: freerlaw
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Team Hope Volunteers at the Nashville Humane Association

 

Authored By: Krista Kemmerly

 

ACI Team Hope at NHA

Earlier this month, Advocate Capital’s Team Hope made a visit to the Nashville Humane Association. The association’s mission is to protect the well-being of animals in Davidson County.

 

During our time at the Nashville Humane Association, we got the opportunity to help care for some of the organization’s animals in need and those who desperately want to find a forever home. We served in an array of roles from dog walking to cat socializing. It was a wonderful experience and it was hard to not take one home with us!

View photos of our time at the Nashville Humane Association on our Facebook and Google+ pages.

 

It was such an incredible experience volunteering at the Nashville Humane Association, and we are so excited about how the organization is impacting the community by their devotion to being a voice to those without one.

 

To learn more about the Nashville Humane Association, or to make a donation, click here.

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Amy Johnson Presented with Paralegal of the Year Award Trophy

 

Authored By: Iris Garrett

 

Mike & Amy with POTY AwardFor the past six years, Advocate Capital, Inc. has sponsored the American Association for Justice Paralegal of the Year Award in the hopes that it will shed light on the crucial role paralegals play in our civil justice system.

 

As the sponsor, our team not only gets the opportunity to see one exceptional individual be nominated and selected for this prestigious award, but Advocate Capital also gets to present them with the award trophy at the American Association for Justice (AAJ) Annual Convention.

 

This year’s convention was held in Boston, and several members of Advocate Capital’s management team, including CEO and President, Michael J. Swanson, attended the show and met the Paralegal of the Year winner, Amy Johnson.

 

Johnson serves on staff at Yarborough Applegate Law Firm in Charleston, SC, and was nominated for the award by the firm’s co-founders, David Yarborough and William Applegate. They say she is more than qualified to receive the award because of her tremendous support for their staff, her dedication to the paralegal profession, and her active service to the community.

 

Our Advocate Capital team also recognized Johnson’s award-winning qualities upon meeting her at the AAJ Convention and were delighted to see CEO Michael Swanson present her with the award trophy during a special ceremony at the show. Johnson, who was escorted by her husband, Jeff, said she was both humbled and honored to receive the award.

 

If you would like to see pictures of the award presentation, visit our Facebook page! You can also learn more about the Paralegal of the Year Award and past winners by clicking here.

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Webinar: Law Firm Finance 101

 

 

Mike Swanson 2017With an in-depth understanding of finance and the right tools, your guidance will help your contingent-fee law firm operate at its fullest potential. We invite you to join our August 16th webinar with President and CEO Michael J. Swanson to learn the most relevant financial concepts for plaintiff attorneys and pinpoint the challenges contingent-fee law firms face when seeking capital.

 

Also, Mike will discuss the pros and cons of the 10 most common forms of capital utilized by contingency-fee lawyers.

 

You’ll get steps you can take to improve the financial health of your firm.

 

Space is limited, so register for the August 16th webinar now: http://www.advocatecapital.com/August16Webinar

 

Law Firm Finance 101 Webinar on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 with Michael J. Swanson:

 

  • 1:00PM – 2:00PM Central (Chicago)
  • 11:00AM – 12:00PM Pacific (Los Angeles)
  • 2:00PM – 3:00PM Eastern (New York)
  • 12:00 PM-1:00PM Mountain (Arizona)
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Excel Tips & Tricks – My Favorite Shortcut

 

Authored By: Billie Hardison

 

My favorite things to share are Microsoft Excel tips and tricks that I have picked up over the years. Here is my favorite shortcut that often wows people.

 

Did you know that you can copy information down a column of a spreadsheet with just two clicks?  If you are like me, you performed the tedious click and drag for years; but you can accomplish this in a quicker way.

 

If you enter data into a field in a spreadsheet and then hover over the bottom right corner of that field, you will notice a plus sign appears. While that plus sign is visible, double click, and watch the magic happen!

 

Bonus: If you are working with numeric data, it will increment automatically for you!

 

Give it a try the next time you find yourself copying large amounts of data in a column.

 

If you are an Advocate Capital customer and need help preparing or manipulating data in the Excel application, feel free to contact me at BHardison@AdvocateCapital.com.

 

Our goal here at Advocate Capital, Inc. is to be more than just a lender.  We want to be your complete business partner.

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Ed Bell Inducted Into Inner Circle of Advocates

 

 

Ed BellAdvocate Capital extends congratulations to our great friend and client, J. Edward Bell, III, on his induction into The Inner Circle of Advocates.  This prestigious organization consists of the top 100 Plaintiff lawyers in the United States.

 

The Inner Circle of Advocates was founded 45 years ago to share information, promote the profession, learn new innovations within the industry and teach other legal professionals.

 

The lawyers invited to participate are limited to the absolute best in their craft.  This nationally known organization has strict qualifications for membership including:

 

  • Three or more $1 million verdicts or one verdict in excess of $10 million within the last five years;
  • Extensive litigation experience of a least 30 trials (presiding judge and opposing counsel are interviewed to rate the candidate);
  • A stellar reputation among peers.

 

Mr. Bell’s use of technology in the courtroom and his cutting-edge facility, including a one-of-a-kind science and research laboratory for accident and crime scene reconstruction, make him a perfect fit for The Inner Circle of Advocates.  Mr. Bell is tenacious in his quest for justice on behalf of victims who have suffered horrific injuries due to the negligence of others.  The important work done by Mr. Bell and the members of The Inner Circle leads to recalls, regulations and safety improvements that benefit each and every one of us.

 

Advocate Capital, Inc. is proud to support the work of trial lawyers like Ed Bell as he furthers his commitment to help the injured and shares his wealth of knowledge with other Plaintiff attorneys.

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Billie Hardison, Quickbooks Certified ProAdvisor

 

 

Billie HardisonCongratulations to Billie Hardison on completing both the online and desktop versions for the QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisor program.  Ms. Hardison has been part of the ACI Team since 2012 and recently transitioned to our Training Specialist.  In addition to support with applications like Intacct, Needles and Microsoft products, she will also now be available for Quickbooks support.

 

Billie now joins Senior Vice President Donna Jones and Executive Client Manager Michelle Rigsby on the QuickBooks support team.  If you are an Advocate Capital, Inc. client, not only do you receive discounts on user licenses and software upgrades but UNLIMITED free Quickbooks training and support as well.

 

If you have questions regarding your existing Advocate Capital account related to Quickbooks, please contact your Account Manager, call our office toll-free at 1-877-894-9724, or send us a message by clicking here.

 

If you are not an Advocate Capital, Inc. customer, we hope you join our family of clients very soon!

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Quick! Five Advocate Capital, Inc. Clients to Receive Three Free Months of Internet Marketing Consulting!

 

 

I just returned from Boston where the American Association for Justice held its annual Summer Convention.  While at the convention, I had a chance to meet with Dan Goldstein, the President of Page1Solutions LLC.  Dan is a long-time friend and vendor for Advocate Capital.  Dan told me about a new consulting service they have launched.  In the past, only their SEO or Web Design clients could get access to the Consultants on Dan’s team.  Now, however, they are making that expertise available to non-website clients for what I think is a very reasonable fee:  $500 per month with a three-month commitment.

 

However, if you are an Advocate Capital client and if you respond quickly, Dan will give Advocate Capital, Inc. clients THREE MONTHS of consulting at no charge with no commitment to continue afterwards.  No long-term commitment. No obligation. No strings attached. This is a special limited time opportunity for Advocate Capital clients and is limited to the first five (5) Advocate Capital clients that respond.

 

So what are you waiting for?!  Click here or email me to let me know you are interested and I will put you in touch with Dan for your three months of FREE consulting.  This special offer ends on August 15th.  Here is an overview of the services that are available in their consulting plan:

 

  • Monthly Scheduled Online Meetings – Consultant will gather analytic and lead data as well as identify priority marketing areas and provide higher level evaluation and insight during screen-sharing sessions.
  • Designated Hours – Consultant and team members will dedicate four hours per month to conduct research, evaluations, reports, recommendations, communications and consultations.
  • Establish Marketing/Sales Baselines: Google Analytics, client-provided reporting on ranking results and leads. Consultant should be added to email marketing/newsletters. Consultant will follow and monitor client on social media and through Google Alerts. Consultant will assess client’s review profiles, secret shop (email, chat, phone), determine how client is tracking leads -> consultations, identify marketing budgets (break out per platform), gather examples of advertising media/creative rationale, branding, cohesiveness, competitive research.
  • Goals/Priorities – Practice areas, traffic, leads, conversions, revenue, time frames. Consultant will identify original priorities and goals communicated by client to current agency. Have any of those priorities/goals changed?  What are the client’s current priorities and goals?
  • Opportunities Assessment – Consultant will identify provider/practice differentiators (experience, technology, intake, niche focus, reputation, media brand, mission statement, positioning messaging, slogans), seasonal aspects, events, market-specific opportunities, industry-specific opportunities, calendar/monthly awareness issues, etc.
  • Consultation – Consultant will collaborate monthly with client; provide evaluation and recommendations:
    • Website Design/ Structure
      • CTA’s – phone-focused lead generation design elements (Hotline, Helpline, etc.)Website Design/Layout/ColorsWebsite NavigationWebsite and Blog Content – Consultant will evaluate content types, prime pages, visual, long form, etc. Are additional pages needed to target priority services. Duplicate content issues? Consolidate existing pages.  Evaluating content for priority pages, making recommendations to improve content to increase traffic and lead generation. A full content audit would be an additional cost.Other Website Elements – Email Forms, locations, Awards & SettlementsBio PagesMobile Responsive – Mobile Friendliness and Site-speed analysis
    • Google Analytics
      • Consultant will evaluate traffic trends, target pages/sections, user activity/experience, etc.
    • Reviews and Ratings
      • Consultant will review and make engagement recommendations, target review sites/profiles, strategies to deal with negative posts (and positive ones).
    • PPC/ Display Advertising/ Facebook Advertising
      • Consultant will assess ads and results. Possible suggestions may include – seasonal opportunities, holidays, daylight savings, monthly awareness, anniversaries, dayparting, differentiators, 24/7-chat/intake, landing page suggestions, and descriptions
    • Video Marketing
      • Consultant will review current strategy and present ideas on how to better leverage video – promotions, platforms, etc.
    • Database Marketing
      • Promotions, updates
      • aNewletters
      • Inbound Marketing Automation
    • Sales Intake – Consultant will assess lead to consultation conversions, conduct secret shopping; share telephone intake and email follow up sales results.
    • Social Media – Consultant will assess organic social media marketing results, reach, activities, engagement, synergy with other marketing and provide recommendations.
    • Service Recommendations – Consultant will provide suggestions regarding 3rd-Party services (SEO, PPC, Display Advertising, Reviews, Social Media, Database Marketing/eNewsletters, Inbound Marketing, Content Writing, Live Chat Services, etc.)
  • Establish Baselines: Page 1 SEO specialist to be given access to GA (Google Analytics), GSC (Google Search Console), NinjaCat, Screaming Frog, Moz, Linkdex, Majestic, Copyscape, Ranking Reports from current SEO provider, practice priorities/goals
  • Site Programming Recommendations
  • Site Structure, Page Organization
  • On-site Optimization Recommendations – Meta, titles, headings, schema mark-up recommendations
  • Backlink report and recommendations
  • Local Citation Research and Recommendations

 

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AAJ Hit it Out of the Park!

 

ACI reps in BostonAmerican Association for Justice hosted their annual convention in Boston this year. AAJ hit it out of the park hosting a great convention and opening reception at Fenway Park. Donna Jones, Michelle Rigsby, Michael Swanson and myself represented Advocate Capital, Inc.

 

For a few of us, it was our first time in Boston. It is always wonderful to see our clients and meet new friends but especially at the iconic Fenway ballpark during the opening reception. This year’s convention was one for the books with great conversations and atmosphere.

 

Advocate Capital has been sponsoring the Paralegal of the Year award since 2011. Michael Swanson and I had the honor of presenting this year’s winner, Amy Johnson, with the award. Click here to see the presentation’s picture and click here to see AAJ Boston pictures.

 

Thank you to our marketing team for helping to make this year’s convention a success.

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Debbie Ivey Celebrates 15 Year Anniversary

 

Debbie holding her 15 year awardAdvocate Capital employees strive to achieve five Company Core Values – Professionalism, Integrity, Continuous Improvement, Teamwork and Service. Our service value says –

 

We deliver a ‘Wow’ experience by providing helpful, humble service both to our clients and to each other.

 

Many of our clients interact with Debbie Ivey, the main Accounting contact for payment and loan advance processing. Some clients have provided me with ‘shout outs’ about Debbie’s excellent service level.

 

Today, I have a ‘shout out’.

 

Congratulations Debbie as you celebrate fifteen (15) years with Advocate Capital and for providing excellent service to our clients all these years.

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Female Representation in U.S. Law Firms

 

Authored By: Iris Garrett

 

Women in the workplace.It appears female lawyers are still not being largely represented in the legal field. According to a new “Glass Ceiling Report” by Law360, women made up less than 35 percent of lawyers surveyed at the end of 2016. The report, which surveys a total of 300 U.S. law firms with 20 or more domestic attorneys, also shows little progress for women since 2015 with a less than 1 percent increase in their representation.

 

The Law360 report puts the percentage of female equity partners at its surveyed firms at “just shy of 20 percent” and finds that only 17 percent of the firms had 40 percent or more women on their legal staff.

 

According to an article in the ABA Journal, the Law360 findings disappointed Joan Williams, the director at the University of California at Hastings Law School. Williams told the publication that the small improvements were not enough, “It just hasn’t risen substantially in decades… what we should be looking for is progress, and that’s not what we’re seeing.”

 

Organizations like the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) are continuously working to empower women in the legal field. The organization has helped provide leadership, a collective voice and essential resources toward their advancement since 1899.

 

To find out more about NAWL’s most recent endeavors, click here.

 

To see the full findings from the Law360 report, click here.

 

Photo Credit: Nyul
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South Carolina Association for Justice Annual Convention Next Week

 

 

 

SCAJ Logo 2017Will you be heading to the Westin Hilton Head for the SCAJ 2017 Annual Convention?

 

The conference is coming up next week on August 3rd through the 5th.

 

Michelle Rigsby and Rodney Dozier will be representing Advocate Capital, Inc. at the convention. We welcome you to stop by our booth (#8) to say hello and learn more about case expense funding

 

Don’t forget to register to win a pair of Beats Studio Wireless Headphones!

  

Each year in August the SCAJ convention includes dozens of seminars delivered by leading legal experts, and gives members a chance to qualify for 12 CLE credits which includes one ethics credit and one LEPR credit

 

We hope to see you there.

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Now Hiring: Marketing Coordinator

 

 

Desk chair that reads "Now Hiring"Excellent opportunity in a profitable, growing company!

 

Advocate Capital, Inc. is currently recruiting for a new Marketing Coordinator to add to our MetroCenter (Nashville, TN) office.

 

We are a successful, rapidly growing commercial lender. The successful Marketing Coordinator candidate will offer administrative support to our Marketing Department including database maintenance, email and direct mail campaigns, website editing, content writing, social media monitoring, market research, tradeshow coordination, video shoot coordination, etc.

 

The hourly rate for this position is in the $13.17 – $16.16 depending upon education and experience.

 

Health, dental, and vision insurance coverage through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee (company pays 80%, employee pays 20%); $50,000 of employee life insurance (company paid); Short-Term and Long-Term Disability insurance (company paid); Flexible Spending Account for Unreimbursed Medical Expenses and Dependent Care Expenses, 401(k) with company match (max 4%); Paid time off (PTO) starting at 17 days per year.

 

We offer industry-leading financial products and services providing law firms nationwide with low-cost access to capital and flexible business solutions.

 

To apply, please send your resume to HRM@AdvocateCapital.com.

 

SKILLS

·         Microsoft Excel, Word and Outlook proficiency required.

·         Excellent written and verbal communication.

·         Possession of strong organizational skills.

·         A high level of attention to detail (accuracy, proofreading, spelling, grammar, consistency)

·         Effective use of time management and meeting deadlines.

·         Ability to handle multiple projects/tasks concurrently.

·         Ability to work independently on assigned tasks as well as within a team.

·         Flexibility

·         Must be able to work in a professional work environment

·         Salesforce.com experience helpful.

APPLICABLE EXPERIENCE

·         Corporate marketing.

·         Salesforce.com administration helpful.

·         Adobe Preimiere Pro and Photoshop experience helpful.

·         Google and social media analytics helpful.

EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS

·         Minimum: High school diploma.

·         Desired: Bachelor’s Degree in a related field.

Seniority Level

Entry level

Industry

Financial Services

 Legal Services

Employment Type

Full-time

If you are interested, please submit your resume for consideration to HRM@AdvocateCapital.com. Click here to view the job posting on LinkedIn.com. 

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Deciding Whether a Merger is the Right Move

 

Authored By: Iris Garrett

 

HandshakeHas your law firm ever pondered the benefits of a merger? Successful mergers allow firms to expand their national or global reach and be better equipped for the changing legal climate, but others can sometimes fail altogether and ruin the reputations and established relationships the firms had built beforehand. If your firm is wondering whether a merger is the right move, you may want to do more than just ponder the benefits. A decision as crucial as this requires due diligence and a laser focus on the future.

 

Leslie Gordon discusses law firm mergers in an article in the ABA Journal. She says though they are becoming increasingly popular, they are not a foolproof business strategy and should not be a firm’s endgame by any means. Gordon says mergers can serve a broader business goal, such as reaching new markets, adding new practice areas, or creating efficiency, and they also bode well for more simpler reasons like strengthening a firm’s size and brand. Firm management consultant John Olmstead agrees, “A merger is a very serious thing…” and cannot be “a knee-jerk decision that’s all about the short term, all about money”.

 

If your law firm’s reasons to merge meet these criteria, Gordon provides expert tips for surviving the process. We’ve listed a few of them below.

 

Before spending months on a merger, leaders should assess potential deal breakers. This could be business conflicts like the firms representing clients in competition with one another, or more personal conflicts like choosing the new firm’s name or partners who aren’t willing to back a new combination.

 

Leaders should be able to end discussions when necessary. If red flags start to pop up like one firm seeming too desperate to merge or trying to out-negotiate the other, leaders must have the discipline to walk away from what looked like a good deal.

 

Leaders should analyze and scrub compatibility metrics. Everything from clients and rate structure to finances and operations should be evaluated. A law firm’s work culture (its governance, work-life balance, how employees are treated) is also extremely important.

 

Gordon suggests creating a transition committee and an integration plan once the merger is underway. She says if firms notice weakening financial performance or a significant loss of clients, they may have a problematic merger on their hands, but if clients come to believe the combined firm is better suited to fit their needs, then the merger is a success.

 

To read Leslie Gordon’s full article, click here.

 

 

Photo Credit: kritchanut
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Going Paperless at Your Firm

 

Authored By: Krista Kemmerly

 

The word Paperless on a keyboard

With the advancements in technology it seems it may be in your best interest to organize your client’s files without using paper.

 

Sam Glover, with The Lawyerist, says going paperless can be less work for a firm and can even help individuals become more organized.

 

Glover says when a firm goes paperless, they can eliminate the filing cabinet, the endless documents and manila folders. People simply scan their documents directly to their computer and begin to create the new and improved filing cabinet on their computer.  

 

It can be hard to get out of doing it the “old school” way. But Glover says one must look at all the benefits going paperless has for a firm. Going paperless helps with productivity, reduced costs and creates a more organized way to maintain client’s documents with just a click away.

 

For helpful tips and examples on how to organize client folders within your computer system read Sam’s full article here.

 

 

Photo Credit: payphoto

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Safety Tips for the Lawyer Who Loves Boating

 

Authored By: Iris Garrett

 

MarinaFourth of July may be behind us, but there are still plenty of opportunities to get out on the water this summer season, especially if you own a boat. Taking your boat down to the marina is a perfect way to spend an afternoon, but it can also put you in harm’s way if you don’t take the right precautions.

 

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says marinas pose risks such as electrical hazards, carbon monoxide, along with other dangers that can result in serious injury or death. Last year, nearly 1,000 accidents occurred in marinas and other similar bodies of water, with almost 10% of those accidents ending up deadly according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

 

Although marinas present risks to boaters, they are especially dangerous for those who choose to swim in these waters. Eric Chaffin of The Legal Examiner says always think twice before taking a dip in a marina because you may wind up electrocuted. He says the water can become electrically charged from the docks and boats that carry electricity. Chaffin says faulty wiring or grounding, damaged electrical cords, or other flaws can happen and potentially send an electrical current in the surrounding water. He says even one boat experiencing an issue can cause a domino effect because most marinas have a shared electrical system.

 

Like the NFPA, Chaffin says carbon monoxide poisoning is also a big hazard for boaters and swimmers around a marina. He says the gas can accumulate near a boat’s exhaust vent and hover six inches above the water (where swimmers often breathe). He also says the boats themselves can be hazardous to swimmers because of their propellers. Yet, even swimming at a distance can put you in contact with things like cables, hooks, fishing lines, sunken docks, and old pilings or litter.

 

Chaffin says the problem with many of these marina dangers is that they aren’t visible to the naked eye. What is visible are the common “no swimming” signs around these areas. He says it is best to obey these signs and only use a boat while you are enjoying the marina. Chaffin also says boat owners can help reduce hazards by installing CO alarms, conducting routine maintenance and circuit tests on their boat, and having it inspected annually.

 

To read Eric Chaffin’s full article, click here.

 

 

Photo Credit: dbajurin
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Malpractice! $7.75M Awarded In Pressure Sore Case

 

Tom RhodesCongratulations to our friend Tom Rhodes and Robert Brzezinski of Tom Rhodes Law Firm P.C. who played a significant role in securing justice for a New Mexico man who developed acute pressure sores during a lengthy 2011 ICU stay at Presbyterian Hospital located in Albuquerque. Mr. Rhodes served as co-counsel with attorneys Randi McGinn and A. Elicia Montoya of McGinn, Carpenter, Montoya & Love, P.A.

 

Terrible story. While admitted at the hospital, the plaintiff Mr. Webb was unable to care for his own needs and was forced to rely on the intensive care unit staff. In six short days, wounds started to develop due to inadequate repositioning of his body. These ‘pressure sores’ developed into significant stage 4 ulcers…one of which is still not fully healed.

 

Thanks to the work of Mr. Rhodes and his colleagues, they were able to hold the hospital accountable for their negligence. While no amount of money will fully compensate Mr. Webb for what he endured, the hope is that this type of pain and suffering can be prevented moving forward.

 

Everyone here at Advocate Capital, Inc. appreciates the important work done by this team of talented litigators who have dedicated their lives toward achieving justice for so many. Thank you for what you do!

 

You can read more about this case here.

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Advocate Capital Employees Enjoy America’s Favorite Pastime

 

Authored By: Iris Garrett

 

ACI Team at Sounds Game

You can never have a bad time at a Nashville Sounds baseball game. Our team at Advocate Capital, Inc. can tell you firsthand what a blast it is to watch a game at First Tennessee Park and root (root root!) for the home team. In fact, we’ve had the opportunity to see the Sounds in action for the past three years, and this year was no exception.

 

On Monday, June 26th, several of the Advocate Capital staff and their families gathered to catch the Sounds compete against the Round Rock Express. The group was treated to drinks and an endless buffet of hamburgers, hotdogs, baked beans, and coleslaw while they watched the game from the Vanderbilt Children’s Picnic Place in right field. The view was perfect and sat us directly beneath the park’s high-definition guitar scoreboard.

 

During the game, the group enjoyed socializing and great weather, and many were given fun bobble heads to take home. After several hours at the park, the Sounds came out on top with a 5-3 win against Round Rock, making the night an all-around home run for our entire group!

 

To see photos from the Sounds event, check out our Facebook and Google+ pages!

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