Advocate Capital, Inc. Law Firm Financing Blog

Law Practice Management Stories

Excel Tips & Tricks – Format Painter



Man and woman on computer.Do you use the format painter? I do! I use this feature all the time in Excel and I find it saves so much time.


The format painter is on the home tab and it looks like a little paintbrush. The purpose of the format painter is to copy the exact formatting of one field, column, row, or sheet to another field, column, row, or sheet.


For example, let’s say you have a column in your spreadsheet and you have borders, fonts, font sizes, and column sizing formatted exactly the way you want it. Now you have another column of data that you want to look identical. Simply select the first column, click the format painter icon, and then select the second column. This will copy formatting, but not values.


This is especially helpful when you are trying to keep your branding across reports.


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


Here at Advocate Capital, Inc., we are constantly looking for ways to improve. We love feedback from our customers and implement suggestions often.  If you have a question or idea for an Excel tip that you would like to see, please let us know!


Billie Hardison
Training Specialist



Photo Credit:Cathy Yeulet

5 Reasons Why You Need an Emergency Fund



Emergency money in a jar“Gee, I wish I hadn’t saved up so much money,” said no one ever.


However, you may have heard a financial planner say “So, what are you counting as your emergency fund?” The question leaves many of us dumbfounded. Anything extra each month goes toward credit cards or unexpected expenses, right? The rest is often tied up in retirement accounts or funds that we either cannot or are not supposed to touch for “emergencies”.


But while we can cross our fingers hoping that a major household system like the heat won’t fail, or that everyone in our family will stay healthy, the truth is we’re only biding our time. At some point every person will experience an emergency—something “unexpected” that requires serious cash on hand.


Having some sort of liquid savings plan is critical. Here are some reasons you’ll appreciate having an emergency fund ready to go should you need it:


Peace of mind Sometimes you really can “buy” peace of mind. Even some of the most successful people weren’t taught to set up an emergency fund during the early stages of their careers. But as their assets and knowledge have grown, most would now attest to the sheer peace of mind that liquidity can bring.


Career flexibility With an emergency fund set aside you can get more creative about career choices and decisions. Knowing you have some money in the bank, you can be more flexible about leaving an unsatisfactory job or starting a new venture—even if the timing doesn’t line up perfectly with severance or other temporary financial coverage.


Preventive maintenance While it’s not something that is fun to spend money on, doing regular maintenance on a home, car or other piece of property can save you serious funds in the long run. With an emergency fund you can arrange prompt and proper maintenance so that small problems don’t become big, expensive ones.


To find out the other benefits of having an emergency fund and to start taking steps to build one, check out my latest article in Living Safer magazine. You can also find the article in digital form by clicking here.


Michael J. Swanson
President and Chief Executive Officer



Photo Credit: szefei

9 Hidden Costs of Self-Funding Your Cases


Mike Swanson 2017If you are an owner of a contingent-fee law firm and are self-funding your case expenses, you may not be aware of the many hidden costs that you are paying!


Join President and CEO Michael J. Swanson as he discusses the 9 Hidden Costs of Self-Funding Your Case Expenses.



Mike will host the webinar on September 26th 2017 at 1 PM CST/11:00 PT.


Even if you miss the webinar, you’ll still receive the webinar recording after it’s complete!


Sign up for the webinar today:


Nursing Home Arbitration Clauses: Will They Ever Go Away?


Authored By: Iris Garrett


Woman sitting in wheel chairThe nursing home industry is notorious for denying patients and their families their day in court, mostly through forced arbitration agreements. These agreements only allow for confidential, alternative dispute resolution where no judge or jury is present. Instead, the legal proceeding is placed in front of an arbiter or third party (often paid for by the nursing home) with little opportunity to seek or offer evidence in cases of negligent behavior, elder abuse, sexual harassment, and even wrongful death. Now, why would anyone choose a nursing home that participates in this process? It is usually unknown to them when they sign the dotted line, but things become pretty clear when they file a lawsuit.


This trend of burying arbitration clauses in admission contracts is something Public Justice’s Paul Bland calls “categorically heinous”. In an article in The Legal Examiner, he says it is “a grave injustice” that these potential nursing home residents and their families never see or understand these agreements, but yet their constitutional rights are completely governed by them. What’s more, Bland says arbitration is almost never stacked in the resident’s favor. He says groups like the American Health Care Association (AHCA) defend arbitration as a “fair and effective legal process,” but under its conditions, acts of wrongdoing by nursing homes never find their way into the public eye. Bland says if the same claims were decided by the court, more current and potential nursing home residents would be aware of the injustice, voice their concerns, and help deter these facilities from providing unsafe conditions.


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) nearly put a stop to nursing home arbitration last year. In September 2016, the agency issued a rule preventing federally-funded facilities from using forced arbitration or requiring residents to sign the agreements as a condition of admission. Before it could take effect, the rule was blocked by a U.S. District Judge in Mississippi (read more about this injunction here) and could not move forward unless CMS successfully appealed.


Unfortunately, Bland says the final day to challenge that Mississippi judge’s decision arrived earlier this summer with no appeal from CMS. Accompanying the missed appeal was the proposed H.R. 1215 bill which Bland says could roll back the prohibition on pre-dispute forced arbitration agreements further (read more about the proposed legislation here). If that happens and the legislation becomes law, Bland fears the doors of justice will be closed to even more suffering seniors and their families.


If you would like to Paul Bland’s full article, click here.



Photo Credit: Rafael Ben-Ari

Excel Tips & Tricks – The “Delete Rows” button


Man smiling on computerDid you know there are hundreds of shortcut buttons in Excel that you can place on the ribbon? These shortcut buttons can save you countless clicks in Excel! Today, I would like to tell you about the “Delete Rows” button. I find myself using this button nearly every day and it saves me so much time.


To use the button, you must first add it to your ribbon in Excel (This is the bar at the very top of the page – it typically has the “Save” icon, the “Undo” icon, or the “Print” icon.)   On the far right, you will see a down arrow that offers more options. Click this arrow and select “More Commands….”.


Under the “choose commands from” box, select “All Commands”. Find the command called, “Delete Sheet Rows” and select it.  Click the Add >>> button.  Click OK.  When you click OK, you will notice a new icon in your ribbon. It looks like some brackets with an “X” beside them.


Now comes the fun part – the official test!  Key in some rows of data into your spreadsheet. Assume you have two rows you don’t want. Simply select any field within the row and hit the new “Delete Sheet Rows” icon. I like using this button because it saves time by not highlighting the entire row, right clicking, and then deleting. It’s as easy as the click of a button!


Watch Out: If you have hidden rows and they are selected, they will be deleted, too.


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


Advocate Capital, Inc. offers more than case expense tracking.  We pride ourselves on being the state-of-the-art resource for our clients in many technology fields.  Contact us for help with Excel, QuickBooks, AdvoTrac® and many other applications!


Billie Hardison
Training Specialist



Photo Credit: Hongqi Zhang

The Impact of Technology on Personal Interactions


Authored By: Iris Garrett


Lady networking on computer.Can you imagine doing your job without email? Probably not. It’s hard to believe the essential communication tool only hit the scene about 25 years ago, and didn’t become widely used in the legal profession until several years later. Yet, as essential as it might be, some argue that email and other technology have made the “Art of Interaction” obsolete, claiming they have left lawyers with rare opportunities to have face-to-face conversations and build personal relationships. In an article in Above the Law, Carolyn Elefant, challenges this viewpoint, saying that rather than kill the personal touch in law practice, technology has transformed it.


Elefant says before the internet age in the late 90’s, interacting with other attorneys was difficult. She says most of the so-called “personal connections” others argue have been lost because of technology, were actually never made. Elefant says these relationships only worked if a lawyer had something to gain (i.e. a referral or new connection), and if you were a young lawyer just starting out, you probably had nothing to give.


Elefant says before technology took over, legal tasks were also tough to do. From researching a case’s legislative history to filing a brief, things that now only take a click took hours to accomplish. She also says bar activities and CLE programs were more difficult to attend 20 years ago. Elefant says many meetings were scheduled during your lunch hour or miles out of town, and for a lawyer whose every minute counted, they weren’t an option. But once technology came about, it meant no more trips to the law library for research or ever physically carrying a brief somewhere. She says it enabled attorneys to do more in their work day rather than spend longer hours making up lost time.


Elefant says not only has technology enabled hundreds of attorneys to create meaningful relationships, but it has impacted the legal profession in ways that reach far beyond the social realm. She says it has given attorneys opportunities to expand their practice to other metropolitan areas, room to reinvent themselves, and access to building better careers. And because it has brought all these benefits, she says technology cannot truly be a bad thing.


To read the full article in Above the Law, click here.



Photo Credit: Sergey Nivens

Advocate Capital, Inc. Remembers the 9/11 Terror Attacks


Authored By: Iris Garrett


9/11 Memorial

Today marks 16 years since the deadly terror attacks of 9/11, one of the most scarring days in U.S. history. On September 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 people lost their lives after al-Qaeda members hijacked planes and flew them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in rural Pennsylvania. The tragedy not only left thousands of families without loved ones, but it left the country stunned after seeing the true threat of global terrorism and how it feels to be a target of hate. To this day, the 9/11 attacks remain the deadliest to ever happen on American soil.


As we reach the 16th anniversary of these acts of terrorism, the country still mourns and remembers the men and women who were killed, but it also celebrates the strength of their families, the survivors, and those who risked their lives to save others that day. The 9/11 attacks sent shockwaves throughout America in 2001, and now every year after, they serve as a reminder to stay united as a nation.


Our team at Advocate Capital, Inc. will never forget the events that took place 16 years ago, and we pay respects to those affected by the tragedy. We hope that you will join us in commemorating today’s 9/11 anniversary by keeping them and this country in your thoughts and prayers.



Photo Credit: Sean Pavone

The PILMMA Super Summit 2017 is Coming up!


Authored By: Krista Kemmerly


PILMMA LogoWill you be heading to the Hutton Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee for the Personal Injury Lawyers Marketing and Management Association Super Summit 2017?


The conference is coming up next week on September 13th through the 16th.


Our CEO and President, Mike Swanson and our Vice President of Strategic Solutions, Jeff Glueck will be representing Advocate Capital, Inc. at the convention. We welcome you to stop by our booth (#27) to say hello and learn more about case expense funding. We also encourage you to stop by during the lunch break on Thursday, September 14th where Mike will be speaking.


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


Many of our clients benefit greatly from being PILMMA members and from attending the excellent meetings.


We hope to see you there.


Advocate Capital – Fantasy Football League Kickoff



Lynne at football partyIt’s football time in Tennessee (and everywhere else, for that matter)! To get everyone ready for the season, Advocate Capital employees recently gathered for our annual football lunch and kickoff to our company’s 3rd Annual Fantasy Football League. We had a great lunch of fried chicken, fried catfish and all the fixings provided by Big Al’s Deli (food so good you’ll slap yo mamma, according to their website).


Our esteemed Commish, Laszlo Kovacs, got the team up to speed on the rules of the league and the draft, so we’re all set to enjoy a great football season. Here’s hoping you and your team have a great season, as well!


 Check out photos of it on our Facebook and Google+ pages.


The Importance of Wellness in the Legal Profession



Authored By: Candace Whitman


Man enjoying the ocean viewThe National Task Force on Lawyer Well-being recently composed a report about how there needs to be an increased focus on wellness in the legal profession.  Employee well-being does not just include physical and emotional state, but it also includes occupational, social, spiritual or purpose-driven, and intellectual or creative wellness.  Ensuring that lawyers are satisfied in these areas of well-being could prevent burnout, depression, anxiety, and other health problems caused by chronic stress.


Jeena Cho, a Legal Mindfulness Expert and co-author of The Anxious Lawyer, outlines a few of the actions that the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-being states can help legal employers improve the well-being of their firm.


One way to address well-being at your firm is to create a wellness committee or appoint a wellness advocate for your firm. The committee or advocate can plan wellness events, such as morning meditation events or fun runs/walks, and monitor the overall well-being of the firm.


The well-being committee should begin by gathering data on well-being at the firm. This could include an anonymous survey of employees about their views on well-being in their personal and work life.


Another way to encourage all aspects of wellness at your firm is by creating a supportive social environment for employees who are struggling with one or more areas of well-being.


To read the full report by The National Task Force on Lawyer Well-being, click here. To read Jeena Cho’s article on the report, click here.



Photo Credit: Edite Artmann

Finding the Positive in Mid-Range Online Reviews



Authored By: Candace Whitman


Woman on computer smiling.Not every online review can be a five-star review, but that may not be such a bad thing. According to Brad Severson of Lawyer Marketing, even three and four star reviews can be invaluable to consumers who are looking for an attorney to hire.  In other words, don’t be discouraged by the more casual or mixed reviews that may pop up online about your firm.


Articulate and detailed five-star reviews are, of course, a great asset to any firm’s online reputation, but if that is all that is to be found then some consumers may become skeptical. Brad Severson of Lawyer Marketing, says, “Don’t aim low, but don’t discredit the appeal of mid-range reviews.”


For example, the average consumer may be comforted to read an online review written by a past client who had positive feedback to give about you and your services even though their case was not won or they felt your services were too expensive. Don’t focus completely on the cons of online reviews, but instead try seeing how these mixed reviews can be useful to your reputation as well.


To read the full article, which includes hypothetical online reviews, click here.



Photo Credit: Olegdudko

Labor Day Holiday


Happy Labor DayLabor Day, Monday, September 4th, marks the unofficial end of summer. In observance of the holiday that honors working people in the United States and Canada, our offices will be closed.


All payments, fundings and other transactions received on that day will be processed promptly on Tuesday, September 5.


Should you have questions regarding the processing of any transaction, please feel free to contact our Accounting team at 1-615-577-5448 or by email at this address:


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



Photo Credit: yupiramos

Coping With Anxious Thoughts as a Lawyer


Authored By: Candace Whitman


Stressed manEvery profession has stress that comes along with it and the law profession is no exception.  Unpredictable cases, heavy workloads, and other stressors can all lead to high anxiety levels for lawyers.


An article by Jeena Cho, a Legal Mindfulness Strategist, provides a few ways to deal with “anxious lawyer brain.”


One way to cope with your anxiety is to pay attention to the way you’re feeling. Instead of pushing away your anxiety and ignoring it, take time to acknowledge your anxiety and what is causing it.


When you have feelings of self-doubt, do not let those thoughts become destructive. According to Jeena Cho, with time and practice, you can learn to utilize the process of metacognition to observe your thoughts and realize your anxious thoughts are just thoughts and not always facts.


Another way to deal with anxiety is to create and stick to a regular exercise routine.  Even regularly carving out a small section of your day to exercise can improve your mental health.


To read the full article from, click here



Photo Credit: Elliot Burlingham

A Company Core Value, Continuous Improvement


Here at Advocate Capital, Inc. we believe in five core values: Professionalism, Integrity, Continuous Improvement, Teamwork and Service.  There is no greater example of Continuous Improvement than our propriety software, AdvoTrac ®. AdvoTrac® is our system that tracks interest on a case-by-case basis.  We listen to our clients and employees about ways we can improve AdvoTrac®.


Here are the Summer 2017  AdvoTrac® improvements:


Online Payments – Our clients can now choose which confirmation report(s) to run after a payment is processed. The confirmation report options are print detail, print summary, print receipt, and print all.


Case Balances Screen – Principal Balance Only, Unpaid Finance Charges and Borrowing Cost columns were added to the Case Balances Screen. This information is now also visible when exporting the screen data into PDF or Excel files.


Reports – A Reopened Cases Report has been added as a new option on the Reports tab.


Payoff Quotes – The total amount due and payable to Advocate Capital, Inc. has been added to the top of the first page of the payoff quote so clients can easily see the grand total without scrolling to the end of a long, multi-case payoff.


Case Payoffs – Our clients can now upload an Excel file containing a list of cases for payoff.  AdvoTrac® then automatically locates each case and pays it off electronically.


We want to hear from you!  If you have ideas for additional improvements, contact the Accounting department at or 615.577.5448 to share your suggestions.



Tina Burns


Vice President


How to Market to Millennial Legal Consumers



Authored By: Iris Garrett


Millennials on smartphoneIf you think you can reach millennial legal consumers using the same methods as those applied to Baby Boomers and Generation X, you may be in for some bad news. According to an article on FindLaw, the distinctions between today’s millennial generation and most other age groups couldn’t be more stark, especially when it comes to how they search for an attorney. Where Gen X reached for the phone book and land line when they needed legal help, young people now reach for their lifeline: a smartphone. If you can’t tailor your digital marketing efforts accordingly, you may want to forget reaching anyone under the age of 36.


FindLaw says today’s generation makes their legal decisions differently because they were raised on the internet. They adopted quickly to social media, started reading blogs at a young age, and prefer texts over phone calls no matter the time of day. Because of this, traditional marketing approaches do not appeal or attract this age group, but fortunately a few tech-savvy approaches may do the trick.


FindLaw says today’s generation trusts blogs to do their legal research at twice the rate as the average legal consumer. By maintaining a law firm blog, not only will you be reaching millennials, but it will give you a platform to demonstrate your expertise and give introductory advice. FindLaw also suggests using your social media presence to target millennials. It says more than 40 percent of young people find tweets and Facebooks posts from attorneys to be important. It also says they like when attorneys post candid photos of volunteering events or office outings because it allows them to see your firm in a more personal way (rather than just as a faceless logo).


FindLaw says the things that many law firms undervalue or ignore are what millennials are looking for. The good news is that you can easily change this by connecting with these potential clients in the same way they want to connect with you.


To read the full article, click here.



Photo Credit: marctran

Attorney Fee Deferrals



Wallet with money.I often coach plaintiff lawyers on financial topics during my webinars and in-person presentations.  One of my favorite bits of advice is for the partners at contingent-fee law firms to pay themselves sufficiently in order to build net worth outside of their law firm.  There are far too many dedicated, hard-working and brilliant trial lawyers who, frankly, are broke.


One of the tactics I have seen many lawyers use to help build net worth, smooth-out income and manage tax liabilities is to structure legal fees over time.  My friend, John Bair, is very knowledgeable on this topic.  Click here to learn more from John.


Michael J. Swanson

President and Chief Executive Officer



Photo Credit: novintito

Historic Eclipse in Nashville


Authored By: Rachel Markin


Employees looking at eclipse with glasses.For the first time in nearly 100 years, a total solar eclipse was visible in the United States. This rare event garnered thousands of spectators from across the globe who wanted to experience the once in a lifetime celestial occurrence.


Nashville, also home of Advocate Capital, Inc.’s headquarters, was the largest U.S. city in the eclipse’s path! The eclipse was also visible in other areas, but the event could only be experienced on a relatively small strip on the Earth’s surface.


Our Advocate Capital, Inc. team has been looking forward to the spectacular event. Thanks to the planning of Mary K. Berst, our Vice President of Operations and Accounting, everyone was able to fully enjoy the eclipse.


The partial eclipse began around 11:58 am in Nashville. Around 1:00 pm many members of our team excitedly gathered outside our offices to watch the changing sky. Each team member had NASA approved viewing glasses.


Credit Compliance Manager, David Alford brought in his telescope and hooked it up with his phone to record excellent photos and videos of the event.



At 1:27 the Nashville scenery began to change, the sky darkened, streetlights came on and insects piped up. Some team members described the drastic change to sunset as “eerie”.


The crowd outside our offices cheered during the total eclipse, which lasted for roughly 2 minutes. Advocate Capital, Inc. was fortunate to be located in an area where the viewing was not covered by clouds (not everyone was that fortunate!).


Click here to view David Alford’s spectacular photos and video.


Special thanks to Mary K. Berst and David Alford for their work to make the historic day special for Advocate Capital, Inc. team members.


The CAALA Vegas 2017 Convention is Coming Up!


Authored By: Iris Garrett


CAALA LogoAre you headed out west next week for the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles 35th Annual Las Vegas Convention? The event is taking place Labor Day weekend (August 31st-September 3rd) at the Wynn|Encore Las Vegas Resort. It is expected to be the “largest convention of trial attorneys in the nation” with more than 2,800 attendees and 140+ exhibitors, including Advocate Capital, Inc.!


In addition to the large attendance and exhibition area, the CAALA Vegas convention will feature several networking events, as well as 20 hours of MCLE credit courses presented by top trial lawyers, experts, and jurists. If you’ll be attending one or all of the convention’s offerings, be sure to stop by booth #139 in between sessions. Lynne Cushing, Buffy Escue, and Donna Jones will be there representing Advocate Capital, Inc. and can talk to you about case expense funding and products like The Advocate Flexline®.


By visiting the Advocate Capital, Inc. booth (#139) next week, you will also be entered to win a Limited Edition Led Zeppelin Gold 45 Record Plaque signed by the band! Don’t miss out, stop by and say hello!


We’ll see you in Las Vegas!


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.



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


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

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.


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


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


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 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



Photo Credit: sjenner13



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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