Archives for February 2013
Secret settlements, referred to as confidentiality agreements in the legal community, prevent plaintiffs from disclosing information about settlements with defendants. These secret agreements protect manufacturers of products known to cause harm or death and service providers we innately trust like physicians and hospitals that have caused harm or death. But what do secret settlements mean to consumers? Secret settlements prevent consumers at large from being made aware of known dangers and risks.
In this recent ABC news story Steve Daniels of ABC 11’s Eye Witness News I-Team investigated the hidden secrets of confidential settlement agreements and posed the question, “Is it time for NC to let the sun ‘shine’ on the dark secret of confidentiality agreements?” According to Duke Law Professor Don Beskind, during his interview with Daniels, “…if all those cases are settled with confidentiality agreements, the public won’t be aware that a particular product is dangerous…” As one simple example, confidential settlement agreements prohibited the public from being made aware of the dangers in the Firestone tire cases, which were ultimately linked to more than 270 deaths.
As consumers, don’t we all have a right to know if the products and/or services providers we choose have caused harm or death to others? Don’t we have the right to make informed decisions about the products and service providers we choose?
Lawyer and NC Senator Floyd McKissick, Jr., says, “…it is incumbent upon us to do all that we can to protect our families…” and will take up this important cause by sponsoring a new bill limiting secrecy orders in NC. Other states such as CA, SC & FL have already taken steps to protect their citizens by banning such secrecy orders in federal cases.
I agree Senator! Thank you for taking up the cause to lead the way to help protect consumers in NC!
Senior Vice President
This just in from our friends at Public Justice:
Join Us for A FREE Showing of the Sundance Documentary:
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Reception will begin at 5:00 p.m.
Film will begin at 6:00 p.m.
Gateway Film Center
1550 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43201
Seinfeld mocked it. Letterman ranked it in his top ten list. And more than fifteen years later, its infamy continues. Everyone knows the McDonald’s coffee case. It has been routinely cited as an example of how citizens have taken advantage of America’s legal system, but is that a fair rendition of the facts? The documentary film Hot Coffee reveals what really happened to Stella Liebeck, the Albuquerque woman who spilled coffee on herself and sued McDonald’s, while exploring how and why the case garnered so much media attention, who funded the effort, and to what end. After seeing this film, you will decide who really profited from spilling hot coffee.
To RSVP, contact Cassandra Goings at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 797-8600 by March 7, 2013.
Public Justice is a national public interest law firm that teams with dedicated plaintiff’s attorneys from around the country to fight injustice and hold corporate and government wrongdoers accountable. For more information, visit www.publicjustice.net.
Public Justice Foundation
I recently discovered a very informative article called “iPad Apps for Lawyers” published by this group which pares down the somewhat exhaustive list of apps to about 50 that are really useful to trial lawyers. To review the entire list categorized by function, click here.
While visiting their site, I also learned a lot about their app called JuryPad.
What an amazing tool at a very reasonable price ($19.99 for the iTunes download). Watch the short promotional video for all the features and tools to assist not only with voir dire but mapping of jury pools, demographics, statistics and trial results.
Senior Vice President
It may be that you’ve considered using our Case Expense Funding product, but you think it’s not for you because you don’t “need” money. That’s actually good! We don’t do business with law firms that need money. Watch the brief video above to hear some of our customers explain why “needing money” is not why they are clients, then call us at 1-877-894-9724 to learn more.
Congratulations to ACI client Jonathan Stark, his team and his clients on this tremendous settlement.
Recently, Daniel|Stark Injury Lawyers, a Texas personal injury practice with offices in Austin, Waco and Bryan/College Station undertook the representation of a family forever changed when the husband/father was violently killed in a fiery 18-wheeler accident. The trucking company had actually initiated litigation against the family for the damage done to the tractor trailer unit in the accident.
Daniel Stark Injury Lawyers took the zero-offer, denied liability case all the way to trial; well, almost. Just three days before the trial was scheduled to begin, the trucking company settled the case for a confidential amount. Jonathan Stark, the senior litigation partner of the firm, stated the following regarding Advocate Capital’s role in the case:
Advocate Capital allowed me to spend the nearly $200,000 required to bring this trucking company to justice. At no time during the pendency of this case was an expense spared due to funding concerns, as Advocate Capital was on our side. Thank you Advocate Capital for your partnership with my firm and the clients we represent. The family which suffered such great loss at the hands of a careless trucking company also thanks you.
Jonathan is the one of the founding members of Daniel|Stark Injury Lawyers and focuses his practice exclusively on personal injury and wrongful death cases. To read more about the firm and their T (thoroughness) E (experience) A (Attentive Team) M (Money for Injury) approach to litigation, click here.
Advocate Capital, Inc. is proud to support trial lawyers like Jonathan Stark as they pursue justice on behalf of people who are injured due to the negligent acts of others.
Senior Vice President
Do you know of a law school student who would like a chance at winning a $5,000 scholarship? Check out the 2013 Hogan/Smoger Access to Justice Essay Contest from Public Justice. This is an essay contest and this year’s topic question is “Is Democracy for Sale”?
Even if you don’t know a student who could benefit, please share this with friends, your former law school, etc. Help Public Justice spread the word!
Complete details are available by clicking here.
The deadline to enter has been extended to Feb 28th, 2013 and the essay deadline has been extended to March 31st
President and Chief Executive Officer
On 2/5/13, I blogged about Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s proposal to revamp the state’s workers compensation laws. The bill has now been filed with the General Assembly. It is entitled the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Improvement Act of 2013. Whether it would result in real “improvement” is up for debate, as the main thrust of the law seems to be restricting access to the court system, which is a standard theme for Governor Haslam and his compatriots in big business.
We will continue to monitor this issue.
Chief Credit Officer