Could the pending tax code changes have a substantial impact on your law firm?
Watch this must see interview with attorney and CPA, Joseph E. Fournier and President and CEO, Michael J. Swanson to find out more.
Their plaintiff, a 68-year-old woman, suffered critical injuries after a large work truck struck her in a convenience store parking lot. As she exited her parked car, the defendant driver backed his truck into plaintiff’s car door and then into her. The plaintiff suffered a minimally displaced pelvic fracture, which eventually resulted in urinary incontinence. She underwent painful and invasive physical therapy, but her injuries would ultimately require surgery. Plaintiff had an Interstim device implanted to alleviate her incontinence symptoms. However, she continues to suffer from her injuries and will most likely require future surgeries to replace the device’s batteries and leads. Her past medical expenses were approximately $205,000, and her future medical expenses could range from $300,000 to $500,000 depending on the cost of the future surgeries.
Prior to this injury, the plaintiff enjoyed working as a hospital housekeeper. After the accident, she was unable to continue working due to the severity of her injuries. Her past wage loss was approximately $110,000 with future wage loss of $122,000.00.
Zaner Harden Law sued the defendant driver and his employer under respondeat superior as the defendant was on duty at the time of the incident on behalf of their client. There was also evidence that the defendant driver was using his cell phone at the time of the incident. The Zaner Harden team asserted defendant employer failed to provide adequate training to the defendant driver. They argued that defendant did not train the driver to operate a motor vehicle, nor did they require the driver to watch safety training videos. The training would have most likely prevented the incident leading to their client’s injuries.
The defendant’s insurance company initially offered to settle the claim for $350,000. Zaner Harden Law and their client refused the settlement and proceeded to trial. The defense claimed the plaintiff was negligent for parking too close to the defendant’s truck. They further claimed she should have avoided the truck as their client backed into her car and herself. The Zaner Harden team successfully argued otherwise. The jury agreed and awarded their plaintiff $1,350,972.00, assessing 90% of the liability to the defendant driver, and 10% of the liability to the employer. The parties have since settled.
Advocate Capital, Inc. is proud to support Zaner Harden Law and all plaintiff attorneys as they fight for justice on behalf of those injured through the fault of others. The attorneys and staff at Zaner Harden Law take pride in their profession and are proud to represent their clients as they face and fight corporate giants.
Zaner Harden Law is located in Downtown Denver, with office locations in Boulder and Colorado Springs, Colorado. The firm specializes in plaintiff injury and represents clients in Motor Vehicle Accidents, Insurance Disputes, and Defective Products & Drugs matters. The partners, Marc Harden and Kurt Zaner, are members of Super Lawyers, Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Top 100 National Trial Lawyers, and have appeared on Good Morning America, World News Tonight.
Advocate Capital Inc. would like to Congratulate Marc Harden, Kurt Zaner and the entire Zaner Harden Law team on a job well done!
Executive Client Manager
Authored By: Rachel Markin
Trucking companies are required to act in a reasonably safe manner and to comply with all federal and state regulations.
Personal injury attorney Matthew A. Dolman shared several steps in his Legal Examiner article that companies should take when hiring drivers. Dolman says these steps could ensure drivers will not pose an unreasonable risk to others while on the road.
- Ensure that a driver is properly licensed and qualified to operate a certain type of commercial vehicle
- Review an applicant’s driving history to determine whether they have a pattern of dangerous behaviors on the road or traffic violations
- Review an applicant’s criminal history to determine whether they have a history of driving under the influence or other relevant crimes
- Ensure that a driver has passed the required medical evaluation
Attorney Dolman notes that when a company “hires unqualified or potentially risky drivers, it may be liable if that driver then causes an accident.”
To read more about how trucking companies may be found negligent in supervision, truck inspection, covering up driver violations and more, click here.
Photo Credit: welcomia
Every year our company holds an annual meeting at our corporate headquarters in Nashville to review what we accomplished in the current year and begin planning our goals and objectives for the new year.
Last week we were honored to have our wonderful friend and client Rocky McElhaney as our guest speaker. Our group learned so much about what it means to be a trial lawyer as well as the commitment and perseverance that is part of this profession. Rocky shared some real-life case experiences, examples of his commitment to his team of professionals known throughout our city as “Gladiators in Suits,” and a few of the many ways he gives back to his chosen vocation.
Rocky was recently selected as the Best Lawyer in Nashville for the 3rd consecutive year in the Nashville Scene Reader’s Poll. Additionally, he will be inducted as the President of the Tennessee Trial Lawyers’ Association at the annual convention in June 2018.
Everyone here at Advocate Capital, Inc. is proud to support the important work done by trial lawyers like Rocky McElhaney and his team protecting our 7th Amendment rights.
Senior Vice President
Advocate Capital, Inc. continues to grow year after year, and this year we’re providing a bit more proof of our growing team with our newest company photo.
Recently, our team gathered together to take our 2017 group photo with the direction and expertise of Annette McNamara Photography.
We’ve added another version of our photo, too. Do you reckon any of us has a future in joining the Rockettes?
While we’re not really Rockette material, we do celebrate our purpose to help plaintiff attorneys get even better results for their clients. Everyone here at Advocate Capital, Inc. considers it a privilege to support the important work done by trial lawyers.
Thank you for a tremendous year. We look forward to 2018 and continuing our partnership with plaintiff attorneys to protect 7th Amendment rights for all people.
Authored By: Iris Garrett
You may recall that our Advocate Capital, Inc. Team Hope made a visit to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee last month as part of this year’s Injury Board Day of Action (you can read about our experience here). However, not only did our team pledge to help the food bank sort and pack frozen goods on that specific day, but we also pledged to donate a few items of our own throughout the entire holiday season.
For the past month, Advocate Capital has been hosting a food drive for Second Harvest. We have been collecting some of the food bank’s most-needed items (canned meat, canned vegetables and fruit, soup, cereal, peanut butter, and pasta) in an effort to go above and beyond for the 1 in 7 Middle Tennesseans who struggle to put food on the table every day. We also set a goal to raise $1,000 in online food donations to submit to Second Harvest. We are excited to share that we exceeded that goal by collecting $1,063—enough to provide more than 4,000 meals for Tennesseans in need!
In addition to the money raised in our online food drive, Advocate Capital Team Hope members brought in 133 pounds of food into the office within the last month! Thank you to all who donated and supported Second Harvest’s mission to fight hunger and provide hope in Middle and West Tennessee! We are thankful to be able to work together with the nonprofit to make an impact on our community.
Authored By: Candace Whitman
Consumers of any product or service want to feel like they are getting an excellent value for their money, and legal clients are no exception. However, value is not only equated through winning a case or a large settlement, value can also be found in the wisdom, expertise and empathy that your law firm provides to clients.
Build a trusting relationship with your clients.
Your clients are most likely stressed out and upset by their situation so having a lawyer that listens and empathizes with their situations is valuable. Let your client know that you understand and are on their side. Larson says, “To the client, a legal problem is a fight—one they can’t win on their own—and their lawyer is the warrior they have chosen to go into battle on their behalf. Fight as if your client’s fate and future are in your hands—because they often are.”
Manage your client’s expectations.
From the very beginning of your relationship with your client, be honest about your expectations of the case: how long the case could take, how much it could cost, what the potentials outcomes could be, etc. Larson explains that managing your client’s expectations throughout your relationship can help to prevent “unhappy surprises.”
Ask your client frequently if they are satisfied.
Throughout your client’s case, ask how they are feeling about your plans and actions so far. Larson suggests asking questions such as, “What will success look like to you? Does this sound like an effective strategy? Are you comfortable with the steps we’ve outlined?” These question and ones that are similar will allow you to gauge how your client is feeling about their experience with your firm and the progress of their case.
To read more ways you can prove your value to your clients, click here to read the full article.
Photo Credit: Katarzyna Białasiewicz
Authored By: Krista Kemmerly
Face-to-face meetings occur all the time within a law firm. Have you ever thought about how the setting of your meetings could affect your communication with clients?
- Design a room that’s squarish, not an elongated rectangle. This is important because it allows for making good eye contact with everyone in the room. Having an elongated rectangle could make clients feel isolated.
- Invest in smaller, two- to three-person tables. You don’t want your tables to seem too deep. This can cause distance between the speaker and the clients.
- Install flooring that allows people to come and go silently. This will help people focus when conversating. Having hard floors can cause for a noise issue surrounding the conversation which will not be beneficial to the meeting.
For more of these helpful tips click here.
Photo Credit: Denis Ismagilov
Authored By: Candace Whitman
It’s time to begin wrapping up 2017 and setting your sights on the new year. Sean Sands, Digital Marketing Expert with FindLaw, provides a few marketing tips to help you get your law practice ready for 2018.
If your firm has a blog, you may have experienced the frustration of coming up with blog ideas, especially during busy times. At the end of this year, think about your future self and sit down to “build a content calendar.” Coming up with a flexible schedule for your upcoming blog content and social media posts can help your 2018 run smoother; this can include marking down the days you want to post, brainstorming blog ideas, or stockpiling a few blogs to post later when you are pressed for time.
Another tip Sands gives in his article is to take some time to evaluate your online reviews. It is important to ensure that there are enough online reviews available about your firm for consumers to confidently choose you over other firms. Sands suggests sending holiday cards to former clients to thank them and, if the bar association in your state allows it, encourage them to leave your firm an online review.
In addition to looking at your online reviews, you may also want to check that the information available online about your firm is updated; this includes your firm’s name, phone number, address, etc. There are numerous directories online that you may want to check for inaccuracies.
To read the full article, click here. Good luck with your 2018 preparations!
Photo Credit: Hongqi Zhang
Authored By: Iris Garrett
When you think of last week’s Cyber Monday, there is probably a specific online retailer that comes to mind: Amazon. And while shopping on Amazon is not specific to that one day promotion, the company’s website probably attracted hundreds of thousands of people on November 27th with its cyber deals. The key to Amazon’s success? Online marketing.
So, how can Amazon’s marketing strategies apply to your law firm? Well, if you own a small practice, they may not be able to. Brad Buelow of FindLaw says small law firms shouldn’t look to retailers that sell products for inspiration, but rather shift their focus to retailers that provide services. An example of which are those on Angie’s List, an online directory of contractors and service providers.
Buelow says there are valuable marketing strategies you can learn from these service providers, one of which is remaining aware of the difference between selling products and selling services. He says selling products often steers businesses to focus on the features, uses and advantages an item has over a competing product. Businesses selling services focus on proven experience (testimonials, ratings, reviews), successful outcomes of their work (before-and-after photos), and the risks of not taking adequate measures to fix a problem.
Buelow says approaching marketing in this way conveys a more personal message than the average retailer’s message and also appeals to the consumer base. While shoppers on Amazon compare products, service consumers on Angie’s List consider their options. Knowing this, Buelow says the contractors on the site offer information that allows potential customers to imagine how much better their circumstances would by choosing that contractor’s business.
Owners of small law firms can also market their firms online in a meaningful way. Buelow says the key to resonating with potential clients is by telling them a story about a specific case, but one that is also generic enough for clients to envision a similar outcome for their legal issue. He gives these four tips for crafting a powerful story:
- Include a clear before, during and after.
- Explain the initial situation and your client’s goal.
- Identify the risks or discoveries that stood in the way of reaching that goal.
- Show your success in overcoming challenges and delivering a great outcome for the client.
To read Brad Buelow’s full article, click here.
Photo Credit: bacho12345