In the latest episode of the In Camera Podcast, Grace and Liel tackle the evolving landscape of employment retention tax credits with new insights from a recent conference. They unravel the complexities of IRS processing challenges, fraud impacts, and the potential for claim closures and re-openings, delivering essential updates for the legal sector.
Shifting focus, they also dissect the intricacies of legal marketing, emphasizing ethical lead generation and the nuanced regulations surrounding veterans’ settlements. The dialogue is a call to action for law firms to prioritize transparency and compliance in their marketing strategies.
Listeners are treated to vital takeaways on leveraging financial incentives like tax credits, the importance of ethical marketing to maintain a law firm’s integrity, and the need for proactive adaptation to regulatory changes. This episode is a treasure trove for legal professionals aiming to navigate the intricate dynamics of tax opportunities and marketing ethics in today’s legal environment.
Welcome to our conversation.
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Liel: [00:00:00] The Employee Retention Tax Credit, also known as Irtc, is a financial incentive for businesses offering a refundable tax credit on wages paid to employees during the Covid 19 pandemic. Many law firms benefited from this incentive, but others missed out. I’m Liel Levy, co-founder of Nanato Media and author of “Beyond Se Habla Español” How Lawyers Win the Hispanic Market, and this is in Camera podcast, where we still have hope that the Irtc is not dead. Welcome to In Camera Podcast, private legal marketing conversations. Grace. Welcome back. How are you today? Good.
Grace: [00:01:04] How are you, Liel?
Liel: [00:01:05] Doing great, Grace. Our first episode on 2024. So very excited to get started.
Grace: [00:01:09] So am I. Um, so be a really interesting one, I think.
Liel: [00:01:12] I think so as well, Grace, because there’s been quite a few developments. Right. And I will let you get right into one of those, because we met at a conference not too long ago, just a couple of weeks ago at the National Trial Lawyer Summit. And the word out there was strong with regards to what was going to be happening in the future of employment retention tax credits. There has been some, uh, serious developments. And actually a lot of that was happening right as we were at the conference. So, Grace, now that it’s been a few weeks since then, why don’t you tell us the latest scoop and where things are standing right now with that?
Grace: [00:01:51] All right. So these developments seem to be happening almost daily honestly. And you know, we have our own tax attorney on staff and so we keep to up to date on all of this. But not just keep up to date. We have our own opinions of course. Right. And I think everybody kind of has their own opinions about what’s going on. So just to kind of lay it out there for everyone, you might recall that the employee retention tax credit was for businesses that get people on their payroll during Covid, and they’re trying they were trying to help people, the business owners that kept people on their payroll by giving them a tax credit for the time that they kept them on payroll, if they had a supply chain disruption, if they had, um, uh, direct revenue losses. That was one of the easiest ways to kind of tell. And then they also write what they call the the, um, suspension test. So that a little harder. But basically it’s your affected your problems. You had issues and you still kept people paid. So just with that kind of in, in your mind, knowing that, you know, it went, it started, you know, a certain period of time, they had so many submissions, the IRS got so many submissions because, um, they were able to only process maybe 50 out of 5000 that they got in the first month that this was open. So the IRS kind of was looking at all of these, you know, submissions coming through. And of course, fraud started popping up in their head. So it became a situation for the IRS where they couldn’t process, they didn’t have enough people, and they believed that there was a lot of fraud happening because of what happened with PPP as an example.
Grace: [00:03:26] Right. And they were reviewing some of these claims and noticing that most of them in their minds, uh, as part of the tests that they have, did not pass. So they put a moratorium. Right. And during this moratorium, this was just at the end of last year. They didn’t allow any more claims to be filed. So people kind of stopped filing. They stopped looking at this whole situation and they stopped, you know, really paying attention to the employee retention tax credit. Then all of a sudden we have all the spending bills and all the spending, and we’re in an election year. So where are they going to get the money? Well, this is what they kind of figured out at the government level. Let’s take the money. Nobody’s complaining about it right now and nobody’s saying anything against us taking the money from the employee retention tax credit to fund something else. So the concept was, let’s end it. There’s too much fraud. There’s too many problems happening. So let’s let’s talk about taking that money and reallocating it. That’s what happened in this, this year. Um, with all of that. And so that’s what we were, we have been talking about kind of between us. And that’s what we were talking about. The national trial lawyers was, oh, no, now they’re going to say that they’re stopping it completely. So it kind of opened up, I guess, for maybe two weeks, sort of, kind of maybe.
Liel: [00:04:48] When because I heard that the deadline was going to be end of January, and now we are February 2nd day that we’re recording this. So did it. Yeah. Deadline.
Grace: [00:04:59] They think it did. They think it did. As we are operating under the assumption that January 31st was the last date to file postmarked claims to the IRS. So as long as you got it postmarked, you were able to get it in by January 31st. Then you have a claim filed with the IRS. Now, the situation with that is they believe and we believe potentially, that they are going to do one of two things. They’re either going to pass it retroactively in about two weeks for it to end January 31st, which is why, you know, I think a lot of the tax attorneys and like our firm rushed to get as many people as we could and get them filed right by January 31st. Correct. So that’s what happened with that. But there also there’s another school of thought on this whole situation, and they believe that they may open it back up, but only to April 24th, which gives people. Will a few more months potentially to file more claims.
Liel: [00:06:01] And how are we supposed to find out about that? Like when when would that be announced? Or how is this going to be communicated in about two weeks?
Grace: [00:06:08] In about two weeks, they believe that they’re they’re going to make a decision on this specific bill. Uh, unfortunately it’s mainly attorneys, it seems like, that are privy to this information the moment it happens. It doesn’t seem like a lot of people are aware, and it doesn’t seem to be posted directly on the IRS website, at least not immediately in most cases.
Liel: [00:06:28] Right, Grace. And so just so to recapitulate here a little bit. So this basically impacts people that have not taken action that have not filed for tax, you know, a claim for receiving back tax credits. And we’ve been saying it right. Like we’ve been saying it. Don’t wait. Don’t sit on this too long. Because like if I recall correctly, our first episode of 2023 was already giving kind of like a yellow flag alert as to, you know. It’s the countdown now. We’re starting kind of like with the countdown months. Uh, at the time, it was on the amount that you were eligible to collect, like it was going to start. Kind of like reducing the number of active months. You correct. And now it seems that it has reached an end. Grace, I think you know a lot to be learned from employment retention tax credits. I think it’s been kind of like something very interesting how it developed in the, uh, legal space. One one of the things that and we, you and I were having a conversation about this also a few months ago when, when, when you were at a panel discussing this topic, was how interesting it was to see the lawyers respond to the model of contingency based services for themselves, for their businesses and how. It’s a really good kind of like exercise, I think, particularly for those who also, through their firms, offer contingency based services because it allows you to understand the model of like, this is too good to be true, sort of kind of like, where is the catch? Well, there’s no real catch.
Liel: [00:08:19] The catch is that parties get paid. It just doesn’t come out of your pocket, you understand? And so there’s no really you’re losing here. And I guess, you know, within the community, I think a lot of, a lot of, uh, firms signed up on this one. One of the other things that I think was very prevalent was was the belief or the idea that, why do you want to mess up with the IRS? Like, you know, you’re going to get, um, blacklisted or whatever, and then they’re going to come back at you and audit you or something. And so I think that’s also been kind of like also a very popular approach that many took with regards to this. But overall, I think, you know, it was for me, particularly very interesting to see how these things just expanded. Right? Because I remember it started as a very niche conversation in places like these where, you know, I remember, I don’t know, I think it was kind of like mid 2022, maybe we had the first conversation on this like very like it’s just coming up and so get on it right now and so forth and so on. And then, you know, fast forward two years later and you have, uh, TV spots in Univision talking about, uh, la compensation para “Los trabajadores de la pandemia”. Right. Like it’s really gone full circle here. So I think it was it was a good opportunity to witness how things develop nowadays in our multi-channel, super viral content era, don’t you think?
Grace: [00:09:51] Yeah, I really do. I mean, the way all of it and then including the sense of urgency and kind of even the demographic. Right. Because it’s small to medium sized businesses, it wasn’t for large businesses, you had to have under 500 employees. So it was meant for a very particular group of people. So to see how it all developed and then expanded and then people became aware of it, it was very interesting. And now it’s kind of on the flip side, because there’s more to be had on this, even though it’s no longer technically viable. Um, because they haven’t decided, but there’s still another part of it. And that’s the review amend defend. So you know, at the firm, we have a whole other practice area that’s actually looking at specifically taking care of those that have filed claims and believe that maybe someone did something wrong on their own claim. So, you know, the government actually allowed for and that was part of this program. They allowed for people to say, I made a mistake. If I already got the money, then I only have to pay 80% back if I tell you I made the mistake. Meaning telling the IRS that the claim that was filed, not that it was fraudulent, it was mistakenly filed at whatever level it was. And if you already got the money, then they’re only making you pay 80% back of the money. So it’s it’s not bad. That’s not a bad thing that the IRS is trying to do. They’re trying to help people that may have, um, been unfortunately, you know, predatory, um, become victims to the predatory marketing companies that are out there that may have said, you qualify, you qualify.
Grace: [00:11:30] And then they didn’t actually do any true testing of their numbers to make sure it truly qualifies, so that the IRS allowed for these people to kind of come back. And then if you didn’t get money yet, but you did file and you know the file is wrong, you can retrieve that file, amend it, and then refile the IRS was trying and they still are trying at this point to get people to fess up to their own situation, take care of it, so that when the IRS does start actually processing these claims now, because that’s what they have to. Right? I mean, they’ve just been sitting there for now, two years, like you said. Um, some have gotten paid out, but I’d say the majority have not. People have been waiting in some cases, you know, six months to a year more because the IRS just hasn’t gotten to it. So, you know, they’re trying to create this whole review, amend, defend like situation and create an environment so that people can own up to whatever mistakes they may have had made, retract them, and then us as a firm, we can help them fix that problem in terms of the tax planning part of it, you know, so it’s it’s not dead in the water in terms of other tax credits that you can get as a business, but the employee retention tax credit seems to be on hold, at least for the next two weeks.
Liel: [00:12:53] Okay.
Liel: [00:12:54] Yeah. So I guess we’ll have to wait and see. And for the next episode, we’ll hopefully going to have some some new developments and such. But obviously if you fall in the bucket of those that are having now kind of like, you know. Real FOMO. Yeah. Or second thoughts like this. This is it. The lifeline of this is already kind of life gone on over time. And it would be sounds kind of like almost miraculous. And a lot of, uh, goodwill if this thing were to reopen, so. Grace. Let’s now shift gears a little bit here, because one of the things that we like to keep track on here is mass torts. Right? And so obviously, it’s been a while since we’ve last recorded, and the assumption is that there may have been some developments and who knows, maybe even new. Mass torts coming up to the spotlight. So what updates do we have there?
Grace: [00:13:53] So, um, you know, there’s actually quite a bit happening. Um, I wouldn’t say that there’s anything really new new. But what’s happening with Camp Lejeune? Of course, everyone’s super interested in Camp Lejeune still, right? Camp Lejeune ends in August of this year. So that’s one of the first things I need to tell everybody. You need to if you’re going to get into Camp Lejeune at all, you better have already gotten in or you’re can you.
Liel: [00:14:16] Can can you at this point get into Camp Lejeune?
Grace: [00:14:19] You can, you can.
Liel: [00:14:20] Is there anything to get into?
Grace: [00:14:21] There is um, I wouldn’t say necessarily in terms of spending a ton of money on it, but if you’re involved with, you know, another firm or somebody that’s already got advertising going and they’re known to be, you know, a reputable firm, then yes, I would say it’s still an opportunity.
Liel: [00:14:37] So you’re one you’re one foot in. But having really call the shots. Okay. All right. So if you’re that person what’s happening with completion.
Grace: [00:14:45] So if you’re that person Camp Lejeune right now ends in August 24th, 2024 this year. Um, and I’d say most people stop taking cases in July because you have to prove out the case. They have opened up tier one, so they added additional tier one injuries to B tier one. And for everyone here, what that means is the elective option. Those are the tier one injuries. So you get more money. And that means they could fast track for the payments. So the way the whole litigation works for Camp Lejeune with the tier one injuries, especially now that they opened up more, they have six months to review the claim. Then they offer you a settlement, after which case you have 60 days to accept or reject the settlement. Remember, they kept the fees at 20% for attorneys on Camp Lejeune. So it’s actually somewhat appetizing to legitimate claimants as well. And the reason I’m saying there’s still people out there is because a large amount of the ones that were signed up, unfortunately, were fraud. We’re in India, we’re here or we’re there. So unfortunately a lot of those were not real claims. So you know, yeah.
Liel: [00:15:56] That that was massive. That was a that was massive. I mean honestly and I I’m just gonna not not to hijack here the conversation into a different direction. But that’s been a very hot topic lately. In every conversation that has to do with Mass torts, and particularly where there’s a business of law track and the point of lead generation is being discussed, like the ethics, the need for for lead generation companies to disclose their processes has been completely normalized to the point that it is expected from any person that is providing you leads to not just, you know, give you some bullshit accreditation that it’s been vetted from, from the point as to how the audience, how how the targeting is happening all the way down to how is the lead being verified as authentic. The whole thing is, uh, or has to be very transparent. I was very impressed by here, you know, um, a conversation I really don’t remember. What was the name of the, uh, member of Brunton Partners who gave a presentation on this during Trial Lawyer summit. And it was, um. Yeah, it was just all about, um, due diligence and marketing ethics when it comes down to Mass torts. So back to you, Grace.
Grace: [00:17:23] We even get letters of opinion, and then we have our ethics attorney review them. So we we take it extra, extra step further. And then on top of that we ask them to sign an indemnification agreement. We require a tcpa compliance agreement. We require et cetera, et cetera. Et cetera. And then right exactly to your point, we want to know that there’s a trusted verification form, and the IP address is being saved at the level of the form that we get. I want to know exactly where it comes from no matter what. And yes, we definitely have gotten I wouldn’t say crazy, but it’s it’s what it has to be at this point because of so much fraud in the mass tort world and just lead gen in general. You know, they keep reselling the same things. People that have been disqualified get resold. And, you know, they they’re given even the real legitimate people that get disqualified. They’re given additional hope that another firm might take them when. Yeah, the marketer knows very well that that’s not going to be the case. They’re just trying to resell that lead. So, you know, it’s an ugly situation. But I think yeah, you know, with reputable firms and you know, reputable companies and lead gen partners like yourself. Liel you know what I mean? You’re not a lead gen. You’re a. Yeah. The way I see your company is, is a brand builder. Yeah. And that’s what people need to be looking for is not lead gen partners. Yeah. You look for brand building partners. Yeah. Because otherwise it’s a one and done. Yeah. You know you and I talk about this all the time.
Liel: [00:18:54] That’s right. I mean, you know there’s a place for religion and it it’s understandable that a place in a market like Mass torts need kind of like a collective effort. And so lead generation is sort of like a prevalent model in there. But it’s just it’s just being contaminated, unfortunately, by just, you know, people coming in trying to find a way to make a quick buck at the expense of both victims and firms. And so, you know, it’s a place that you just need to venture with a lot of caution. And most importantly, um, you know, do you do your homework and don’t just, you know, I heard the other day a little clip from, um, I think, I think it was in LinkedIn from, uh, Michael Mogul’s podcast, and he was just it was it was a short clip where he was saying, look, if it sounds too good to be true, it’s because it’s not like it’s not what it’s they say it is. And it’s just so right. Like, we all know it. We all know it. If if the promise, if the value sounds like you get all of this and you don’t have to pay enough, you don’t have to lift a finger, you don’t have to. It’s because probably the result is not what is being portrayed to you. Right? We understand. We know. We expect that to generate and to run a proper campaign and to vet properly leads and to generate quality leads, it’s going to have to there’s going to be a cost. Sure. You want to find efficient, the most efficient way of doing it, but there is a. Difference between trying to do it efficiently and trying to hack the system. There is not such thing. There is not such thing. Right? So, you know, uh, you just need to face reality and make smart choices. That’s that’s good. Grace. Look, I like this Camp Lejeune. Um, update. Honestly, you know, it’s it’s it’s such a heartbreaking, you know, mass tort as a whole, and I think. Just as an outsider looking into it. It’s.
Liel: [00:21:07] It’s a it’s it’s nice to.
Liel: [00:21:09] Hear that something is happening faster. Right. Like we’ve had mass torts that when we started this podcast back in 2019. We’ve been it’s been going on. Right. Like like the the thing’s been there and it’s still going on and there’s been progress and there’s been settlements. And you know, we understand that that’s the nature of mass torts. But when you look at something as camp Lejune being really fast tracked through the whole process, um, it gives you hope that, you know, just justice can be attained and one can argue, is it enough? Are there people that are not going to get, you know, fully or or well or compensated in the way that they deserve? Very likely there’s going to be those as well. But I think when you look at the whole situation as a whole, I think it, it, it pretty much looks like something to be, to be hopeful about, both from the from the legal side of things and from the veteran side of things. And, and I think also one of the things that really. Looking back at it in retrospect. Like what? What’s been one of the of the of the bigger the bigger you know, the learning lessons from from Camp Lejeune and correct me here, Grace, if I’m wrong or not.
Liel: [00:22:32] But it was like it was, again, like the mass torts the way that it was being, uh, sold as a potential lawsuit to firms. It was it was one of those too good to be true scenarios. Right? It was one of those like, like lawyers heard about this and they thought like, this is it like I’m retiring on this one. Like, that’s it. Once I get once I get cases on this, I won’t have to do anything else. That was the feeling that that that that’s how people were jumping into this mass tort. And then it kind of like went like, wait a second, wait a second. No, there is not such thing as you guys are going to collect 40% of the of, of, of the compensation. Just because you’re filling out a couple of forms like this is not what’s going to happen here. Am I oversimplifying here what happened? Or.
Grace: [00:23:23] No, that’s actually the best way. I’ve heard it simplified because that was the reality of it. People that, you know, they’re like, oh no, no greedy lawyers. Sorry, you’re just filling out a form and putting proof of presence and the records. That’s all you got to get? No. Absolutely not. You’re not getting 40%. It’s 20% and it’s 25%. If you have to go to litigation, you only get an extra 5%. No. Right. Absolutely not. Because it’s a form it. And and you’re right it the whole situation it looked like a a mad dash to make money. And unfortunately the bill didn’t pass. But they talked about it and they knew it was going to pass. So I’d say a good percentage of the law firms, all the ethical law firms and us included, did not touch one Camp Lejeune lead until that bill was officially passed.
Liel: [00:24:17] That’s right, I remember that. I remember that, and there was a lot of advertising already back up on the air, like when when before then. And that that was actually that, that that was the you know, that’s the whole I think that encapsulates like that launch encapsulates the fate of, of the whole competition thing. Right. Like, it, it, it just got completely shattered before it even got started. I think looking at all of that. That’s where I built my opinion. Like, you know, the fact that we are here and the. The initial goal is, is, is is there it’s being, uh, you know, it’s coming close to, to be achieved. I think I think it’s a win. Is it what everybody expected it was going to be? Arguably not. But I, I would also say I mean, maybe for, for better. Right. I mean, I don’t know, I think I think it would have sent a very bad message. Um.
Grace: [00:25:20] To I agree there veterans, everyone, every marine has gone through Camp Lejeune. Almost every single marine has had to go through Camp Lejeune. So this has affected the people that have fought for the freedom of our country. Yeah. You better believe I am personally very happy. As much as we’re a firm and we make money on fees, I like to be able to tell them, hey, guess what? This is the 20% retainer fee. This is not a 40% because this is a bill that’s been passed and the attorney’s fees are capped. I have no problem telling them that. As a matter of fact, I’m happy to be able to tell them that as a law firm. Yeah. You know, because I agree with you. This is a fast track claim form that they’re just filling out and then processing through the government to just get the money quickly. So, you know, between 100 and 500 K if you’re in tier one and it’s fast tracked. Definitely. Capping the fees was a good move and it was a good move for the clients, and that they’re guaranteed their compensation as long as they meet the criteria. That’s nothing like any of these other mass torts. Yeah. You know this is you match, you meet, you’re done. That’s great. I’ve never heard that in any mass tort you know it’s you match, you meet. You’re lucky if you’re done in a year or two. You know, if you’re part of the original settlements, I mean, talcum. How long has talc been going on? Yeah. So.
Liel: [00:26:33] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Grace: [00:26:36] I think they’re trying to push the veteran stuff a lot faster than anything. Yeah, well, I.
Liel: [00:26:39] Mean, I, you know, I’m settled. Yeah. And it gives you a.
Liel: [00:26:43] Very good contrast. Right. Because it’s kind of like really shows when you are going for. Government, uh, regulated and so forth. And when you’re going with big corporation like, I mean, especially big pharma and, and that stuff, it’s like it’s it’s it’s just.
Grace: [00:27:00] Night and day, completely different experience.
Liel: [00:27:02] I mean, look, and it’s here you’d argue that. There isn’t enough of, um, regulation and enough of structure even for for government things. But it’s good that, um. At least this one is moving fast. Grace. Let’s let’s, um, let’s move on and see whether there’s any other thing that is.
Liel: [00:27:32] Worth.
Liel: [00:27:34] You know, stopping for a moment and appreciate when it comes down to to to the mass tort.
Liel: [00:27:41] So space you.
Grace: [00:27:42] Know that the reason I alluded to, you know, veterans and the situation with veterans is because the three M settlement program, um, is in effect at the moment. And that’s right. They capped the expenses. For the settlement program. So it’s another thing that’s trying to take care of our veterans and guarantee them at least a minimum amount of compensation. So they’re basically saying that your expenses cannot equal more than X, and if they equal more than x, the compensation cannot be less than 50% of the fees or excuse me, less than 50% of the compensation given. So you need to reduce your expenses even if you reduce your attorney’s fees. We don’t care what you have to do, but you’re going to have to reduce it so that they get a minimum of 50% of what they’re doing. So it’s, you know, they really I think they’re trying to put regulations in place for at least taking care of our veterans because all the three M earplugs are all veterans. Right? So it’s you know, it was nice to see that, you know, it’s it’s caused a little bit of a, a hiccup on, you know, people that have used medical record providers that charge a very specific fee, you know, and things like that. But to me, it opens up the opportunity to have these conversations like we’re having right now where fees should be capped, you know, and the way the government is working right now towards having health information very protected but also accessible to the individual.
Grace: [00:29:16] It’s moving in that direction and things are getting better. I don’t think they’re anywhere near where they need to be to be able to have access to your own health data, because it’s still very difficult for even our own veterans to get their own records. Luckily, most of them are able to just download it directly from the Veterans Affairs. If they’re able to, you know, they log in and they download it using a blue button records request. But if we ask for it on behalf and it’s in a civilian facility. Why should they pay tons of money for their own records? So everything is kind of moved towards that direction, and that includes the expenses that we’re allowed to charge for those medical record requests. So I think that it needs to be an industry kind of wide situation. Um, and that any of these medical record retrieval companies, they also need to be kind of capped on the ability to charge as much money as they do. In a lot of cases, they add additional services and things like that around it. But I think we are kind of moving towards, no, I don’t want to pay $300, $500, $600 for my full record set because you charge me an administrative fee for my own records.
Grace: [00:30:28] You know, I think that as long as we’re getting towards that and what it looks like we are, I think that we’re going to be able to help all our people more and more. And the reason I’m mentioning this is because we’re actually working with two potential new medical record retrieval companies that can reduce the time to get the records, um, significantly. Um, and they can also do verification, to your point. So, you know, how Experian does that, like asks you, uh, five questions and you need to get at least three, right? Yeah. It’s a very similar sort of system. You upload the ID, you make sure it’s a real person, you send them the HIPAA, you know, electronic HIPAA, basically, um, you verify them their address or through five questions, and then you do the records request and it supposedly takes about three minutes. I haven’t had a chance to test it just yet. We’re supposed to test it next week, but so far it sounds like it will allow us to do verification, see if the person is a legitimate human being, and then pull the records in under three minutes. That’s a huge win.
Liel: [00:31:33] Yeah, very, very big game changer. I, uh, actually, yeah, I heard the pitch of that a few months back. I think it was in, uh, you know, in Arizona.
Liel: [00:31:43] On.
Liel: [00:31:43] That one, but. Yeah, absolutely. Very, you know, that’s that’s another really fun thing that I, I think I’ve seen over the past year or so especially is like seeing newer, um. Companies come up and kind of like disrupting a little bit the. Old way of doing some of the processes in case handling, particularly that the one that has to do between the medical and and and legal synergies. Um, I think there’s been a lot of really interesting. Um. New things coming up that are just, you know, a little bit disrupting what used to be the status quo and finding out ways to significantly cost, uh, do cost cutting and at the same time increase, uh, increase speed and obviously offer more. Popular or not, I would say better design, uh, plans that allow you to kind of, like, pay more on demand as opposed as to, you know, have high membership fees and stuff. Look, this is obviously not my area of expertise when it comes down to handling medical records, but obviously, uh, well understood. That is one of those challenges that oftentimes slow down the process of being able to to move cases through the pipeline. Right. And so obviously that is that that is one of those goals any particularly personal injury law firm should have is the ability of, you know, like move on quickly.
Liel: [00:33:39] Yeah. Yeah. Right. Yeah.
Grace: [00:33:40] Because that is an every firm I’ve ever been in, any firm I’ve ever talked to that is always the most. Cumbersome part of the process. Document retrieval. No matter what practice area you’re in, it doesn’t matter. I mean IRC, it was the problem. You needed documents to prove their case right? Their payroll, the this, the this and getting documents is very difficult. Yeah. Period. You know, no matter where you have to get it. But medical records between all of the stuff that’s out there and you know, the how behind most health systems are, it’s nice to see the disruptors coming up. And to your point, what you just said, both companies, one is a model where it’s $300 and 48 hours, but it’s paid on demand, right? The other one is a model of $100 per, uh, up to or under three minutes. However, they will, um, they require a contract. Yeah. So it’s, you know, a big chunk of money that you have to pay up front, but then it’s only $100 actual record pool. Yeah. Or per case. So it’s, uh, we’re I’ll have more information as we come to the next one, but I thought that was a little more important even than, like you said, unfortunately, there’s so many mass torts out there that just keep going and going and going. And right now they’re kind of like that, honestly. You know, Ozempic is going up and down. You know, they find more about Ozempic than they did before. If you guys might recall, we talked very briefly about Ozempic on the last time. Yeah. You know, there’s really not much brand new at the moment.
Grace: [00:35:10] Um, and I think that mass torts is kind of quieted down a little bit. Um, and people are in that kind of wait and see moments right now, especially at the beginning of this year. Um, they’re trying to feel out what’s going on, where it’s going to go, is there going to be any reform. And that’s all because this is an election year, right? Like whenever elections come up, people always do kind of wait and see. I don’t want to spend my money too much on something that I don’t know what’s going to happen necessarily. So, you know, there’s not a whole lot to be said about it. But I’d say to create more efficiencies, you have to look at every single part of your process. And the most cumbersome is always going to be document collection. And you know me, when this stuff’s on my mind, I gotta mention it to people on the podcast because it’s like, I know if I’m experiencing this pain point, everyone is experiencing the same pain points at the same time. So, you know, I thought it would be important to mention that to people. And as soon as I can assess it, I will give you the names of those that I’m actually using. Because you know me, if I could find a good vendor or a good resource, I want everybody to have it too. You know, I would love to send them out to everybody so everyone can have the same experience and reduce their fraud and reduce situations that they might be in as well.
Liel: [00:36:22] So yeah.
Grace: [00:36:23] I’m excited. Hopefully I, I can have good news soon. Um, right now we’re waiting for letters of opinion, uh, from their ethics boards, that the way they obtain the health information is legally compliant. We’re going to be sending that over to our ethics attorney to have him review it as well. Um, and then we’re going to run a test, a small test with each of the companies. So I should in about two weeks, have a lot more information for you and everybody on here so that they can hear what the company’s names are and if it was a success or not. Um, you know me, I like trying new things, so I’m excited about this.
Liel: [00:37:00] That’s great.
Liel: [00:37:01] Grace, thank you so much for the insights, for the healthy dose of Mustard’s updates and news. And I would just want to wrap this up maybe by bringing it to three tips. Three takeaways, right? As we are rolling into halfway through the first quarter of 2024, what are some good insights, Grace, that you think we should keep in mind?
Grace: [00:37:28] I think the first and most important one is, yes, you’re a law firm and yes, you’re a lawyer, but you don’t know about all the potential tax credits out there for your firm. Reach out to people like us. Reach out to, you know, people like Ted Forman. They do understand what type of tax credits you can obtain as a law firm. And it’s not just IRC. There’s R&D tax credits, there’s work tax credits. There’s all kinds of credits that your business can take advantage of. So just forget the fact that you’re a lawyer because you don’t know everything about taxes. And there’s a lot of opportunities out there to help you. So please reach out because there’s tons of things out there that you don’t know about that can help your business gain a couple thousand dollars more. You know who doesn’t want that? So that’s my first takeaway. Yeah.
Liel: [00:38:19] Yeah. Great. Really, really, really good one. I will, um, jump in with, uh, takeaway number two. Um, and that is, you know. It’s always good to be a little bit informed about things that even you know, they’re not necessarily your bread and butter. These are not the things that you’re necessarily making money off, but they’re part of your industry and that are options for you. I think it’s important to be always open to at least listen and explore other, um, opportunities that might exist in your market. Right. And I think that’s what mass torts is for many lawyers. Right. It’s not necessarily what they’re what they got into law for. It’s not what they would, uh, handle in their own practices yet is an way that they can diversify their, their business, their investments and such. So, you know, if you happen not to have had a chance yet to do, uh, or to learn or to experience the opportunities that mass torts bring to the table, then maybe 2024 is a year that you want to. Give that an opportunity, right?
Grace: [00:39:37] That’s a good point. And just to add a little bit to what you said, you know, I think mass tort scares a lot of people. Um, they’re not used to seeing certain things. So, you know, if you don’t know, just ask. You know, there’s lots of resources out there. There’s plenty of conferences. People like us. We’re all here to help and give you more information to help you succeed in something you’re not comfortable with or aren’t aware of. And not everyone is right. Not everyone knows about mass torts or all the different types of mass torts. There are so definitely here to help.
Liel: [00:40:07] Yeah. Excellent. Excellent. And final takeaway Grace.
Grace: [00:40:12] So I’d say my final takeaway is, you know, explore. Besides exploring other options specific to opportunities you’re not aware of, look at the processes that cause you the biggest pain points like document retrieval and talk to other people about solutions. Um, I think for me, it’s important to mention to everybody on here you’re not alone. Um, and there’s other people with the same problem. And I know I’ve said it ten times, but it’s because it has been a problem for us for so long. And I think a lot of firms have the same exact problem. So if you have that problem, talk to resources, test them out, try them out. You’re you can see if they’re compliant, of course with letters of opinion just like I mentioned. But try them out because most people are so used to doing it the same way over and over again. I promise you, there’s there’s other resources out there, other people that have had the same problem and can give you another solution to your problem. And I know I’m talking about medical record retrieval specifically, because that’s what I talked about on here. But it’s really any point in your process that could be broken that you find things are dropping off, even retainers not getting signed quickly enough. There’s something wrong. Right. So I like things to always be split a b tested. I like to constantly check what’s going on with what I’m doing. Um, so just just look into your processes and procedures, pick the biggest pain point and do something about it.
Liel: [00:41:41] Love it. Grace! Well, thanks so much for good tips, good news, good updates with regards to my storage and we’ll be back at some point with some more new insights. Okay, Grace. Thank you so much for your time.
Grace: [00:41:53] Thank you.
Liel: [00:42:01] If you like our show, make sure you subscribe. Tell your coworkers. Leave us a review and send us your questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll see you next week.