It has been two years since our live MTMP spring session at the Wynn in Las Vegas. But this past week, over one thousand lawyers, paralegals, marketers, and industry people met at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas to share updates, network, and stand up for their values.
Attorney Michael Blom from the Lake Law Firm joins Grace and Liel to recap his experience at Mass Torts Made Perfect Spring Session 2022. He shares an overview of the presentation he gave covering co-counseling and an often overlooked program that grants up to $26,000 per employee to businesses impacted by the pandemic.
For Michael, the most valuable moments at the conference occurred outside the conference rooms. Still, they were more frequent during one-on-one conversations with acquaintances, prospect-partners, and even as a special guest on Power of Attorney: Atty Don Wroley’s TV Show.
That’s right, Atty Don Worley has his own TV Show.
Whether you were there in person or couldn’t make it this time, the conversation will provide you with a new perspective on how it was experienced by a panelist, an attorney, and a vendor all at once.
Resources mentioned in our episode:
Send us your questions at email@example.com
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Liel: [00:00:00] It has been two years since Master’s made perfect spring session took place in person. But last week over 1000 lawyers, paralegals and marketeers got around to win in Las Vegas to attend MTMP Spring 2022. 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. Welcome to our MTMP Spring 2022 Part one review episode. Welcome to our podcast, Private Legal Marketing Conversations. Grace Welcome back. How are you.
Grace: [00:01:01] Today? Good. How are you?
Liel: [00:01:02] Liel, Doing great Grace. Very, very happy is the first. No second. April, Friday that we are recording this amazing ride. This was this week was just Master’s Made Perfect And to talk about that, we have a very, very special guest. Grace. So let’s welcome back. Michael from the Lake Law Firm is here again. He’s already a friend of the podcast, so he does not need further introduction. You guys all know Michael. He’s joined us here also a couple of months ago to have a conversation about the American Association of Justice Conference Winter 2022. And this time Michael was not just attending Master, which made perfect but also gave a talk session during the event. So there’s a lot to talk about. So first and most importantly, welcome back, Michael. Thank you, Liel. That’s great to have you again. And I know you are exhausted. You are just telling me a moment ago that you’ve just landed from Las Vegas, correct?
Michael: [00:02:00] Yeah. Red eyes coming back to the East Coast are not friendly on anyone.
Liel: [00:02:03] Especially not from not when you’re coming back from Las Vegas. So let’s first get out of the way, the most important part of it all. And it was like, how much fun were the parties? What did we miss? Because neither Grace nor I were there. So we can understand your level of exhaustion just by saying how good those parties were or if they did not meet the expectations. You see, this is a no B.S. conversation space, so just tell us the truth.
Michael: [00:02:33] We actually had a really great party. It was called the Don Worley Party. And our firm, the Lake Law Firm, sponsored it. So it was before the kind of the big gala that the 11 Papantonio Rafferty put on. And it was even it looked more busy than the gala. So it was a great turnout and it was a Ukrainian support event. So that’s all QR codes up on the screen. And you could donate for a good cause, which I hope, you know, a lot of people did.
Liel: [00:03:05] Yes, that’s right. And actually, we were talking about that precisely last week. Grace Right. And needless to say, don’t worry, Mass Torts Made Perfect party does not need an introduction at this podcast, not only because we’ve talked about it so many times, but is actually this this is an interesting trivia piece of information for you. Michael in camera podcast was conceived I don’t really my it’s made perfect party actually in 20 right Grace right 2019 full master’s made perfect session at the Bellagio and Grace and I started out conversation there at the party that then led to this podcast. So it means a lot to us. And I, and I’m sure both of us are very bummed that we could not be there, but we are also very inspired by the fact everyone behind putting together this event, including yourself, did a great thing by refocusing the party for for a greater cause. And I think that speaks a lot.
Michael: [00:04:05] About I think they’re going to look into doing that going forward to kind of not just that it’s a big social gathering, but to have a positive cause attached to each of these.
Liel: [00:04:15] Why not? Honestly, why not? It’s not like there is not enough things to support and care about and raise awareness about. So I think it’s great. Honestly, I think it’s great. I think there is a time in place for everything also. But I see I think this these two things can can feed and and, you know, just live together moving forward. I don’t I don’t see necessarily being a detractor from the purpose of that party, which at the end of the day is for people to come together, start the conference with a high note and just networking and have a drink, right?
Michael: [00:04:55] That’s right.
Grace: [00:04:56] Well, and not only that, but you know, as our last podcast, right, Liel, we were talking about the social consciousness and friends have to do that nowadays. And you know, I think that that’s so important to, to throw a party for a cause rather than just throwing a party for a party sake, you know, or even networking.
Liel: [00:05:14] Yeah, I can see that being not just a trend, but a new way of doing things. So I really applaud you guys for for leading the way with that. And, you know, we talked about the parties sounds like it was good and fun. So you’re now excused for being so tired. But now let’s talk a little bit about the program. Right, because master’s made perfect is quite long of conference. It goes for two and one half days, but they are jam packed. And I one wonder if you had an opportunity to be on the first day on the business of Law Day where you around the conferences that had to do with the business of law or were you attending other seminars? Because that first day right there is there’s different things happening at the same time.
Michael: [00:06:02] That’s right.
Liel: [00:06:03] Important. There’s business of laws and then there’s class action. So as I said, jam packed.
Michael: [00:06:08] And they had a paralegal track too, I think for this one. But yeah, it was it was kind of almost too busy with meetings going on at the booth and just around the conference to attend those on the first day. And I was a panelist on the first day as well during the business of law, which was a really nice opportunity. I got to talk about turnkey co counseling, you know, the benefits generally of co counseling and how that works and how to do it right. And then also the employee retention tax credit program.
Liel: [00:06:40] Tell us a little bit more about it.
Michael: [00:06:42] Yeah. So I mean, you know, generally speaking for co counseling, kind of explaining to the newer attorneys who may be interested in and getting involved in mass tort cases and then referring them out, you know, what their role would be. Are they going to be doing the marketing and intake and sign up or are they going to be getting medical records and reviewing them as well and then referring them out? Or do they want to have a little bit more involvement in the cases? You know, so I talked about dividing the work and sharing responsibilities. How Attorney Fee splits work, obtaining client approval to share fees. Very important was referral reporting, you know, to have that timely and accurate explaining co counseling to your client. Sometimes that requires an attorney to get on the phone and speak to the client while you’re bringing in another co counsel on the case and also finding the right attorneys and law firms to co counsel with. Because over the years I’ve worked with different firms and attorneys. You can have some very good relationships and positive ones and also some ones that just don’t work out very well. And then at then kind of, you know, the advantages of co counseling with a mass marketing law firm like our law firm where we can get clients investing. Clients up to 60% of the net attorney’s fee by counseling with us on the cases we acquire for them.
Liel: [00:08:11] What are the questions that you most frequently get asked or maybe you got asked during or at the end of your session? What are the things? Some people’s minds kind.
Michael: [00:08:19] Of just where should they go for certain case types and what type of fees, what they should ask? Because, you know, generally speaking, it’s, you know, 33 and a third percent that you get for sending a case to a law firm, you know, whether it be a lead or a assigned case. But it varies based on how much work you’re doing on the case. If you’re signing the case or you’re getting records or you’re reviewing them, if you’re doing plaintiff fact sheet work and census forms, those can all go up and everything’s negotiable. So they were kind of, you know, what, some insight into getting a good fee split for the work that they would be doing. The other part of my speech was on the employee retention tax credits. I don’t know if you guys had covered that in a prior podcast, but I can go over it briefly, I think.
Liel: [00:09:12] I think we have. Right, Grace?
Grace: [00:09:14] Yes, we have.
Michael: [00:09:15] Oh, great.
Liel: [00:09:16] Okay, but take us away because you’re talking about updates here, right?
Michael: [00:09:19] Yeah. I mean, so I mean, generally speaking, all businesses in the US qualify if they have W-2 employees and their business was affected by the pandemic during 2020 and 2021, they can get up to $26,000 per full time W-2 employee. So our law firm is processing those claims along with a co counsel law firm. So I spoke about things, you know, what makes you qualify, how you can be affected, you know, even time to wear masks or clean up or supply chain disruptions, you know, state and local mandates that you may have had to shut down or fully shut down. And then how long it takes to basically process the claim, which is generally 90 to 160 days, it can be up to a half a year or longer, but then the IRS will send you a check for the amount that you qualify to receive. And a lot of businesses, accountants and CPAs, they either don’t know about the program or they think that the business doesn’t qualify. So they haven’t processed those. So we’re getting the word out and helping businesses to get those refunds back.
Liel: [00:10:36] So so you guys are actively helping other law firms to see whether they can qualify for these types of claims is yes.
Michael: [00:10:43] And in all businesses, it’s not just some law firms, but it’s all businesses, even 501. C, nonprofit organizations, some governmental organizations, schools, universities, you know, employees that have businesses that have 500 or less employees. If you’re over 500, there’s a different.
Liel: [00:11:05] Okay. So to recap, once again, what are the requirements for those who are listening who just want to kind of check the list and see whether they meet the criteria before they reach out? Why would that be?
Michael: [00:11:20] Just, you know, some W-2 employees, 1099 contract employees do not qualify. So some firms have different criteria, but we’re really looking for five or more W-2 employees at really any business and it’s across the US. Okay. And then we’ll sit down and send out an agreement. We’ll go over it with them, send out a portal link for the financial documents, and then work up and process the claim with the IRS on the business’s behalf.
Liel: [00:11:50] That’s really wonderful and I don’t want to deviate a lot about this, but how are you? How are you spreading the word about it? Of course, my search made perfect. Your session was one of the ways that you’re raising awareness about it. But since you’re saying this is not just limited to ta ta legal or law firms, right, this is any business. So it seems like this may be a massive opportunity.
Michael: [00:12:15] It is, yeah. I mean, we’re doing a lot of digital advertising now. Facebook and LinkedIn pay per click, the conventional methods.
Liel: [00:12:24] Mm hmm. Excellent. Well, that’s Michael. Great. So you were part of the Business of Law program. Now, let’s then move on and talk about what we care about the most when it comes down to MTMP, and that is updates and news.
Michael: [00:12:46] Yeah, sure. So it got started off the day after the business day with baby infant formula. In that cases, it’s just a lot of interest in those cases. And it was a large panel. They also got into the Similac recall.
Liel: [00:13:03] Let’s take it one by one. Their let’s tap into the baby formula. Well, and Similac is part of it, right?
Michael: [00:13:10] Well, they’re two separate ones. So Similac is implicated in the first one with the necrotizing enterocolitis and also the more recent recall, which is basically bacteria in the Similac formula causing three different injuries.
Liel: [00:13:25] Okay. So what’s the talk about that? Why is it because there is a lot of attention going into baby formula? I think it’s been growing over the past few months. And what’s the main cause, would you say, to the surge in either interest or in putting the spotlight down on these two different products, what’s happening?
Michael: [00:13:48] So the spotlight is basically there’s been a change. So premature infants, preemies, they continue to die from this. There hasn’t been a label change. So for the past, I’m not sure how long, but I think it’s 20 years plus. This problem has been going on and they don’t know how many premature infants have died over that time, but it’s a very significant amount, which is very sad and it continues to happen right now. So it’s kind of a current crisis to to try and correct and get a handle on is why you know, and it’s premature. Infants are the most helpless thing on the planet.
Grace: [00:14:29] You know, we talked a little bit about NEC last time. I actually just got off the phone right before this call with one of the people that we’re working with on CPAP. So I have a little bit of updates on top of maybe Michael’s updates about CPAP specifically.
Liel: [00:14:49] All right. We’ll get there. We’ll get there. Hey, here. There is a whole line. Yes. So I’m actually here going through the program, Michael, and you’re absolutely right. It all started with baby formula. And as you said. Right. I mean, just the title, preemies continue to die. It’s heartbreaking then. You know, we we see here that there was a section on Paraquat. Any updates on what’s happening with Paraquat?
Grace: [00:15:14] I wasn’t able to sit on it on that one. So our colleague Sam sat in on that. It was just too many business meetings. But with Paraquat, I think it’s pretty much the same. You know, people are looking for, you know, Parkinson’s disease diagnosis. It can be quite a while back or ones that haven’t been diagnosed yet with two or more symptoms. And it’s really the direct exposure cases which attorneys are focusing on.
Liel: [00:15:40] Got it. Tell us which word the the next step, which would be the next sessions that you were able to attend?
Michael: [00:15:46] I was just kind of in and out of a bunch of them, kind of more focusing on the the lake law firm, co counseling and mass tort case acquisition stuff and just all the different ventures that we’re getting into. So it was a lot of networking at this event versus, you know, being in the in the particular seminars that I’ve done in the past.
Liel: [00:16:10] From what you’ve what you heard there in your conversations. And so are there any any new updates on Zantac on TALC, which is still being brought up? I know it was still part of the of the program.
Michael: [00:16:22] Yeah. I mean Zantac, they’ve limited the cancers down a little bit further TALC. Of course there’s the bankruptcy and what’s going to happen with that. So we’ll wait and see. I believe there was an appeal done, so that may take some time to resolve. One of the newer, very new litigations is actually the exact tech, hip and ankle recall where the polyethylene is degrading from oxidation. That’s basically a plastic liner in these different implants. And when that happens, the polyethylene becomes very brittle and then breaks. And those plastic particles can go into your tissue, muscle and blood and cause, you know, muscle bone degradation where everything just becomes loose and it’s eating away at that area. And then you need a revision surgery. So the newer ones as well.
Liel: [00:17:23] Is it a new one? I honestly, this is the first time I hear about it. But yeah, maybe.
Michael: [00:17:28] The hip recall was last year, I believe. And now the knee and ankle are.
Liel: [00:17:34] Yeah, I see it here.
Michael: [00:17:36] Implicated. So that’s probably the one new one with the Similac recall, which is associated with crown of vector, salmonella and meningitis.
Liel: [00:17:47] Mm hmm.
Michael: [00:17:48] But that’s, you know, more recent. So it’s within the past, I think, year or two that it’s been contaminated with that bacteria. The NEC case is where you have Similac and other ones as well.
Liel: [00:18:03] It looks like, Michael, if we are kind of like trying to follow here the journey of your experience at Masters Made Perfect this week. We’re now kind of like in day number two, right? So what what highlights did you have from from day number two, which really tends to be the the core of the conference?
Michael: [00:18:24] Yeah. I mean, it was kind of speaking to some of the panelists that were up there, but outside of the panel. So I met with Matt Berkman, he’s with Berkman, Draper and ÖSTLUND, and he also has a different law firm with my prior colleague, Brendan Little, the Social Media Victims Law Center. It’s a very interesting litigation. Basically, they are suing Facebook and Instagram under a product liability defect in the algorithm of Facebook. Basically making it more addictive for teenagers to just keep consuming Facebook content and not being able to get off of it. And in that effect, along with the pandemic and being a teenager, a lot of these teenagers, you know, are hurting themselves and committing suicide. Depression, eating disorders. I think suicide has gone up 160% over the past two years when social media and it also includes sex abuse and sex trafficking. So that I was speaking to Matt about that and they have 12 be six motion to dismiss. Things coming up so they’ll know in the next 60 to 90 days whether that will progress. There’s some hurdles to get over that. But if they can get over that, it’s a you know, it should be a viable litigation against those defendants. So that’s that I don’t think that was spoken about at MTMP. He was on the human trafficking panel, but it is related to that and it is a very new practice area
Liel: [00:20:11] This is actually something that I’ve heard of. First of all, how wonderful that that’s something that. There is already action being taken about it because it is known at this point Facebook has deliberately exposed particularly younger users, female users, primarily into into content that has caused tremendous amount of psychological harm to them, to the point that, as you’re saying, it’s leading to to suicide, depression and other terrible consequences. So that’s really interesting to hear. And something we would really like, Michael, for you to keep us up to date, because it’s definitely something that sounds like we’re going to be hearing much more of over the next few weeks and months.
Michael: [00:21:00] Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. It’s an interesting area. So we’re getting involved in that as well.
Liel: [00:21:06] Michael Okay. So I’ve heard there’s a TV show called Power of Attorney. Can you explain us a little bit about what that is?
Michael: [00:21:12] Sure. So that’s Michael: Don Worley’s TV series. He’s in his second season now. Towards the end of the season, I believe it’s 12 episodes per season. And it’s basically a mock trial where you would have a a plaintiff’s attorney and a defense attorney and a jury finding a verdict on. About the case and what would happen to evaluate whether you really want to go to trial on the case or not, or you may want to not go to trial and resolve it. So he has all different, you know. Scenarios and hypotheticals that come up with that. So I believe he’s doing this might be his final episode of the second season right.
Liel: [00:22:00] Now that that’s wonderful. And so was there anything that had to do with that during the conference?
Michael: [00:22:07] Well, there was I mean, there was an invitation for Ed Lake and I to go out to the production studio and to meet Don to be on one of the final episodes. So we were the kind of the New York referral attorney’s that we got this case. And I can go into a little bit about it, the hypothetical, and then you guys will have to tune in to see it on TV, which. Right, I’ll get you the airing date and the the channels we can share it on a later podcast. But it was it was a really neat experience. We basically brought him the case and said why it was important to us and how we can be involved and wanted to refer the case to him. And then from there he kind of accepted it and then they did a mock trial. He was, you know, on the plaintiff side. And then they had a defense attorney and a whole jury pool, and then they deliberated and came up with the verdict.
Liel: [00:23:03] And then and so the shooting is that happens in Las Vegas or in several different in Las Vegas.
Michael: [00:23:09] I think primarily in Las Vegas. They might be filming it in other places, too. And this one was a Las Vegas businessman that came there, and he lost a lot of money at the casino. The casino just kept giving him alcoholic drinks and they wouldn’t stop. And at one point he lost his consent to gamble and was requesting that money back in restitution. So we had to present that to Don. And then, of course, he presented the pros of getting that money back and the fence said, you know, this is a casino. This is what they are known to do. He had his own free will and then they pushed it over to the jury. And that’s for you guys as a surprise that you’ll see on the show.
Liel: [00:23:54] That’s wonderful. Michael So you had a whole experience. You went, spoke, had attended conferences. Did the networking part somehow ended up on the TV show as well? And I’m hearing as well that you guys are about to launch your own podcast. Can is that something that we can talk about a little bit?
Michael: [00:24:16] Yeah, that’s right. Yeah, it’s with Ed Lakes Mass toward A to Z book. So we’ll be interviewing all of the mass tort leaders in that book and also having other vendors and attorneys speak on there. So Harlan Schillinger was our first one. It was just him and Ed about a week or two ago and then the ones going forward, it gave me some information on who he paired up for the next few, you know, an attorney and a vendor. And basically what the what the vendor in the space is seeing, what issues there are and how how the attorney on the other side, which is kind of their client or their business person, how they can alleviate those problems and then kind of push it over to the attorney to say what they feel, you know, what’s going on with the vendor and kind of to get each other side perspective. So it’s pretty interesting.
Liel: [00:25:15] That’s wonderful. That’s very, very exciting. And by when do you think you’re going to start publishing the first episode?
Grace: [00:25:21] We are probably about 30 days out because we have to do an intro, outro, you know, all that fun production stuff. But yes, as soon as that very first one goes out, we have a plan to have consistent posts thereafter for the podcast.
Liel: [00:25:35] Guys, that’s wonderful. That’s really, really exciting. I’m so happy that that project is moving forward. I think that’s something that I just happen to know because we’ve had conversations about this that it’s been on its mind and you guys have been very supportive of the idea. So I’m really, really pleased to hear that you’ve already started to record sessions and such. That’s wonderful. So. Michael, before we let you go, we would like to hear your takeaways of MTMP. Like, what were the three things that you took from this visit at MTMP?
Michael: [00:26:09] I would say just seeing who the panelists are. Who’s speaking on the different sections, on the different days. And from there you can kind of see who you may be interested in speaking with outside of the panel, because they just don’t do what they’re speaking about on the panel. And they’re all very interesting attorneys that are up there. So I, I felt kind of that was the most beneficial is speaking to them afterwards on the floor, you know at one of the social events, what else are they working on? And then they give you the rundown on that. And that’s sometimes even more interesting than what the panel was about. So I had a lot of good conversations with that is probably my number one takeaway. Number two was just. I guess trying to find if you can present on something. It’s a very good thing to get involved with. You know, to ask for that opportunity to present your knowledge and your experience to the audience is a great way to get involved in this whole mass talk community as well. And then, you know, just have a have a good time. David Blaine’s magic show was really cool. Most people couldn’t believe what he did with this one card trick. He had like 100 people, different people stand up with with a deck of cards and then shuffle them at the same time. So 100 decks of card being shuffled at the same time. All these different.
Liel: [00:27:39] People. How, how? Wait. How do you shuffle 100 decks of cards at the same time?
Michael: [00:27:43] Well, each person, each of the hundred people were shuffling.
Liel: [00:27:46] The room.
Michael: [00:27:47] At the same.
Liel: [00:27:47] Time.
Michael: [00:27:48] Yeah. And then he was, like, telling which pattern to do it and put this one over this way and that one over that way. And you just kept doing it was like 2 minutes long. And then he said, on this card, put this card in your pocket, whatever you know is on the top there. And so everybody put that card in their pocket. And then later in the show, he’s like, Can everyone stand up who, you know, participated in that and hold your card up and you had to see people’s faces. It was the same card on all, you know, in everyone’s hand. It was a two of hearts. It was unbelievable. Everyone had the same card in their pocket, and yet they were shuffling it 100 different ways.
Liel: [00:28:33] That’s that’s mind blowing.
Michael: [00:28:35] That was so you had to see everybody’s faces. So, yeah, that’s my third take away. Just have enjoyed the entertainment.
Liel: [00:28:41] Hey, great takeaways. I don’t think we can beat those. Use it to your benefit. Get a speaking slot if you can. Why not? Right. I mean, particularly if you’re like in your case right am I call that are offering solutions services partnerships that relate to my thoughts so go and make the most out of it. Entertainment. Yes, of course. And particularly MTMP, they always really go big with entertainment. They have great, great artists, great comedians, great shows put together. That’s amazing. But the one that I love the most and I really wonder what are your thoughts here? Grace Because I don’t think we’ve ever, ever, ever came up with a take away like that one for a conference is going find the people that you’re more interested in and don’t just attend their conference, but then go and have a sidebar conversation with them about not what they’ve just talked about, but the other things that they do right, the other things that they are working on. I think that’s a really, really interesting angle and one that, you know, it’s tends to be a missed opportunity. It I would say it is.
Grace: [00:29:47] Especially because because I think all three of us have been speakers at some point at some conference. And I think most of the value that I have seen from the people attending my session or your session or any of our sessions, honestly, is after the fact when they come up to us and ask us questions. Right. Because they they want to know, oh, you touched on this, but hey, what about all these other things that I know you guys do? Can you talk to me about it? So Michael’s point is perfect. You know, I try to do that a lot of times. If there’s something interesting, somebody on the stage and I know they do other things that I want to pick their brain about, that’s a great takeaway. Pick their brains, you know, you know, do something outside of the panel that they’re doing. Talk to them, you know, meet up with them if you can, like he said at the networking things that that they put together at these shows and even better because we’re sponsors usually of any whirly party, you can invite them to the party and speak to them some more there, but definitely delve in. And it’s all about networking and who you know, not what you know, necessarily.
Liel: [00:30:53] Perfectly, said Grace. Well, Michael, we are going to leave it here, but thank you so much for joining us. Again, we appreciate the timeliness in which you responded to our request to have a conversation with you about MTMP. And we’re looking forward to our next one. There’s a lot of things that you brought up that we would love to stay up to date. And so, please, we want to know about your upcoming episode on Power of Attorney. We want to hear about the new podcast A to Z Mass torts. And then, of course, we want to know what’s happening with the litigation against Facebook and Instagram or I guess, Metta. Thank you both. Again, it was nice talking to you and have a great rest of your day.
Grace: [00:31:35] You too. Thank you, Liel. Thank you, Michael.
Liel: [00:31:37] Thank you. And 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.