Brauns Law October 2019


TO TAKE ACTION The Definition of Courage

My wife and I recently decided to move closer to our firm’s office so that my commute could drop from an hour and 20 minutes down to 17 minutes. It allowed me to work more while still being home earlier, and to finally live in the community around my office. But that is not the topic for this month. The topic is courage. You see, our 14-year- old daughter was understandably upset by being uprooted from her longtime friends for what was supposed to be her last and best year of middle school — eighth grade. She displayed tremendous courage in facing that change head-on and didn’t miss a beat. She deliberately set out a plan to make new friends while keeping her current friendships in place. Courage isn’t the absence of fear but an urgent impulse to do something despite the fear. Think about that for a minute. There is something buried in that definition. “Urgent impulse.” Fear has a tendency to paralyze people. The answer, at least in my life, has always been to take instant, urgent action. Do the exact opposite of frozen. Taking action on the issue is what seizes control from fear and empowers you. Do not worry about, or fear, what you cannot control. Worry when you can control it, but do not take action.

“Courage isn’t the absence of fear but an urgent impulse to do something despite the fear.”

courtroom to a judge or jury. But I know that, after speaking a couple of words (taking action!), that will go away. When I used to scout rapids in my early 20s as a class IV kayaker, just moving and getting into the rapid removed all fear of what I was facing. When my wife and I were just out of college, with no money and having to shop at The Salvation Army for our furniture, we didn’t let the fear of loss or of having nothing stop us. We signed up for every temp job we could find. Taking urgent action and moving towards something bigger, brighter, and with more hope continues to propel us forward to this day. Some of the most courageous people I have come across are my clients. To have been a victim of a horrible accident that was in no way their fault, but that caused so many things to crumble — that is fear and concern that many cannot understand. But clients take action. Sometimes they have no choice, which creates the urgency to

become courageous. They call us and get someone in their corner. They take their health care and rehabilitation into their own hands and gain control over their injuries. They bob and weave at all the challenges a personal injury can throw at them. And the best display of courage I love seeing? When clients come out the backside of the case and decide to leverage their compensation for a better job, a better education, or a better home. They invest in themselves — the ultimate form of courage. Stay courageous. Don’t lose the sense of urgency. Harness it to do great things in the face of fear or uncertainty. -David Brauns

To this day I still get a knot in my throat when I say those first words in a


5 Ways to Make Your Camping Trip More Eco-Friendly Camping Lightly

During the 35-day government shutdown that stretched from late 2018 to early 2019, National Park Service workers were stuck at home without pay. Meanwhile, Yellowstone National Park trash cans overflowed with fast food wrappers and plastic water bottles; broken sleds and beer cans piled up in the Lassen National Forest; toilets in Yosemite National Park backed up and dumped waste into the places we’ve deemed most precious. Months later, our national parks are still struggling, but nature lovers can take steps to be more eco-friendly while camping in any outdoor setting this fall. Here are five green ideas for your next campout: 1. Say No to New Before you leave town, inventory everything you’ll need for your trip. If gear is on the list, try repairing what you have, borrowing from a friend, or buying used equipment before you head to REI. Using what you have leads to less eventual waste. 2. Go Natural When choosing soap, toothpaste, makeup, sunscreen, and bug spray for camping, always pick natural options that will

biodegrade quickly and won’t pollute the water. Stay away from waterways while brushing your teeth, and avoid sunscreen and bug sprays that are water-soluble or toxic to animals. 3. Try DIY Making your own snacks and buying in bulk can help you avoid single-use plastic packaging, which inevitably becomes trash. Try baking your own granola bars and securing them in beeswax wrap, tossing homemade snack mixes in reusable Stasher bags, and bringing bulk oats for breakfast in repurposed jars. 4. Cook Smart Ditch gas when you camp by packing in a battery- or solar-powered burner to start your fire without harmful chemicals. If you’re cooking over the campfire, be sure to burn smart, too. Tossing aluminum cans or random trash in with your kindling can pollute both the air and the food you’re making. 5. Pack It Out “Leave no trace” is the camper’s motto. Ideally, you should leave your campsite pristine apart from extinguished coals and

flattened grass. Bring reusable bags to pack out your trash and other items to recycle and/or compost. Food scraps don’t always biodegrade quickly in nature — in fact, according to The Guardian, banana peels can take two years to decompose. There’s nothing quite like spending a few days in nature, enjoying the fresh air, lush trees, and peace and quiet. If campers do their part to preserve the health and beauty of our national parks, everyone can enjoy them for years to come.


“Mr. Brauns and his employees stayed on top of my case. I could call anytime and they would update me on my case.” –Bratt

“Everyone at Brauns Law Firm was so wonderful. They were pleasant and very helpful. I would recommend their service to everyone.” –Delano Maxam

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Military Vets Launch Class Action Lawsuit Over Defective Earplugs

In the past year, hundreds of veterans and active-duty military personnel have come forward as part of a class-action lawsuit against the 3M Company, a government contractor accused of knowingly providing defective earplugs that led to major hearing damage. From 2003 to 2015, thousands of military members in conflict zones, including Iraq and Afghanistan, were issued Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs manufactured by the Minnesota-based 3M Company.

for failing to warn users of the known defect or providing proper instructions for the earplugs. 3M’s Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs were discontinued in 2015, but the flawed plugs were never recalled. Due to 3M’s negligence, thousands of service members were forced to rely on defective equipment in combat. Today, many of these brave men and women are now struggling with hearing problems that include ringing in the ears, being unable to hear someone speaking just three feet away, balance problems, and outright

3M claimed their earplugs could block loud noises, such as artillery fire and the sound of explosions, while still allowing soldiers to communicate freely. However, the Combat Arms Earplugs did not maintain a tight seal and allowed dangerous noise to damage users’ hearing, potentially leading to hearing loss, tinnitus, and problems with balance. Documents allege that 3M employees knew about the earplugs’ defect as early as 2000, but falsified certifications and claimed that the testing complied with military standards. In 2006, 3M entered into a contract with the U.S. government and provided 15,000 earplug packages, with 50 pairs per package, each year. The lawsuit against 3M accuses the company of “gross negligence”

hearing loss. Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against 3M as veterans and active-duty military personnel come forward, seeking punitive damages for their injuries. If a veteran you know served between 2003–2015 and is now suffering from hearing loss, tinnitus, or loss of balance, they may be entitled to compensation. Call Brauns Law at 404-418-8244 and learn how to get involved in this class- action lawsuit. Get the compensation you deserve and hold 3M accountable for failing our nation’s service members.



This recipe from Momofuku Milk Bar chef and “Master Chef” judge Christina Tosi makes great use of those extra Halloween goodies. It’s a quick and easy way to both elevate and get rid of unwanted leftovers.

Ingredients • 2 cups mini pretzels, coarsely broken • 1/4 cup light brown sugar • 2 tbsp granulated sugar

• 1/3 cup dry milk powder • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted • 12 oz mini candy bars, such as Snickers, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

Directions 1. Heat oven to 275 F. 2. In a large mixing bowl, fold together pretzels, sugars, milk powder, and butter. 3. Spread mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes. 4. Let cool for at least 30 minutes and mix in candy bar pieces before serving.






Inspired by Food & Wine Magazine



Page 1

The Bravest Person I Know

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Green Up Your Camping Trip

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What Some of Our Clients Are Saying

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Are You a Vet Suffering From Hearing Loss? You Might Have a Case!

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Leftover Candy Snack Mix

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Frightful Films for Families

night that still captures a Halloween feel, “Ghostbusters” is a great choice.

No. 2: ‘Coraline’ Few authors weave creepiness with coming-of-age stories together better than Neil Gaiman, and his 2009 film “Coraline” proves just that. Based on Gaiman’s book of the same name, director Henry Selick uses his signature stop-motion animation style to bring the script to life. While young children may find the doll-like imagery too unsettling, this is a great introductory thriller for preteens.

For the Whole Family! SCARY MOVIES

No. 1: ‘Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island’ Yes, a Scooby-Doo movie is at the top of this list — and it deserves to be. As the feature-length debut of Scooby, Shaggy, and the rest of the Mystery Gang, this 1998 film doesn’t pull any punches. While the hand-drawn animation and slapstick high jinks of the original Hanna-Barbera cartoon are all there, make no mistake: There are some creepy moments in this movie. Between scary zombie elements and a spooky Voodoo doll scene, this is the perfect film to get your kids into the Halloween spirit.

With the spookiest day of the year fast approaching, there’s nothing like a scary movie night to get the whole family into the Halloween spirit. The only problem is most frightful films really aren’t for kids, and the ones that are often fall flat. But, if you’re looking for a flick that will have the whole family on the edge of their seats (without traumatizing anyone), consider our top three picks for scary, family-friendly movies. No. 3: ‘Ghostbusters ’ “Who you gonna call” to be high on this list? The 1984 spectral classic, “Ghostbusters.” While this may be more of an action-comedy, plenty of scares and creepy imagery still get a jump out of first-time watchers young and old alike. If you’re looking for a lighthearted movie

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