Law Offices of Paul Levin (CTLaw) - December 2019

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LAW NEWS Quarter 4 2019



Providing HelpWorth Your Thanks

During the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, our firm feels a terrific sense of gratitude toward our clients. We’re thankful for the connections and relationships we’ve been fortunate to establish and for the ways we’ve been able to help them during times of trouble. In all the time I’ve practiced law and worked with many of the good people in the Hartford area, one thing I’ve realized is that no matter what part of life we’re in, we are all just trying to get through life on earth. We’re all in this together. This very idea is at the root of the first Thanksgiving celebration in the Americas. It was a celebration of friendship and good faith between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Tribe. After a perilous journey across the Atlantic Ocean and a harsh first winter in the New World, the Pilgrims had endured sickness, starvation, and death in a strange land far from their home. At the same time, the Wampanoag people, who had inhabited the region long before the Pilgrims’ arrival, were very skeptical of the colonists. However, despite their differences and hardships, they came together to share a meal and give thanks for everything that had. Ninety of the Wampanoag people came to Plymouth with lots of different vegetables, eels, and shellfish, and the Pilgrims shared some of the waterfowl they had recently killed. They also played games and tried to learn each other’s languages. This three-day affair culminated in a peace agreement between the two groups that lasted for over 50 years. President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving an official holiday in 1863 at the height of the American Civil War. At a time when our nation was more divided than ever, he called all Americans everywhere to take a day as one people and come together to give thanks for the blessings and good fortune they had in their lives. We all have faced challenges and hardships in this life, but we all have things we can be grateful for. We’ll never all experience the same hardships or the same joys at the same time, but we can all still come together and enjoy our family, friends, neighbors, and community. We can offer comfort in times of

trouble and sadness, and we can share in their happiness when good fortune comes their way. None of us have to be alone in our struggles or our fortunes. At our firm, many clients come to us during one of the hardest times of their lives. When their cases finish up, many of them leave with a sense of relief as if they have summited a great mountain. Even though Thanksgiving has since passed, a major part of the holiday season, in general, is reflecting on the year, on what we’ve done well, and where we need to improve. During this next year, I hope all of us here at the Law Offices of Paul Levin can continue serving our community and help all of you get through the hardest points of your lives to the relief on the other side. We hope we can continue providing help worth your thanks.

–Paul Levin

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FUN, NONALCOHOLIC DRINKS FOR ANY HOLIDAY PARTY Of the many seasonal traditions that sweep our nation, few are as creative, delicious, and satisfying as building your very own gingerbread house. Whether you’re looking to create a simple table decoration or bake a tasty treat to nibble on, everyone can enjoy this holiday activity! The Origins of Gingerbread Ginger was first cultivated in ancient China, then traded into medieval Europe. There, Europeans incorporated it into culinary traditions and used it to bake cookies into elaborate shapes and works of art, including figures of animals and people. The Joy of a Gingerbread House The gingerbread house first appeared in the early 19th century in Germany. Although historians don’t know an exact date, it’s speculated that it gained popularity around the same time that “Hansel and Gretel,” the popular fairy tale recorded by the Brothers Grimm, was published. The Largest Gingerbread House In 2013, the world record for the largest gingerbread house in the world was broken. The house, topping out at 21 feet and covering 2,520 square feet, was built by Traditions Golf Club in Bryan, Texas, to raise Cocktails and other festive drinks can make your holiday parties more enjoyable, but friends and family who can’t (or don’t) drink may feel left out. Instead of just offering them water or whatever else is in your fridge, why not have a fun nonalcoholic option ready just in case? For kids, designated drivers, and otherwise sober party guests, try a couple of these tasty, alcohol-free party drinks. Cider, Thyme, and Tonic Mocktail Fizzy, fruity, and beautifully garnished, this drink incorporates some of the best flavors of Yuletide in a small glass. Nonalcoholic apple cider takes center stage in a Nutcracker ballet of flavors that also includes lemon and thyme simple syrup. You can garnish this drink with a sprig of thyme and extra slices of lemon as needed. Candy Crush Mocktails This drink is a fun option for any party with kiddos running around. By combining sparkling fruit juice and a favorite candy like gummy bears or rock candy in a plastic champagne flute, you can give kids a way to feel included in any toasts that might come up. Plus, if you use light- colored juice, you can watch as the dye from the candy creates eye catching hues in the glass. No Alcohol Needed

money for a local Level II trauma center. To construct the house, builders created a recipe that required 1,800 pounds of butter, 2,925 pounds of brown sugar, 7,200 eggs, 7,200 pounds of flour, 1,080 ounces of ground ginger, and a few additional ingredients. Build Your Own! While you don’t have to challenge yourself to beat the Guinness World Record, you can still have fun creating your very own gingerbread village. Starting your gingerbread house from scratch can be a fun activity for the whole family to enjoy. Give the kids a chance to mix the ingredients, roll out the dough, and set out plenty of candies and frostings to use, and remember to have fun! If you’re looking for unique gingerbread house ideas, take a look at 20 gingerbread house ideas at gingerbread-houses.

Homemade Eggnog This end-of-year favorite tastes like the holiday season distilled down to its essence. It’s sweet, creamy, and best enjoyed chilled. Many times, this drink is prepared with whiskey or rum mixed in, but virgin eggnog still tastes fantastic. It might not leave you with that warm feeling in your belly, but the rich taste of cinnamon and nutmeg will still leave your taste buds satisfied.

The roads during any holiday season can be dangerous, and you shouldn’t have to choose between safety and fun at your holiday parties this year. By offering alcohol-free alternatives, you can do your part to prevent tragic accidents during the most wonderful time of the year. For the exact recipes of these drinks and more, go online and check out the lists of the holiday season’s best nonalcoholic drinks.

Attorneys Paul Levin & Kelly Kasheta

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your case can be used against you, so it’s best to keep your relationship with your insurance company strictly professional. Delaying Your Claim Insurance adjusters know you’re in a tough spot, and they use it to your advantage. After an injury, you’ll be desperate to pay off your medical bills however you can, especially if your insurance company doesn’t respond to your request for compensation right away. This is intentional. They know that the more desperate you get, the more likely you are to accept a lower settlement. Be persistent when you call them, and have an experienced attorney on your side. Monitoring Your Social Media What keeps you more connected to family and friends may also prove to undermine your attempts to get fair compensation. Insurance adjusters might monitor your social media accounts for any evidence that would suggest your injuries are not as severe as you claim or comments that suggest you’re partially liable for your injuries. Don’t accept any follow requests you’re not sure about, and don’t post on social media after your accident. Following a serious injury, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Paul Levin will make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Give us a call for a free consultation at (860) 322-5302.

In a perfect world, your insurance adjuster would fairly compensate you for any injury you sustained in an auto accident or at work. But this is often not the case. While insurance adjusters should have their clients’ best interests in mind, often the only thing they’re thinking about is their bottom line. While working with your insurance provider, following an injury, look out for some of these tactics they’ll use to minimize your compensation. Pretending to Have Your Best Interests in Mind Some insurance adjusters have a pleasant demeanor and will be polite enough over the phone, but don’t be fooled. Insurance adjusters are not your friends. They have a job to do, and their tone of voice belies their intent — to get you to reveal more information about yourself than you would otherwise. Any information that’s not absolutely necessary to






Jack and Kelly are a certified therapy dog and handler team with Healers With Halos Therapy Dogs. Jack is a 7-year-old rescue collie adopted from Collie Rescue of the Carolinas. He is certified by the Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.) program and attained his CGC title from the American Kennel Club. Jack works many venues, bringing comfort and happiness to the young and old alike.

• 2 large russet potatoes, scrubbed • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into quarters • 2 large eggs • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour • 2 tsp kosher salt

• 1 tsp baking powder • 1/2 tsp black pepper • Safflower or vegetable oil, for frying


1. Using either a food processor with a coarse grating disc or the coarse side of a box grater, grate potatoes and onion. (If using a food processor, halve or quarter potatoes.) Once grated, wrap in a clean dish towel or cheesecloth to wring out as much moisture as possible. 2. Transfer to a mixing bowl and mix in eggs, flour, salt, baking powder, and pepper. 3. Heat a heavy-bottomed pan containing 1/4-inch of oil over medium-high heat. Use a heaping tablespoon to drop batter into the hot pan, working in batches. Use a spatula or spoon to form them into discs. Fry about 5 minutes per side, until deeply browned. 4. Transfer to a paper towel-lined wire rack to drain, and serve alongside applesauce and sour cream.


Attorneys Paul Levin & Kelly Kasheta

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40 Russ Street | Hartford, CT 06106 860-560-7226 Inside THIS ISSUE • Providing Help Worth Your Thanks • Building Your Own Gingerbread House

Fun, Nonalcoholic Drinks for Any Holiday Party Underhanded Tactics Used by Insurance Companies

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Potato Latkes

The History Behind Christmas Lights


ANewsletter for Clients and Friends FromAttorneys Paul Levin, Kelly Kasheta, and Larry Brick

The first string of twinkling lights illuminating your neighbor’s house is always a telltale sign of the upcoming seasonal festivities. Christmas lights are a holiday staple, but have you ever wondered where this beloved tradition started? The tradition of hanging lights on the tree originally started with candles. Because this posed an immense fire hazard, Edward Hibberd Johnson, a close friend of Thomas Edison and vice president of the Edison Electric Light Company, vowed to find a better way to decorate Christmas trees with light. In December 1882, three years after Edison’s invention of the lightbulb in November 1879, Johnson hand-wired 80 red, white, and blue lightbulbs together and wound them around a Christmas tree in his parlor window. A passing reporter saw the spectacle and declared in the Detroit Post and Tribune, “One can hardly imagine anything prettier.” Johnson continued this tradition, increasing the number of lights each year and eventually putting them up outside. But because electricity was still a new concept, many years passed before the fad took off for regular Americans. In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge began the tradition of lighting the National Christmas Tree, which spurred the idea of selling stringed lights commercially. By the 1930s, WHY DO WE HANG CHRISTMAS LIGHTS? Light Up the Night

families everywhere were buying boxes of bulbs by the dozen. Today, an estimated 150 million Christmas lights are sold in America each year, decorating 80 million homes and consuming 6% of the nation’s electricity every December. Whether you’ll be putting up your own lights or appreciating the most impressive light displays in your neighborhood or town, let the glow fill you with joy this season. Just don’t leave them up until February!

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