The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro, P.A. - February 2020

February 2020

720 Goodlette Rd. N, Suite 304, Naples, FL 34102 • www.AttorneyShapiro.com

What Makes a Fulfilling Life? Learning Perspective From Punxsutawney Phil

T

his month, we celebrate Groundhog Day, a truly unique holiday in which we ask a groundhog to predict the changing seasons. I grew up in Pittsburgh, which is about two hours from

“No matter what situation we find ourselves in, we have the power to choose how we’re going to respond to it.”

Punxsutawney, home of Punxsutawney Phil, the famous groundhog. I visited Punxsutawney once years ago for a friend’s wedding. It was a friendly small town, though we unfortunately did not see Phil during our visit.

Eventually, Phil decided to use his knowledge about what will happen that day to help other people in town. He also tries to better himself, using his limitless time to learn to play the piano and speak Italian. Phil even

Despite studies by the National Climatic Data Center showing that Punxsutawney Phil is only right 40% of the time, many people still flock to Punxsutawney to celebrate. I think the continued popularity of this strange holiday is owed in part to the movie “Groundhog Day.” I’ve seen “Groundhog Day” multiple times —who doesn’t love Bill Murray? — and each time I’m impressed by the message of the film. What I like most about “Groundhog Day” is how it shows the value of perspective.

learns to love Punxsutawney. By changing his perspective about his situation, Phil starts to enjoy life more and becomes a more kind and likable person. As a result, other people want to be around him, and he’s able to break the time loop in the end. I really like how“Groundhog Day” shows the power of our own perspective. No matter what situation we find ourselves in, we have the power to choose how we’re going to respond to it. When things don’t go our way, we can complain about how unfair life is, or we can look for new opportunities to change things for the better. We can make the best of things. It’s all a matter of perspective.

Someone once told me that if you pick your favorite day and it’s farther back than a few weeks, then you’re not living life to the fullest.

At the beginning of the movie, Bill Murray’s character, a weatherman named Phil, is really down on Punxsutawney. He’s been sent there to cover the Groundhog Day festivities and makes no secret about how much he hates the town and the assignment. Basically, he’s just a very unpleasant person. When Phil first realizes he’s in a time loop, he responds selfishly by drinking and stealing because he knows there will be no consequences. However, this kind of behavior only leads him to feel depressed. Phil tries to kill himself several times but always wakes up to relive Groundhog Day.

If your favorite day is a childhood Christmas, then what have you been doing on Christmas since then? If it’s your wedding day, then what about all the other days spent with your spouse? Every day might not be fireworks and holidays, but whether or not that day is valuable is a matter of perspective. A fulfilling life doesn’t have to be a nonstop adventure. It can be filled with days spent at home with your partner or going to the park with your children. When you adopt the perspective that your life is fulfilling, then that’s what you experience.

-Marc L. Shapiro

It shouldn’t take being trapped in a time loop to learn how to adopt a better perspective on life. There might be no tomorrow, so shouldn’t we learn to enjoy life today?

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Stealing Miss Helen

‘Ocean’s 3’ Attempt a High-Stakes Heist

Put It Down

On a hot summer day in late July 2018, three people entered Miss Helen’s home, forcibly removed her, put her in a stroller, and ran toward their getaway vehicle. This might sound like a typical kidnapping story, but Miss Helen is no ordinary person. She is a 16-inch horn shark living at the San Antonio Aquarium.

New Florida Laws Combat Distracted Driving

O n Sept. 15, 2016, the Scherer family was driving to Ocala when they were caught in a traffic jam. Jordan Scherer eased the car to a stop and prepared to wait. A second later, the world was thrown into chaos. The Scherer’s car had been rear-ended by another driver going 100 mph. Jordan, his wife, Brooke, and their 5-year-old daughter Mallory were all rushed to the hospital with serious injuries. Logan, the family’s 9-year-old son, died on impact. A 2017 study ranked Florida the second-worst state in the United States for distracted driving. The state’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported that distracted driving is responsible for over 50,000 crashes in Florida annually. Distracted driving claims over 230 lives in Florida each year, including the life of Logan Scherer. The driver who hit the family’s car was looking down at his phone at the time of the accident.

Fortunately, their fishy behavior didn’t go unnoticed, and someone alerted the aquarium staff. One perpetrator drove away with Miss Helen in tow, but the other two were stopped by aquarium staff, later confessing to their involvement. Thanks to some observant witnesses and aquarium surveillance, police were able to identify the third thief and obtain a warrant to search his house. As it turned out, he had an extensive aquarium in his home and possibly hoped to add Miss Helen to his collection. After being identified, Miss Helen was returned home safely. The aquarium staff was grateful to have Miss Helen back unharmed, despite her ordeal.“She’s a tough little horn shark, I’ll tell you that,”affirmed Jamie Shank, the assistant husbandry director at the aquarium. No Minor Crime While many animal lovers might disagree, animals are considered personal property, so stealing them is a crime of theft, not kidnapping. The penalties for stealing animals vary depending on each state’s laws, and some states have specific laws regarding animal theft. In Texas, larceny law designates the theft of property valued between $1,500–$20,000 as a felony. In the case of Miss Helen, who’s valued by the aquarium at $2,000, the thieves committed a felony. Also, transporting certain animals requires special permits, which led to additional charges against the three thieves. The Animal Welfare Act, which was adopted in 1966, is the only federal law that regulates the treatment of animals in research, exhibition, transport, and by dealers. Interestingly, it only applies to warm-blooded animals, so if Miss Helen had needed further protection, she would be left out in the cold.

Easy Shrimp Scampi

Inspired by The Blond Cook

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What Some People Are Saying About Us

After losing their son, the Scherers created the Living for Logan Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to ending distracted driving. The organization has pushed for harsher penalties for distracted drivers in Florida, which became a reality this past year. Two statutes, Section 316.305 and Section 316.306, ban texting while driving and the use of handheld devices in school or work zones. It’s important to note that Section 316.305 isn’t limited to text messages. Drivers can also be issued citations for posting a tweet, sending a Facebook message, or even looking up the lyrics of the song they just heard on the radio. While Section 316.306 does not make it illegal to talk on your phone while driving, you can face a citation if you are not using a hands-free device while driving in a school or work zone. Both of these laws went into effect in 2019, but as of Jan. 1, 2020, law enforcement can now issue citations to drivers who break these laws. Failing to follow these laws can result in fines, court costs, and moving violations that will earn points against the driver’s license. These laws are seen as a step in the right direction, but the fight to end distracted driving in Florida isn’t over. “We want to see distracted driving recognized as socially irresponsible,” said Jordan Scherer in an interview with News Channel 8. Nothing can bring back Logan Scherer, but the Living for Logan Foundation will continue the fight to prevent other families from suffering the same avoidable loss.

“This office was so helpful and did so much for me and my family! They fought for us and made sure we had what we needed after the accident! They kept in touch with me throughout the entire case checking in on me! I highly recommend them to anyone who is in need of a personal injury attorney! Gerta is so amazing and will

explain everything to you!” – Jamie Lewis

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Directions

Make date night simple with this easy shrimp scampi recipe.

1. In a skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp of butter with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. 2. Add shrimp and oregano, stirring frequently until shrimp is pink. Remove shrimp from skillet. 3. Add wine and lemon juice to skillet and bring the mixture to a boil. 4. Stir in remaining butter and olive oil and cook until butter is melted. 5. Add cooked shrimp to skillet and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. 6. In a serving bowl, top cooked linguine with shrimp mixture. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Word Search

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Ingredients

• • • • • • • • •

4 tbsp butter

4 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup lemon juice

8 oz cooked linguine

1/4 cup parsley

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720 Goodlette Rd. N, Suite 304 Naples, FL 34102 www.AttorneyShapiro.com

Inside What if There’s No Tomorrow? Page 1

Slippery Crime

Are You Breaking These New Laws? Page 2

What Some People Are Saying

Easy Shrimp Scampi Page 3

Your Epic Adventure Awaits Page 4

Create Your Own Odyssey Mythical Adventures Await in the Mediterranean

One of the oldest stories inWestern literature is Homer’s“The Odyssey.”This epic poem tells the story of Odysseus and his long journey home after the TrojanWar. While Odysseus’ travels were fraught with mythical monsters and magic, many of the places he visited are said to be inspired by real islands in the Mediterranean. Even today, travelers flock to these islands looking for peace, adventure, and epic stories of their own. Sicily, Italy One of the most popular stories in“The Odyssey”is the tale of Odysseus rescuing his crew from Polyphemus, a man-eating Cyclops. It’s said that Polyphemus made his home on what is nowmodern-day Sicily. Fortunately, there are no Cyclopes in Sicily today; there are only cultural festivals, world- class golf courses, and delicious food. Gozo, Malta While Odysseus’journey was perilous, he did enjoy one peaceful stop. Odysseus spent seven years on the mythical island of Ogygia, home of the nymph Calypso. Historians suspect that Ogygia was

Gaudos, nowmodern-day Gozo, Malta. Gozo is home to the Ġgantija temples, which are older than the Egyptian pyramids. In

addition to exploring its archaeological marvels, Gozo’s visitors can also enjoy snorkeling, horseback riding, and other memorable adventures. Ithaca, Greece

If you want to chart your own odyssey, make your final stop

Odysseus’home, the island of Ithaca. Covered in lush greenery and quaint villages, Ithaca is a wonderful place to relax at the end of your trip. Visitors can enjoy their

morning coffee by a seaside cafe before lounging on a secluded beach for the rest of the day. It’s no wonder why Odysseus fought so hard to get back to Ithaca! With dozens of other islands to explore, the Mediterranean is the perfect place to plan your own odyssey —minus the mythical monsters, of course.

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