Manely Firm - August 2020

Al l fami ly law. Al l around Georgia. Al l around the wor ld.

A ugust 2020

F ind F orgiveness For You, Not for Them

Whenever I think about forgiveness, I am reminded of the Don Henley song, “The Heart of the Matter.” Like many of the songs the Eagles perform, it cuts to the root of the problem. This song is all about lovers learning to forgive, even if they don’t love each other anymore. Aug. 2 is designated as International Forgiveness Day, which is a great opportunity to focus on the concept of forgiveness in family law. At first glance, forgiveness and law may seem to be completely unrelated to each other. When we’re talking about law, we typically refer to procedures, outcomes, and statutes, but when we’re talking about forgiveness, it’s far more emotional. It’s not hard to consider these as two very separate worlds. But the reality is you can’t practice law without interacting with people, and when people are involved, there are emotions, sadness, happiness, grudges and gripes, and oftentimes, the chance to forgive. Instead of law and forgiveness being unrelated to each other, they’re actually different sides of the same coin. They interplay and work together, much like yin and yang. Forgiveness is essential to success in family law, and good practitioners know this. Part of what we do is help provide clients with long-term solutions to the problems they’re facing today. We don’t want to simply accomplish what we can for a suffering spouse in the present; we want to show them how they can move on with the rest of their life. Forgiveness is a key player in this. Unfortunately, there are some litigants who are high-conflict individuals. These folks cannot let

things go, and they live — literally — to fight another day. When these people cannot forgive, they also cannot move forward. When you let go of the enmity and anger, you also can let go of the hurt, and letting go of that hurt is essential to rebuild, become stronger, and move on. Forgiveness is not necessarily utilitarian; it’s not that you’re forgiving solely for the other person’s well-being, because forgiving them is good for you in many, many ways. International Forgiveness Day is a wonderful opportunity to reflect, as long as necessary, to find forgiveness. It’s a chance to do an emotional body scan to find the places in your heart, soul, and muscles where you’re still retaining resentment — where you still have not forgiven. As with most contemplative things, this starts with finding a quiet and comfortable place where you can be alone. That emotional scan will work more like a guided meditation in which you bring to the forefront of your mind the person you need to forgive. As you spend time with the image of that person, you’re going to have an emotional reaction. The first step is to become aware of that reaction. The second, and most challenging, is to locate where that emotional reaction is centered. The third step is giving yourself permission to let it go. We all cope with stressors and trauma in different ways. Some people may hold it in their muscles, such as tightening their shoulders. Others may respond to it with digestion problems, as their stomach gets into such tight

knots that it leads to digestive ailments. Of course, emotionally, many other people are prone to remaining agitated, becoming melancholy, or just remaining on edge. All those reactions are good and valid because they are manifestations of human emotions. They are opportunities to truly examine your feelings. We’re so often taught that we need to avoid these “negative” reactions in our lives, to run away from them. Instead, what works far better and longer is to run to them, spending time with them embracing them. Only by embracing your feelings of anger and hurt do you have a chance to know them, and only by knowing them do you have a chance to give them permission to go away. That is how you find, and grant, forgiveness. As always, good luck with that. –Michael Manely


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T he M ost F amous A rt H eist Y ou ’ ve N ever H eard O f

One hundred and nine years ago this month, one man — or was it three? — fled from the Louvre Museum in Paris, carrying what would quickly become the world’s most famous painting: Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa.” Historical accounts of the theft agree only on who was the ringleader: 30-year-old Louvre handyman Vincenzo Peruggia. He was a house painter, an immigrant, the bearer of a glorious Monopoly Man mustache, and a vehement Italian patriot. At some point on the morning of Aug. 21, 1911, Peruggia lifted the glass case he himself had constructed to house the “Mona Lisa” and smuggled the painting from the building. Some versions of the story say Peruggia was assisted by two brothers, fellow Italian handymen Vincenzo and Michele Lancelotti. NPR reports the trio spent the night preceding the theft huddled in one of the Louvre’s supply closets, lying in wait to steal the portrait. In his documentary about the theft, director Joe Medeiros claims Peruggia acted alone, driven by an obsession with the work and a dream of returning the painting to Italy.

Either way, we know that Peruggia successfully spirited the painting back to his one-bedroom apartment. There it lay concealed in a false-bottomed trunk for more than two years. This period of mysterious absence (during which police grilled and dismissed Peruggia as a suspect in favor of J.P. Morgan, Pablo Picasso, and playwright Guillaume Apollinaire) is what made the “Mona Lisa” world famous. Peruggia was eventually caught attempting to sell the painting in Italy. He pleaded guilty and spent eight months in jail. After his release, he enlisted in the Italian army to fight in World War I, surviving the war only to die of a heart attack on his 44th birthday. Though Peruggia married after the war, some suspect that the true love of his life was the “Mona Lisa” herself. In a CNN article, author and art history professor Noah Charney speculates that over his two years with her, Peruggia developed romantic feelings for the portrait. Perhaps he fell victim to a kind of “reverse Stockholm syndrome,” Charney suggests, the captor falling in love with his hostage. “In this case,” he says, “the hostage was a work of art.”

C hanging the F ace of T rial L aw The True Impact of Video Technology Like everywhere, our courts have been affected by COVID-19, and, like everywhere, they are having a difficult time figuring out how to deal with that impact. The immediate response, in most instances, was to shut down all courtroom related practices, which meant there were no hearings taking place. Everyone knew this could not endure for long. Currently, judges and court administrators are working together to find the best solution to continue to administer justice in a way that protects every person involved and doesn’t undermine Constitutional and other civil society safeguards. One solution the courts found is using video technology, such as Zoom. Over the past few months, hearings, status conferences, depositions, mediations, and even trials have taken place on Zoom. The less involved the event, the more likely it will be attempted on video technology platforms, and the greater the chance it will be successful. Holding virtual hearings and trials is the greatest transition in trial law that we’ve had in centuries. It completely changes the dynamic of how we discern right from wrong, truth telling from lying. As an industry, we will have to assess most every facet of our court room process and even our concepts of how we draw conclusions from what is presented at trial. Unfortunately, this is a challenge with implications that most firms have not yet considered. It will change how services are delivered and how justice is administered, drastically. As an international law firm who has participated in numerous virtual hearings over the years, we were aware of these issues at the first sign of the courthouses closing their doors. Make sure your law firm is moving aggressively into the 21st century.

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And Remove Power From Your Soon-to-Be Ex T ake C ontrol of Y our E state

What happens when you pass away in the middle of a nasty divorce?

This is not a question many people ask themselves when filing for a divorce, but it can happen, and the repercussions can be devastating. Our team encountered such a situation when we were helping a client through his divorce. He and his current wife had been married for a short time, but he was rather miserable. She made sure of it. Her children were draining him of his resources and ultimately trying to take his fortune. He reached out to our firm to help him through this divorce. However, shortly after he hired us, our client died of a massive heart attack. Since their divorce had not been finalized before his death, his wife had a claim to our client’s estate, despite the fact that the divorce process had started. Over the next two years, this woman fought to take our deceased client’s estate away from his only child . His wife wanted all of his estate. In the end, however, she only received a small portion of it. Our client’s daughter received her inheritance from her daddy. If you’re going through a divorce, it is essential to make sure you remove as much power as you can from your soon-to-be ex. A good practice to follow is sign the documents that dictate what you want done in the event that you unexpectedly pass away or become incapacitated. There are things you can do, but they are limited once a divorce process has begun.

“Life is not about how fast you run or how high you cl imb, but how wel l you bounce.” –Vivian Komor i

P each and A rugula P asta S alad

Inspired by

I ngredients

2 large fresh peaches, diced or sliced 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced

8 oz penne or fusilli pasta

2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved

Pepper, to taste

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 cup corn

3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

6 cups arugula, packed

D irections

1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta for approximately 9 minutes or until al dente. Drain pasta and place in a separate bowl. 2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Drizzle the dressing over the pasta and toss with the feta cheese. 3. Add peaches, red onions, tomatoes, corn, and arugula to the pasta mixture. Lightly toss to mix well. Add more olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste.


Cal l For a Consul tat ion: ( 866) 687-8561

211 Roswel l St . NE Mar ietta, GA 30060 (866) 687-8561 l fami


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What Role Does Forgiveness Play in Fami ly Law?

Meet the Man Who Stole the ‘Mona Lisa’ How Video Platforms Are Used in a Court of Law

Take Control of Your Estate

The Story of Zen Buddhist Chef Jeong Kwan

F ood for T hought The Incredible Story of Zen Buddhist Chef Jeong Kwan

One of the world’s greatest chefs can’t be found in a restaurant. Instead, she serves fellow nuns and occasional visitors in a Zen Buddhist monastery in Korea. To fully describe the incredible success of Jeong Kwan, you must first consider a factor that Western cuisine has ignored for millennia. While most people would assume Korean food is all about its famed barbecue, another pillar of the culture goes largely unacknowledged: Korean temple cuisine, which originated in the country’s Buddhist monasteries. A philosophy of Zen Buddhism is to not crave food and satisfy yourself only enough to be prepared for meditation, so you might think that flavor would be of little consequence in a monastery’s kitchen. However, you’d be wrong. The West’s perception of Korean temple cuisine was challenged shortly after Eric Ripert visited Kwan’s monastery and experienced her cooking during a trip to Korea.

cuisine community. New York Times writer Jeff Gordinier described her plates as “so elegant, they could’ve slipped into a tasting menu at Benu or Blanca” and her flavors as “assertive,” all while being vegan. More and more critics realized that Kwan’s combination of foraging, fermenting, dehydrating, and cooking by season was not a modern practice. In fact, Zen Buddhist monks like Kwan mastered cooking in this tradition hundreds of years ago. “With food, we can share and communicate our emotions. It’s that mindset of sharing that is really what you’re eating,” Kwan says at the start of her titular episode of Netflix’s documentary series “Chef’s Table.” She continues, “There is no difference between cooking and pursuing Buddha’s way.” Whether for enlightenment or simply connecting with friends and family, sharing home-cooked meals can be an emotionally restorative experience as much as it is nourishing. This month, indulge in something special and homemade or try your hand at Korean temple cuisine by Googling some of Jeong Kwan’s recipes.

Ripert invited Kwan to New York City to prepare food in a private room at Le Bernardin, where she sent global shockwaves through the entire fine

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