Trust Matters AUGUST 2019
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A Lawyer With a Big Heart Meet Michelle Dexter!
We’re featuring another one of our fantastic teammembers, Michelle Dexter, this month! As one of our associate attorneys, Michelle has been helping clients meet their estate planning goals for almost two years now! In fact, her advocacy extends to our wider community, as you’ll see in the interview. For my part, I feel lucky to have an attorney with such a big heart at our firm!
Michelle’s decision to become a lawyer came after a great deal of introspection.“In high school, I started to pay more attention to my interests,”she says,“I noticed that every time I heard an ambulance, my mind immediately jumped to asking questions like, ‘Where’s it going, and what’s going on?’”That’s when Michelle realized she had a passion for helping people in need. But she didn’t immediately jump to the decision to become an attorney. “At first, I wanted to be an FBI agent,”Michelle admits.“That is until I learned I could be stationed anywhere in the country.”Wanting to always have the flexibility to be near her family while also being able to do some good in the world, the Arizona native set her sites on law school. The decision wound up being the perfect fit. Michelle wasn’t satisfied picking just any area of law. She drew strength by working in practice areas that would help people facing challenges she’d confronted in her own life.“I practiced family law for 10 years,”she explains. “As a child of a divorced family, I wanted to make sure the voices of the children were always heard.”Michelle’s ability to empathize with the people she represents is one of her greatest strengths as a lawyer and is part of why she is such a valued member of our team. Between practicing family law and coming to Keystone, Michelle made time for her family. She and her husband of 18 years have 3 sons, and when they were younger, Michelle set aside the time to be there for them. Now that her kids are in elementary, middle, and high school, she describes her life outside the office as“very busy.”Between club sports, PTO/booster meetings, school performances, and more,“busy”feels like an understatement.“I try really hard to balance work with my personal life,”she says.“Thankfully, Keystone gives me that flexibility!” When she’s not at the office or cheering her boys on at sporting events, you’ll most likely find Michelle out walking her German shepherd, Titan. A six-year-old former show dog, Titan is described by Michelle as well trained but protective.“He’ll scare any stranger that comes on the property,”she says with a laugh.
Havingmade the leap to estate planning, Michelle draws on her experience raising her own family to help those she guides through the process.“I want to help put protections in place that I’d want for my own kids,”she reflects,“and I want to help clients understand why we do things the way we do… I love it when people tell me,‘This wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be!’” Michelle also helps our firm play a role in our community at large. In fact, she’s involved in so many events here in Chandler that she’s considered an excellent source for referrals. Of course, the firm strives to pitch in with these endeavors, as well.“You have to participate to have a good community,” Michelle tells us.“Francisco has been so open to working with the Chandler Unified School District … I really
appreciate Keystone’s community focus.” Well, we really appreciate having such a skilled, caring lawyer on our team!
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HELPING HUMANS SLOW DOWN AND LOOK UP The Art of Stargazing
Modern humans are stuck in a routine of expected and constant industriousness. But with all this rushing, people often drag themselves home at night with no energy left to enjoy the most splendid show nature has to offer: the wondrous night sky. Most people go through life looking straight ahead, but if they would stop and peer skyward, they’d bear witness to a massive, unexplored frontier made up of the moon in its all phases, burning stars sailing through the sky, constellations with epic origin stories, and meteor showers bright enough to warrant sunglasses. If you’re looking for a hobby to help you slow down and appreciate the world around you, stargazing is a great option. Here are some tips to get you started. 1. The Higher, the Better If you’re a city dweller, meander a little way out of town or try to find a tall building to keep the light pollution to a minimum. 2. Extra Set of Eyes While novice stargazers often want to immediately throw their money at a new telescope, astronomy experts recommend starting with binoculars instead. You’ll need
to identify several anchor planets or constellations to help you navigate the sky before using a telescope.
3. Utilize Assets Put your phone to good use by downloading apps like Stellarium, Starwalk, and Google Sky Map. Each of these apps offers a unique benefit for aspiring stargazers. For example, Starwalk lets you point your phone at the sky to see stars, constellations, and planets in real time based on your location. 4. Mark Your Calendar In 1972, beloved singer-songwriter John Denver wrote about a meteor shower he witnessed during a camping trip in Colorado. He describes the scene by singing, “I’ve seen it raining fire in the sky.”The “fire” he recounted was actually the Perseids meteor shower, the most recognized shower on Earth. This astrological wonder takes place every year from July 17 to Aug. 24. During this time, viewers should be able to see shooting stars associated with the Perseids, but the shower reaches its maximum rate of activity on Aug. 12–13 this year. Grab some friends and family, and head outdoors to put your newfound stargazing knowledge to work. experienced a traumatic event during a routine trip to the lady’s room. In 2007, a schlocky horror plot came to life in a building along Philadelphia’s famous Market Street. The culprit was a faulty plumbing system. The woman was inside a restroom stall on the eighth floor, and, as she sat on one of the old toilets customary in the building, pressure building from inside the tank caused a massive explosion that sent her body hurling out of the stall. You don’t need to know the details of her injuries to understand the extent of her grievances. Some forms of suffering are better left to the imagination, especially if the aggressor was a literal stink bomb. She sued the building’s landlords for anxiety, pain, and medical expenses, but it’s hard to determine which party was truly at fault without more information. IT’S RAINING CATS AND DOLLARS You can’t predict the weather, no matter what your weather app says, but some people tend to forget that. A few years ago, an Israeli weatherman was faced with a lawsuit by a woman who claimed his inaccurate forecast caused her a great deal of suffering. She claimed he misrepresented a particularly harsh day in the forecast, and it encouraged her to wear insufficient layers that left her health to the whim of the elements. As a result, the woman caught the flu from the downpour and missed work for four days. Citing lost income, large medication costs, and tremendous anxiety, she sought reparations from the fraudulent weatherman and was amazingly awarded a four- figure settlement!
The Right Place at the Wrong Time A LOOK AT SOME INTERESTING PERSONAL INJURY CASES
There is no shortage of crazy cases that come through a court of law, but those revolving around personal injury can be especially surprising. Whether it’s a slip-and-fall accident or something a little more eccentric, there are a million ways to hurt yourself while simply going about your day. The problems arise when it’s determined to be another party’s fault. Let’s take a look at some notably strange cases where bizarre miscalculations led to injuries and ailments. AS BELOW, SO ABOVE Time spent in the restroom is inherently private. We don’t normally talk about it, but that’s not the case for a Pennsylvania woman who
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TAKE A BREAK
WHAT’S NEXT FOR MARVEL MOVIES? 3 Marvel Movies to Watch Out For
For the past 10 years, Marvel movies have delighted families and comic book nerds alike with their memorable characters, incredible action scenes, and sprawling, interconnected storylines. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is the story of the Avengers so far, told through 23 movies. Even though this year marked the end of a massive arc that Marvel Studios dubbed “The Infinity Saga,” there are still more movies coming out that will feature everyone’s favorite heroes. Here are a few films coming up next in the MCU. International assassin Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson, was the first female member of the Avengers and made her debut appearance in “Iron Man 2.” She never got her own movie, but Marvel announced recently that a Black Widow movie is officially in the works for the next phase of Marvel movies. Besides the fact that they’ve started filming, there’s not much information about it yet. But for many excited fans, this movie has been a long time coming. A BLACKWIDOW SOLO MOVIE
ROASTED CORN SALSA
‘GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3’
Inspired by Bon Appétit Magazine
Star-Lord, Rocket, Groot, and the gang are all back in the third installment of this smash-hit franchise. Without getting into too much detail, “Avengers: Endgame” and the post-credits scene of the second “Guardians”movie provided some clues about the plot and possible main villain. Though details are slim, “Vol. 3” is sure to be another rollicking ride through the cosmos.
2 medium ears of corn, shucked
1 large tomato, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
1 jalapeño or Fresno chile, seeded and thinly sliced
1/4 bunch cilantro leaves, sliced
1/2 red onion, diced
Juice of 1 lime
Kosher salt, to taste
‘BLACK PANTHER 2’
“Black Panther”was immensely popular (it earned nearly $700 billion domestically), and its success removed all doubt that there would be a sequel. Audiences will journey back to Wakanda and see the newest adventures of King T’Challa and crew, although not much is known about the plot or the release date as of now. But you can rest assured that the creative minds behind the sequel are taking their time to make it as good as the first. The future storyline of the MCU is up in the air, but, if the previous movies are any indicator, families, fans, and audiences everywhere have a lot to look forward to.
1. Heat a cast-iron skillet to high. Char corn, turning occasionally, for 10–14 minutes until kernels begin to blacken in spots. 2. Using a sharp knife, remove corn kernels from cobs and transfer to a large mixing bowl. 3. With a wooden spoon or potato masher, gently crush corn to release starch and juices. 4. Add jalapeño, onion, tomato, and cilantro. Mix to combine.
5. Top with lime juice and season with salt. 6. Serve alongside your favorite tortilla chips.
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
A Lawyer With a Big Heart
Roasted Corn Salsa The Next Phase of Marvel Movies The Art of Stargazing Bizarre Personal Injury Cases
How to Best Protect Yourself From Scam Calls
RING, RING — IT’S A ROBOT What You Can Do to Protect Yourself From Phone Scams and Robocalls
PUT UP SOME DETERRENTS. You can even go a step further and block the calls. Many phone service providers offer call-blocking options, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. You can sign up for this service in-store or on your service provider’s website. Each service costs about $4 per month. There are also a number of call-blocking apps available on Android and Apple devices, but if you subscribe to a blocking service through your phone provider, these apps are unnecessary.
Two of the most common scams are phone scams and robocalls. These calls are incredibly annoying and can trick you out of valuable information if you’re not careful. While it might seem like these scams are inescapable, there are some precautions you can take to avoid their traps. GIVE THEM THE SILENT TREATMENT. One thing you can do to avoid these fraudulent, time-wasting calls is to simply hang up. If possible, it is best to not answer at all. It’s always good
to have a list of numbers you can reference, so you never have to guess who is calling. Think of it as going one step beyond caller ID. In some cases, answering and then hanging up can actually do more harm than good. Answering the phone gives the scammers confirmation that the number works and that they should try again. Once your number is confirmed as active, it often gets put on an “active number” list that can then be sold to other scammers who market in these types of phone numbers. If you can’t verify who is calling without picking up, don’t answer. Let it go to voicemail. If it’s important, the person will leave a legitimate message and you can respond afterward.
Finally, you can sign up for the Federal Trade Commission’s “Do Not Call” program (DoNotCall. gov). While the Do Not Call program can help cut back on calls, this list is largely ignored by scammers. If you’re getting a ridiculous number of robocalls every day, signing up can offer you some brief respite. Thankfully, Congress is already attempting to fix this problem by making it harder for scammers to call you. But until they are able to pass tough, effective legislation, it is up to us as consumers to remain vigilant and do what we can to keep our personal and financial data safe and secure.
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