Smith Wallis & Scott March 2018

MAR 2018


327 Bankhead Hwy, Carrollton, GA 30117


Reflecting on 25 Years of Helping Others

They say that to be an attorney and be healthy, you should leave your work at work. But the reality is that it’s difficult to leave it all at the office. When you’re working on a case that might be the difference between someone getting benefits or not, between a person having insurance or becoming homeless, that stays with you. If you’re in it just for the paycheck, you’re not going to do a good job. It can be stressful, but you know you’ve made a difference for folks when you’re successful with a case. To give my mind a break from an intense case, I turn to my family and music. I love spending time with my wife, Melissa, whether it’s traveling, cooking together, walking, reading together, or hanging out with our kids. Our first grandson was born a couple of months ago, and that’s been a new joy in our lives. We’re excited for our next adventures together as a family. For the last 11 years, I’ve been the musical director at our church. It’s a way to connect with people and give back differently than I do at the firm. Music has always been a big part of my life. I’ve played the trumpet since I was 10, and now I play the stand-up bass. My son, Payton, started playing the banjo, and I thought, “If I’m going to spend time with him, I need to find a way to keep up.” So four years ago, I picked up the stand-up bass, and we’ve been playing together ever since. It’s a blast. Sometimes it’s just the two of us, and sometimes we play with a band. It’s given me the opportunity to connect with Payton and play music with people I never thought I’d be able to meet. We’ve played shows to crowds both big and small. Regardless of the size of the concert, I’m along for the ride.

This year marks my 25th anniversary of practicing law, which is incredible to think about. Much of my work in that time has been representing folks with disabilities. Personal Injury, Social Security, and Workers’ Compensation are my main areas, though I’ve had experience in almost every type of law. When I started out, I never expected to specialize in Social Security, but it’s turned out to be exactly what I was looking for in a career. I’ve lived most of my life in Carrollton and went to the University of Georgia for my undergrad and law school. During an internship with a local wire company, I was able to see how my future law partners, Ken Smith and Jim Wallis, were able to help people through the legal profession. My goal has always been to help people and make a positive difference in their lives through my work. Law school teaches you the technical aspects of being a lawyer, but they don’t teach you how to have empathy. You only learn that by sitting down with someone and hearing their story. The more you talk, the better you understand what someone is going through and how you can be the most helpful to them. Can you imagine being a wage earner for 30 years and suddenly not being able to work at all? It would be overwhelming, wouldn’t it? Many of our clients are in desperate circumstances and rely on us for help. I take that faith very seriously.

Thank you for making this a meaningful 25 years in our community. I look forward to growing together.

All the best,

–Chris Scott




Don’t Forget to Clean the Heart of Your Home


• Homes with minimal foot traffic (single or double occupancy) and no pets or allergies: 6–12 months. • Family homes (three or more occupants) with no pets or allergies: 3–6 months. • Family homes with at least one pet or minor allergies: 2–3 months. • Family homes with multiple pets or allergies: 1–2 months. In addition to changing the air filter, it’s important to schedule a routine inspection of your home’s HVAC system. This includes an inspection of the appliances themselves and any connecting ducts. Dust, dander, and mold can accumulate in the ducts and spread throughout the home, which can lead to health issues, including respiratory problems. A routine inspection will identify potential problems in your HVAC system. On top of that, you can get these systems professionally cleaned and maintained. These are simple steps that will keep your home’s air systems running smoothly for years to come. Plus, you’ll be ready for the summer months ahead!

The start of spring brings everyone’s favorite seasonal chore — spring cleaning! As you dust, vacuum, organize, and declutter, don’t forget about the one room that often gets neglected. This year, give special attention to the utility closet. The utility closet houses your furnace, boiler, water heater, A/C junction, and other similar large appliances. Homeowners often forget about these appliances because they are out of sight and out of mind, and this can cost a lot in the long run. Like all the other rooms in your home, this space needs to be kept clean. Dust, for instance, can be hard on HVAC systems. Over time, it accumulates in the HVAC intake and clogs the air filter, reducing its effectiveness and efficiency. This results in a short lifespan for your system, higher power bills, and a poorly heated or cooled home. Back pain is no laughing matter. It can keep you from work, daily activities, and hobbies you enjoy. To further complicate matters, it’s often difficult to determine what is causing your back pain in the first place. The culprit could be anything from your gym workout to the way you sit in your chair at work. Opioid painkillers are often prescribed to alleviate back pain. In light of the current opioid epidemic, however, many doctors and patients are now eager to avoid these medications, instead seeking out more natural ways to relieve their pain. Surgery is also less popular than in the past, as it necessitates the use of pain medication during recovery. Back pain caused by inactivity can be just as excruciating as pain caused by motion or an injury. Sitting at your desk every day for hours on end with little to no movement can create increasing discomfort in your back. One of the best ways to reduce this is to stand. A study conducted at the University of Pittsburgh by Bethany Barone Gibbs, Ph.D., found that alternating between sitting and standing at your desk may alleviate the pain. See if your employer will invest in a standing desk for you. These desks can be raised or lowered with a button, allowing you to work while sitting or standing. GET OUT OF THAT CHAIR! Don’t Let Your Workplace Get Inside Your Back

Yoga can be helpful for people who are dealing with back pain, but only to an extent. It’s easy to overdo it with yoga, so opt for guided classes explicitly designed for beginners or people recovering from an injury. Other more natural approaches include physical therapy, exercise, and massage, which can be just as effective as painkillers for some patients. Want to know more about back injuries or the back pain you’re experiencing? You’ll be impressed by the in-depth knowledge of the team at Smith, Wallis & Scott, LLP. Call 770-214-2500 today to learn more about collecting workers’ comp in Georgia.


Healthy Living on Social Security Disability 3 HABITS TO ADOPT TODAY

GIVE UP SUGAR Diet fads come and go, but there’s one thing most dietitians and researchers can agree on: Avoid added sugar. Whenever possible, avoid sweetened foods, and try swapping snacks with added sugar for those with natural sugars, like fruit. A good place to start? Replace that soda with sparkling water. FIND YOUR SUPPORT NETWORK Research indicates that isolation can be even more harmful than a bad diet or lack of exercise. Reaching out can be tough, but it’s absolutely imperative. Get involved in a support group, or spend time in a social group that’s accessible to you. Chat with friends and family members on the phone. Even online discussions can help you feel less alone. These small changes can prove the most effective as you seek a healthier and happier lifestyle. As you focus on improving your physical health, let Smith, Wallis & Scott, LLP handle your legal concerns. Call 770-214-2500 to learn more.

If you have an injury or disability, it may feel daunting to think about anything beyond managing your daily routine. How can you be expected to worry about anything else when you’re just getting by? Your situation might feel insurmountable at times, but instead of focusing on what you can’t do, focus on what you can improve. Do this not only for the sake of your health, but for your state of mind as well.

By choosing healthy habits, you’ll feel more energetic, heal more quickly, and develop a more positive outlook. Here are a few ways to start.

FIND EXERCISE THAT WORKS FOR YOU Your disability might make it difficult to exercise as often as recommended, but you may have more options than you think. Look for adapted athletic teams or aerobics classes in your community specifically designed for disabled individuals. Many cities have fun options like rugby and even adaptive skiing. Yoga can also be helpful for both physical and mental health. Instructors will encourage you to adapt poses as needed for your personal health and comfort.



This simple and delicious one-pot recipe is perfect for a weeknight. It only requires about 15 minutes of hands-on work, but will taste like you spent all day building flavors. It’s a hearty comfort food that’s sure to delight eaters of all ages.


4 large carrots, cut into sticks

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon sugar

8 small bone-in chicken thighs

2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

12 radishes, halved

Salt and pepper


and stir in radishes, carrots, and sugar. 4. Return chicken to pan, placing on top of vegetables. Gently simmer with lid on pan for 15–20 minutes. Finish with chives.

1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. 2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Brown in pan for 6–7 minutes per side. 3. Remove chicken from pan and scrape off excess fat. Add broth

Recipe inspired by Real Simple




770-214-2500 INSIDE THIS ISSUE

327 Bankhead Hwy Carrollton, GA 30117

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Chris Scott Reflects on 25 Years in Law

Spring Clean Your Utility Room

When Your Workplace Is Giving You Back Pain


Healthy Living Ideas

Braised Chicken and Spring Vegetables


Do You Know the Origin of International Women’s Day?

1 million women and men attended rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, and hold public office. In 1913, the day of celebration was changed to March 8, and in 1975, the United Nations officially recognized the holiday. In 1996, the United Nations commenced the adoption of an annual theme, the first of which was “Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future.” In each subsequent year, a new theme was chosen to give the holiday more direction. Recent themes include “Empower Rural Women — End Poverty and Hunger” and “A Promise Is a Promise — Time for Action to End Violence Against Women.” Those who celebrate International Women’s Day aim to achieve full gender equality for women around the world. Because of the recent Hollywood film industry scandals, and because the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report found that gender parity is at least 200 years away, this year’s theme was “Press for Progress.” Events were held in Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, the United Republic of Tanzania, the United Kingdom, and in cities all across the United States. The world has witnessed significant change and a shift in attitude in regard to women’s equality. However, we still have a long way to go. Those who celebrate International Women’s Day strive to make sure girls’ futures are bright, equal, safe, and rewarding. INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY The History of

International Women’s Day, celebrated March 8, is a worldwide event that celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, while also calling for gender equality. This day is not affiliated with any one group, but it brings together governments, women’s organizations, corporations, and charities. It’s difficult to say when International Women’s Day began. Its roots can be traced back to 1908, when 15,000 women marched through New York City, demanding voting rights, better pay, and shorter working hours. A year later, the first National Women’s Day was observed in the United States on Feb. 28. Then, in 1910, Clara Zetkin, leader of the Social Democratic Party in Germany, suggested the idea of an International Women’s Day. A conference of more than 100 women from 17 countries agreed with Zetkin, and in 1911, on March 19, the first International Women’s Day was celebrated in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland. More than


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