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One Part Boldness for Best Results ONE PART COMPASSION
There is more to the practice of law than reading dusty old law books. It involves listening with your heart as well as your head. Working with people who are facing huge injustices can be frustrating for us, and even more so for our clients. Instead of letting our feelings dictate our next move, we use our knowledge, experience, and grit to prepare for battle. How do we prepare? We gather evidence to make a case. We persuade insurance carriers that our clients are honorable people whose lives have been turned upside down by an injury. If a carrier cannot be persuaded to do the right thing, then we will use the court system to obtain justice for our clients. We combine compassion with boldness to achieve results. Both of us grew up with dreams of having a career in law, but we followed quite different paths to the courtroom.
WENDY: As a teen, I didn’t know what a trial lawyer did, but I knew I wanted to be one. Whenever I saw a trial played out on a TV show or movie, I could picture myself doing that. Neither of my parents were lawyers, and I didn’t know any, but I was sure it was my calling.
LISA: As the daughter of a New York City police officer, when I was growing up, I imagined fighting crime in the courtroom as a prosecutor. It seemed like exciting and important work to me, using the law to protect society from criminals. My first position out of law school was not as a prosecutor, though. I started my legal career in 1991 with the Office of Counsel for the Archdiocese of Newark, where I was exposed to many different areas of the law, including workers’ compensation.
You know how, oftentimes, reality doesn’t match your expectations? In the case of law, it did. All
–Lisa Pezzano Mickey Compassion and boldness drive me and Wendy to achieve results. The best part of our jobs is walking into that courtroom, with our heels on and gloves off, knowing that we will be making a real difference in the lives of our clients. Fate has a way of placing you where you’re supposed to be. Twenty-six years after my first job as a licensed attorney, I continue to practice in the same court system I was introduced to as a young lawyer — the Division of Workers’ Compensation. Most of my clients never dreamed of filing a claim before. They just wanted to earn a living and never expected to get hurt. I have seen good people with many years of loyal service to an employer treated like criminals by insurance carriers merely for seeking the medical treatment they need to provide for their families. I am incensed by bureaucrats who try to micromanage medical treatment, causing further injury. Talking to people and helping them to return to productive, pain- free lives is part of my mission.
the feeling of standing in front of a jury, backed by all the preparation I’d done, and using evidence to persuade them to rule in my client’s favor.
As much as I enjoyed arguing cases in court, though, I soon realized I wasn’t representing the people who needed my help the most. I made the switch to my own practice, where I could fight for the same people I’d been arguing against. Having worked on both sides, that switch has given me an edge. Not long after moving to my own practice, I met Lisa. I had extra office space that I was looking to rent, and Lisa answered my ad. She didn’t end up renting the space, but we hit it off. We were both moms with kids around the same age, we were both lawyers, and we were practicing in similar areas. Soon, we started asking each other questions. I’d call Lisa and pick her brain about workers’ comp, then she’d call to ask me about personal injury. At some point, we realized that it would make a lot of sense to combine forces. We formed a friendship that ultimately led to a partnership. –Wendy Bornstein
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WANT TO SEE BETTER REPORT CARDS IN 2018?
Make Reading a Family Resolution
SET REWARD MILESTONES Positive reinforcement will propel your kids to keep reading long after the calendars have turned. For a certain number of books completed or hours spent reading, offer them a prize. You can even create a big end goal to really cement those reading habits. Better yet, set a combined goal that the entire family can work toward. Don’t be afraid to pull out all the stops. If your kids know that reading one book per week through June means an extra-special summer vacation, their enthusiasm won’t wane come spring. recommendations, share ratings, and create lists of both completed and to-be-read books. Users also create reading lists based on topic, genre, decade, and more. With over 2 billion books added, you’ll never run out of inspiration. Biblionasium offers the same services, but it’s designed specifically for children. Talk to other parents and create a network of friends and classmates. After all, nothing is cooler to a kid than what their friends are doing. Avid readers tend to do better academically from kindergarten through college. In fact, a study from the Journal of Education and Practice found that reading comprehension predicted success in other subjects more than any other factor. If you want to see improved report cards, make a reading resolution for your entire household. USE READING APPS Goodreads is a social network for bibliophiles. You can find
Every parent wants to see their child do well in school, and there’s one fun activity that benefits students of all ages: reading. In a world with so much stimulation, however, it can be difficult to motivate kids to put down a screen and pick up a book. New Year’s resolutions are the perfect opportunity to make reading a priority. Here are a few tips to make 2018 the year your kids become bookworms.
MAKE IT A FAMILY RESOLUTION There’s no better motivator than solidarity! Plus, we’re guessing everyone in your household could stand to read a little more. You don’t have to read the same books or set identical goals, but it’s a lot more fun when everyone participates. Schedule weekly reading discussions so everyone can share the cool stories they’ve read. Stack your completed books in your house somewhere as a monument to all the knowledge your family has gained. Dual Experts We’re not your average attorneys. For one thing, without her signature heels, Lisa is only 5 feet tall. Wendy is as cool as a cucumber, even under pressure. But the real difference is in how we tackle your case. We only handle two types of cases: personal injury and workers’ comp. Our background in these categories spans over 25 years, so we know what we’re doing. For the first 10 years of her career, Lisa defended employers in workers’ compensation claims in every county in the state of New Jersey. Wendy used to represent insurance companies. She understands how they think and what you need to get past legal roadblocks in a personal injury case. Our dual expertise also means that if there’s an overlap in your cases, we’ll be able to maximize our resources and collaborate. Let’s say you drive for a living. If you are injured in a truck accident, you may file a workers’ compensation claim. But if the crash was someone else’s fault, you might also be able to file a lawsuit against that person. With our experience in both arenas, we’ve got you covered. We’re selective about the cases we take on. To devote ample time to each case, we don’t take on very many. Our choosiness is in your interest. We’ll only take your case if we are sure you have one. If our initial research
shows that your case is not viable, we’ll tell you. We are all too familiar with the frustration of dealing with insurance companies. Let us deal with their nonsense. We’re here to fight to get you the medical treatment and compensation you deserve. If we agree to represent you, your case won’t be passed around to multiple attorneys. It will be handled by either Wendy or Lisa from start to finish.
After an Accident What to Watch Out For atc
1. Deliberate Delay. They know that, often, you are in a financial squeeze. Even if you have good health insurance, the fact that you aren’t working may make it difficult to pay co-pays and deductibles. The insurance company knows that you are getting dunned by the doctors, so they take their time with your claim. 2. Request Unnecessary Information. Insurance companies will insist that you track down every little piece of information before they can evaluate the claim. Even if the info they are now asking for would not add a penny to their offer, they are happy to wait another six weeks for you to track it down. Meanwhile, they are earning interest on the money they are NOT paying you. 3. Disputing Medical Treatment. Even though I’ve never met an adjuster who went to medical school, they seem to know just what treatment is right for you! Usually, they “know” that you were overtreated because “our computers say that you should have been better by now.”
It’s hard to tell who is on your side, especially when you’ve been in an accident. That’s why Wendy’s book, ‘Five Deadly Sins That Can Wreck Your NJ Accident Case,’ contains crucial questions to ask and advice on what to look out for after an accident. Here’s an excerpt containing three tactics insurance companies use. For years, one major insurance company encouraged claimants to not even talk to an attorney before setting the claim. They used fear (“the lawyer will take one-third of this check we’re about to pay you just for talking to them”) to dissuade people from getting good advice. Guess what? You may not need an attorney to represent you in your case! No one, however, should settle a case without understanding the system. Typically, for example, the insurance adjuster isn’t going to tell you that you might have to turn around and give the check they just gave you to your health insurance company. That adjuster just wants to close the file and get you to release all of your claims.
Here are some other tactics I’ve seen insurance companies use just to wear you out and get you to go away.
We’ll share three more tactics insurance companies use in our next newsletter. You can also request a free copy of Wendy’s book at pmblawfirm.com.
HAVE A LAUGH
Pistachio Goji BERRY GRANOLA
Want to spruce up your morning yogurt? Top it with this tasty granola. Even better, swap out the dairy for coconut yogurt and enjoy your vegan breakfast.
• • • •
1 cup rolled oats 1/2 teaspoon salt
• • • •
1/3 cup pistachios, chopped
1/4 cup coconut flakes 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon coconut oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/3 cup goji berries
1. Heat a large skillet over low heat. Add oats in a thin layer and toast for 1–2 minutes. Add coconut oil and salt, then stir. Continue toasting for 5–7 minutes, stirring occasionally. 2. Add maple syrup 1 tablespoon at a time; stir to coat. 3. Once oats are toasted, add pistachios, coconut flakes, and cinnamon. Cook
slowly until pistachios and coconut flakes are toasted but not burned, for about 5 minutes. 4. Remove from pan and stir in goji berries. 5. Let cool and enjoy as a snack or on top of your yogurt!
Recipe inspired by LoveAndLemons.com.
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
A Recipe for Justice
The Resolution That Leads to Better Grades
Why We’re Different
3 Tactics Insurance Companies Use to Wear You Out Start the Day Right With This Granola
Bleeding-Edge Tech for 2018
A ‘HYBRID REALITY ENVIRONMENT’ FROM SCIENCE FICTION Composed of 72 LCD panels, a 20-speaker immersive surround sound system, and an optical motion tracking system powered by 10 separate cameras, Cave2 is half virtual reality, half insanely futuristic whiteboard. After donning a pair of 3-D glasses, users, namely scientists and engineers, can fully immerse themselves in whatever they want, whether it’s a visualization of data that describes our solar system or, as exhibited in a recent demonstration, a model of Chicago, complete with real-time crime data. New Year, New Tech! 3 of 2018’s Most Futuristic Gadgets Instead of mounting on the wall or sitting an ordinary vertical television stand, the new Bravia TV comes equipped with a stand that leans directly on the floor. There’s no visible stand or border. The processor and other essential components are all housed in its back unit. But what’s really interesting about this TV is the way it generates sound. Examining the unit, you’ll discover there’s not a single speaker to be found. Instead, Sony’s equipped the screen itself with four actuators that turn the entire screen into a sound-emitting device — a new technology called “Acoustic Surface.” A TV THAT GENERATES SOUND WITH ITS SCREEN
Along with a collection of short-lived resolutions, each new year brings a staggering array of wild technology. Here are a few of the coolest new gadgets predicted to hit the scene in 2018.
A MICROWAVE THAT DOUBLES AS A FLASH FRIDGE
For a couple of years now, the Spanish-Korean company Frigondas has been developing a microwave that, in addition to perfectly warming up your leftovers, comes equipped with the ability to rapidly cool down foods. Not only can you use it to freeze fresh foods for later use, but you can toss a beer inside and let it chill in just a couple of minutes.
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