Smith Wallis & Scott September 2018

SEPT 2018


327 Bankhead Hwy, Carrollton, GA 30117


A Passion for Helping People

to what they need and what their expectations are and then giving them an honest overview of what we can do. We always aim to go above and beyond without overpromising. I was born in Mexico and raised in Texas. I’ve lived in the U.S. for as long as I can remember. My husband is in the military, and after we got married, he got stationed in Colorado. We lived there until he got stationed in Georgia, which brought us here. I like Georgia a lot, although the humidity takes getting used to! Moving and starting over is always hard, but I’ve gotten more familiar with our neighborhood and the events in our community, and I really enjoy it now. I play volleyball in a local league, both indoors and outdoors. I’ve played since I was in middle school, and I’m glad I can continue to play here. Outside of work, I also enjoy painting — I wish I had more time to do it! I paint oil and acrylic, and it’s a great way to relax. I also love spending time with our dogs, Bane and Loki. They definitely live up to the characters they’re named after — Loki is a little troublemaker, and Bane is the glorious defender. They’re so much fun. Working with the team here is great because the environment is very collaborative. We help each other out. Everybody pitches in — from our receptionist to our senior partners. We’re all involved, because at the end of the day, it’s about helping our clients, whether it’s a Workers’ Compensation, Personal Injury, or Social Security case. My favorite part of my job is when we accept a case. When a client comes in who is homeless or has lost their job and we can say, “Yes, we’re here. We can take your case and help you,” it’s the best feeling. For many clients, we’re their only hope. We help get their benefits started, get the medical treatment they need, and get their life back. Those are the cases that make it all worth it.

Growing up, I wasn’t exactly sure what field I wanted to go into, but I knew that whatever I did, I wanted to help people. In high school, I narrowed that down to a career in the medical or legal field. In one of my early roles, I started working for a law firm and moved into a workers’ compensation focus. I fell in love with that department. I got to experience what it’s like to help people who are injured on the job, who’ve lost their source of income, or who are homeless. You get satisfaction from knowing you can help them return to their normal lives. When I interviewed at Smith, Wallis & Scott, I felt at home. It’s one of those places where you walk in, and it’s very peaceful. Everyone was so nice. The firm I worked at before I came here was one of the biggest in its area, and it was great to come to a place that has more of a personal, homey touch. We make clients feel at home by helping them get what they deserve.

–Yasbeth Strauch

At its core, my job as Intake Director is about listening. I’m often the first point of contact for clients, and that means being there for them by listening

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Jump Back in With These Strategies

2. Set yourself up for success. You would go to that 5:30 p.m. boot camp class, but it’s right in the middle of your daughter’s dance practice. Getting to the gym is half the battle, so make it easier on yourself by preparing in advance. Find a facility with a schedule that easily fits yours. If you’re planning to work out in the morning, set your clothes out the night before, and choose an energetic song for your alarm. If there’s a class after work, consider leaving an extra set of gym clothes at your office so you’ll never have an excuse not to go. 3. Make your workout an unavoidable part of your day. It’s tempting to join your coworkers for happy hour, especially when that outdoor patio is just around the block from your office. But what if it were that easy to get to the gym? Look for facilities that are on your commute, near your work, or close to home. If it’s easy to get to, you’ll be more likely to go and still have time for that drink afterward. It may take time to make your workout routine a seamless part of your life, but implementing some of these strategies will make it easier and more enjoyable. You might even find yourself looking forward to back-to- the-gym season!

With barbecues, trips to the pool, and indulging in refreshing beverages on the patio, summer is full of relaxation and fun. But those heart-pumping, muscle-building trips to the gym may have become less frequent during the warmer months. If your workout routine went on its own summer vacation, here are three strategies to get back to it. 1. Find something you like to do. Maybe part of the reason your fitness routine took a break was because you didn’t enjoy doing it. If that’s the case, re-evaluate your options. There is no superior form of exercise, and there are plenty of options to align with your preferences. If you couldn’t get enough of hiking in national parks over the summer, join a hiking group in your community. If you prefer being on a team, look for a local adult league for your favorite sport. The accident was surprising. Out of nowhere, the car hit you. Fortunately, you’re on the road to recovery, but your car? Not so much. As you consider your next vehicle, you might be ready to buy the same make and model, but it’s worth considering your options. With new technology, updated safety ratings, and added features, there are important things to be aware of when it comes to the safety of you and your family on the road. Here are some things to keep in mind as you look for your next vehicle. LOOK AT UP-TO-DATE SAFETY RATINGS. Just as cars are constantly updated, safety ratings change and can even vary between years for the same make and model. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) frequently gives out an updated list of safety information, and it’s a good place to start when choosing a new car. Look for cars with a five-star NHTSA rating. You can also check out the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for additional guidance. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF NEW TECHNOLOGY. In addition to the safety features that protect you in the event of a collision, active safety features are there to prevent an accident from happening in the first place. Features like lane departure warnings, blind spot detection, a backup camera, and forward collision warnings can all help warn you of an unseen threat to your safety. TIME FOR A NEW CAR? Evaluating Vehicle Safety After an Accident

SIZE MAY MAKE A DIFFERENCE. While smaller vehicles do get you better mileage, if they’re small and light, they may not prove to be as protective in the event of a crash. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has found that lighter vehicles can be susceptible to a higher crash force, potentially providing less protection. Do your research to find out the ratings for smaller cars, and consider if a midsize or large car would be a better fit. While technology and good ratings can help, it’s always important to remember that you are the person in control of the vehicle. Ultimately, you shouldn’t rely on technology alone to keep you safe. Use your best judgment, and be safe on the road. If you’ve been in an accident, the lawyers at Smith, Wallis & Scott, LLP have more than 80 years of combined experience in looking out for the interests of injured people and making sure they get all the benefits they deserve. Give us a call at 770-214-2500.



A Look Inside Simple Living

At 32, Elizabeth Willard Thames walked away from her career and urban life, and she and her husband, as well as their young girls, moved to a homestead in rural Vermont. What made them do it? As Willard Thames accounts in her blog, “Frugalwoods,” two years prior to embarking on this adventure, the couple had an epiphany: They weren’t satisfied with their lives and sought a more meaningful experience. So they set out with a plan to save, save, save, putting money away — up to 80 percent of their earnings — so they could follow their dreams. Today, Willard Thames does some freelance writing, and her husband does IT work remotely, but the couple spends much of their time outdoors, cultivating a life based on their own values and learning the art of homesteading. How did they save early on, and how do they make living simply not only a reality, but an enjoyable one at that? 1. Make everything from scratch. Early on, the Thames’ committed to buying food in bulk and making everything from scratch, including bread. Today, they continue that pursuit and take it one step further by growing their own food. They have mature apple and plum trees, garden beds, and a barn with animals, all of which help them be self-sufficient and save money. 2. Categorize expenses and eliminate non-necessities. This starts with reviewing last month’s spending. Willard Thames recommends Personal Capital, a free finance tracking app, as a tool. But

there are many methods out there, including spreadsheets. Try different methods to find out what works for you.

Willard Thames recommends splitting up your expenses into two categories: fixed mandatory expenses (expenses that are fairly stable, like rent and mortgage) and discretionary expenses (everything else). She then challenges you to figure out which discretionary expenses you can eliminate entirely and to rethink what you spend money on. “For example, if you’re panicking over how to get your favorite cable shows without paying for cable: what if you simply gave up watching those shows? What would happen? What could you do with your time instead?” Thames suggests. 3. Find cheaper — or free — replacements. Willard Thames recognizes that saying goodbye to your favorite TV show, yoga class, or whatever activity or good you love but costs money can be hard. Enter the “art of substitution.” Instead of saying goodbye altogether to something you enjoy, find a cheaper or free version. Is your favorite coffee shop costing you $50 a week? What if you found a way to make a similar coffee drink at home for less? What if you check out movies or books from the library? Find new ways to enjoy your favorite things. As Willard Thames writes, “We don’t eliminate the things we love most; rather, we do them for less.”



Panzanella, a Tuscan favorite, is a salad that features hearty chunks of bread instead of leafy greens as its base. What could be better for a late-summer cookout?


1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1 small loaf French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)

1 cucumber, sliced into rounds

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

20 basil leaves, chopped

2 large tomatoes, cubed

Salt, to taste

2 red bell peppers, seeded and cubed



your favorite vinaigrette and mix again. 3. Serve immediately or let sit 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.


Place a large sauté pan over medium-low heat and add olive oil. Add bread and 1 teaspoon

salt, and toss often for 10 minutes or until toasted. 2. In a large bowl, mix vegetables and herbs. Toss in bread and

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Inspired by Food Network


(770) 214-2500 INSIDE THIS ISSUE

327 Bankhead Hwy Carrollton, GA 30117

1 2

A Passion for Helping

3 Fitness Strategies for the Back-to-School Season

Is It Time for a Safer Car?


How One Family Followed Their Dreams

Late-Summer Panzanella


Falsities You’ve Been Told About Jury Duty

JURY DUTY MYTHS Summoned to Court

selecting jurors for a long time and know when someone is lying to them. Your best bet will be to give honest answers to the questions they ask.

NO VOTING, NO JURY DUTY According to another circulating myth, if you aren’t registered to vote, you don’t have to serve jury duty. Many people believe this myth because voting enters you into the jury duty pool, but there are other means by which citizens are chosen. Other ways you’re entered into the pool include buying a home, paying taxes, and getting a driver’s license. Even if you aren’t registered to vote, you’re still liable to be summoned. SERVING JURY DUTY WILL GET YOU FIRED If you’re worried about getting fired for serving jury duty, you can breathe easy. Your employer cannot fire you once you’ve been selected for jury service. In fact, if your boss threatens to fire you for it, they will face the penalties, which include fines and even jail time. Many employers know and understand this, but if yours doesn’t, you can submit a file of complaint to the trial court administrator, and they will take care of the rest for you. The system to select jurors has been around for a while, and those involved know what they’re doing. It’s best to go in with an open mind and be completely honest. After all, it is your civic duty to do so.

There are so many rumors about jury duty that it can be difficult to know which ones are true. Here are three of the most popular speculations, debunked.

ADMITTING BIAS WILL ENSURE YOUR DISMISSAL If you admit that you are biased when you serve jury duty, it does not guarantee your dismissal. In fact, a judge cannot dismiss you for being biased — but an attorney can. In addition, attempting to portray yourself as a biased person can put you in a troubling situation. Attorneys and judges have been


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