Berlin Law Firm January 2019

LEX CANIS THE Lee Berlin Kyle Killam Andrea Brown

I Don’t Do Just One New Year’s Resolution Here’s Why

As the new year rolls around again, I’m sure many of our readers are putting their New Year’s resolutions into action. I wish you all the luck in the world, but I’ll be honest, the odds aren’t in your favor. Thanks to research conducted by the University of Scranton, we know that only around 8 percent of these yearly goals actually pan out. Those are loser odds and a sucker’s bet. So am I saying we just throw in the towel and give up on the whole idea? No, not at all. At its core, the idea behind resolutions is great — we should strive to improve our personal and professional lives from year to year. But there are a lot of problems with the way we create and approach these goals. I find a lot more success by reframing the approach entirely.

failed. I don’t know about you, but starting in such a negative headspace doesn’t exactly fire me up to make a life change. Think about it. Even if a football team is down at half-time, the coach doesn’t berate players for every fumble or stalled drive. He fires them up. He reminds them of their accomplishments, of how hard they’ve worked as individuals and a team to get to this moment. That’s how we should start the new year, running out onto the field with our past victories fresh in our minds, knowing we can win. That’s why every month, I write down one win I had. It can be big or small, but every single one has a victory tied to it. By the

The other change I’ve made to the resolution formula is that, rather than have one big goal for the year, I give myself 12 smaller goals — one per month, no repeats. This way, I’ve got something fresh and new to strive for every single month. Even if I fall short of a goal one month, that failure doesn’t define my year. Come the next day, I have a new shot at a new goal to strive for. So rather than strive for one big change and risk burning out by February, why not shrink things down to manageable chunks? It’s like eating an elephant — you gotta do it one bite at a time. Feel free to be flexible with this approach. Last April, my goal of attempting the keto diet resulted in such positive benefits beyond just my weight that I ended up making May, June, and July fitness goals to carry that momentum forward. Looking back on how incredible 2018 was for my health and for the growth of this firm, it’s hard to argue with results. So if you’re already struggling to keep those traditional resolutions, why not give this method a shot? For the 8 percenters that can actually manage a single-year moonshot of a goal, more power to them. But I’ll take the methodical, positive approach any day of the week.

As someone who’s struggled with weight since childhood, I have a pretty good grasp of why these annual efforts fail for so many. The biggest problem is that resolutions start from a place of shame. Thinking up a list of things you want to change in your life at the close of the year makes it easy to dwell on the areas where we’ve fallen short. The practice highlights where we’re lacking, where we’ve

time I get to December, I don’t have to try and give myself a pep talk. I’ve got 12 awesome reminders of just how much I accomplished in the last year. If you’re too hard on yourself at the end of the year or find it difficult to maintain your enthusiasm for your resolutions, I recommend giving this practice a shot.

Best of luck, and have a great new year!

- Lee Berlin

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Meet Alli Our New Legal Assistant!

As we kick off the new year, we’re excited to feature the newest member of our team, Alli Ginn! Since last November, Alli has taken care of all the odds and ends that keep our cases running smoothly. From reaching out to clients over the phone to conducting invaluable research on cases, her upbeat attitude and years of administrative experience shine through. Originally from Bentonville, Arkansas, Alli got her start in administrative assistance working in the oil and gas industry. “I learned that I don’t really like being in charge, but I love helping people,” she reflects, “I’ve always preferred to be the right hand to the boss.” Beyond just a great attitude for customer service, Alli has a passion for learning and personal growth — by her first week at our firm, she was already halfway through Lee’s first book!

Listen to Something New

The Best Podcasts to Start in 2019

Though podcasts have been around for over a decade, they have only recently found their stride in popular culture. And they don’t all feature nerds talking about “Game of Thrones.” In this form of audio entertainment, there really is something for everyone. A number of podcasts have broken into mainstream pop culture, like “My Favorite Murder,” “This American Life,” and NPR’s “Planet Money.” But these are only the tip of the iceberg. Here are a few lesser-known podcasts that are seriously worth your time. START SOMETHING FUN: ‘SPIRITS’ The title “Spirits” is a play on the stories told and drinks enjoyed on this podcast. Co-hosts Amanda McLoughlin and Julia Schifini offer a fresh take on myths, legends, and folklore. From Greek classics to the tale of the Javanese Mermaid Queen, these lifelong friends and mythology enthusiasts examine what the stories we tell say about our culture, traditions, and values. If you’re eager to fill your year with something kinda creepy and kinda cool, you can’t go wrong with “Spirits.” Start listening at GO ON AN ADVENTURE: ‘THE FAR MERIDIAN’ Audio dramas are back and thriving in the world of podcasts. “The Far Meridian” explores the story of Peri, a lighthouse keeper whose brother disappeared long ago. Peri is terrified of leaving her home, so she’s never discovered what happened to him. That changes when her lighthouse begins to appear in a new location every morning, initiating her search for her brother. Fantastically fun and painfully real, this is a story about the courage it takes to leave home behind. Join the girl in the lighthouse at TACKLE YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS: ‘THE MARIE FORLEO PODCAST’ We all need some advice. Why not get it from someone who knows what they’re talking about? Marie Forleo is an entrepreneur, writer, and philanthropist. And according to Oprah, she’s a thought leader for the next generation. Her mission is to help you become the person you most want to be. On the podcast, Marie and her guests discuss business, relationships, fear, love, and so much more. Get inspired at This list is just a start to the wealth of amazing, diverse podcasts out there. News recaps, sports history, true crime, pop-culture throwbacks, and plenty more fantastic audio entertainment awaits on your phone’s podcast app. Start listening to your new obsession today!

This is the first time Alli will be using her administrative experience in a legal setting, and she has risen to the challenge with gusto. “I like delving into the complexity,” she remarks. “I’ve been learning so much, from marketing to criminal law — it’s exciting!” Between her many years of experience and her willingness to learn and adapt, we knew we’d found the perfect fit for our firm. Outside the office, Alli enjoys spending time with her husband and three daughters, taking in all that the greater Tulsa area has to offer. “I love it here because you get the big city experience, but you can drive 30 minutes and be at a lake. You still get the peace of nature.” Indeed, her family avoids keeping their boat in the water so they can explore different lakes year-round. At home, Alli enjoys cooking, especially when it comes to trying new dishes. “I try to cook something we’ve never had before at least once a week,” she explains. “The kids find it annoying,” she adds with a laugh, “but I think it’s important for them to learn to try new things while they’re young.” Indeed, this philosophy characterizes Alli’s professional approach as well. “I always try to have an open mind. I want to learn and grow with this firm so I can be the person they need me to be.”

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Oklahoma Statute Offers Fresh Start As you saw in our November newsletter, thousands of Oklahomans now have the chance for a fresh start. As of Nov. 1, 2018, a change in the law to Expungement of Criminal Records went into effect, easing the restrictions on clearing nonviolent felonies from one’s record. For so many people with nonviolent felonies in their past who have gotten their lives back on track, this is incredible news. WHAT’S CHANGED Previously in Oklahoma, you needed to obtain a full pardon from the governor to expunge your felony record. This is something not easily achieved. You also were required to have no other felony convictions in your history and no misdemeanors in the past 15 years. On top of all of this, 10 years had to elapse from the moment you completed your sentence before you could even begin the process of seeking expungement. Now you do not need a full pardon to clear your nonviolent felony conviction. You still cannot have any other felony convictions, but the grace period for misdemeanors has moved down to seven years . Best of all, you can seek expungement a mere five years after completing your sentence. Former ineligible expungement candidates are now afforded the chance to get their lives back on track. FRESH START FOR 2019

NOT SURE IF YOU’RE ELIGIBLE? The law can be confusing, and the last thing you want to do is spend the time, money, and energy seeking an expungement only to find that you don’t meet the full requirements. That’s why our very experienced expungement attorney waived his consultation fees for January to help former nonviolent felons find out if they are eligible for this opportunity. With the number of people who called during the past two months, we have decided to carry forward this opportunity for those in need into January 2019! READY TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP? If you are eligible for an expungement under the new law, we want to help you clear your name as soon as possible. That’s why, for the month of January, we are offering our assistance for those qualified individuals to get that expungement at a super reduced rate. Now through Jan. 31, 2019, for attorney fees of only $1,000 (that is a $1,500 discount), you can hire the fine folks at the Berlin Law Firm to help you get your case expunged and the fresh start you deserve. Want 2019 to be your best year yet? An expungement is the perfect place to start. Call us today at (918) 770-0172 for your FREE eligibility determination.

Inspired Be

Brussels Sprout Hash


Inspired by Food Republic

1 sprig fresh rosemary

4 cups Brussels sprouts, finely shredded

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 eggs

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced


1. In a cast-iron skillet or large sauté pan, heat oil to medium. 2. Once shimmering, add rosemary for 1 minute, then remove sprig. 3. Reduce heat to medium-low, add onion and garlic, and cook until onion softens, about 5 minutes. 4. Increase heat to medium-high, add Brussels sprouts, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes. 5. Using a large spoon, create 4 wells for eggs. Pour 1 egg into each well and cook until set. 6. Carefully remove eggs and Brussels sprouts from pan and serve.

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8516 E. 101st Street, Suite A Tulsa, Oklahoma 74133

Phone: 918-770-0172

Inside This Issue

An Alternative to a New Year’s Resolution Page 1

My Favorite Podcast Meet Alli Ginn Page 2

EXPUNGEMENT PALOOZA! Get a Fresh Start in 2019 Brussels Sprout Hash Page 3

Why January?

The Origin of New Year’s Day

adjusting the term limits of elected officials. As you could imagine, this caused a lot of chaos, because months frequently slipped out of time with the changing seasons. After becoming emperor, Julius Caesar brought about some much-needed reforms. Inspired by the Egyptian solar calendar, Caesar fixed the Roman year at 365 days and instituted the leap year to keep months aligned with the solstices. He moved the new year from the spring to the day that elected officials traditionally began their year-long terms, Jan. 1. This choice carried spiritual significance, since January was named for Janus, god of doors and gates. What better month to celebrate new beginnings? Under Caesar and subsequent rulers, the Roman Empire expanded its reach, carrying its calendar with it. While much of Europe adopted Caesar’s calendar, New Year’s Day remained a hot-button issue for centuries.

Thanks in part to the spread of Christianity and to the colder conditions in Northern Europe, there was a lot of resistance to the January start date. Religious leaders saw it as a pagan holiday, and much of Europe chose to restart the calendar on March 25, during the Feast of Annunciation. Much of Catholic Europe officially recognized Jan. 1 as the start of the new year after Pope Gregory reformed the solar calendar again, correcting certain mathematical errors made in Caesar’s day. There were still holdouts, however. In fact, England and its American colonies continued to celebrate New Year’s Day in March until 1752. So there you have it — we were very close to having our fireworks celebrations in lovely spring weather. Ultimately, the ubiquity of the Gregorian calendar won out, as the demands of our increasingly interconnected world made a shared calendar a necessity. So if you struggle to start your New Year’s resolutions this winter, blame Julius Caesar.

The month of January kicks off by welcoming the new year — there are countdowns, fireworks, and of course, the ball drop in a freezing-cold Times Square. But why? Why do we start our calendars when much of the U.S. is in the dead of winter? Why January? The short answer is Julius Caesar and Roman politics. The calendar had long been a political tool in Rome. Depending on who was in power, Roman pontifices would add or subtract entire weeks from the year, manually

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