NAVIGATING THE COURTROOM Battling Your Fears and First-Day Jitters
A s a lawyer, I know a lot about the law. That might seem pointless to say, but some of my clients tend to forget that I can be a resource to them during their case process. I also tend to forget that my clients are not experts at law. They don’t understand the timeline of a case or much of the terminology we routinely use. As we go through the process though, I want my clients to know that I’m there to help them. Not understanding how case proceedings go or how court works can lead to unnecessary fears among clients. I’ve even had clients duck out of cases right as they were nearing trial because fear overcame them. Most people don’t see a courtroom on a daily basis, and their only insight into it is from TV. (Please don’t believe any of that is real.) So, not only is the room itself daunting, but the motions, filings, and everything leading up to trial can be confusing and scary. Even as a lawyer, I’ve had my fair share of confusing moments. Law school doesn’t prepare you to be a real lawyer. It teaches you to think like a lawyer. “Fake it till you make it” should be the tagline of all first-year lawyers as they smile and nod their way through countless tasks they don’t really understand. Any veteran lawyer can recognize the smile plastered on a panicked young lawyer as the sweat trickles down their brow. I’ll never forget the first time I had to take a case to court. In the judicial system, any time you file something or are scheduling a time in court, you have to let the other side know. With that notice comes proof that you served it. In this particular case, that proof was in the form of a certified mail green card.
up to the packed courtroom on the day of the hearing with my stomach in knots and my face as pale as a ghost. My case happened to be the last the judge was hearing that day, and when it came time for it, the judge and I were the only ones in the room.
“This will be a cakewalk,” I thought. “The other party didn’t even show!”
The judge looked at me and asked if I had my green card. Stupidly, I responded, “No, Judge. I was born here.” Needless to say, without the other side there due to my mistake, the hearing didn’t happen that day. The judge was a good person, and she only gave me a good ribbing about it. To this day, she never lets me forget it. I even represented her later in an insurance case. Every lawyer has their own horror stories, and I’ve had plenty more. I remember on my first day as a judge, I completely forgot to read instructions for the jury — a key part to ensuring a fair jury trial. Some good-natured lawyers clued me in, fortunately in private, and we kept going. Even as the experts, lawyers get nervous sometimes, but we’re lucky enough to keep practicing and working through our fears. We know what it’s like to make a mistake or be nervous in front of a judge because we’ve experienced it. If you’re not sure about what the next steps are in your case or don’t understand what a motion means, don’t hesitate to ask! We went to law school to, or course, learn these steps and help you.
And if you feel weird about it, we can share our own embarrassing stories to lighten the mood.
I was filing a summary judgment for my first hearing, which meant the opposing side had 21 days after the filing date to prepare for court. I showed
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salary. According to a study conducted by Harvard Business Review, these five benefits are considerably more desirable than others.
No. 1: Health, Dental, and Vision Insurance As the cost of health care has skyrocketed in recent decades, so too has the demand for employers to provide comprehensive coverage. Unsurprisingly, it’s the most expensive benefit to provide. Weighing how much coverage your company is willing to offer may be a delicate balancing act, but the rewards can completely change your business for the better. Companies like Patagonia, with its best-in-class maternity policy, retain employees at a significantly higher rate than average. No. 2: Flexible Hours Our lives are busier than ever before, and scheduling conflicts crop up all the time. Employees don’t like having to decide between working and attending their child’s soccer games. Offering some flexibility in terms of when somebody can work, therefore, is extremely desirable.
THE TOP 5 EMPLOYEE BENEFITS
A Powerful Recruitment and Retention Tool
The most powerful employee recruitment and retention tools a business has are the pay and the benefits package it offers. While a killer company culture and creative amenities look great in a magazine spread, they aren’t enough to convince top talent that their future lies with your business. The right benefits package, though, could persuade a prospective employee to choose a position at your company over another that offers a similar
No. 3: More Vacation Time In the European Union, companies are required to offer at least 20 days of paid vacation to employees. In
TEXAS’ CONVENIENCE STORE AND REAL ESTATE EXPERT
Meet Shehzad Bhayani
A fter 20 years in real estate, Shehzad Bhayani is an expert at his craft. His previous experience with convenience stores only adds to the expertise he can offer to his extensive clientele, who are looking to expand or open stores in Texas. Shehzad operates his own real estate team under Beam Real Estate, LLC, servicing a variety of convenience store buyers outside of Texas. Shehzad’s work is hectic and operates nearly 24/7 — yet he wouldn’t want it any other way. Helping buyers find the perfect piece of real estate for their store has become a passion for Shehzad. Even with his knowledge and expertise, Shehzad says he’s also thankful he has the guidance and help of The Gibson Law Group to provide an extra resource for his interested buyers and sellers.
Shehzad has been working with our firm for about three years now, and will refer his clients to the firm for help with contracts and legal questions. Connecting clients to the resources they need is a core value for Shehzad. By having legal aid, insurance partners, and contact with other small-business experts, Shehzad knows his clients will feel safe and confident moving forward with his real estate team. Working with Shehzad has been an absolute pleasure, as we know we are working with someone who is not only an expert in his field, but who is also accommodating to his clients and their processes. If you’re interested in purchasing a convenience store or selling one to the right buyer, contact Shehzad at email@example.com for a professional and gratifying experience.
THE REAL HALLOWEEN TOWN
the U.S., that number falls to a whopping 0. In fact, 1 in 4 American employees doesn’t get paid time off at all. The more you offer, the more appealing you’ll be. No. 4: Work-From-Home Options Technology has made it so that many employees don’t need to be in the office all the time. Because of this, many employees actively seek out jobs that provide flexible work options. Even offering one or two work-from-home days per week can be a huge draw for candidates. No. 5: Unlimited Vacation This policy might sound crazy on first read, but admired companies like Hubspot, Dropbox, and Netflix all offer unlimited vacation. Each company structures their policy a little differently, but they all stress the importance of work-life balance to support happy, productive, and fulfilled employees. If you’ve found yourself wondering why you can’t attract the candidates you want, take a look at your benefits policy. When you can’t compete on that front, you’ll find it mighty difficult to get and keep the best people. SUDOKU
COUNTY MEATH, IRELAND, WHERE HALLOWEEN BEGAN
Fans of Halloween don’t need to look far to find somewhere to celebrate their favorite holiday. There are festive parties all over the world, from New Orleans to London, but if you really want to embrace the spirit of Halloween, there’s no better destination than the birthplace of the holiday: County Meath, Ireland. Every year in Boyne Valley, the residents of County Meath throw a month-long Halloween celebration. The Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival attracts thousands of guests from all over the world, and while this festival has only been celebrated since 2009, many of the traditions observed here date back to ancient times. The ancient Irish weren’t trick-or-treating or visiting haunted houses on Oct. 31, but they were celebrating the pagan holiday Samhain. Over 3,000 years ago, this Celtic festival was born in Meath and marked the end of the harvest. Samhain was celebrated with bonfires, offerings to fairies, and other rituals meant to keep evil spirits away. Many of these customs carried through the centuries and inspired Halloween traditions that are still practiced today. Today, Meath celebrates Oct. 31 with a blend of spooky thrills and traditional Samhain practices. The Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival starts with the lighting of the first torch fire of Samhain in Athboy, which kicks off a month of fun activities. If you like your Halloween extra spooky, the scream park, Farmaphobia, is waiting for you. And if you’re not a fan of screaming your head off, you can check out the Halloween-themed Spookling Afternoon Tea for fresh- baked treats and spirited conversation. The motto of this all-ages festival is “Fun by Day; Frights by Night,” meaning all the really scary ghosts wait until after sunset to come out. There are plenty of ways to celebrate Halloween, from carving jack-o’-lanterns and eating chocolate to running for your life through a haunted corn maze. And in County Meath, you can celebrate Halloween in every possible way. For more info, visit Discoverboynevalley.ie/whats-on/spirits-meath- halloween-festival-2018 .
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TAKE A BREAK
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INSIDE Fears in the Courtroom
The Most Sought-After Employee Benefits
Spotlight on Real Estate Agent Shehzad Bhayani
Take a Break!
The Birthplace of Halloween
Learn a New Language as a Family
LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE AS A FAMILY
Let Your Children Speak to the World
more people in their community, and they’ll be more hirable as adults. Bonus: It’s commonly considered one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn. Mandarin is the most-spoken language on the planet, and China’s growth as an economic powerhouse has made this language even more useful around the world. German, Arabic, and Japanese speakers are also highly sought- after in the job market. Of course, you can always let your wanderlust or passions decide for you! Is your child obsessed with K-Pop? Have them learn Korean. Want to take them to Paris someday? Enroll in French classes. The languages of the world are at your fingertips. Learning a new skill has never been easier! While there’s no substitute for a full-time class or moving to another country, there are countless ways to teach yourself a new language right at home, usually for free. YouTube tutorials, podcasts, and audiobooks let you rewind and listen to the lessons as many times as needed to master pronunciations. Can’t tear your child away from their cellphone? Download Duolingo, rated by PCMag.com as the best free language-learning app of 2018.
As the weather cools down, finding ways to spend quality time as a family can become challenging. It’s too cold to camp or barbecue, and money may be tight with the holidays coming up. So why not turn learning a new skill into a bonding experience this fall? You can do it inside, it’s free, and it will open doors around the world for the rest of your children’s lives. Why learn a new language? Speaking multiple languages creates opportunities for your child. Being bilingual makes you more qualified for a variety of exciting careers and can improve your competitiveness in the job market. Knowing a second language can also allow you to travel with greater ease and become more culturally well-rounded. There are some studies that claim learning languages is even good for your health. Research shows that our language acquisition skills peak in childhood or adolescence, so starting young is the best way to become fluent. If your child is in school, they probably already know classmates who speak another language. Which language should you learn? Did you know that 40 million Americans currently speak Spanish at home? The U.S. is the second- largest Spanish-speaking country in the world, and we border the largest, so learning this language is a great way for children to communicate with
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