Legally Brief With Kevin Patrick Automobile accidents | Daycare injuries | wrongful death
Lessons From Janus and Cicero
How Majoring in Classics Made Me a Better Lawyer
The month of January was actually named for the Roman god Janus. According to legend, Janus was the god of gates, doors, archways, and new beginnings. He had two faces: one looking forward and the other looking backward, mimicking the way a door can swing in both directions. Personally, I think Janus was the perfect choice for the first month of the year because a new year is both an ending (in this case, the ending of an entire decade!) and a beginning. It’s a doorway we pass through on our way to whatever comes next. This year mulling over the legend of Janus sent me all the way back to college. When I was an undergraduate at the University of Georgia, I majored in Latin, history, and classical culture, so Roman culture was my bread and butter. In retrospect, being a Classics major had a profound impact on the person I am today, and both my professors and the historical figures populating my textbooks shaped me as a lawyer. One particular classics professor, Dr. James Anderson Jr., was a wonderful mentor. I’m so thankful I was able to take his classes and learn from him, and I still consider him a friend. We meet to catch up from time to time, and I always look forward to reminiscing about the summer abroad I took in Rome under his supervision. It was 2005, and I understood even then that having the opportunity to explore the city and learn from a professor who’d spent his life studying Roman archeology was priceless. During my studies, I also came across the life and philosophy of Marcus Tullius Cicero. Cicero was a Latin orator and statesman, and his story helped me realize the foundation of law is a bit like Janus: It requires looking back at past precedents and forward at future possibilities simultaneously. One thing I’ll never forget about Cicero is his passion for the concept of “humanitas,” or humanity, in law. He recognized that law isn’t cold and calculating, but rooted in the humanity of people and culture. Cicero taught that every person we encounter in law is a very real person, and that really resonated
with me as a college student. I decided then and there I’d never lose sight of Cicero’s idea. My clients would always be people to me and my staff, never numbers or dollar signs. I’ve held myself to that standard throughout the years, and I view my clients as not only people but, in many cases, friends. Looking ahead to 2020, I can promise more of the same! Speaking of looking forward, I took a few minutes to ponder the other facet of Janus this month, too. I’ve decided that in the future, all things being equal, I’d love to retire years from now back to Athens, Georgia, and take a few classes in Greek at UGA. I think any future full of knowledge is a bright one. If there’s anything I can do for you this month to help you move forward into the new year don’t hesitate to call my office. You can reach me at 404-566-5880 or Kevin@patricktriallaw.com. I’m ready to help.
This publication is for informational purposes only, and no legal advice is intended.
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The Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist HISTORY’S SWEETEST THEFT
3 Reasons to Put Down Your Cell Phone in 2020
This Year, Resolve to Remember Georgia’s Hands-Free Law
Maple syrup holds a proud place in the history and culture of Quebec, Canada. It’s also a big part of Quebec’s economy, with 72% of the world’s maple syrup produced in Quebec alone. Due to tactics employed by the Federation of Quebec Maple
This month, thousands of Americans will resolve to limit their screen time in 2020. If you keep an eye on major news outlets, you already know the hours per day we spend glued to our cell phones, laptops, and tablets is a controversial issue. Kids and teens make the news the most for their tech obsession, but even seniors are spending less time reading and socializing in favor of staring at screens. In 2020, consider jumping on the bandwagon and resolving to put down your cell phone a bit more — not because it’s trendy but because it’s the smart, logical choice for your health (and your wallet). Here’s why. 1. IF YOU’RE DRIVING, IT’S ILLEGAL! In 2018, Georgia passed a hands-free law that made it illegal for drivers to touch their phones behind the wheel. “Even with hands-free technology, drivers cannot write, read, or send text messages, emails, social media content, and other internet data while on the road,” writes the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in Georgia. Fines start at $50 and can run up to $150 for repeat offenders. Why risk it? 2. IT COULD BOOST YOUR MENTAL HEALTH. Studies show that spending too much time on our phones can interfere with healthy sleep patterns, leaving us groggy and grumpy. Social media has also been linked to mental health problems. Psychology Today reports, “Studies found the tendency to compare oneself to others on social media — whether you see yourself in a more positive or more negative light — is a significant risk factor for depression and anxiety.” 3. YOUR FAMILY WILL THANK YOU. How would you feel if you came into our office for a consultation with Kevin Patrick, only to have him text through the whole meeting? You’d probably be upset and justifiably so! Though Kevin would never do that, odds are there have been times your own spouse or kids have felt similarly unheard. Next time you sit down to a family dinner, switch your phone to silent and look your family in the eye — your relationships will thank you! Kevin has taken the leap himself by resolving to spend less time with his phone this year, but he’ll still always pick up at the office! Call him today at 404-566-5880 if you’re struggling with a legal problem.
Syrup Producers (FPAQ), the NPR-backed podcast “The Indicator” estimates that maple syrup is valued at approximately $1,300 per barrel — over 20 times more than crude oil. The FPAQ controls the available syrup supply, never releasing enough maple syrup to meet demand, which increases the price. As a result, most of the world’s maple syrup is stored in various reserves. Between 2011 and 2012, a group of thieves decided to liberate the syrup from an FPAQ facility in Saint-Louis-de-Blandford, Quebec. Stealing syrup from Canada doesn’t sound as glamorous as stealing cash from a Vegas casino, but their plan could rival the plot of “Ocean’s Eleven.” At the FPAQ facility, syrup was stored in unmarked metal barrels and only inspected once a year. The heist, led by a man named Richard Vallières, involved transporting the barrels to a remote sugar shack in the Canadian wilderness, where they siphoned off the maple syrup, refilled the barrels with water, and returned the barrels to the facility. The stolen syrup was then trucked east to New Brunswick and south across the border into Vermont. Wisely, the thieves sold their ill-gotten goods in small batches, avoiding suspicion from legitimate syrup distributors. In what is now known as the Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist, thieves made off with 10,000 barrels of maple syrup valued at $18.7 million. This remains one of the most costly heists in Canadian history. Vallières himself became a millionaire and took his family on three tropical vacations in one year. Unfortunately, the thieves got sloppy and stopped refilling the barrels with water. When an FPAQ inspector visited the targeted facility in the fall of 2012, he accidentally knocked over one of the empty barrels. The inspector alerted the police, who would go on to arrest 17 men in connection to the theft, including Vallières himself. Police were then able to recover hundreds of barrels of the stolen syrup, but most of it was never recovered — likely lost to pancake breakfasts far away.
You can always reach Kevin directly at 404-566-8964 or Kevin@PatrickTrialLaw.com. (If you ever need it, his cell phone is 404-409-3160.)
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continuing National Soup Month! 5 Atlanta Restaurants to Visit for Delicious Soup
THE GENERAL MUIR: MATZOH BALL SOUP If you’ve never had matzo ball soup (or as The General Muir spells it, “matzoh” ball soup) you’re missing out on a traditional delicacy. This gem hidden in the restaurant’s popular menu features fluffy matzo meal soup dumplings floating in savory chicken broth. GIO’S CHICKEN AMALFITANO: ZUPPA This delicious dish earned a rave review in Atlanta magazine, and we love it, too. Made with leftover chunks of the restaurant’s famous Sorrento Lemon Chicken, it’s topped off with parsley, carrots, and tiny nuggets of acini di pepe pasta. Atlanta magazine’s Jennifer Zyman writes, “You can also grab a quart to go from the fridge to the left of the cashier. I like to keep a few in my chest freezer for whenever a cold hits.” We couldn’t fit in all our favorite soups, but honorable mentions include the deeply savory, satisfying pho from Pho Dai Loi 2 (one Yelp reviewer wrote, “Of all the pho
December was National Soup Month, and with the weather dreary, we couldn’t resist putting together a list of our favorite soup spots in Atlanta for you to taste test. Some of these restaurants and their specialties have earned national acclaim (Anthony Bourdain, for example, once featured The General Muir on his food show “The Layover”), while others are simply local favorites with delicious flavors to offer. In no particular order, here are our top soup picks and a few honorable mentions: SOUPER JENNY: MY DAD’S TURKEY CHILI As the name of this soup implies, the recipe comes straight from Souper Jenny founder Jenny Levison’s father, and it has been an Atlanta favorite for decades. In 2018, just before her dad’s 91st birthday, Jenny shared the recipe on her website. The sweet, medium-heat chili features red onion; three types of bell pepper; lean group turkey; chili powder; brown sugar; crushed tomatoes; white, kidney, chili, and black beans; olive oil; brown sugar; and hot sauce.
spots in Atlanta, I think Pho Dai Loi 2 is near the top. The pho broth has a very nice mouth feel and flavor, and portions are hefty.”) and the shrimp corn chowder from Taqueria del Sol. Do you have a favorite soup? We’d love to hear about it. Next time you’re in our office, let us know what you’re eating to stay warm!
A traditional New Year’s favorite in the South, Hoppin’ John includes black-eyed peas that are said to represent coins, a sign of prosperity for the coming year. It’s usually served alongside collard greens, which represent cash.
Ingredients • 1 cup dried black-eyed peas • 5–6 cups water • 1 dried hot pepper, optional (arbol and Calabrian are great options)
• 1 smoked ham hock • 1 medium onion, diced • 1 cup long-grain white rice
Directions 1. Wash and sort peas. 2. In a saucepan, cover peas with water, discarding any that float. 3. Add pepper, ham hock, and onion. Gently boil and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until peas are just tender, about 90 minutes. At this point, you should have about 2 cups of liquid remaining. 4. Add rice, cover, drop heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes, undisturbed. 5. Remove from heat and let steam for an additional 10 minutes, still covered. 6. Remove lid, fluff with a fork, and serve.
Inspired by Epicurious
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Inside This Issue 1 Lessons From Janus and Cicero 2 The Sweetest Crime in History 3 Reasons to Put Down Your Cell Phone in 2020 3 5 Atlanta Soups to Try This Winter Hoppin’ John 4 Do You Know When Sherlock Holmes Was Born?
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A Birthday? Elementary. Can Your Family Solve the Mystery of Sherlock Holmes’ Birthday?
1. Read: Dive into the original stories that created the world’s most famous detective. Read and exchange the books as a family, or have your little one practice reading out loud before bedtime. There’s no better way to experience the stories that have captivated audiences than by rereading them in any order, and you just may find a clue others have missed. 2. Research: Channel Holmes and Dr. Watson and become detectives yourselves! Read up on the clues, examine all the angles, and see what you discover about this mysterious birthday. 3. Host a Party: Host a Sherlock-themed bash to celebrate the famed supersleuth’s birthday! Debate the clues of Holmes’ mysterious birthday, and see if any of your guests have interesting theories.
Readers have loved adventuring with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson as they solve some of England’s most dastardly mysteries for the past 100 years, but there’s one huge mystery that no one can seem to solve: When is Sherlock Holmes’ birthday? On Jan. 6, 2020, Holmes fans will celebrate the famed fictional detective’s 166th birthday, but it’s a day author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle never specified in any of the books. In “His Last Bow,” Doyle describes Holmes as 60 years old in the year 1914. That places Holmes’ birth year in 1854, but why was Jan. 6 chosen as his day of birth? In the 1930s, Holmes superfan, journalist, and novelist Christopher Morley decided Jan. 6 must be Holmes’ birthday because an astrologer suggested it. Fans doubled down on this belief because Holmes quotes William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” twice in the series — the only literary work he ever mentions — and Jan. 6 is 12 days after Christmas. Additionally, in “The Valley of Fear,” Holmes wakes up disoriented on Jan. 7, almost as if he was out the night before celebrating something special!
We may never know the day the world’s most beloved inspector was born in fictional London, but as Holmes himself said, “... When you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
So, are you and your family up to the challenge of solving this mystery? Here are a few ways you can put the clues together.
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