Smith Wallis & Scott December 2018

DEC 2018




like family here. The staff is always willing to help one another out. Even if someone needs assistance and it’s outside of my department, I’m always willing to lend a hand, and it goes both ways. We do our best to collaborate and support one another. I am lucky that landing this dream job turned out to be so simple. I had just moved to Carrollton from Florida, and the opportunity opened up at Smith, Wallis & Scott. I interviewed and have been part of the team ever since. Next year, it will be 12 years since I started working here, which is hard to believe, but I’m beyond grateful. Don’t get me wrong, Florida was a very nice place to live, but the area had gotten to the point where it was too busy, and there was more traffic than I wanted to handle. Living in Carrollton is just right for me. The move was a big change, but one that was definitely for the better. I like the close community and the slower pace of life. It’s totally relaxing, and I love it here. Of course, there are many things I miss about Florida, including the food and the close proximity to the beach. Most of all, I miss my son, Mike, who still lives in Miami. We try to see each other at least once a year. It’s hard with his work, but the effort is worth it. My move to Georgia brought me closer to other loved ones, specifically my daughter Krystal and her daughter. Most of my time outside of work is spent with my granddaughter. I go to their house just about every day, and I love spending time with her. She’s 1 year and 4 months old, and she has just started walking and trying to say words. Being in her presence is just the best and most relaxing thing. I like to think of it as good therapy.

As the medical coordinator for the workers’ compensation department at Smith, Wallis & Scott, I make sure that our clients’ appointments and the medical aspects of their cases are taken care of. My role involves a lot of communication between medical providers, insurance companies, and our clients. I work to keep our clients informed of the medical aspects of their cases and make sure they know where things are in the process. I want to let our clients know we’re doing everything possible to help them. This is what I love about my job: I love working with clients and making sure their needs are met. I especially enjoy assisting those who are hurt and connecting them with the treatment they need. Mainly, I like to know that I’m helping in my role. I started as a receptionist at the firm and have grown into my role as the medical coordinator. When I interviewed with Mr. Smith and Mr. Scott, I felt right away that it was a good fit. All of our attorneys are very easygoing and kind. They are so great, and I couldn’t ask for better bosses. Overall, we’re

Thank you to everyone at Smith, Wallis & Scott for giving me the opportunity to be here in this lovely city and to help people get the care they deserve.

–Maria Mendoza

1 (770) 214-2500


A Fun Trend You Can Easily Follow!

It’s speculated that the first ugly sweater party took place in Vancouver, Canada, back in 2001. Since then, the trend has become one of the most popular holiday party themes. Come Thanksgiving, you’ll start to see racks in all types of clothing stores lined with hideous sweaters. If you’re ready to jump on the ugly-sweater-party bandwagon this Christmas season, here are a few things to keep in mind.


themed games that should be on the agenda include an ugly gift exchange, which is similar to the white elephant exchange, except with the gaudiest gifts you can find; an ugly photo booth, complete with terrible, tacky props; and, of course, an ugly sweater contest.

UGLY SWEATER Ugly sweaters come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. You can head to H&M or a local thrift store to pick one up. However, if you have a sweater that’s been cozied up for years in the

This is the only time of year when slipping into a lurid red sweater with a stuffed Santa sewn on the front is considered

back of your closet or a drawer, now’s your chance to give it new life. Arm yourself with a hot glue gun, thread, and needle, and patch Santa, Rudolph, or Frosty on it. And let it be known that an ugly sweater isn’t complete without sparkles, beads, and sequins galore. WHAT EXACTLY IS AN UGLY SWEATER PARTY? It’s rather simple — slip on your favorite Christmas sweater, gather all your friends and family members, make sure there are plenty of refreshments and games, and you’re guaranteed to have a top-tier party. A few ugly-sweater- DAVID VS. GOLIATH Insurance Companies’Tactics to Get You to Settle Workers’ comp cases can feel like a David-versus-Goliath battle. The insurance company often tries to get an injured worker to settle, using scare tactics and aggressive phone calls. In some cases, employers or insurance companies hire private investigators to collect evidence against your claim. While it sounds excessive, it’s just one of the ways companies try to get out of paying you what you’re owed for an injury sustained on the job. This is the last thing you want to worry about after your injury. Here are more tactics that insurance companies use to get people to settle — and how to protect yourself from them. THE TACTIC: Hiring a PI to Follow You Insurance companies and sometimes employers will go to extreme measures to discredit you and prove your case is fraudulent, even when it’s not. They often even go to the extreme of hiring someone to investigate you. How to Protect Yourself Don’t let your guard down while you are receiving compensation. Pay close attention to your surroundings, and ask your neighbors if they’ve noticed anyone strange around your house. Don’t hesitate to call the police if you feel threatened. While being a PI isn’t illegal, harassment is. THE TACTIC: Using the Words of Others Against You In one case, an ambulance driver’s report stating that the injured passenger was texting was later used as evidence to discredit her injury

trendy. So adorn yourself in the frumpiest, tackiest sweater you can find, and have some fun this December!

claim. In others, insurance companies use harmless comments from friends and family to attempt to show a judge that you aren’t really hurt.

How to Protect Yourself Be cautious about your social-media presence and anything you share in text or verbally, as these can be used as evidence. Ask family and friends not to share any information about you or your case. In both situations, follow your doctor’s recommendations and don’t engage in activities they advise against. This is for your own safety and to avoid anyone collecting evidence to suggest that you aren’t hurt. Next, contact an attorney to help you stand up against an insurance company that has taken on the role of a bully. Our attorneys stand up to the insurance companies who try to push people around. When you’re in need of help against Goliath, call the number at the bottom of the page to enlist the help of the attorneys at Smith, Wallis & Scott.



DOCUMENT THOSE ‘I NEED TO’S.’ One of the things that makes the weekly review so helpful is that you find out what you missed. Did the doctor’s appointment not get scheduled last week? Was that visit with your friend postponed? In addition to looking at the last seven days, Allen encourages you to go back two weeks on your calendar and look at everything you had on there. Look at it in detail. You’ll likely notice some “I need to’s,” and this is how the weekly review can help you stay on track. Even if an event already happened, you can add it to your calendar to help you prepare for the next weekly review. Allen also recommends you look to what’s coming in the days or weeks ahead to help you be prepared for what needs to happen; he calls it “visualizing for success.” Allen calls a weekly review the “key to stress-free productivity.” Because you’re doing weekly assessments of the state of things and not waiting until your responsibilities get overwhelmingly backlogged, you can manage your whole life better and give yourself a better grip on this fast-paced world.

You have a lot to think about every day. Appointments, emails, phone calls, meetings — this world moves at a fast pace. Once you get a bit behind, it’s overwhelming to catch up. One way to better manage everything that’s going on is through a weekly review. Instead of waiting until the end of a year, this process helps you identify your progress on a weekly basis to stay on track with your goals. Find out why David Allen’s concept is so helpful to productivity. 7 DAYS IN REVIEW Set aside at least an hour every seven days for your weekly review. Know that you’re not going to be cleaning out your inbox or doing other tasks during this time. This is a review; it’s not action time just yet. When you sit down for this designated time, act as if you’re a distant observer looking at how your week went. Try to be objective. Why didn’t this or that happen? Take responsibility and find a way to make the missed tasks happen in the next seven days. This is a critical time period to assess your progress on projects and identify tasks that still need to get done. Focus not on completing tasks, like cleaning up your inbox, but by assessing what happened in the last seven days, what didn’t, and how you’re going to make those things happen next week. TAKE A BREAK



2 teaspoons kosher salt, or more to taste

2 pounds fresh chestnuts, unpeeled

Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

2–3 sprigs rosemary

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted


1. Heat oven to 450 F. 2. Place a large sheet of foil on a rimmed baking sheet. 3. On a large, flat workspace, place chestnuts flat side down. Using a sharp knife, carve an X on the rounded side of each chestnut. 4. In a large bowl of hot water, soak chestnuts for 1 minute. 5. Pat dry and transfer to a medium bowl. Add rosemary, butter, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Toss to coat and transfer to baking sheet. Arrange in a single layer. Gather the edges of the foil together, leaving an opening at the top.

6. Roast until peels curl up, about 30–45 minutes. 7. Transfer to a platter and serve while hot or warm.

3 (770) 214-2500

Inspired by Bon Appétit


(770) 214-2500 INSIDE THIS ISSUE

327 Bankhead Hwy Carrollton, GA 30117

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Meet Maria

Everything You’ll Need for an Ugly Sweater Christmas

Look Out for These Workers’ Comp Claim Tactics


The Power of the Weekly Review

Buttery Roasted Chestnuts


The Biggest Black Friday Lawsuit in History

Fake Discounts and Angry Shoppers


Duping your customers is a bad business practice, but what makes it illegal? Well, California law requires that retailers post a retail price no higher than what the product was sold at within three months prior to the ad. “Families today … are striving to get the very most they can get from an extremely hard- earned holiday shopping dollar,” said LA City Attorney Mike Feuer. “They deserve to make an informed decision.” After the suit was brought against them, the retailers all quickly moved to settle, promising to never engage in false reference pricing again. Most retailers offer discounts around the holidays to encourage shoppers to come into their stores or visit their websites. Promotions and sales are great tools in any business’s arsenal, provided they aren’t out to mislead customers. Big-box stores may try to manipulate innocent people, and it’s up to aggrieved customers to hold those corporations accountable. Nearly every year, you’ll read about a class-action lawsuit that develops in response to the shady tactics of businesses eager to secure those holiday shopping dollars. Are there great bargains to be had on Black Friday? Of course. But if something sounds too good to be true, it very well might be. Keep your eyes peeled and don’t let retailers trick you into a purchase you wouldn’t make otherwise.

Shoppers flock to retailers every Black Friday in hopes of securing the best deals on the year’s hottest products. There are many nasty aspects of Black Friday — the long lines, the overzealous shoppers, the limited stock of items — but phony pricing and fake sales shouldn’t be among them. But that’s exactly what happened to folks in Los Angeles during the 2016 holiday season, leading to the biggest Black Friday lawsuit in history. In December of 2016, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office sued J.C. Penney, Sears, Macy’s, and Kohl’s for a practice called “false reference pricing,” a nefarious tactic whereby retailers lie about the original price of an item to make a discount appear bigger than it actually is. For example, Sears sold a Kenmore washing machine at a “sale price” of $999.99, compared to a “regular price” of $1,179.99. The problem was the so-called sale price was actually the price that product was offered at every day. Therefore, it wasn’t actually on sale.


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