Smiley Law February 2018

February 2018

365 Canal Street, Suite 1680, New Orleans, LA 70130



For most of the country, New Year’s Day is the time to wake up to a fresh start. Us New Orleanians have to hold on a while longer. Before we can really kick off 2018, we have to celebrate Mardi Gras. Whether you’re new in town or a Louisiana native, you have to admit there’s nothing else like it. The beads, the parades, and — my personal favorite — the Randazzo’s king cakes all make for a dazzling (and exhausting) experience. It feels like this city holds its breath from mid-January until that fateful Tuesday. Only after all the revelry do we go back to business as usual. Growing up outside of Baton Rouge, this annual rhythm was all I knew. Some years, my family would go to the local festivities, but more frequently we made the drive down to New Orleans to be part of the big event. I still remember watching Rex as a kid. My parents got me one of those stepladder seats so I could sit above the crowd. I had a front-row seat to all the action, which also made me a target for the Krewe officials. I got smacked in the head by wayward beads more than a few times in my youth, but it was worth it.

course, we bring ladder chairs for the boys so they can see everything (saving my wife and I from hours of piggyback rides). Both boys are far better at catching beads than I was, or perhaps the Krewes have just gotten more accurate. They always leave with shining, happy faces and fistfuls of trinkets and treats. If you are one of those brave souls who sticks around for the celebrations, I wish you a very happy Mardi Gras. Remember to be safe and use common sense. This is the last event where you want to get in

“I got smacked in the head by wayward beads more than a few times in my youth, but it was worth it.”

Going to LSU, I got to see the more adult side of Mardi Gras. My friends and I would make our way along Bourbon Street, soaking in all the carnival had to offer. Somehow, we avoided getting into too much trouble. I soon grew out of it, though. That sort of partying is best left to tourists seeking a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I wouldn’t want to make a yearly habit of it. Now that I have Jude and Luke, I get to reconnect with the original, childlike wonder Mardi Gras gave me. The kids love the parades. We usually settle in uptown and watch Endymion, Bacchus, and Rex. Of

trouble. And of course, if you spot me, feel free to come say hello! Most likely I’ll be with the boys, or else sneaking off to get another king cake.

–Seth Smiley

504-894-9653 • 1

A Boutique New Orleans Law Firm Resolving Your Legal Matters

Education in the Kitchen What Your Child Can Learn From Baking

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, you’re probably racking your brain for the perfect recipe to bake for your loved one. There’s nothing wrong with store-bought chocolate, but there’s no topping the personal touch of some homemade baked goods. If you have kids, baking alongside them can be just as rewarding as enjoying the fruits of your labor. As an added bonus, baking is a hands-on opportunity where your child can learn all sorts of important concepts. Here is a short list of some of the educational lessons hiding in your kitchen. Math Baking is a numbers game. Just take a look at any recipe, and you’ll recognize the importance of math in building a beautiful cake. Having children measure out ingredients helps them learn about fractions and ratios. You can also test your kids by doubling or halving a recipe for multiplication and division practice. With older kids,

practice unit conversions by asking, for example, how many pints are in half a gallon. Following Directions Not unlike computer science, baking requires a strict order of operations. The wet and dry ingredients often need to be mixed separately and then folded together. It only takes one deviation from the instructions for a pastry to go from delicious to disgusting. Spending time in the kitchen, then, is a great way for kids to learn the importance of reading directions carefully and comprehending what they’ve just read. Cultural Understanding Cuisine is a fundamental part of every culture. Introducing your child to dishes from around the world will expand their horizons. Want your child to be a less picky eater? Involving them in the cooking process is the surest way to get them excited about trying new flavors and ingredients. Nutrition Now, you might not think that baking cookies will encourage greater nutritional awareness, but hear us out. Sugar is often buried within packaged foods. When you bake something at home, a child gets to see, firsthand, just how much sugar goes into certain sweets. Meanwhile, cooking savory dishes also allows them to learn what constitutes a balanced, healthy diet.

Discovering True ‘Grit’

Talent x effort = skill. Skill x effort = achievement.

If you’ve ever been told you won’t succeed because you lack talent, bring a copy of “Grit” to your next meeting.

“Effort counts twice” could be the battle cry of grit. Gritty people are willing to put in the extra effort to achieve their goals, and that’s what helps them reach their goals if they don’t have innate talent. While this provides a strong case that those born with grit will succeed, grit doesn’t factor luck and opportunity into the equation, something that Duckworth is transparent about in her book. She says those who aren’t born with grit can develop it in four simple steps. First, identify an interest that can blossom into a passion. Second, practice that passion, a lot . Third, develop the belief that your passion has purpose. While it’s not an overnight transformation, these guidelines can at least give us hope, which is the fourth step: Hold on to hope that you can succeed. Our biggest takeaway from “Grit”? Look at failures as milestones on the journey to success. Getting gritty means failing and learning from it. Any of us can get gritty if we’re willing to put in a little elbow grease.

While teaching high school math, author Angela Duckworth noticed some of her highest-achieving students weren’t the ones with the highest IQs, while some of her “smartest” students weren’t doing all that well in class. “Why?” she wondered. She followed her curiosity to Penn State’s psychology program. There, she studied several demographics, including cadets at West Point, young teachers, and sales representatives. After numerous psychological studies, Duckworth discovered that “grit” was the common denominator in successful people. Duckworth defines grit as “passion and perseverance for very long-term goals.” People who display grit don’t start a project and abandon it a month later. They devote themselves to an overarching goal that drives everything they do. She explained that someone who practices grit goes through life like a marathon, not a sprint.

Perhaps most instructive is Duckworth’s equation (she was a math teacher, after all):

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HIT BY AN UBER The Murky Future of Ride-Share and Liability

With Mardi Gras right around the corner, a great many revelers will surely make use of ride-share services like Uber and Lyft. These can be a safe, cost-effective way to make it home from Bourbon Street. But even though they’re (hopefully) sober, it’s important to remember these drivers are human. They make mistakes like anyone else. If you find yourself involved in a car accident with a ride-share vehicle, whose insurance company should you contact? The driver’s or the ride-share company’s? In the past, we’ve covered what to do in the aftermath of a car crash. But the involvement of a ride-share vehicle can make seeking compensation more complicated. This is partially because the legal world has been slow to catch up to the fast-paced development of these transport apps.

Every case is different, and the laws governing the ride-share industry are still evolving state by state.

Dealing with insurance companies is difficult enough as it is. The murky liability of ride-share companies makes things worse. Companies like Uber and Lyft maintain they are simply a platform for connecting drivers to passengers. However, the driver’s personal insurance may refuse to cover damages caused by a ride-share driver, as well. They may argue the driver was using their vehicle for commercial purposes, placing them outside the bounds of a private insurance policy. If you aren’t careful, your claim could be left in legal limbo. As rules and regulations around this issue continue to shift at state and federal levels, an experienced New Orleans auto accident lawyer can

When Uber was launched eight years ago, the idea of getting a ride from a perfect stranger in their personal car seemed strange, if not dangerous. Today, millions of Americans use ride-share apps as convenient means of transportation. Currently, auto accident law surrounding ride- sharing is like the Wild West.

help you understand the best way to pursue your claim. Having this kind of industry professional in your corner will help ensure the right party is held accountable and help you receive the compensation you deserve.



Sure, your showoff pal can wrap a tater tot with a piece of bacon and call it “The Daniel,” but you can take it a step further. Prepare a couple batches of these savory snacks for your Super Bowl party or the next family get-together. Snag a few for yourself before they disappear!


• 4 slices bacon, quartered • 1/4 cup brown sugar • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

• 2 cups frozen tater tots, defrosted • 1 ounce sharp cheddar, cut into 1/4-inch squares


1. Heat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 2. Press a cheese square into each tot,

3. Place tots seam side down on baking sheet. Bake for 20–25 minutes, using metal tongs to turn halfway through. 4. Garnish with parsley, if desired, and serve immediately.

then wrap with a piece of bacon. Dredge each tot in brown sugar.

504-894-9653 • 3

A Boutique New Orleans Law Firm Resolving Your Legal Matters

365 Canal Street, Suite 1680 New Orleans, LA 70130 Phone: 504-894-9653 Fax: 866-761-8934 OPEN: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.



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My Mardi Gras Experience

Cook Your Way to Better Grades Do You Have the Success Gene?

Liability in a Post-Uber World Not Sure What to Bring to the Super Bowl Party?


The Most Romantic Destinations on Earth

The Best Valentine’s Getaways to Fantasize About Valentine’s Day is for fancy dinners, heart-shaped boxes packed with subpar chocolates, and fantasizing about the magical places you and your beau would have escaped to — if only you had the PTO. So, grab a glass of bottom-shelf cab sauv, cuddle up next to your special someone, and try to make them feel bad for taking you to Chili’s instead of whisking you away to one of these picturesque fantasy lands Udaipur, India These days, meandering through the cobblestone streets of Paris with your loved one is très passé . All the real high-rolling romantics are migrating southeast to the famous Oberoi Udaivilas hotel in western India. Set in a traditional Mewari palace, visitors will feel like royalty as they stroll around the labyrinthine gardens that surround the elaborate cream-colored structure. Travelers can relax beside one of the many glassy pools sprinkled throughout the estate, all of which are enthusiastically attended by an unparalleled service staff. Positano, Italy More than perhaps anywhere in the world, this place looks like it was lifted straight from a sappy romance novelist’s imagination. You and your partner can kick back on a balcony overlooking the entirety of this seaside town, taking in the century-old multicolored Italian architecture perched precariously on the verdant mountainside. Too

small to accommodate swarms of tourists, it’s the perfect place to while away the hours ambling from shop to shop, sampling the delicious local cuisine, and maybe taking a dip along the 300-meter beach. The Maldives From a water villa smack dab in the midst of the glassy, ultra-blue Indian Ocean, you and your main squeeze can enjoy utter seclusion. Sip champagne in the shade of a palm overlooking an otherworldly sunset or get a little more adventurous, strap on a mask, and check out the abundant aquatic wildlife. Many hotels in the area even include access to an array of boats, perfect for your own private excursion along the mild waves. Of course, you could also always just stare, dumbfounded, into the horizon, wondering how such a place could actually exist on Earth.

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