Law Offices of Paul Levin (CTLaw) - August 2018

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It’s Back-to-School Time

W ith back-to-school around the corner, we can’t help but get just the right backpack. Some kids are dreading the idea of going to class every day, while others are chomping at the bit. But back-to-school is a little different now for the two of us. As our kids have gotten older and we don’t have to worry as much about first-day jitters, we tend to focus our attention more on how back-to-school pertains to our firm. Child and school safety is always of utmost importance during this time of year. Buses are back on the roads, kids are on the sidewalks, and traffic is always different. All of the new external stimuli can increase the potential for accidents. It’s important to remember that in Connecticut, you must stop for school buses. It may sound rudimentary for some, but the flashing lights on a bus mean you have to stop until the lights stop flashing. And paying attention to excited children running to greet their parents or toward their school bus is of paramount importance now that school is back in session. “OUR LAW FIRM GETS INTERNS YEAR-ROUND FROM THE COMMUNITY COLLEGES AND THE STATE UNIVERSITIES, AND EACH ONE OF THEM BRINGS SOMETHING UNIQUE TO THE TABLE” reminisce on the same process many of you are going through right now: shopping for school supplies and making sure to Of all the great aspects of Connecticut, our schools have to be at the top of the list. First of all, go Huskies! Our firm’s staff and Paul’s children represent the UConn blue with pride. Kelly is a UConn graduate as well as a University of CT School of Law graduate. Of course, there’s Yale and Wesleyan too, and they are wonderful schools. But it’s not just the major universities that make up our great state. Connecticut is small, but there’s an abundance of educational opportunity available for those who want it. Connecticut has a great network of community colleges that make a significant impact on local students. Our law firm gets interns year-round from the community colleges and the state universities, and each one of them brings something unique to the table.

Education would be nothing without teachers. We’ve had the pleasure of representing many teachers in our firm as well as sending our own kids through Connecticut schools. We’ve come away impressed at the professionalism and dedication teachers put into their craft. It’s truly amazing to see the heart these driven individuals pour into students. All of their caring makes a significant difference in not just the lives of their students, but also in our community, and ultimately our great state. The foundation of our firm is, in part, deeply rooted in education — not because of the degrees we have or the students and staff we invite to intern and work with us, but because of how we strive to approach our clients. We endeavor to keep our clients educated through the progression of their cases. Everything we focus on centers around providing better service and getting results. A client who has the proper expectations and understanding goes a long way in winning a case. And of course, there’s Jack. Without schools and libraries, Jack would have fewer places to visit. He loves serving the kids at the schools he goes to, and Kelly loves taking him there. It’s an experience unlike any other when you see a child’s face light up after spending time with a great dog like Jack. If you’re interested in more information on how we strive to educate our clients or how to be safe during back-to-school, reach out to us. And, as you know, our firm published a book that can help answer any questions you may have and give you an opportunity to learn something new. Feel free to give us a call for a free copy or download of “Life Altering Personal Injury Cases In Connecticut: Your Legal Road Map.” Who says education has to stop at school? –Paul Levin and Kelly Kasheta

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It may not feel like it yet, but summer is coming to a close, and summer break is ending along with it. Soon, the kids will be back to early-morning breakfasts before the school bus arrives and late- night study sessions. Thankfully, there are some steps your family can take during these closing weeks of summer to ensure your kids hit the ground running this school year. Set an Early Bedtime For many kids, summer schedules are flexible. They may have become accustomed to sleeping in and staying up late without any obligations. Getting back into the rhythm of the school year can take some getting used to. In fact, according to psychologist Cherie Valeithian, it can take upward of two weeks to properly adjust to a new sleep-wake cycle. So why not give your kids a head start and ensure they begin the school year bright-eyed and bushy-tailed? Outline a Homework Schedule Resuming a homework regimen can be a difficult transition for some kids. Late summer, when they don’t have assignments to worry about yet, can be a great opportunity to help them prepare a study schedule. Ask the following questions to help them get started: “Do 3 Ways to Mentally Prepare Your Kids for the School Year On the cover, we mentioned the great schools of Connecticut, but we also discussed how our state is more than just UConn and Yale. Many of the smaller colleges are developing services that have an enormous impact on our community. For example, look at what Trinity College is doing to help desperate homeowners with the crumbling foundation crisis. Christoph Geiss and another professor at the small liberal arts school in Hartford developed a new method of testing that aims to turn the tide on the wave of hopelessness crashing on Connecticut homeowners. Most of us know about the epidemic that plagues the foundations of homes in the area, but not a lot is understood about the testing. It’s time-consuming, costly, and deflating. But this new testing method can change all that. Traditional TestingMethods The current testing method involves drilling into the foundation for core samples from multiple spots in the home’s foundation to find a mineral known as pyrrhotite. Often, the mineral’s existence is evident by simply looking at the cracks in the concrete. If they are horizontal, there’s a good chance your foundation has been compromised. The new testing technique uses this information combined with scrapings from the exterior that are tested for their integrity.

you want to dive right into homework when you get home? Do you need to accommodate for a sport or extracurricular activity? Do you work best when doing your assignments in one large chunk, or would you prefer taking breaks in between assignments?” Your kids may find that last year’s schedule doesn’t work for them this year. Emphasize that this is okay; part of growing up is learning how and when you work most effectively. Don’t be afraid to help them switch things up as the school year progresses. Ask Your Kids How They Feel Maybe your kids are excited about the school year. Maybe they are anxious, or perhaps they’re just disappointed to see summer vacation come to an end. Starting a dialogue about the aspects of school your kids are looking forward to and those they’re dreading can help you dispel myths and identify problem areas. More than anything else, this can help your kids feel at ease about the coming year.

HOW THIS TEST COULD HELP DESPERATE HOMEOWNERS One Step Forward in the Crumbling Foundation Crisis

Cutting the Bill in Half Traditional “coring” can cost anywhere from $4,000–$5,000. The new method cuts that price in half. Trinity College developed a two-stage process to test your samples for any existence of pyrrhotite, all for just $2,000. The StateWill Split the Cost There is no way to ease the pain of this epidemic. Replacing

a foundation can cost around $200,000, and if the foundation is compromised, there’s no way around it. But the good news is that the state does have a rebate you can use to have this new test done. After

applying that, the cost goes down to $1,000. It may not be much consolation, but at least it’s money back in your pocket.

Attorneys Paul Levin & Kelly Kasheta

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3 Back-to-School Safety Tips You Need to Know

Buddy System Not everyone can walk with a friend, but those who have that luxury should use it. Even if that friend is a neighbor just keeping an eye out from afar, every set of eyes helps when identifying dangers that surround traveling to and from school. Plus, when your child is with a friend, the walk home every day is a great time for the two of them to bond. Technology There’s a lot of debate over cellphones and kids, but they can help keep your child safe. The ability to send a text or make an emergency call can make all the difference in the world when a child is in danger. Even if your kids aren’t in danger, they can send you updates about where they’re at, if they’ve arrived home, or if they’re deviating from their route to go to a friend’s house. And many cellphones have tracking capabilities so you can have real-time updates of where your child is at and if they are safe.

With all the stressors surrounding back-to-school, safety should not be one of them. That’s why we wanted to provide you with three tips to help your kids have a safe and healthy new school year. Walking Route Whether it’s to school or just to the bus stop, using the same route every day is a great way to keep your child out of harm’s way. We recommend taking your kids for a walk on the path before school starts. This way, you know they understand exactly where to go and how to stay off the main roads. Also, if you ever need to locate your kids on the route to or from school, you’ll know exactly where to find them.




Grilled Halibut


Jack and Kelly are a certified therapy dog and handler team with Healers With Halos Therapy Dogs. Jack is a 6-year-old rescue collie adopted from Collie Rescue of the Carolinas. He is certified by the Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.) program and attained his CGC title from the American Kennel Club. Jack works many venues, bringing comfort and happiness to the young and old.

• 4 boneless,

• 1/2 cup hearts of palm, drained • Basil leaves, for garnish • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Instructions skinless halibut fillets, about 5 ounces each • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for drizzling • 1 lemon • 2 pounds mixed tomatoes, sliced

1. Lightly oil grill grates and heat grill to medium. 2. Grate 1 teaspoon lemon zest onto halibut fillets. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 3. Grill halibut, turning just once, for about 5 minutes on each side. 4. In a mixing bowl, combine tomatoes, hearts of palm, juice from lemon, and oil. Season with salt and pepper. 5. Garnish salad with basil. Spoon salad over grilled halibut. Serve.


Inspired by Bon Appétit magazine

Attorneys Paul Levin & Kelly Kasheta

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40 Russ Street | Hartford, CT 06106 (860) 560-7226 Inside THIS ISSUE • How Our Firm Does Back-to-School • Preparing Your Kids for School • Trinity College Comes Through in the Foundation Crisis • Back-to-School Safety Tips You May Not Have Thought of • Summer Grilled Halibut • Have You Played the Oldest Games in theWorld?


ANewsletter for Clients and Friends FromAttorneys Paul Levin and Kelly Kasheta


Backgammon A blend of luck and strategy, backgammon originated in the Middle East around 5,000 years ago. Possibly an evolution of the ancient Mesopotamian game, the Royal Game of Ur, backgammon has players take turns rolling the dice to move their pieces off the board while trying to outsmart their opponent. Backgammon grew in popularity, spreading from the Middle East to the rest of the ancient world, and is still played by many today. Go Originating in China around the 5th century B.C., Go — or “weiqi,” as it’s called in China — focuses on the virtues of balance, discipline, and focus. Two players go head-to-head, placing their pieces on the board to claim as much territory as possible while simultaneously capturing their opponent’s pieces. Go is likely the oldest board game still being played today, with an estimated 40 million players worldwide. Though the rules are simple, the strategies take a lifetime to master. These are a just a few games that people have been playing around the world for centuries. If you’re ready to add something new to family game night, try something old instead!

People love to play games. When you play Angry Birds while waiting in line at the grocery store, you are actually participating in a long history of gaming that dates back to the earliest civilizations. Through the discovery of ancient game boards, archaeologists learned that the ancient Egyptians played a game called Senet in 3500 B.C. The rules were lost to time, but fortunately, there are plenty of other ancient games we still have the rules for! Snakes and Ladders Sometime during the 2nd century A.D., people in India started playing a board game associated with aspects of traditional Hindu philosophy — namely, the contrast between karma (destiny) and kama (desire). A dice was rolled to navigate a game board where good virtues, represented by ladders, allowed players to move up on the board, and evil vices, represented by snakes, would drag pieces back down. The phrase “Back to square one” is believed to have originated from this game. Snakes and Ladders made its way to England before being brought over to the United States, where it was introduced as “Chutes and Ladders” by none other than Milton Bradley in 1943.

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