Schuelke Law - November 2023

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November 2023


Family, Food, and Charity

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about November? For most Americans, it’s Thanksgiving! There’s nothing better than gathering around the table with your loved ones and enjoying a delicious feast while you contemplate everything in your life that makes you feel blessed and happy. Like many Americans, I’m looking forward to spending the upcoming Thanksgiving with my family. Our Thanksgiving celebrations are usually fairly large. There’s often a mixture of people from my family and my wife’s family. We don’t host, but we are responsible for one of Thanksgiving’s most critical dishes — the macaroni and cheese. I’m going to let you all in on our secret recipe so you can enjoy the same mac and cheese at your Thanksgiving this year. We (and by “we,” I usually mean “my wife”) start by going to Costco and heading to the premade meal section. We pick up the best-looking macaroni and cheese there and heat it up exactly as the directions say. We then put it in our own casserole dish so it looks like it’s homemade, and then we’re done. Everyone loves it, and it always comes out great! Thanksgiving, though, should be about more than just stuffing ourselves. It’s a time to reflect on what we’re grateful for in our lives. While I have many blessings in my life, the one that has resonated with me the most lately and makes me feel incredibly grateful is how much my wife and kids choose to be selfless and dedicate themselves to giving back to others.

My wife has been committed to giving back to the community for many years. In past newsletters, I’ve discussed our efforts to provide books to the students at Pickle Elementary, but my wife recently upped the ante. The principal at Pickle wanted to give the teachers a reprieve from their stressful everyday responsibilities, so my wife picked up the baton and led the effort to create a mindfulness room open to all teachers at the school. She helped create a wonderful retreat in an unused classroom where teachers can engage in meditation, yoga, arts and crafts, and other relaxing activities. Giving the teachers a place to relieve stress and break away from their hectic day is already benefiting the teachers and the students. My wife isn’t the only one committed to giving back; my kids are always working on things that are bigger than just themselves. My daughter is in physical therapy school in Hawaii and has been elected to various leadership positions that allow her to recruit, welcome, and assist new students. She’s held these types of leadership roles in high school, undergrad, and now while getting her doctorate. I’m so grateful she’s willing to give up her time to give back to others. My son is a marine biology major at the same Hawaii school and gives back to the world in his own way. His passion is coral reefs. He knows the work done around saving coral reefs is critical for the survival of millions of people around the globe. He’s long been aware he wasn’t picking the most lucrative career, but he is still passionate about helping. Now, it does have its perks. This summer, he had an internship with a nonprofit group where he went scuba diving daily to monitor several coral reefs off Oahu. But at the heart of almost everything he does is a dedication to helping others. So, take some time this Thanksgiving to help cook a meal, stuff yourself, and reflect on all the things in your life that make you feel grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

- Brooks Schuelke | 1

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Transform Power Struggles Into Learning Moments With These Techniques

One of the common challenges parents face with their young children is power struggles. When you ask your child to do something, and they refuse, you could spend countless hours and endless energy trying to get them to comply. Sometimes, the more persistent you are, the more resistant they can become. However, several strategies exist to avoid these arguments with your strong-willed kids. Here are two methods you can adapt to fit some common parenting scenarios. Ask critical-thinking questions. Sometimes, kids don’t understand the consequences of their actions — they lack the appropriate problem-solving skills to help them understand why you’re making certain requests. Instead of telling them to do something, ask questions that make them think critically about the situation. If they leave their toys outside before a storm,

ask what could happen to them and how they could prevent that. When your child understands that leaving toys out during a storm could damage them, they will realize that putting them away is a good idea. Remember, when children are forced to do something they don’t want to do, they will focus more on being angry at you rather than learning a lesson or new habit. Encouraging them to develop their own conclusions will help them better understand the impact of their decisions. Offer choices and the opportunity to choose. Giving your children choices helps them feel like they have some freedom over what they get to do. Sometimes children refuse to comply with requests because you’ve offered them no other option. If you want your child to clean their room, don’t demand that they do it. Ask what they want

to start on first — make the bed, put away their toys, or hang up clothes. Providing alternatives and allowing them to make a choice will not only get the job done faster but will also increase their confidence in knowing you value their opinion. Navigating power struggles with children can be a challenging aspect of parenting. But implementing effective strategies can make a significant difference in maintaining harmony at home. So give these methods a try and watch as your relationship with your child grows.


3 Bizarre Laws That Still Exist

Since the beginning of time, cities, states, countries, and other groups have developed laws to provide structure for their citizens. Many laws of the past are now completely outdated, but they’re still technically legitimate laws! Here are three of the oddest laws still on the books today. Forks and knives are prohibited! In 1961, Gainesville, Georgia, passed a law that made eating fried chicken with anything other than your hands illegal. The ordinance was a publicity stunt to advertise Gainesville as the poultry capital of the world. Although the rule isn’t taken literally and is hardly enforced, 91-year-old Ginny Dietrick received a citation for eating fried chicken with a fork and knife in 2009. The practical joke made everyone in the restaurant, including Ginny, laugh and play along. Ginny’s punishment for breaking the law was that she could not leave her table until she mastered the proper way of eating Southern fried chicken.

In many cities nationwide, lemonade stands are treated like any other small business — if your child is making money by selling food or beverages, they must abide by food safety regulations and have a business permit or license. Only 14 states don’t require permits for kids to set up lemonade stands! Fortunetelling is only allowed in health care and religious facilities. Many cities worldwide have small businesses that provide services in fortunetelling, astrology, palm readings, tarot cards, evil spirit removal, and other New Age practices. In New Orleans, however, it’s illegal for a business to provide these kinds of services unless you’re in a health care profession or a place of religious worship. Remember, laws are still laws, no matter how silly they are, so do some research online to see if your city has any bizarre mandates you could be breaking right now!

You must have a permit to set up a lemonade stand. At least once in your life, you’ve either seen or operated a lemonade stand. This longstanding rite of passage teaches kids the value of working hard to earn their own money, so how could this simple tradition be considered illegal?

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3 Crazy History Facts Your Textbooks Failed to Mention

Did your high school history class bore you to death? If so, don’t blame the past — blame your textbooks. Here are three crazy historical moments we wish made it into their pages!

USPS once mailed babies! During the early years

of the U.S. Postal Service, the rules and regulations of what you could and couldn’t mail were vague. People started testing its limits by sending eggs, bricks, snakes, and babies. In 1913, an Ohio couple took


advantage of USPS’s new parcel services to mail a special package — their infant son. The family paid 15 cents for the

stamps plus an unknown amount to insure the baby for $50 and shipped him to his grandmother’s house (about a mile away). And this isn’t the only instance of someone mailing their child. From 1913–1915, seven families used the USPS to ship their infants to a relative. People rented pineapples to appear wealthy. In the Georgian era, pineapples were rare in Europe — you could only acquire this fruit by importing them from the Caribbean. Due to their exotic appearance and rarity in Europe, pineapples quickly became a luxury and high-class symbol. Many would carry a pineapple with them to give off the impression of holding wealth. However, lots of people couldn’t afford pineapples, so they began renting them! If you wanted to rent this luxurious fruit, it would cost you $8,000 in today’s money. Austrian vs. Austrian? Seven months into the Austro-Turkish War, the infamous Battle of Karánsebes caused hundreds of injuries and casualties to the Austrian army. Because their military force consisted of people from several cultures and ethnicities, confusion ensued on the battlefield. One Austrian group accidentally fired at another Austrian group, and because both groups spoke different languages and wore different uniforms, they didn’t realize they were fighting a full-out battle with their own army!

Inspired by


• 2 cups butternut squash, cubed • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided • 2 cups sliced leeks • 4 garlic cloves, chopped • 8 sage leaves • 1 cup Arborio rice

• 1/2 tsp salt • 1/4 tsp pepper • 1/2 tsp nutmeg • 5 cups veggie or chicken stock • 2 to 3 handfuls spinach • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions 1. Preheat oven to 400 F. On a parchment-lined sheet pan, toss squash with 2 tbsp olive oil. Roast until tender (30 minutes) and set aside 2. In a Dutch oven, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat and add leeks. Sauté until tender, then add garlic and sage. Sauté for 2 more minutes. 3. Add rice and sauté for 1 minute, stirring. Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add 1–2 cups of stock to cover the rice and bring to a simmer. Cook until the liquid is absorbed. Continue to add broth 1 cup at a time, stirring occasionally until rice is plump (20 minutes). Stir in spinach, roasted squash, and Parmesan cheese.

Who knew history had so many strange twists? | 3

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3011 N. Lamar Blvd., Ste. 200 Austin, TX 78705


The Reason for the Season


Say Goodbye to Power Struggles With Kids


3 Bizarre Laws That Still Exist

Butternut Squash Risotto


USPS Allowed You to Mail Babies?!

Did Ed Sheeran Really Copy Marvin Gaye?


SHEERAN VS. TOWNSEND: THE VERDICT IS IN Ed Sheeran Faces Accusations of Copying 'Let's Get It On'

Sometimes, a song can feel similar to another, but when is it so similar that a songwriter needs to be sued? Well, Ed Sheeran faced the legal heat from the family of Ed Townsend after they claimed Sheeran’s hit song “Thinking Out Loud” was far too similar to Marvin Gaye’s classic song “Let’s Get It On,” which was written and composed by Townsend.

The lawsuit was filed in July 2017 and was only resolved in 2023. Sheeran wasn’t being sued for outright copying the R&B classic but for replicating the “heart” of the song and the “harmonic progressions” and “melodic and rhythmic elements.” Of course, Sheeran denied these allegations and insisted that the song is based on common building blocks for all pop music, which are in no way legally protected. While Sheeran asserted this was merely a similarity many pop songs share, Townsend’s attorney and civil rights figure Ben Crump declared, “For far too long, Black artists have created, inspired, and spread music all around the world, and Ed Townsend’s family believes Mr. Sheeran’s infringement of a Black artist is merely another example of [white] artists exploiting the genius and the work of Black singers and songwriters.”

During the court hearings, Sheeran attended in person and even performed live mashups of countless hit songs bearing similar chord progressions and rhythms. The musician’s testimony stated, “If I had done what you’re accusing me of doing, I’d be quite an idiot to stand on a stage in front of 20,000 people and do that.” On May 4, 2023, a jury found Sheeran not guilty of copying “Let’s Get It On,” and the songwriter was at last free from the lawsuit. Despite the longstanding legal dispute, Sheeran and the Townsend heirs resolved the issue amicably, as the trial had proved to the family that Sheeran did not intend to copy the hit classic. Ed Townsend’s daughter, Kathryn Townsend Griffin, later said, “I’m just glad it’s over,” and that the lawsuit was never personal but, instead, a result of her efforts to protect her father’s legacy.

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