THE DEFENSE REPORT
LESSONS FROM MY MOTHER AN INSPIRATIONAL WOMAN With Mother’s Day on the horizon, I have no doubt many of us are casting about for ways to show our moms the appreciation they deserve. It’s not easy to find the right way to thank someone who has given you so much. For me, it helps to reflect on the lessons my mother taught me when I was growing up. Without question, I owe my work ethic to my mother. Before I was born, she took what she thought would be a temporary position at the Emory University School of Medicine and built a 33-year career in the largest medical program in the country. And here’s the kicker: She did it for the joy of working. My dad was a retired airline pilot, meaning my mother could have settled into a comfortable home life. But that’s just not her style. Organization and problem-solving skills define my mother, and she thrived on the demanding work of hospital administration. Growing up with a role model who threw herself into her work with such gusto definitely left a lasting impact on me. Honestly, my mother should have been the first lawyer in the family. Whenever I approach a difficult case, I remember the ways she would relentlessly handle challenges — methodically examining every angle until she understood exactly how to move forward. Not even early computer programs like MS-DOS and Logo could keep her stumped for long. But it was the way my mother stood up for herself that I found most inspiring. Working for some of the most renowned doctors in the country, my mother was no stranger to dealing with strong personalities. It can be hard to administrate for MDs, but she found the right way to approach them. She developed a professional toughness that was both forceful and kind. My mother used the same approach to go to bat for me when I was young. Being diagnosed with diabetes when I was 4 years old, I faced challenges other kids in my class didn’t have to worry about. Not every school back in those days was as accommodating of these needs, however. At such a young age, I couldn’t perform many of the self-care tasks that come with monitoring insulin levels, but my mother kept fighting until better school policies were put in place. In many ways, she taught me to be tough.
In fact, throughout my childhood, my mother treated me as an adult. There were no excuses for bad grades or missed chores. I had to be accountable for my own performance, no matter what. To this day, I have a deeply rooted sense of personal accountability I can trace directly back to her. Needless to say, I’m lucky to have been raised by such a caring, driven woman. Whether I’m sticking up for my clients in the courtroom or tackling a complex legal question, I remember the example she set for me from the very beginning. Here’s to all the moms that act as an inspiration to their children.
Happy Mother’s Day,
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THE GOOD KIND OF GOSSIP
HOW TO CULTIVATE VALUABLE CUSTOMER REVIEWS
When you’re thinking about buying a new product or service, what’s the first step you take? If you turn to the World Wide Web in search of reviews, then you’re in good company. According to a survey conducted by BrightLocal, 85 percent of consumers regard the customer review to be the single most credible and trustworthy source of advertising. That same survey found that 68 percent of customers surveyed were willing to provide feedback for the company. So, how do you get your customers to write the glowing reviews that help close deals? 1. DIVERSIFY YOUR PLATFORMS Don’t rely on customers to go to your website to leave reviews. There are numerous websites you can utilize that make leaving feedback more convenient for your clients. What’s more is that these other platforms are highly trafficked. BrightLocal found that Facebook and Yelp were consumers’ most trusted sources of user reviews in the U.S., but you can also use Google My Business or the Better Business Bureau. Most importantly, be sure you are active on all the platforms you use. 2. OFFER INCENTIVES Give your clients a reason to write reviews. Consider offering incentives like a discount or coupon code, coffee
gift card, or an entry to win a contest for an even bigger prize.
3. ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS Think of the review process as a conversation rather than a request to be met, and use open-ended questions to start. Before you even request a review, you can ask customers
questions like “How was your recent experience with us?” or “How are you liking your product?” That way, you can gauge their satisfaction before they leave any feedback. 4. RESPOND, RESPOND, RESPOND The last thing you want to see is a scathing one-star review. But no matter how hard you work, they are still bound to happen. When you receive one, take the time to respond thoughtfully — without being defensive — and try to come up with a possible solution to the complaint. And be sure to respond to your positive reviews as well. When you show that you engage with all of your customers, prospective ones will be more likely to give you a shot.
NEW CANNABIS LAW
WHAT’S CHANGED WITH CBD OILS
DON’T GROW THIS AT HOME The primary benefit of this new law is that it made it possible for those in medical need to obtain CBD oil legally without leaving Georgia. With that said, the law restricts the growth of cannabis and the manufacturing of CBD oils, only allowing for 9 acres of indoor cultivation space for the entire state. Thus, the newly created Georgia cannabis industry will remain restricted to the most-vetted, state-approved growers for the foreseeable future. It’s important to keep up to date on these shifting cannabis laws. As we saw with Atlanta’s decriminalization efforts, there’s a lot of misinformation out there, which can lead to innocent mistakes and costly possession charges. If you’ve found yourself on the wrong side of Georgia’s harsh marijuana laws, an experienced criminal defense lawyer, like those on our team at Yeargan & Kert, can help keep this mistake from impacting your future.
• Cancer • Lou Gehrig’s disease • Tourette’s syndrome • AIDS
• PTSD • Multiple sclerosis • Alzheimer’s • Seizure disorders related to epilepsy or head trauma
Georgia’s cannabis laws became a little less hazy last month with the passage of a landmark bill allowing low- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cannabidiol (CBD) oil to be produced and sold for medical use. While this is good news for many who rely on cannabis oils for treatment, there will inevitably be those who misunderstand the law and find themselves charged with possession. Here’s an overview of the actual extent of this change. A FEW CONDITIONS Only those with certain medical conditions can legally obtain and use CBD oil. There are currently 16 qualifying medical conditions under state law, including these:
Even if you have a qualified condition, you may not automatically be eligible to purchase CBD oil. Many patients, including those with Parkinson’s or sickle cell disease, can only use the cannabis product if the diagnosis is severe or in its end stages. NO SMOKING The law passed last month only allows for the production and sale of cannabis oil with less than 5 percent THC. It is still illegal to smoke or vape cannabis products regardless of their THC content. Even if you are registered to receive medical cannabis, you will be charged with possession if you are found with any cannabis product other than low-THC CBD oil.
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CAUGHT WITH COCAINE?
LAUGH IT OFF
You Have Options
Many facing cocaine possession charges make the mistake of prejudging the outcome of their case. This is usually when the evidence is stacked so clearly against them that anything but a guilty plea seems ludicrous. “I was caught on camera,” they’ll say. “I can’t fight this.” But what these individuals fail to realize is that even when a “not guilty” verdict is out of the question, there are still many avenues available that can protect their future.
SHRIMP SAUSAGE SKEWERS
Inspired by PaleoLeap.com
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Possession of cocaine is a serious felony, meaning a guilty plea
will severely impact the rest of your life. Beyond serving up to 15 years in prison, you’ll lose your right to vote, ability to adopt, and many other civil liberties. Furthermore, a felony on your record will impact your ability to find employment in the future. With so much on the line, a simple guilty plea should be your last option.
INGREDIENTS • 1/2 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined • 1/2 pound cooked sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces • 2 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil • Wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
Creole Seasoning Ingredients
• 2 tablespoons paprika • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder • 1/2 tablespoon cayenne or chili powder • 1/4 tablespoon dried oregano • 1/4 tablespoon dried thyme
Thankfully, Georgia law allows some leeway when it comes to sentencing for drug possession. There are alternative sentencing programs available in many counties that strive to rehabilitate former cocaine users rather than punish them. These “accountability courts” allow first-time convicts the chance to seek counseling and treatment as their sentence, instead of jail time. Those who undergo these programs successfully will avoid having the drug charge placed on their record, giving them a second chance at a healthy life. If you were caught in possession of an illegal substance, don’t resign yourself to incarceration and stigmatization. An expert criminal defense team, like the one at our firm, can work with you and the state to get you the help you need. One mistake doesn’t have to define the rest of your life.
INSTRUCTIONS 1. Heat your grill to medium-high. 2. In a bowl, combine all ingredients for creole seasoning. 3. In a large bowl, combine the shrimp, zucchini pieces, and sausage pieces, and cover them with the olive oil. 4. Add creole seasoning and mix well until all ingredients are covered. 5. Load up skewers with alternating pieces of shrimp, sausage, and zucchini until they’re full. 6. Grill skewers until shrimp are well-cooked (6–8 minutes).
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Yeargan & Kert, LLC 1170 Peachtree Street Suite 1200 Atlanta, GA 30309 404-467-1747 AtlantaDUILawyer.com
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Lessons From My Mother
The Value of User Reviews and How to Cultivate Them Who Can Use Medical Cannabis?
A Second Chance for Cocaine Users Shrimp Sausage Skewers
Streaming Services Perfect for Your Family
WHICH SERVICES ARE RIGHT FOR YOU? POPULAR STREAMING SERVICES
Finding that perfect streaming service for your family can cause parents some stress. There are so many options, and it can be difficult to determine which services provide child-appropriate content AND won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Luckily there are plenty of affordable platforms that have family-friendly content. NETFLIX AND HULU Known as two of the most popular streaming services that offer family-friendly content, Netflix and Hulu feature plenty of shows and movies that are perfect for kids. For families who own smart TVs or a digital media device, like Roku or Apple TV, both services are available after a quick app download. Both of these platforms have parental controls, allowing parents to set up accounts and restrictions for what their children can watch. You’ll never miss an episode of “Ninjago” or “Sesame Street” again! Their prices are reasonable as well, with Netflix plans ranging from $8.99– $15.99 a month and Hulu being slightly less at $5.99–$11.99 a month. AMAZON PRIME VIDEO For parents who are already Amazon Prime members, Amazon Prime Video is included with their membership. Those who aren’t can enjoy this streaming service by itself for $8.99 a month.
Offering an extensive collection of titles of multiple genres, Amazon Prime Video is a great streaming service. Movies range from “The Daniel Tiger
Movie: Won’t You Be Our Neighbor” for your toddler to
the more serious “The Dark Crystal” for kids who are a little older. As with Netflix and Hulu, this service also has a parental control feature, ensuring kids don’t watch anything that may be inappropriate. DISNEY+ Disney+ will be the newest streaming service, which is set to be released later this year. Families will have access to classic Disney movies as well as other content that Disney has influenced. They’ll even have exclusive access to the newest Disney creations. It’s been speculated that anticipated titles “Captain Marvel,” “Toy Story 4,” and “Frozen 2,” will only be available to stream on Disney+. Parents can rest easy knowing that R-rated films won’t be available through this new service as Disney wants to keep its family-friendly approach.
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