Alex R. Hernandez Jr. - February 2019

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TEXAS TRIAL LAWYERS REVIEW

FEBRUARY 2019

SAN ANTONIO | AUSTIN | EDINBURG | HOUSTON | LAREDO | DALLAS | EL PASO | CORPUS CHRISTI

What’s in a ‘Best Picture?’

What Movies Mean to Me

Well, Hollywood will be having its annual party for itself at the end of the month with the Oscars, and I for the life of me couldn’t tell you who the nominees are. Don’t get me wrong; I love a good film. From popcorn flicks to genre-defining classics, movies have the power to spark powerful emotions in each of us. What those are depends on you as much as the movie itself. So, rather than make predictions on what the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will deem “best picture” this year, I’d rather share the films that impacted my own life, and why. Growing up in the ‘70s, I got to experience the peak of the American movie-going craze — back when tickets were cheap and VHS tapes were just coming onto the market. In those impressionable days, I remember always feeling like I had to be the heroes I saw on screen. My sister and I would come running out of the theater pretending to be the likes of Superman, Princess Leia, and Butch Cassidy. As I grew older, I found other elements of film caught my eye that I would have never paid attention to as a kid. Rather than dwell on larger- than-life heroes, I began noticing the landscapes, drama, and musical scores that brought these movies to life. I distinctly remember watching “Lawrence of Arabia” as a teenager. Now, for those trying to guess my age, I want to be clear — I saw this movie as a rerun on TV. “Lawrence of Arabia” was already an oldie at that point. But as a young man who had just come back from living in Saudi Arabia, I was moved by the film’s sweeping portraits of the Arabian Desert. While it wasn’t filmed in Saudi, watching Lawrence of Arabia made me feel

nostalgic. Rather than feel like I was transformed into the hero of the movie, I felt transported to a place and time. That’s when I really began to pay attention to the magic of film. Just as “Lawrence of Arabia” connected me to a place, I soon began discovering works that connected me to my love of music. Through high school and college, musical performance was a major part of my life — I got my bachelor’s degree while on a string bass scholarship. During this time in my life, I found myself glued to films like “A Fistful of Dollars” and “Once Upon a Time in the West.”

These spaghetti westerns, as they came to be called, featured the work of legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone. If you’ve ever heard the iconic, two-note warbling melody of “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” then you’re familiar with the work of Morricone. To this day, I listen to his works and soundtracks and marvel at how his sparsely instrumented melodies convey so much emotion so honestly. In fact, I’ve set my phone to play the main theme to Cinema Paradiso when my wife calls.

This is all to say that movies are far more than pictures on a screen; the way we connect to them can be deeply personal. If you liked an unpopular movie or disliked a crowd pleaser, my advice is to not feel bad. You never have to apologize for the way a piece of art makes you feel. So while the academy may name a best picture at the end of this month, what matters most is what you choose to watch and the ways you connect to it. Alex R. Hernandez Jr.

Rather than feel like I was transformed into the hero of the movie, I felt transported to a place and time. That’s when I really began to consciously pay attention to the magic of film.“

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Facing a Car Accident Without an Attorney

There’s no way around it; car accidents are scary, but the aftermath shouldn’t have to be anything but healing. After an accident, it’s common to be confused. Emotions whirl and sights and sounds bombard you from every angle as the full magnitude of the situation comes into focus. All this can escalate to something much more serious if you’ve been injured in the process. The important thing to keep in mind is that it’s normal to be frightened, and it’s even normal to be involved in a car accident every once in a while. But when your life is disrupted by the negligence of another person or corporation, you need to start looking for the right car accident lawyer to represent you and seek reparations for what you’ve been put through. The question many people ask themselves after an accident is whether or not they should even hire an attorney in the first place. The answer is simple: Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney to take your case means that you have a consummate professional working on your side. Depending on your choice in representation, you’ll find yourself with an individual who is well-versed in the laws and procedures that govern your case. Factors like statute of limitations, negotiating insurance settlements, taking lawsuits to court, figuring out the fairest settlements out of court, and dealing with accident claims can mean the difference between wasting your time and walking away with the confidence that justice was fully served. An Accident Claim Without an Attorney isn’t Just an Accident, It’s a Mistake You Memed Well Keeping the Internet Challenges on the Internet Memes are loosely defined as ongoing humorous images or videos that are posted with slight alterations over and over, and — in case you don’t know — they aren’t going anywhere. Long gone are the days of spam chain letters threatening you with tales of computer ghosts unless you forward them to 20 of your closest friends. We’re in a complete meme domain now, which is controlled by social media stars whose mere existences get more viral with every post. As such, the influence of social media trends is a genuine, viable threat if put into the wrong hands. After all, everybody wants to be a star. A spate of internet challenges based off memes has parents and authorities alike worried about what their kids may be doing behind closed doors. Two recent examples have been the ongoing joke of Tide Pods being a delicious treat and the Netflix-inspired “Bird Box Challenge,” which has seen people performing potentially dangerous activities while blindfolded to mimic the titular movie. People know better than to eat Tide Pods, and they know the pods aren’t as delightful as their bright colors may have you believe, but that’s the joke. The same goes with the mimicking of the film; it’s all a joke. The problem is that serious injury may be the punchline. The seemingly whimsical meme-play turned serious this January, when a Utah teen accidentally drove his car into oncoming traffic while partaking in the Bird Box Challenge. Luckily, nobody was hurt, but they weren’t alone in their slipups. Nearly 100 cases were called into poison control after people

WILD DIVORCE SETTLEMENTS 3 Times the Division of Assets Got Out of Control

When you’re untying the knot, it’s important to be specific about the assets you hope to walk away with. These three over-the-top divorce settlements are good examples of what not to do when dissolving your marriage.

YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDNEY ME

Back in 2001, Dr. Richard Batista donated his kidney to his ailing wife, Dawnell, to save her life. Sweet, right? It was — until Dawnell filed for divorce in 2005 and Dr. Batista demanded she give back his kidney or compensate him for $1.5 million in damages. In the end, his request was thrown out in court because the kidney was a gift — and because removing it would be potentially fatal to his ex-spouse.

A LIFE RENT IN TWO

When Moeun Sarim and Vat Navy decided to divorce after 18 years of marriage, Moeun apparently decided that, to keep the split equitable, he and his wife should divide their assets in half — literally. Moeun and his relatives cut the home down the middle, dismantled his portion, and hauled it away. Vat’s half was left standing with one wall missing.

‘HERE, MY DEAR’

In the divorce agreement between the late Marvin Gaye and his ex, Anna Gordy, it was decided that Anna would be paid from the royalties of Gaye’s next album since he had gone broke from his lavish spending. At first, Gaye decided he’d phone in the production, but he quickly discovered an opportunity to make a unique artistic statement: “I’ll give her my next album, but it’ll be something she won’t want to play and it’ll be something she won’t want the world to hear because I’m gonna tell the world the truth.” In the end, the album was a commercial flop, though critics continue to praise its raw, emotional core.

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TAKE A BREAK

TIRAMISU

Hiring a lawyer from the start of your case can minimize the risk of the having the party at fault — or the big-budget insurance company backing them up — lowball your case or dismiss you altogether. With a team of legal experts in your corner, you can take solace in the fact that they are working diligently to get you the results you deserve. You don’t need to do all the legwork; you can get a legal Goliath in your corner by discussing your options with the professionals at Alex R. Hernandez Jr. PLLC. If we can’t help, we’ll point you in the direction of someone who can.

Inspired by foodnetwork.com

This Italian favorite makes for the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert. It’s easy to whip up and will make the holiday feel extra special.

INGREDIENTS

• • • •

6 egg yolks

• • •

2 teaspoons dark rum 24 packaged ladyfingers

3 tablespoons sugar

1 pound mascarpone cheese

1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate shavings, for garnish

1 1/2 cups strong espresso, cooled

DIRECTIONS

1. In a large mixing bowl, use a whisk to beat together egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. 2. Add mascarpone cheese and beat until smooth. 3. Fold in 1 tablespoon of espresso. 4. In a small, shallow dish, combine remaining espresso with rum. Dip each lady finger into mixture for 5 seconds. Place soaked ladyfingers at the bottom of a walled baking dish. 5. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture on top of the first layer of ladyfingers. Top with another layer of ladyfingers and another layer of mascarpone. 6. Cover and refrigerate 2–8 hours. 7. Remove from fridge, sprinkle with chocolate shavings, and serve.

— mostly teenagers — reported actually eating Tide Pods. While no deaths occurred, many have been hurt by similar stunts in the past. Dozens of teenagers have died throughout the years while playing the choking game made popular online. Some statistics put the number of deaths at well over 100, and those are just the ones we know about. While you shouldn’t find it necessary to lock down your kids’ internet connection and throw away the digital key, you could do a world of good by simply having a conversation with them. Explain to them the dangers of what could happen if they accidentally hurt themselves or someone else. If you find yourself injured by the negligence of another person, the attorneys at Alex R. Hernandez Jr. Trial Lawyers have over 100 years of combined experience to point you in the right direction.

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www.alexhernandeztriallaw.com

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INSIDE

1. Alex Talks Movies

2. 3 Wild Divorce Settlements

2. Understanding Exactly What a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Do for You

2. The Dangers of Viral Internet Fads

3. Tiramisu

4. Why Do We Need A Leap Year?

WHY DOWE NEED A LEAP YEAR? four years except for the years that are evenly divisible by 100 and not 400. For instance, 1800 and 1900 were not leap years because they were divisible by 100.

Every four years, February gains an extra day at the end of the month. But what does this contribute to the year as a whole? You might be surprised by what this one day does for us! The 365 days in each year represent the time it takes for the Earth to circle the sun. However, the orbit actually takes nearly a quarter of a day longer than that. The additional 0.2421 of a day might not seem like it would make a significant impact, but after a few decades, it adds up. To ensure the calendar and seasons stay on the right timeline, the leap day was created. THE START OF THE LEAP YEAR The Egyptians were the first to officially calculate how many days it takes to orbit the sun, revealing the need for a leap year. Europeans at the time used a calendar that followed a lunar model, which needed an entire month added to retain consistency. The leap year wasn’t introduced into Europe until the reign of Julius Caesar. With the help of astronomer Sosigenes, Caesar created the Julian Calendar, which included 12 months and 365 days, with a single day added every fourth year. However, the Julian Calendar wasn’t perfect, because 0.2421 of a day can’t be rounded to a multiple of five, so it caused the calendar to have an extra 11 minutes every four years. Pope Gregory XIII fixed the problem in 1582 by creating the Gregorian Calendar. Now, a leap year occurs every

A LEAP DAY BIRTHDAY The odds of being born on Feb. 29 are about 1 in 1,500, which leaves approximately 187,000 people in the U.S. and 4 million people around the world celebrating their birthdays on Feb. 28 or March 1. People born on a Leap Day are faced with dilemmas such as which date they should receive their driver’s license. Although it varies from state to state, most consider March 1 the appropriate day for leap-year 16-year-olds — who are celebrating their fourth “official” birthday — to receive their license. With all the changes the calendar has undergone, it still isn’t quite perfect. Experts say that in about 10,000 years, it will need to be changed yet again.

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