Joe Miller Law JULY 2018


F ollow U s

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“I think our culture made a pretty big mistake when we began telling kids the only way for them to get by in life was with a college degree.”

This has been a very exciting summer at the office. My oldest daughter, Dalya, has started as an intern. She’s had other jobs before, like camp counseling over the summer, but this is her first full-time office job. While she may be the boss’s kid, she hasn’t had it easy. Dalya’s been working her butt off with grunt work, and she’s also been helping me make videos for the office. She’s always been very artsy, but I think she has a great mind for law, and I’m excited to see if working at the office will spark that interest in her. If it turns out law is not her thing, that’s okay. What’s most important is for her to find a career she’s suited for. I think our culture made a pretty big mistake when we began telling kids the only way for them to get by in life was with a college degree. Recently, I read an article about the push to get shop class back on the high school curriculum, and it got me thinking about all the guys I knew who never went to college but were able to support themselves and their future families because they learned a skill. Kids who chose not to pursue college, either because their family didn’t have the means, or because college didn’t suit their interests, could still pursue a successful career path thanks to shop class. They’d learn a valuable skill set working with specific tools, and when they got out of high school, they got jobs on a

shipyard as welders or they found carpentry work and started getting paid.

In the last decade or so, we’ve seen a culture shift that insisted the only way to make a living was through college education. We started pushing all these kids toward college, whether they wanted to go or not. Today, we have people with degrees they can’t use, $1.4 trillion in student loan debt, and no one available to take on the fine craftsman jobs. There’s an idea that robots will one day replace the whole hard labor force, and maybe they will, but not yet. We still need people who can weld and do fine carpentry work and build those big machines. I’m a big believer that college isn’t the only path to making a living. If you’re cut out for it and want a professional degree, then by all means, go for it! I loved my college years, and I learned a lot beyond my law degree

that I might not have had I not pursued higher education. But instead of telling kids what they need to do, we should be asking them where they want to end up. What are they best suited for? College is great, but it’s not the only path to success. I know so many smart people who never went to college. Today they’re making good money through honest labor, and I call that success. I would love it if my daughter decided she wanted to be an attorney, but if she finds another path she’s passionate about and decides college isn’t right for her, then I’ll love that too.

If you belong to a union or other labor-related group and want to schedule my presentation at your group’s speaking arrangement, you can do so by calling 888-694-7994 . The presentation is free of charge, offers important information for taking appropriate action in Virginia workers’ compensation cases, and everyone in attendance gets a free copy of my book, “10 Traps and Lies That Can Ruin Your Virginia Workers Compensation Case.” Education is the best way to protect yourself from making a mistake. So call now, before it’s too late. –Joseph Miller

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Workers’ compensation cases are usually clear-cut. In most cases, it’s abundantly clear when an employer needs to take responsibility for an injury-causing accident, even if some employers and insurance companies try to deny it. However, there are some incidents that you wouldn’t expect to fall under the workers’ comp umbrella. Here are a few unique cases you need to see to believe. In a case from Illinois, Nolan Lett’s morning turned into a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” when he ran into a couple of Canadian geese. The foul-tempered fowls blocked the entrance to his office, and when Lett went around the building to a different door, he came face-to-bill with another goose. Though Lett gave the bird plenty of space as he tried to walk around it, the Birds of a Feather

medical bills. Though Lett was not on the clock yet, he was injured while performing his normal job duties — in this case, the duty of walking into the building. Additionally, it was revealed that Lett’s employer had not warned the staff about the geese that frequented the property. While an employer cannot control what wild animals do, it is their responsibility to make their employees aware of any and all potential risks. The claim was found compensable by the judge in Illinois. Would this case have “flown” in Virginia? Probably not. This is similar to getting stung by a bee, and there are a few bee sting cases in Virginia. The Virginia Workers Comp Commission would probably have found that the geese were not a “risk of employment.” This is an additional requirement that Virginia has compared to some other states. In other words, you can run into a hostile goose anywhere. The risk of running into geese is not anything peculiar to Mr. Lett’s employment at an office. If he had been someone who had to be out in fields surveying areas that geese frequent, it would probably be considered a risk of employment and would be compensable.

over to catch a falling bag of french fries before it could hit the floor. Pressured by her employer to ensure customers were served quickly, the manager had to quickly bend, jerk, and twist in order to catch the fries. Otherwise, the food would have hit the floor and would have had to be remade. Since the unusual movement was done to “advance employer’s business” and was considered a “risk of employment,” the court ruled in the manager’s favor.

So, unlike the goose case, here you see where the risk of employment was found in a Virginia case. By specifically requiring the employee to hustle and get the fries served quickly, the employee was found to have been injured via a risk of employment. employees, and when they fail in that responsibility, they should be held liable for the injuries their team may suffer, no matter how unusual the circumstances may be. Employers have a responsibility to their

goose hissed and lunged at him. Lett turned to run, only to trip and fall, breaking his wrist when he hit the ground. Lett would go on to file a workers’ comp claim to pay for his

“Would you like fries with that?”

The manager at a Virginia McDonald’s filed a workers’ compensation claim after she injured her neck while quickly bending

“Mr. Miller worked my workmans’ comp claim and produced very good results for me. Mr. Miller and his team (especially Lisa) always answered my questions with care and claim. Happy with the outcome of my case. I’ve recommended him to everyone I know.” –Larry Our Clients Say It Best

knowledge of the law. It was a pleasure having Mr. Miller and his team represent me on my

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Where Essential Oils Come From

Call it a pseudoscientific fad or a medical revolution; either way, essential oils are more popular today than they have ever been. Though research on the efficacy of lavender, ginger, and the dozens of other sweet-smelling oils is conflicting at best, people are using them at an astonishing rate. In fact, according to Stratistics MRC, essential oils were a $5.91 billion industry in 2016 and are expected to reach $12.85 billion by 2023. Whether you’re an essential oil acolyte or you fly into a rage at the faintest hint of bergamot, your mind is probably already made up about aromatherapy. The question remains, though: Where does all this delicious-smelling stuff come from?

Charred Chili-Cheese Corn it breaks it down and lifts its constituent components up through a tube and into a condenser. The condenser cools the resulting vapor and collects it in liquid form at the bottom. Since essential oils do not mix with water, they float on the surface, where they’re siphoned off, bottled, and shipped off to a distributor. There are other methods, such as expression (aka cold pressing), but because steam distillation is so easy to do, most essential oils you see on the shelf will have gone through this process. Lavender essential oil is harvested from sheaves of lavandula angustifolia , that purple herb you see all over gardens across the United States. There are lavender farms all over the world, from California to Japan to Brazil, but the biggest world producer of lavender is, interestingly, Bulgaria. Tea Tree oil comes from the leaves of melaleuca alternifolia , commonly known as narrow-leaved paperbark, a short, bushy tree that produces white, fluffy flowers in the spring. The trees are endemic to Australia, but today are usually farmed in New South Wales or Queensland. Bergamot is distilled from the peels of lime-green bergamot oranges, or citrus bergamia . Most of it comes from coastal areas around the Ionian Sea. Whatever you do with it, use it sparingly on your skin — it can amplify skin damage from the sun!

Most essential oils are derived from a process called steam distillation . Soon after harvest, the plants are placed on a mesh inside a sealed still, into which steam is injected. As the steam rises and envelops the plant,


Joe’s Monthly ‘SOUL SNACKS’

“I don’t speak because I have the power to speak; I speak because I don’t have the power to remain silent.” –Rabbi A.Y. Kook “To know yourself as the Being underneath the thinker, the stillness underneath the mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment.” –Eckhart Tolle

Ingredients • 4 ears of corn, husked • 4 tablespoons high-smoke- point oil, such as canola or vegetable • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced • 1/2 red chili (such as Freson) or jalapeño, thinly sliced

• 1/4 cup fresh lime juice • 2 ounces fresh cotija cheese (or feta), crumbled • 1/4 cup cilantro • Salt and pepper, to taste


1. Heat grill to medium. 2. Brush corn with 2

lime juice, cheese, and remaining oil. 4. Season with salt and pepper, garnish with cilantro, and serve.

tablespoons oil and grill until visibly charred, 10–12 minutes. 3. Cut kernels off cob and combine with shallots, chilis,

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Inside This Issue

The Case for Shop page 1 That Counts as Workers’ Comp? page 2 What Our Clients Are Saying page 2 Where Do Essential Oils Come From? page 3 Charred Chili-Cheese Corn page 3 Take Your S’mores to the Next Level page 4

CAN I HAVE S’MORE? Creative Twists on the Campfire Classic

Strawberry S’more-cake If you really want to wow your guests at the next bonfire, try your hand at this creative take on the summertime classic. Gooey s’mores meet fresh strawberry shortcake in a dessert that’s as delicious as it is original. Find the whole recipe, including tips on making the perfect shortcake, at shortcake-recipe. S’mOreo A simple but memorable twist on the campfire classic. Grab a box of Oreo cookies, pull a cookie apart, and use that in place of your graham cracker. The cream filling will pair nicely with the chocolate and toasted marshmallow. S’mores Milkshake Too hot for a campfire? Cool down with a s’mores milkshake! The trick is to lightly toast the marshmallows in the oven so they mix well with the other ingredients in the blender. Get the recipe at to enjoy this sweet treat even in the heat of summer. It’s the simple recipe that opens the door for creative interpretations of the classic s’more. Be adventurous this summer and see what great new s’mores you can create!

You’re just three ingredients away from the perfect summertime treat: chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows. The s’more is a fan favorite on camping trips and at backyard bonfires alike. Though they say you can’t improve perfection, we’ve found a few creative twists on the classic treat that will make your summer a little sweeter. The Elvis A campfire snack fit for a king — of rock ’n’ roll, that is. This s’more pays homage to Elvis Presley’s love of peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Swap out the chocolate bar for a peanut butter cup candy and add a few slices of fresh banana between the graham cracker and marshmallow. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can even add some bacon.

S’mores in a Jar Here are s’mores you can enjoy all year long. Layers of crushed graham cracker, melted marshmallow, and creamy chocolate turn a

simple jar into a great dessert! Learn how to make the perfect s’mores on the go at smores-in-a-jar.

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