Nixon Vogelman Slawsky Simoneau December 2018

77 Central Street, Manchester, NH 03101 • • 603.669.7070 • December 2018


W henever December comes around, I always think about my parents. It was about this time of year back in the ‘60s when they met and had their first date. Both of my parents are deaf, and they happened to be invited to the same wedding for a mutual deaf friend. My dad, Normand, showed up with his best friend, who is also named Normand, because he didn’t want to go alone. At one point during the reception, they spotted a beautiful young woman — my mom, who is just as beautiful today.

When it came time for the date, my dad was both nervous and excited. He drove from Nashua to my mom’s place to pick her up. But when he arrived at the address, Dad got a bad case of first-date jitters and began doubting if he was at the right place. In order to be absolutely certain, he walked over to the house and started peeking through the windows to see if he could catch a glimpse of my mom and determine if he was at the correct location. All the while, Dad was blissfully unaware of how much noise he was making while stamping through rose bushes and knocking things over.

My dad has always been very shy and his best friend is not, so it was the bolder Normand who made the first move. He went up to my mom, chatted with her for a while, and ended up getting her address — for obvious reasons, deaf people didn’t exchange phone numbers before texting existed. After the wedding, while the two

My mom’s father heard all the racket outside and went to have a look. I can imagine the look Grandpa must’ve had on his face when he saw a strange man rifling through his plants and peering through the windows of his home. Understandably, my grandfather was downright furious. He got hold of my dad, picking him up by the collar, and yelled, “Who the hell are you?!” In both his broken verbal English and sign, my terrified dad tried to explain, “I’m here for Linda! I’m her date.” Grandpa then dragged Dad inside and asked my mom, “Do you know this man?” Linda took one look at him and signs to her father, “I have never seen this guy in my life.” Of course, she had never been privy to the

When my mom got the letter and read it, she naturally thought it was from Dad’s friend.

Normands were driving home, my dad persuaded his friend, saying, “Hey, you know you get all the girls. Let me have Linda’s address so I can talk to her.” And like any good best friend, he conceded and handed the address over to my dad. So, my dad wrote her a letter, but identified himself in it as “Normand from the wedding.” When my mom got the letter and read it, she naturally thought it was from Dad’s friend. They ended up writing each other back and forth for a long while before my dad finally screwed up his courage enough to ask her out on a date, and he was overjoyed when she agreed.

“Normand” switch. My dad then very awkwardly had to explain the misunderstanding and convince Mom that it was he who she had been talking to all this time — and therefore, he was the one she was truly interested in. In the end, Mom believed him and my grandfather still let them go out.

You might be wondering where two deaf people like them go for a first date. Well, my parents went to see “The Sound of Music” on stage. You’d think that going to a musical wouldn’t be a deaf person’s first choice, but my dad had it all worked out. Whenever someone asked him, “Why would you take a deaf woman to ‘The Sound of Music?’” Dad just winked and nudged them, saying, “You know why I took her.”

–Kirk Simoneau

603.669.7070 • 1

Guiding you through life’s trials


Sometimes we get a little too much of the sweet stuff. Between Halloween and New Year’s Day, candy is everywhere. It’s at home, at work, and on store shelves. Then, as the year comes to an end, many people start thinking about eating right and losing weight. When those are your New Year’s resolutions, you have to do something about all the leftover candy so it’s not around come Jan. 1.

Here are a few ways to get rid of your leftover candy ASAP.

time you make chocolate chip cookies, swap out the chocolate chips for candy corn. Or the next time you make brownies, chop up leftover candy bars and add them to the batter. From peanut butter cups to mint patties, there are so many different types of candies that can take traditional baked goods to the next level. Store it. Although not great for you, candy is fine to eat in moderation. A good way to moderate your holiday treat intake is to store your leftover sweets in the freezer. That way, you can pull a little from your supply each month to make sure you aren’t overdoing it. That said, be sure to check the expiration dates on all candy you save.

Donate it . While you may have an abundance of sweets, not everyone does. Consider donating wrapped and packaged candy to your local food bank or other nonprofits, including local homeless or women’s shelters. You can also look into donating candy to nearby schools. Many teachers will gladly take candy off your hands to reward students (or themselves) with treats throughout the rest of the school year. Bake with it. Whether you have an excess of candy corn or candy bars, you can bake with your sweet leftovers. The next

Meet Barbara Warren!

Our Legal Assistant Barbara Warren has been in the legal field for many years, starting her work as a legal secretary in 1983. Our firm was in its infancy when Barbara applied for a position here. “I knew a woman who was working with Dave Nixon who notified me that they were looking for someone. She wanted me to send in my resume. I did, and that’s where it all began.”

amazing staff where everyone gets along and is so willing to help out where they can. I’m fortunate — very fortunate — to work here.”

When she’s not in the office, Barbara enjoys an active lifestyle. “I’m a pretty active member at the YMCA and really enjoy swimming. I’m part of their 50-mile club and recently completed 1,100 miles in swimming.” Along with spending time at the Y, Barbara enjoys traveling. “Last year, I went to Scotland, and I’m planning to go back in 2019.” Her three children are all grown and married, and Barbara couldn’t be prouder of them. “My daughters — Candace, who lives in Virginia and works under the Department of Commerce, and Angela, who lives in Goffstown and works with Fidelity Investments — have each been married for quite some time.” Barbara’s son married only a couple of months ago, on Oct.12. “My son Matthew, who is a Connecticut K9 State Trooper and is in the Search and Rescue division, married my daughter-in-law, Shannon, who is a municipal police officer and also a K9 unit. They had a beautiful wedding, and their dogs (Porter and Kendo) attended as part of the wedding party — both wore little bowties.”

Barbara became Dave Nixon’s legal assistant in 1993 and came with him when the firm moved locations on Jan. 1, 1994. “I’ve always enjoyed working in an office atmosphere,” she explains. “And when you’re working in the legal field, you’re helping people, and that’s a plus. It makes you feel good that someone’s worries are gone and that you’ve helped them out in any way you can.” Today, Barbara is kept busy as Dave Slawsky’s legal assistant. She focuses on keeping his cases moving and helping him in anything he needs. “Working here is amazing,” Barbara says. “I love it here. I’ve seen the firm go through a lot of changes, but it always seems to be for the better. We have an absolutely

Everyone at Nixon, Vogelman, Slawsky & Simoneau are pleased to have such a wonderful person on our team.

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Know Your Rights Regarding Interpreters A MORAL VICTORY

Recently, Nixon, Vogelman, Slawsky & Simoneau P.A. settled a case that involved a domestic dispute in which the police were involved but didn’t act properly. Our attorneys helped our client receive the best possible outcome, but the true accomplishment came from a choice our client made after the case was over.

We sued the police department and won in our client’s favor, but she rejected almost the entirety of the claim. Our client took only a small portion of the money and told the court that what she really wanted was to have the whole of the police department trained to act accordingly if that situation were to happen again. The police department agreed and received the proper training that our client requested. Knowing when to involve an interpreter will not only help the police department settle disputes similar to this in the future, but it will also help everyone communicate more effectively.

The dispute involved two deaf couples who were living in the same place. A husband from one couple was having a row with the wife from the other couple. The fight, regarding the ownership of a television, became so intense that the man picked the TV up and threw it at the woman, our client. Luckily, it missed her, and the police were called shortly afterward. However, when the police arrived, things had settled down to the point where the dispute was no longer considered an emergency. In a nonemergency situation, the people involved have a right to an interpreter, which the police

department should provide. In this instance, the police officer at the scene should have contacted an interpreter for the couples, but they never did. Not only did the police officer on the scene not contact an interpreter, but he also made our client interpret for the man she was having the dispute with. She is deaf at a higher-functioning level, which means she can speak, but her ability did not justify the right to make her interpret for the officer. During this exchange, our client was forced to interpret a number of offensive names the man was calling her to the police officer.

Be Inspired and

Have a Laugh

603.669.7070 • 3

Guiding you through life’s trials

77 Central Street Manchester, NH 03101 603.669.7070


INSIDE This Issue

How My Folks Met


The Best Ways to Use Leftover Candy Employee Spotlight


A Domestic Dispute Success Story


Everything You’ll Need for an Ugly Sweater Christmas


to the white elephant exchange, except with the gaudiest

UGLY SWEATER PARTIES A Fun Trend You Can Easily Follow!

gifts you can find; an ugly photo booth, complete with terrible, tacky props; and, of course, an ugly sweater contest.

It’s speculated that the first ugly sweater party took place in Vancouver, Canada, back

that’s been cozied up for years in the back of your closet or a drawer, now’s your chance to give it new life. Arm yourself with a hot glue gun, thread, and needle, and patch Santa, Rudolph, or Frosty on it. And let it be known that an ugly sweater isn’t complete without sparkles, beads, and sequins galore.

in 2001. Since then, the trend has become one of the most popular

holiday party themes. Come Thanksgiving, you’ll start to see racks in all types of clothing stores lined with hideous sweaters. If you’re ready to jump on the ugly-sweater- party bandwagon this Christmas season, here a few things to keep in mind.

WHAT EXACTLY IS AN UGLY SWEATER PARTY? It’s rather simple — slip on your favorite Christmas sweater, gather all your friends and family members, make sure there are plenty of refreshments and games, and you’re guaranteed to have a top-tier party. A few ugly- sweater-themed games that should be on the agenda include an ugly gift exchange, which is similar

This is the only time of year when slipping into

a lurid red sweater with a stuffed Santa sewn on the front is considered trendy.

So adorn yourself in the frumpiest, tackiest sweater you can find, and have some fun this December!

YOUR VERY OWN UGLY SWEATER Ugly sweaters come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. You can head to H&M or a local thrift store to pick one up. However, if you have a sweater

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