Marc Whitehead April 2018



April 2018 888-497-9061 |

A T T O R N E Y S A T L A W , L L P

A Dedication to 3 of the Most Influential People in Our Lives To Further the Education of Others

and became the first president of the PTO at the school. Tina has also raised money for Spark Park, a public- private effort to raise money for parks. A school donates land for the park, and fundraising goes into building the playground.

That experience made me want to become a disability lawyer and represent people like Earl.

For the first time, our firm established two memorial scholarships last year. We wanted to do something for our community, and a scholarship seemed like the most natural way to do that. Our scholarships also honor three very important people who had a huge impact on my family. Our Frances & Earl Perry Memorial Veterans Scholarship honors my aunt and uncle, and our Flora Marie Jenkins Memorial Disability Scholarship is in memory of my mother-in-law.

The Frances & Earl Perry Memorial Veterans Scholarship supports aspiring veterans and children of veterans who wish to further their education at the college or university level. If you know someone who fits these criteria, please encourage them to apply. You can find more information on our website at scholarships/veterans-scholarship. Our hope is to enable returning soldiers or their children to pursue their educational goals and position them for success in civilian professions. My mother-in-law, Marie Jenkins, died when my wife was only 18. Although she passed away at a young age, Marie had a positive impact on her friends and family throughout her lifetime. We remember her though this scholarship. The Flora Marie Jenkins Memorial Disability Scholarship awards money to aspiring individuals with disabilities who wish to further their education. We know how important higher education is to the pursuit of a rewarding career and are honored to help deserving disabled students enjoy the full benefits of a post- secondary education. My wife, Tina, has always been heavily involved in our community. When we moved into a new neighborhood in Houston, they had just built a new elementary school nearby. She organized

My Uncle Earl and Aunt Frances were special people. So special, in fact, that I would not be where I am today without their support and guidance. While my mom was putting herself through law

Julia LiPuma, Scholarship Recipient

Inspired by Tina’s giving spirit, I wanted to get our firm involved in giving back, and that’s how our two scholarships came to be. We’re excited to offer these scholarships to two outstanding people in our community so they can further their education. If you know a qualifying individual who wants to go to school and needs financial assistance, encourage them to apply! The applications and additional details can be found at college-scholarships.

Justin Mebes, Scholarship Recipient

school, Uncle Earl and Aunt Frances raised me. In the time I lived with them, some of the struggles I saw them go through influenced my decision to become a disability lawyer. Uncle Earl served in the military and came out a disabled veteran. When I lived with him and my aunt, I saw the challenges he went through while trying to get his disability insurance.

We look forward to seeing your applications!

-Marc Whitehead






With the current trend of getting TV, social media, and news alerts sent to our phones, we have access to more media than we could ever consume. While constant connectivity is a boon for many aspects of our lives, researchers are discovering that too much stimulation is cause for concern. One study in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology found that too much social comparison, spurred by the likes of Facebook and cable news, can lead to an increased risk of depression. If you find yourself pressured to live up to the public lives of friends and family, or if you feel like you’re being bombarded with too much news and entertainment, consider a media detox. A detox doesn’t require you to unsubscribe from social media services or unplug your TV forever. Instead, think of it as a vacation from the overstimulation so many of us experience. Ask yourself which aspects of your media diet are causing more stress than they’re worth, and take a break from them for a little while. “In the same way we think about what we eat, we should think about what we read, what we’re seeing, what we’re engaging in, and what we’re interacting with every day,” Emma Watson told CNN in an interview about her selective social media use. If you’re not mindful of your media consumption and participation, it tends to pile up. When you detox, it’s a lot easier to identify which parts of your media diet are essential and which are only a burden. Another benefit of a media detox is that you’ll have more time to pursue new and dormant hobbies. Because most of us consume media in small chunks throughout the day, it’s easy to overlook how much that time adds up. All those hours you spend on Facebook could be used to start a garden, knit a quilt, or join a soccer league. Unless you have an unlimited supply of leisure time (and who does?), you need to be selective in the way you spend it. Remember, media isn’t the cause of all your ills. Used mindfully, it can actually increase happiness and satisfaction. The problem is that we are so mired in the media muck that we can’t get a perspective on how much is too much. A detox will allow you to reassess the media you’re consuming and build a better plan for the future. You can still keep up with your grandkids on Facebook, but it shouldn’t be the only way you interact with the world. The Dangers of Overstimulation Do You Need a Media Detox?

Fooled Again The History of April Fools’ Day

Although April Fools’ Day has been celebrated for centuries by cultures around the world, the holiday’s origin is unclear. Historians point to a variety of possible beginnings, but the only solid conclusion is that the April Fools’ Day we know today is a blend of traditions. THE GREGORIAN CALENDAR In 1582, France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. Some people were slow to get the news, and others failed to recognize that the start of the year had moved from April 1 to Jan. 1. Anyone who celebrated during the last week of March became the butt of jokes and hoaxes. People placed paper fish on the backs of March celebrators to symbolize young, easily caught fish and referred to them as “poissons d’avril,” or “April fools.” HILARIA Other historians have linked April Fools’ Day to the ancient Roman festival Hilaria, which was celebrated at the end of March. The festival honored Cybele, a mother of gods, and celebrations included parades, masquerades, and jokes to honor the vernal equinox, the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. ‘CANTERBURY TALES’ Another origin story comes from Geoffrey Chaucer’s 1392 book, “The Canterbury Tales.” There are still questions about whether Chaucer really wrote the stories and whether they have any direct link to April Fools’ Day. In the book, Chaucer describes the date “32 March.” Some believe this was a joke, because March 32 doesn’t exist, but some medievalists insist it was a misprint. April Fools’ Day certainly has murky origins. Whether our traditions come from the Gregorian calendar switch, Hilaria, or even “The Canterbury Tales,” we can all enjoy our chance to let loose and play pranks on our friends and family at least one day each year.

Britney Brings Knowledge and Compassion to Every Case

“We have plenty of success stories because we get good results for our clients,” she adds. “There are very few we haven’t had closure in.”

Britney McDonald heads our VA and long-term disability departments and helps us with Social Security appeals. Basically, she wears two, sometimes three, hats.

Asked her about her favorite part of the job, Britney gives examples of her empathetic approach to law.

How does one person do it?

“I really enjoy meeting clients and the personal connections you get. A lady whose case I settled in October emailed me yesterday to say that her husband had died. She wasn’t looking for legal help; she was just looking for comfort. And I’m glad we can provide that. I let her know I’m praying for her and thinking of her. I have clients who tell me they’re praying for me. “On some level, we all relate to each other. It’s good to humanize and remember that, at the personal level, you have those interactions and you know you’re helping them.”

“I’m a super-organized, get-it-done type of person,” says Britney. “I like to stay on top of everything. Plus, we’re lucky to have paralegals and staff who work really hard and are wonderful at their jobs. They help me a lot.” Britney’s humility is just one of the qualities that make her an amazing part of our team. Though it can be complex, she enjoys every aspect of her job and the unique type of LTD law our firm practices Income Security Act (ERISA). The contracts say that if you somehow become disabled and can’t do part of your job, they’ll pay part of your salary,” says Britney. “What tends to happen is the insurance company says you don’t meet the terms, even though you do. Most attorneys shy away from ERISA because it’s very hard to prevail [against] an ERISA action. We’re one of the few firms that take on those cases and are successful.” “Employers have contracts to get long-term and short-term disability benefits for their employees based on the Employee Retirement

We’re so grateful to have Britney on our team and know you’ll enjoy working with her as much as we do.

Pasta With Turkey and Broccoli Ingredients

• • • •

2 cloves garlic, chopped

3/4 pounds pasta (shells or orecchiette) 2 cups broccoli florets 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 pound ground turkey

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

• • •


Parmesan cheese


1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Add broccoli when pasta is 1 minute from done. Drain both and return to pot. 2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the turkey, garlic, crushed red pepper, and a pinch of salt. Cook while breaking up meat with a wooden spoon for 3–5 minutes. 3. Combine turkey with pasta and broccoli mixture, adding the remaining olive oil as you stir. Serve in bowls topped with Parmesan. (Recipe inspired by

Puzzle Time!


5300 Memorial Drive | Ste. 725 Houston, TX 77007 | 888-497-9061 A National Disability Law Firm

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Inside This issue 1.

Our Memorial Scholarship Dedication


Why You Should Consider a Media Detox The Origins of April Fools’ Day Meet One of the Outstanding Attorneys at Our Firm Pasta With Turkey and Broccoli


What to Check Out This Month


A Dose of History and a Chance to See Local Talent

3 Activities in April Choose from this mix of new and upcoming releases for your viewing and listening pleasure.

the Nazis’ grasp and a fate in Auschwitz, but he used his artistry to save thousands of other lives during Hitler’s reign. Even after the war, Adolfo continued to forge documents for refugees and those affected by war so they could escape. Thanks to his daughter’s compassionate retelling, we get a glimpse into another side of WWII history and the man who risked his life to help others. WHAT TO LISTEN TO: LLANO FIDDLE FEST WEEKEND, APRIL 6–8 Head to Llano the first weekend in April to be treated to the upbeat, toe-tapping sounds of fiddles at the historic Lantex Theater. Competitions will bring out the true stars of the instrument, and you’ll have a front-row seat to enjoy the show. On Sunday, April 8, a cowboy breakfast will precede the festivities. Visit for a complete festival schedule.


If you’re a history junkie or fascinated by the Kennedys, “Chappaquiddick” is the movie for you. It tells the tale of Senator Ted Kennedy, who was at the height of his political career in 1969 when an accident threatened to derail his ambitions. It’s a political thriller that unpacks one of the lesser-known stories surrounding the Kennedys. It hits theaters April 6.


Sarah Kaminsky tells the heroic story of her father, Adolfo Kaminsky, an adept forger whose skill proved to be lifesaving on a grand scale. He not only escaped

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