Absolute Law Group - February 2022



Being an Attorney Was Always My Dream FROM A YOUNG AGE, SHANAE’S CAREER WAS SET

Hi, everyone! As one of the newest associate attorneys here at Absolute Law Group, I’m so honored to introduce myself and share my story. From a young age, I knew I wanted to be an attorney. My parents love to remember a time when they accused me of something they thought I did, and a week later, I presented them with the reasons I didn’t do what they accused me of. From that point on, they always told me I should become an attorney — they imprinted this career into my memory. Thanks to my parents for helping me find my path, I graduated from Radford University, where I earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing in 2011. Then I went to Jacksonville, Florida, where I attended Florida Coastal School of Law. What interested me the most about this school was its certificate program for entertainment law. I thought I wanted to be a sports agent attorney, but as soon as I started law school, I quickly found a passion for criminal law. So, I refocused my thinking and decided to be a public defender and work with juveniles. After I interned with the public defender’s office in Jacksonville, I learned of an even better way to help juveniles who’d come into the system: I could be a prosecutor. In that role, I felt that I had more power to procure

and would help him. I also remember the son mouthing “thank you” to me even though he was going to jail. This moment hit home for me, and I saw the bigger picture. Meanwhile, the state attorney’s office could be grueling. After I had my second child, I needed to make a decision: Should I go back to work? Or should I start looking for another job? That’s when I found a position open at Absolute Law Group, and after doing some research, I realized that I knew Alana!

We used to go to the same church, and my husband coaches our kids’ games for our church’s night program. After applying, I reached out to Alana to

sentences that would ultimately help them address underlying issues. After graduating from law school in 2014, I began my legal career as an assistant state attorney in Ocala, Florida — at the state attorney’s office.

let her know I applied for the position. I wanted to work in a firm where I could help people who were in times of crisis. At Absolute Law Group, I would have that opportunity, and I could make a difference in their lives. I am so happy about how things turned out. I love being here at Absolute Law Group and helping people and their loved ones get through difficult times. I can provide relief for my clients and make

“From that point on, they always told me I should become an attorney — they imprinted this career into my memory.”

Ironically, I didn’t work in the juvenile division. Instead, I worked with misdemeanors and felonies as a prosecutor. Although it was very different from the juvenile system, I could still help not only the victims of crime but also the people who were arrested for committing the crimes. I knew I was meant to be there when I met a defendant who’d been arrested for a grand theft charge but had an underlying drug issue. I remember being in court, and the defendant’s mom hugged me after hearing her son’s sentence. She thanked me for facilitating that outcome because it was fair

this transition the best part of their lives. Thank you to my parents, family, coworkers, and clients for supporting me through this journey. I’m excited to see what’s next!

–Shanae Pickens




On July 1, 1993, Robert Lee Brock made a mistake. By his own account, he had a few too many alcoholic beverages that evening, and in his drunken state, he committed breaking and entering, as well as grand larceny. Brock was arrested, and the court sentenced him to 23 years behind bars at the Indian Creek Correctional Center in Chesapeake, Virginia. In 1995, Brock decided he deserved restitution. Reasoning that he had violated his own civil rights, he sued himself for $5 million. For his family’s pain and suffering, as well as his children’s college tuition, he requested $3 million. He also asked for $2 million to support his needs during his 23-year prison sentence. Central to Brock’s claim was that, due to his drinking, “I caused myself to violate my religious beliefs. This was done by my going out and getting arrested, which caused me to be in prison.” And since he was a ward of the state, he explained that Virginia should pay the $5 million on his behalf. After all, he was incarcerated and unable to work, and the state was responsible for his care. Plus, he promised to pay the money back after his release. In a move that shocked no one (except, perhaps, Brock), Judge Rebecca Beach Smith dismissed his case. While she did call his claim “ludicrous,” she also praised his creativity, stating that he “presented an innovative approach to civil rights litigation.”

Perhaps the lawsuit against himself wasn’t his first or last attempt at legal restitution. He once filed 29 complaints in a single year. Due to the repeated suits, the court removed his ability to file further litigation. “None of Brock’s allegations have ever been found by any court to have any merit,” the decision read. “Because Brock’s repeated, frivolous claims have placed a significant burden on this court, as well as on the district court ... we hereby impose sanctions upon Brock.” Brock’s case ranked No. 3 on Time Magazine’s list of Top 10 Outrageous Legal Battles. So, while he didn’t achieve wealth, he did gain fame. It was an impressive feat for a man who found a novel way to take personal responsibility for his actions.

Valentine’s Day Activities for Everyone 3 IDEAS TO GET YOU STARTED

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples — everyone can spread the love! This month is all about love and happiness, and there are tons of activities you can do with your friends and family this holiday season. This is the perfect opportunity to remind your loved ones how much you care about them and how happy you are to have them in your life. MAKE FESTIVE TREATS. You know how the saying goes — the quickest way to someone’s heart is through food. You can make tons of goodies to celebrate Valentine’s Day. These treats can be made with your friends and family, too. Heart-shaped items are a symbol of love, and you can make cookies, pancakes, and toast into hearts. Fruit tarts, pies, chocolate cakes, and brownies are also favorites on Valentine’s Day. Pink and red are the colors that symbolize the day of love, too. Create strawberry smoothies, cocktails, and other festive beverages for the occasion as well. CREATE A SCRAPBOOK. Putting together collages of pictures of your loved ones is an enjoyable activity that will bring back memories you’ve shared with others. When

doing this with your family and friends, you can talk about the good times you have shared and spend quality time together. You can also write captions for your pictures about the funny moments or a memory that has always stuck with you.

GET CREATIVE BY COLORING. Release your inner child by coloring. This is a great way to relax, and research shows it can help improve cognitive functions. You can order more complex coloring books online or print out Valentine’s Day coloring sheets from the internet. Color alongside the kids! Then, if you’re feeling extra loving, you can give your finished pictures to your loved ones. Valentine’s Day is all about spreading love to one another and telling the ones you care about how much they mean to you. It’s a great time to create new memories with your friends and family. Appreciate the little things this Valentine’s Day and live in the moment with the ones you love most.


(352) 205-4455

Your Estate Planning Checklist START THINKING ABOUT THESE 3 THINGS

Estate Planning is one of the best things you can do for your loved ones. This ensures that your assets will be distributed and your estate will be managed as you would like when you’re gone. Preparing your estate can be stressful because you have to think about many things and prepare numerous documents. But estate planning doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Here are a few things you need to think about. TAKE INVENTORY OF YOUR ASSETS. You want to look at all of your assets and estimate their value. These are items you would like to have distributed to your loved ones. It’s essential to begin looking at your possessions because you can add these to your trust later on. Your assets can include houses, land, vehicles, art, and other personal items. You can also add your checking and savings accounts, stocks, bonds, life insurance policies, and retirement plans. Make sure to collect all of your property titles and deeds during this time. CREATE A LIVING TRUST. A living trust allows you to distribute your assets after you pass away through a designated successor trustee. This trust also allows your estate to avoid probate. You first need to create, sign, and notarize your trust with the help of an attorney to begin this process. This is when you appoint the person who will

manage your trust when you pass away. Once this document is completed, you will need to transfer your property to your trust.

MAKE A LIST OF YOUR FUNERAL WISHES. This list will help your loved ones know if and how you want your final remains to be handled. In addition, you can outline other wishes such as where you want your funeral to be held, passages to be read, whom you would like to speak at your service, and more. Although this isn’t a legal document, it’s good to have these things written down so your wishes can be honored.

Planning your estate for when you pass can be difficult. However, doing so will relieve the stress on your loved ones. We can provide you with the required legal documents, help you decide what to add to your estate plan, and help outline how you want your assets distributed. If you have any questions about estate planning, allow your friends at Absolute Law Group to assist you.

Chocolate Pecan Fondue

Take a Break

This Valentine’s Day, forget the entree! Surprise your honey with a delicious chocolate treat!

Inspired by TasteOfHome.com

Ingredients • 1/2 cup half-and-half cream • 2 tbsp honey • 9 oz semisweet chocolate, broken into pieces • 1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped • 1 tsp vanilla extract • Fresh fruit of your choice

Directions 1. In a sturdy saucepan over low heat, combine cream and honey. Stir until mixed thoroughly and heat until warm. 2. Add in chocolate, stirring until melted. 3. Stir in pecans and vanilla. 4. Transfer to a fondue pot or a slow cooker to keep warm. 5. Serve with fruit, cookies, and marshmallows of your choice.




• Shortbread cookies • Large marshmallows




6035 SW 54th St. Suite 200 Ocala, FL 34474 (352) 205-4455 AbsoluteLawGroup.com

1 Meet Our Associate Attorney, Shanae Pickens!

2 The Man Who Sued Himself 2 Release Your Inner Child This Valentine’s Day 3 Begin Preparing for What Lies Ahead 3 Take a Break 3 Chocolate Pecan Fondue 4 Dating Sites Aren’t Just for Youngsters


Valentine’s Day can be tough for anyone, especially someone who has gone through a divorce, lost their spouse, or decided not to get married later in life. But love can still be in the air. Let’s get you started down the right path by clarifying two very common misconceptions! OLDER SINGLES ARE NOT CLOSED-MINDED. Contrary to popular belief, a survey from OurTime states that 63% of middle-aged individuals are more confident now than they were in their 20s. Also, 25% of participants said they have a better outlook on life. You may very well be more optimistic about life as you grow older, mature, and gain life experiences. COMMITMENT IS A POSSIBILITY. Casual dating may be popular, but many older individuals are still open to the idea of marriage. The OurTime survey shows that almost half of the participants want to get married. It may take them longer to commit, but that’s because they want true and meaningful connections.

experienced now, and you’ll have a good idea of what you want in a partner. IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO JOIN ONLINE DATING SITES. Online dating isn’t just a trend for youngsters, and there

are plenty of dating sites for people over 50. These sites can help you meet new people wherever and whenever you want. Some of the most popular sites are SilverSingles, OurTime, Match, and eharmony. These sources are user-friendly, personality-tested, and identity-verified. Finding love in your golden years can be a challenge, but anything is possible. Enjoy the time you have and where you are in life. Whether you remain single, casually date, or decide to marry, your happiness, joy, and contentment are all that matter.

That being said, here are two tips to help you in your search for love.

LOVE YOURSELF FIRST. During your golden years, you’ve defined who you are. By learning more about yourself, you begin to love your individuality. Plus, you’re


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