Distasio Law Firm March 2019

ISTASIO

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MAR 2019

PERSONAL INJURY LAW

LIFE & THE LAW

(813) 259-0022 | www.distasiofirm.com

AND HOW I STRUGGLED WITH IT One of the Hardest Decisions Any Child Can Make

I n my work, I represent people whose loved ones have suffered at the hands of unscrupulous long-term care facilities. I’ve handled cases involving all types of conduct from negligence to outright abuse. As you can imagine, that experience has led to heightened skepticism with regard to elder care facilities. However, there are times when a care facility is the best option for your loved one. Imagine my surprise when I found myself in this exact situation. My father, Pat, has dementia. I don’t know if you’ve ever had to watch a loved one deal with a degenerative memory issue, but anyone who’s been through it will tell you it’s brutal. Watching someone close to you lose their sense of self is excruciating. To make matters worse, there inevitably comes a time when you’re no longer capable of providing the care your loved one needs. Coming to that realization and electing to put a loved one in care is one of the hardest decisions you’ll ever have to make, and that difficulty is doubled if your loved one happens to be a parent. We’re taught to be deferential to our parents, and we always want to respect their wishes — it’s human nature. But when you’re dealing with a progressive condition like dementia, you begin to question if your parent is even capable of understanding what’s in their best interests. In retrospect, I wish I had put my dad in care a lot sooner than I did. What stopped me? Well, for one, his incredible persistence. At first, Dad made clear in no uncertain terms that he wanted to continue living on his own in Naples. During the day, he’d be adamant that he was just fine. Then I would get a call during the night that

he was scared or worried. Still, he’d chafe at the slightest mention of moving to a facility. Eventually we compromised, and he came to live with Faith and me. That almost worked for a little while. The problem was, as Dad’s conditioned worsened, he needed around-the-clock care. The breaking point came when he told me that people from India had “saved” his computer. What really happened was that he was subject to a ransomware attack. Whether the hackers were actually in India or not, I have no idea. I do know that my dad paid them $1,000 to unlock a virus they had placed on his computer. After this event — and against the best wishes of many of the people in Dad’s life, especially his brothers — I made it clear that he’d be moving into a facility. There simply wasn’t another option. Luckily our experience with the facility has been nothing short of excellent. I always say that the vast majority of care providers are in the business for the right reasons; only a few just see dollar signs. It’s been a relief to see this play out in my personal life. Perhaps the greatest validation that we made the right call happened at a cousin’s wedding. Dad was able to attend, but he “Coming to that realization and electing to put a loved one in care is one of the hardest decisions you’ll ever have to make, and that difficulty is doubled if your loved one happens to be a parent. We’re taught to be deferential to our parents, and we always want to respect their wishes — it’s human nature.”

couldn’t speak, and I had to cut his food for him. One of his brothers pulled me aside and said he was wrong to balk at my decision. I don’t blame him for it either. Like I said earlier, it’s one hell of a tough choice. Does the fact that my dad is in good care mean I’ll stop going after facilities that have no business caring for the elderly and infirm? Absolutely not! To be honest, it makes me more irate at the bad providers because they’re creating a stigma that mars even the most reputable of senior living facilities. We need to hold the bad guys accountable and let the good guys help those in need of care.

-ScottDistasio

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(813) 259-0022

Until 1977, it was illegal for lawyers to advertise. That changed with a case known as Bar v. State of Arizona, where the Supreme Court ruled that barring lawyers from advertising was unconstitutional. Even after the change, lawyers didn’t rush to get their names on the radio and their faces on billboards. For the most part, they viewed advertising as unethical and considered it a cheap tactic. As advertising culture became more pervasive, a generation of lawyers grew up thinking there was nothing dubious about promoting yourself. This trend, combined with the ever more transient nature of our population, led to a proliferation of lawyers who were unafraid to spread their name as far and wide as possible. With the advent of the internet, clients can now do some independent research before choosing a personal injury attorney. When you conduct that research, we recommend keeping an eye out for these four characteristics. 3 WAYS TO HONOR INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY On March 8, people around the world will honor International Women’s Day. Adopted by the United Nations in 1975, the holiday is meant to highlight the immeasurable accomplishments of women throughout history and draw attention to the ongoing struggle for global gender equality. International Women’s Day is celebrated differently around the world. Some nations, like Nepal, give all their citizens the day off. Most countries, however, including the United States, treat it as a normal day, at least officially. Even though we don’t have the day off, there are many ways for everyone to honor International Women’s Day this year. Here are a few of them. TALK ABOUT THE WOMEN WHO INSPIRE YOU From major innovators, like Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer, to

EXTENSIVE KNOWLEDGE OF PERSONAL INJURY LAW Personal injury laws vary dramatically from state to state, so you want an attorney who is familiar with how it works in Florida. Be scrupulous in your research because many lawyers will list personal injury as a practice area, even though they have little knowledge of the field. EXPERIENCE WITH PERSONAL INJURY CASES You should ask a prospective attorney to provide examples of previous cases similar to yours. Every case is different, but what you want to see is familiarity with all aspects of a personal injury case, including trial experience. INDEPENDENT VERIFICATION Many lawyers claim they are experts in personal injury law. However, the only way to really know if a lawyer has the ability to do the job is to find out if they have been independently evaluated by a non-biased rating organization. megalithic literary icons, like Maya Angelou, women throughout history have shaped how we live our lives. Whether you’re inspired by famous historical figures or the women in your own life, take the time to talk about that influence. Which women helped get you where you are today? What female leaders do you look up to? What are some lessons you’ve learned from them? Many of the challenges women face globally happen in the workplace. If you think your company has room for improvement in its treatment of women, now is a great time to do something about it. Even if you believe your company treats women and men equally, there’s no harm in empowering your colleagues to talk to give their opinions. If you’re an employer, this could mean giving women in your workplace an avenue to discuss issues, air grievances, and make suggestions. If you’re an employee, consider asking for such a forum. In either case, MAKE ROOM FOR CONVERSATION IN THE WORKPLACE

providing both public and anonymous avenues for women to express themselves is a great way for your company to take a step forward in fostering gender equality.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION Regardless of your gender, March 8 is the perfect time to tune in to the larger

conversation surrounding gender inequality, if you haven’t already. This could mean attending meetings or demonstrations in your town, reading works that capture the female struggle for equality, such as Roxane Gay’s “Difficult Women,” or seeking out blogs and social media accounts from gender equality activists online. International Women’s Day is about appreciating the contributions of women to society and envisioning a more equal world for the future. However, you decide to celebrate women this March, keep in mind that no matter who you are or where you come from, we all have the power to change our world for the better.

4 IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS When Choosing a Personal Injury Attorney

A CLIENT-FOCUSED APPROACH A lawyer’s job is to put the client’s interest first. This means going that extra mile to prove the client’s case. It also means providing outstanding customer service such as responsiveness, empathy and the willingness to listen. Any firm that shuttles work to underlings isn’t giving you the attention you deserve. The same things you look for in any customer service experience — responsiveness, care, the ability to listen — are equally important in a lawyer. We seek to embody all these qualities and more. Call us at 813-259-0022 to find out if we’re the firm for you.

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MEET SHANNON ROBINSON

Our Neighbor and Colleague

E very law firm has practice areas they focus on and other types of law they don’t. There’s not a single attorney in the world who can excel at all of them. Because of this impossibility, it’s important to be able to recommend other capable attorneys when our clients have needs outside of our purview. Lucky for us, we have one of them right next door. Her name is Shannon Robinson, and we’re honored to call her our colleague and neighbor. Shannon runs the Law Office of Shannon Robinson and practices criminal defense and family law. “As a kid, I always wanted to be a detective,” Shannon recalls, “so I guess it’s not much of a surprise I ended up in ... law. I’m very lucky to have found a profession I’m so passionate about. I love both helping people and arguing; it’s a strange combination, but one that serves me well as an attorney.”

Prior to starting her own firm, Shannon spent time at the state attorney’s office prosecuting cases. Her experience on the other side of the equation gives her unique skills when it comes to criminal defense. “I know exactly how a prosecutor builds a case because I’ve done it myself. That gives me great insight into how to construct the best defense for my clients.” Shannon also has a wealth of experience in family law, having spent time at a firm that handles a huge number of family cases. Beyond her excellent resume, Shannon is the type of person you want to represent you. She’s responsive, friendly, and always puts the interests of her clients first. These traits also happen to make her an ideal neighbor. We look forward to many years of sharing this stretch of real estate together.

SHANNON ROBINSON ATTORNEY Criminal Defense & Family Law

1112 Channelside Drive, Suite 5 Tampa, Florida 33602 813 – 693 – 1188

Find out more about Shannon and her practice by visiting RobinsonLawTampa.com.

Pet of the Month C O N T E S T

EVERYTHING POPCORN

INGREDIENTS

2 teaspoons granulated garlic 2 teaspoons granulated onion 1/3 cup canola oil 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3/4 cup popcorn kernels 2 tablespoons flaky sea salt 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds

TO ENTER: •

Go to Facebook.com/ DistasioFirm.

• •

Like our page.

• Post a picture of your pet to our feed (@DistastioFirm) by Mar. 20, 2019. Check back on our page on Mar. 25 to see the pet of the month winner. If your pet is chosen as the pet of the month, please contact our office at 813-259- 0022 to claim your gift card. The winning entry will receive a $25 gift card and get to see their pet in next month’s newsletter. • •

DIRECTIONS

Inspired by Food & Wine magazine Cook over medium-high heat, covered, until popcorn kernels start to pop. Once popping, continue cooking and shaking the pan intermittently until popping ceases, about 3–5 minutes. 3. Transfer popcorn to a large mixing bowl. Pour in butter and toss to coat. Finally, add seasoning, toss again, and serve. (813) 259-0022 3 1. In a small skillet over medium heat, toast sesame seeds. Shake skillet often and cook until white seeds are golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and add garlic, onion, and salt. 2. In a large saucepan, combine popcorn kernels and oil.

Romeo, owned by Shane Bishop

(813) 259-0022 | www.distasiofirm.com LIFE & THE LAW ISTASIO PERSONAL INJURY LAW D

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Inside This Issue

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When Living at Home Stops Being an Option

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3 Ways to Honor International Women’s Day

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How to Pick a Personal Injury Lawyer

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Spotlight on Shannon Robinson

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Meet Our Pets of the Month

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Everything Popcorn

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Make the Most of the Academy Awards

Are You a Movie Fanatic?

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF THE ACADEMY AWARDS

If you’re a big film buff, then there’s a good chance you set aside one important night each spring to watch the Academy Awards. A great number of memorable moments have happened during the Oscars, such as the 2017 “La La Land” best picture mix-up, the 1974 streaking incident when a naked man ran across the stage, or the 2013 falling accident when Jennifer Lawrence tripped as she walked on stage to receive her award for best actress. The Academy Awards is an event you don’t want to miss out on. Here are three ways you can get the most out of Oscars night.

1. PLAY TRIVIA Everyone loves a good trivia challenge. If you and your family watch the ceremony live, you can use the commercial breaks to test your knowledge. Pose questions about the best picture winners over the last 90 years or the actors selected for different categories. You can also find printable Oscars prediction charts and offer prizes to whoever has the highest number of correct answers. 2. THEMED FOOD If you’re throwing an Oscars party, serving some tasty dishes is a must. But why not kick it up a notch and keep your entrees and hors d’oeuvres

in line with the blockbuster theme? There are multiple recipes for Oscars- party popcorn online, and you can also use star-shaped cookie cutters for your desserts. For your libations, you can serve cocktails from famous films and make a martini even James Bond would approve of. 3. TICKETS GALORE! The ticket price for the first motion picture ever shown at the oldest American movie theater cost 15–25 U.S. cents, depending on the location of your seat.

there are ways for you to create the feeling of watching a film premiere or Oscars ceremony from your own home. Find printable tickets online to distribute to your guests before the showing, and encourage them to dress like they are heading to the red carpet.

Nowadays, the price of watching a film is astronomical. Fortunately,

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