Medlin Law Firm - August 2020

The Medl in News


strong feeling the original suspect was the perpetrator. That case was one of the biggest of my career — figuratively and literally. It barely fit in the two briefcases that I brought to court. The sheer volume of evidence (physical or otherwise) and witness notes had to be indexed very carefully so I could find what I needed. Unfortunately, my client was found guilty in court and sentenced to lifetime in prison.


How Taking Small Steps Keeps Us on Our Path

What makes us accomplish the most difficult tasks of our lives? Sometimes, it’s just taking the first step and then the next.

But the journey wasn’t over.

With National Mountain Climbing Day on Aug. 1, I’ve started to think about the qualities that push us to overcome seemingly impossible uphill battles. In a literal sense, I’ve had a fair bit of experience with climbing. Climbing and cycling alike have pushed me to my physical limits (especially with my disability). I’ve completed the Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon with a 4,380-foot elevation change and the Hotter’N Hell Hundred, the oldest and largest cycling event in the U.S. What I’ve realized, though, is I didn’t reach these aspirations because I focused on the end goal; I took it one step at a time. It’s easy to say and harder to do, but remember: We only live in moments. Don’t imagine the journey before it’s finished. In criminal defense, fighting the government is always a challenge. Having an opponent with unlimited resources is difficult to navigate at times. Also, while well-intentioned, there’s a natural tendency to “rescue” the victim and convict the guilty. It can often seem like the only person a prosecutor can convict is the defendant that’s presented to them. As a criminal defense attorney, I have to be prepared every step of the way to fight against the court’s biases — even if I need to bring two briefcases of indexed paperwork and evidence. In 1997, I had a client who was charged with murder, but he always maintained that he was innocent, and I truly believed he was. The original suspect of the case had been questioned, but the courts were focused on the new suspect, my client. After looking through an incredible volume of evidence, I had a very

Sometime after the case concluded, the original suspect moved to Tennessee and committed two more murders in a similar style. A court reporter from Tennessee actually called to tell me about them and to let me know the suspect was about to get executed. I thought: “If he’s going to die, he may confess to murdering the victim in my client’s case, and my client can return to his family.” Immediately, I flew to Tennessee, was picked up by the court reporter, and we drove straight to the prison. It was like a scene from a John Grisham novel, absolutely packed with TV reporters and journalists. Unfortunately, we were within 48 hours of the execution, which meant that only his family could visit him. Then the execution got stayed and I was going to fly back and try again, but he died of natural causes before I could get there.

Still, the journey wasn’t over.

With the Innocence Project, we presented the evidence and — with the help of amazing community members like Criminal District Attorney Sharon Wilson (featured in our newsletter last March) — we were able to finally get our client out of prison. It took 18 years. There’s no replacing lost time in a man’s life, but at least we could give the rest of his life with his family back to him. No matter how bad things seem right now, all we need to do is keep taking the first step forward. And then the next.

– Gary L. Medlin, Esq.

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The Incredible Story of Zen Buddhist Chef Jeong Kwan One of the world’s greatest chefs can’t be found in a restaurant. Instead, she serves fellow nuns and occasional visitors in a Zen Buddhist monastery in Korea. The West’s perception of Korean temple cuisine was challenged shortly after Eric Ripert visited Kwan’s monastery and experienced her cooking during a trip to Korea.

To fully describe the incredible success of Jeong Kwan, you must first consider a factor that Western cuisine has ignored for millennia. While most people would assume Korean food is all about its famed barbecue, another pillar of the culture goes largely unacknowledged: Korean temple cuisine, which originated in the country’s Buddhist monasteries. A philosophy of Zen Buddhism is to not crave food and satisfy yourself only enough to be prepared for meditation, so you might think that flavor would be of little consequence in a monastery’s kitchen. However, you’d be wrong.

Ripert invited Kwan to NewYork City to prepare food in a private room at Le Bernardin, where she sent global shockwaves through the entire fine cuisine community. NewYork Times writer Jeff Gordinier described her plates as “so elegant, they could’ve slipped into a tasting menu at Benu or Blanca” and her flavors as “assertive,” all while being vegan. More and more critics realized that Kwan’s combination of foraging, fermenting, dehydrating, and cooking by season was not a modern practice. In fact, Zen Buddhist monks like Kwan mastered cooking in this tradition hundreds of years ago. “With food, we can share and communicate our emotions. It’s that mindset of sharing that is really what you’re eating,” Kwan says at the start of her titular episode of Netflix’s documentary series “Chef’s Table.” She continues, “There is no difference between cooking and pursuing Buddha’s way.” Whether for enlightenment or simply connecting with friends and family, sharing home-cooked meals can be an emotionally restorative experience as much as it is nourishing. This month, indulge in something special and homemade or try your hand at Korean temple cuisine by Googling some of Jeong Kwan’s recipes.


It might not seem important to see a doctor after experiencing a “mild” concussion, but in 2003, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cautioned Congress about including the term “mild” when talking about concussions. Any traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have life-changing consequences. The American Medical Association agrees, saying that using the name “mild concussion” misrepresents the “immediate and long-term” burden of a TBI. So, what are the potential consequences? First, no two brain injuries are the same. Our brains are tremendously complex, and there are many ways a brain injury can cause immediate and long-term issues, depending on the part of your brain that’s impacted. Some injuries can impair function right away. Many people black out, while others are left in a coma. Patients can experience a whole range of issues with their ability to communicate, think, and remember, and falling into depression is common. There are so many potential changes to a person’s personality after a TBI, but sometimes these issues resolve over time. Early in recovery, a common change to personality is disinhibition, or loss of control over behavior. Often,

TBI patients will begin to overshare information, make inappropriate sexual advances or remarks, or have disturbing outbursts of uncontrollable rage. They may not even remember taking these actions. The long-term effects of a TBI can be permanently life- altering. In the study that prompted the CDC’s report to Congress, even mild concussions caused symptoms of memory loss and depression that continued 12 months later. Another study has shown that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and TBIs may not be separable. The Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports says, “Increasingly symptoms previously presumed to be specific to PTSD or TBI are being identified in both disorders.” At Medlin Law Firm, we’re very familiar with the short- and long-term effects of TBIs from the cases we see with clients. Long-term behavioral, emotional, cognitive, and executive function changes from a TBI can be extremely frustrating for the victim, but a prompt visit to a clinic following an injury can make all the difference. Don’t underestimate the power of a doctor’s visit! We hope you have a great, safe August.

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A Bike Race to Remember

It’s an early summer morning. One of your feet is resting on the dirt as the other sits on your bike pedal. There’s a huge crowd cheering around you—more than 15,000 people — but they’re quickly overpowered out by the military jets flying in formation close above. You grip your bike and lean eagerly toward the road ahead, just waiting for a gun to fire. The 100-degree weather hasn’t hit yet, but oh boy, you know it will. Whether an amateur or professional, moments like these are what bikers across the country look forward to year after year. Texan heat can make you sweat just thinking about it, but that doesn’t stop thousands of riders from participating in the Hotter’n Hell Hundred (HHH) cycling event in Wichita Falls every August. One of the oldest and largest bike races in the nation, it welcomes approximately 10,000–14,000 competing athletes every year. With the recent pandemic, however, the HHH 2020 event has gone completely virtual. How does that work, you might ask? Riders are welcome to continue their desired 10-, 25-, 60-, or even 100-mile circuit tracks — in their hometowns. They’ll still receive all of the usual HHH merch for participating, or they can choose to donate their registration fees to the United Regional Foundation Children’s Miracle Network.

Why ride a virtual HHH? Andy Hollinger, editor of the U.S. racing publication The Racing Post, says, “HHH, as an event, doesn’t make a lot of sense, and I’m being serious here ... But that’s sort of why it’s a great institution and sort of why we do it.” He explains that although cyclists get up “waaay” too early in the morning and “ride [their] bicycles for an insane number of miles,” there’s no better way to celebrate your sense of adventure. We couldn’t agree more. If you’re looking to participate, it’s not too late! Registration ends as late as Aug. 23, 2020, so check out the event’s website at

Peach and Arugula Pasta Salad



1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced

8 oz penne or fusilli pasta

2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 tsp sea salt

Pepper, to taste

1 cup corn

2 tbsp lemon juice

6 cups arugula, packed

3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

2 large fresh peaches, diced or sliced


1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta for approximately 9 minutes or until al dente. Drain pasta and place in a separate bowl. 2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Drizzle the dressing over the pasta and toss with the feta cheese. 3. Add peaches, red onions, tomatoes, corn, and arugula to the pasta mixture. Lightly toss to mix well. Add more olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste.

Inspired by

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1300 South University Drive Suite 318 Fort Worth, TX 76107 682-499-9222 ht tps: / /www.Medl inFi


Great clients refer great clients! Please think of Medlin Law Firm if you ever need an attorney. Leaving a review on Google, Avvo, or Yelp would mean the world to us.



HowTaking Small Steps Keeps Us on Our Path


The Story of Zen Buddhist Chef Jeong Kwan

What You Should KnowAbout Traumatic Brain Injuries


Man, It’s Hotter’n Hell Hundred!

Peach and Arugula Pasta Salad


PrivateWojtek, Heroic Brown Bear ofWWII


Many brave soldiers answered the call to bear arms duringWWII, but one Polish artillery supply company took things a step further and armed a bear. That’s right — among the countless animal heroes of WWII was a full-grown brown bear from the mountains of Northern Iran named Wojtek. Wojtek first joined the Polish soldiers as a cub. A young Iranian boy found him after a hunter most likely shot his mother. Then, when a group of Polish prisoners of war, recently released from Soviet gulags to join the Allied forces, passed through the town where the boy and the bear cub lived, they traded some of their rations for the cub and took him with them. The soldiers loved the cub and named himWojtek, which means “happy warrior” in Polish. They nursed him with condensed milk from a vodka bottle and fed him some of their limited rations. Over time, the bear grew to be 6 feet tall and over 400 pounds, but because he had grown up around humans, he was a gentle giant. He learned several mannerisms from his human friends and even took a liking to beer and cigarettes. For the many soldiers who had lost or were separated from their families, Wojtek was a welcome boost to morale.

board because he wasn’t a soldier. So naturally, the Polish soldiers gave Wojtek a service number, and he officially became a private in their company, complete with a rank and a paybook. Private Wojtek’s moment of fame came when his company fought in the Battle of Monte Cassino. The bear saw his human counterparts carrying crates of artillery shells, and he began mirroring their actions. Throughout the entire battle, he calmly carried crates of ammo, which would have required four men to lift, to his comrades. In honor of Wojtek’s service during the battle,

the company changed its emblem to an image of a bear carrying an artillery shell, and Wojtek was promoted to the rank of corporal. After the war, Wojtek was moved to a zoo in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he lived until he was 21 years old. There is now a bronze statue of Wojtek in Edinburgh’s West Princes Street Gardens, ensuring that this brave bear will not be forgotten.

When the soldiers reached the coast of Egypt, where they were to embark by boat to Italy, British soldiers wouldn’t let Wojtek on

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