Dickerson Oxton - May 2020

816-268-1960 | 913-428-8220 www.dickersonoxton.com

MAY 2020






Dear Readers,

In sixth grade, I had a teacher who helped me


I hope this newsletter finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy in light of recent events. At the time of writing, the spread of COVID-19 has shut down much of the country, including our schools. Before the closures, many teachers risked infection by continuing to show up and perform their already difficult jobs. After shut downs started taking effect, many of these educators then worked tirelessly to get their students resources remotely. In light of these events, it’s fitting that Teachers’ Day is observed this month. Showing some appreciation for those who helped educate us is important during any year, but the current circumstances really underscore that point. So, in the spirit of gratitude, I wanted to take the time to acknowledge the many dedicated teachers who helped prepare me for the world and the work I do within it. My first great memory of a teacher was from the fourth grade. Our family was moving that year, which made it tough on me to find friends and a sense of stability. And

embrace my competitive side. She was a tough instructor who demanded quality work, but as long as you put in the effort, she could be sweet. She would hold these geography contests using one of those old-school pull- down maps. She’d name a country and you had to beat your opponent to pointing to it. We had a bracket system and I won the whole competition. I was so proud and I earned a very valuable Snickers bar as a prize. My seventh grade teacher was the exact opposite of the strict teaching style I’d grown accustomed to the year before. He was a comical guy, which was ideal for a year where I was starting to get into debate. I was nervous to begin with, but his humorous demeanor really helped put me at ease. As someone who essentially debates for a living now, it’s safe to say he did a pretty great job. And that brings me to law school. At Creighton University in Omaha, I had a fantastic trial and tort professor by the name of Kenneth Melilli. He was a master at making tough subjects light and understandable and probably played the biggest role in shaping my career as it exists today. But his most important lesson was that to really succeed, you have to care about what you do. That’s a lesson both Tom and I have taken to heart in building this firm.





then, of course, there was the class bully. He didn’t target me specifically; he was pretty good at spreading around his teasing to just about everyone, but one day he really got to me. Thankfully, I had a teacher who paid attention. She was a no-nonsense gal, and to this day I remember what she said to comfort me. “Focus on yourself.” At a time when a child can be extremely caught up in what other kids think of them, this was important advice for me to hear. It’s a motto I’ve carried with me ever since.


Here’s to all our teachers can teach us,


–Chelsea Dickerson




The Story of Grandpa Mason HOWA FERAL CAT CAME TO CARE FOR ORPHANED KITTENS When cats are orphaned as kittens, they don’t get the chance to develop all the skills needed to become successful cats. Just like human children, kittens need older role models too. The most famous cat role model had a rough start in life but became an inspiration for kittens and humans alike. His name was Grandpa Mason, and during the last years of his life, he stepped up and gave love, care, and guidance to the orphaned kittens that lived with him. The Canadian animal rescue group TinyKittens rescued Grandpa Mason in 2016 from a property that was scheduled to be bulldozed. The poor feral tabby was suffering from many health problems, including severe dental issues, a badly injured paw, and advanced kidney disease. Since TinyKittens is a no-kill rescue organization, euthanization was out of the question. Given his health conditions, veterinarians predicted the battle-scarred Grandpa Mason didn’t have long to live, so TinyKittens’ founder, Shelly Roche, took him in and provided him with a comfortable place to sleep, plenty of food, and time to relax in the last months of his life. Grandpa Mason had a hard time adjusting to domestic life and would often shy away from being petted. In an interview with The Dodo, Roche described him as “an elderly gentleman [who] lived his whole life a certain way, and then, all of a sudden, [was] forced to live completely differently.” After Grandpa Mason grew accustomed to his home, Roche took in several foster kittens, and those new roommates completely altered Grandpa Mason’s behavior. Roche expected him to hiss, swat, or growl at the kittens when they invaded his space, but he didn’t. Instead, he allowed them to crawl all over him and appeared to enjoy it when they licked his ear. Suddenly a playful, affectionate, and gentle personality came out of Grandpa Mason as he played with, bathed, taught, and cared for the orphaned kittens that Roche welcomed into her home. Potentially due to the kittens’ influence, Grandpa Mason surpassed his prognosis by more than two years. During the last few years of his life, Grandpa Mason passed on important lessons and good manners to the kittens he looked after and adored, as a true grandfather should. He passed last September, but he spent his last night in his ultimate happy place: snuggling in his bed surrounded by kittens.

“We can sort this out between ourselves. There’s no need to get the police involved.”

After an accident, many people are hesitant to call the police. There are many reasons for this. They might be afraid of tickets, fines, and possible arrests. Some people even believe that calling the police to the scene of an accident will complicate matters unnecessarily. But the truth is that whether or not you call 911 from the scene of your accident could make a huge difference in the outcome of your case later on. There are circumstances in which you are legally required to contact the police after an accident. These circumstances can differ depending on which state your accident occurs in. In both Kansas City, MO, and Kansas City, KS, you must call 911 from the scene of a wreck if the accident caused personal injuries or deaths, or if the accident involved a parked vehicle that was damaged without the owner present. Property damage may also factor in as a minimum requirement for reporting. In Missouri, When Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Claim? WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOWTO TAKE PROPER ACTION


ll 911?


you must call the police if the crash seems to have caused $500 or more in property damage. Meanwhile, in Kansas, the police must be notified if the accident resulted in $1,000 or more in property damages. Regardless of the minimum requirements, you should always call the police after an accident. This is an important step in protecting your rights and your case. Calling the police to the scene can help any victims receive the immediate medical care they need. Additionally, the police can help preserve evidence by taping off the area and giving investigators time to take photos and document the accident before cleanup. The responding police officer(s) will also be able to create an office report of the vehicle After you’ve been injured in an accident, the last things you want are complications while you’re trying to recover. Unfortunately, that can happen, especially when the doctor who treated your injuries didn’t follow standard protocol to ensure a full recovery. When a doctor is negligent of their patients’ treatments, it’s considered medical malpractice, which gives a patient cause to file for a lawsuit. However, not all mistakes a doctor makes amount to medical malpractice — that is why it is important to know what can . When you’re filing for medical malpractice, you must prove that it occurred. To do so, you must provide several key pieces of evidence. First, you need to show there was a patient-doctor relationship between the two of you. This means you hired a doctor to give you treatment and the doctor agreed to that hiring. Next, there needs to be evidence that negligence had occurred at some point during that treatment. When it comes to treatment, there are bound to be some misgivings, but just because someone isn’t pleased with that treatment doesn’t mean


collision, complete with witness statements and photographs.

The police report can be a vital piece of evidence during your insurance claim or car accident lawsuit. The information in this report can be very important to your accident attorney and to the outcome of your case. A car accident can be a very scary, stressful experience. Do what you can in the moment to protect yourself in the future by calling the police right away. the doctor was negligent. For medical malpractice to occur, a doctor must injure you in a way a competent doctor would not. You must also prove that the mistake or negligence the doctor performed caused you actual harm . If, after treatment, you are experiencing mental anguish and physical pain that results in additional medical bills as well as a loss of work and a means to support yourself, that is enough cause to file a lawsuit. A mistake that did not cause you any harm as mentioned above is not medical malpractice. Many factors could go into these cases, such as a doctor prescribing the wrong type of medication or leaving something inside of their patient after surgery. To help determine what you need to file, consider the three categories your case could fall under: failure to diagnose, improper treatment, and failure to warn a patient of unknown risks. Keep in mind that a medical malpractice case needs to be filed shortly after the injury or harm occurred. If you’ve experienced any form of grievance after your treatment, contact Dickerson Oxton Law Firm straight away for a consultation.

Grilled Prime Rib Inspired by Primal Palate

Who says the cookout has to ruin your diet? Try this paleo-friendly recipe for a main dish that’s worthy of your next barbecue.


• 1 1/2 lbs beef rib roast • 1 tsp Himalayan salt • 1/2 tsp black pepper


1. Take rib roast out of the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to grilling. 2. Season roast with salt and pepper and allow it to rest for 10 minutes while you heat a gas grill to 600 F. 3. Sear roast for 3–4 minutes on each side. 4. Turn off the grill but continue cooking the steak, flipping every 4–5 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 125 F. Remove from grill. 5. Allow the roast to rest — its internal temperature will continue to climb — for 5–10 minutes. Slice and serve.


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1200 Main St. Ste. 2120 Kansas City, MO 64105

816-268-1960 | 913-428-8220 www.dickersonoxton.com



A Thank-You to Teachers The Best Grandfather a Kitten Could Have The Most Important Thing to Do After an Accident Seeking Justice for a Doctor’s Negligence Take a Break Grilled Prime Rib Have You Heard of the Interrobang?





It’s a punctuation mark that’s over 50 years old, but you may not have heard of it before. It’s an odd-looking squiggle that denotes a common inflection, but many experts argue it has no place on paper. In an age when thoughts are limited to 280 characters, wouldn’t a single punctuation

on some typewriters in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. And while it was used in magazine and newspaper articles for several years, it wasn’t meant to last. There are a few explanations for why the interrobang never took off, but the most prominent one says that as writing styles changed, there was less use of rhetorical questions in writing, especially formal writing. Because the interrobang was originally intended to denote rhetorical questions, it faded from use. Today, using the two punctuation marks that make up the interrobang is still popular, especially in nonformal writing like social media copy. Any variation of “!?” denotes a sense of excitement, urgency, or disbelief in the form of a question, rhetorical or not. But the reason people don’t use the interrobang to serve the same purpose is simple: It’s not a key on keyboards. There are still certain fonts that are equipped to display the nonstandard mark, but if you want to use it, you have to go digging for it. It’s just much quicker to write two punctuation marks than search for a single one. But who knows what the future will bring? Language is in an ever-changing state, and the interrobang may rise again. Or will it?

mark that does the job of two be valuable? Some say yes, others say no thank you. So what is this mystery punctuation mark? It’s the interrobang! In 1962, advertising agent Martin K. Speckter believed ads would look better if rhetorical questions were conveyed using a single mark. He merged the question mark, also called an interrogative point, with the exclamation point, known in the jargon of printers as a “bang,” and the interrobang was born. In the first few years of its existence, the interrobang made some mild headway, appearing in some dictionaries and even

ADVERTISING MATERIAL: The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements. This newsletter is provided to former clients, individuals who have contacted the firm regarding representation, and individuals who have requested to be on the newsletter mailing list. This newsletter is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or direct solicitation for employment of the firm on any particular legal matter.


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