Field Law - April 2020

April 2020

Celebrating Easter Sunday From Deviled Eggs to Tackling the Neighbor’s Tree Notes FromThe Field FieldLawPC.com 818-369-7900

I think Easter can be enjoyed by everyone, no matter what their traditions might be. As the trees start to turn green again and flowers come up, Easter marks the peak of the spring season and reminds us all of the new beginnings it ushers in. The beauty of spring is especially welcome after a long winter. For me, Easter means summer is just around the corner, which is my favorite season, but it also represents family. Easter has always been a very important holiday in my home because it’s really all about enjoying the time we spend with family, and it’s been this way since I was a kid. I grew up in a ministers’ home — both of my parents were ministers — so Easter Service was always a big deal. My family would wake up super early on Easter Sunday, right at sunrise, and then we’d head to church a few hours later. As a kid, I never understood why we had to wake up so early. I mean yeah, I got that my parents needed to prep for the big day, but my young self didn’t understand why we couldn’t sleep in later either. After we got home from church, we spent the rest of the morning eating breakfast and getting ready for the family to come over. The remainder of the holiday was spent with family, which usually included my siblings, mom, dad, and some other relatives. My brother and I usually wanted to be outside, throwing a football around. We’d head outside to play tag football in the front yard with a few other neighborhood kids who were around. One neighbor had a small pine tree in her yard, and whenever we’d start to play, I remember that my parents would get a call from her saying, “The boys are tackling my tree again!” I don’t remember tackling the tree, but I’m sure my parents could tell a few stories.

Later in the day, we’d have a huge family meal, and the two dishes I always looked forward to having were my mom’s deviled eggs and mac and cheese, which she still makes to this day. As far back as I can remember, my mom has been making these two side dishes each year for Easter (and Thanksgiving and Christmas and just because.) It’s definitely a family tradition at this point. We might have a roast or ham for the main course, but no matter what we have, we’ll always find Mom’s mac and cheese and deviled eggs sitting right next to it on the table. While I’ve never tried to make the dishes myself, my son tried his hand at making deviled eggs with my mom a couple of years ago when he was 9. He wanted to make them for me because — I admit — I do talk about how much I look forward to them this time of year, and he did a pretty good job. They didn’t turn out as perfect as my mom’s, but for his first try, they were pretty dang close. The white of the egg was falling apart on a majority of the eggs, but

they were still very tasty. For a 9-year-old, he knocked it out of the park.

Easter is still a really big day for my family, especially when we have other relatives come to town. We usually have my family, my brother’s family, my sisters’ family, and my parents over, which can amount to as many as 20 people all hanging out on Easter Sunday, watching golf, catching up, and enjoying our Easter meal traditions. That said ... I know these are difficult times for each and everyone of us. Our family gathering may not happen this year and from a place of love, that’s okay. My hope and prayer is that you will be safe and healthy. My deepest belief is we will get through this, together … Summer is just around the corner.

All my best to you,

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SOMETHING IN THE WATER WHY ROB BILOTT TOOK ON DUPONT

property provided water for all the cattle and wildlife in the area. Since the sale, the stream had become frothy and discolored, and the animals that drank from it were sick, malformed, or dead, including 153 of Tennant’s 200 cows. When Bilott stumbled upon a letter from DuPont to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the real horror story began to emerge — one that went far beyond the boundaries of Tennant’s farm and into the drinking water of every American. The letter mentioned a mysterious chemical called PFOA, and Bilott requested documentation from DuPont to find out more about it. However, the company refused, so Bilott requested a court order. Soon, dozens of disorganized boxes filled with thousands of 50-year-old files arrived at Bilott’s firm.

Rob Bilott never should have agreed to represent Wilbur Tennant’s case.

The cattle farmer had presented evidence of the strange malady plaguing his cattle to lawyers, politicians, and veterinarians in Parkersburg, West Virginia, but no one took Tennant’s case seriously.

in the mess of documents, but soon, his time as an environmental lawyer helped him see the bigger picture. It became clear that DuPont had orchestrated a massive cover-up regarding their use of PFOA. PFOA is used in the manufacturing of Teflon, and the company had knowingly exposed workers and the Parkersburg water supply to it. Bilott filed a class-action suit as a medical monitoring claim on behalf of the people of Parkersburg, and, as of 2011, a probable link between PFOA and six health conditions, including two types of cancer, has been found.

But when Bilott saw the evidence for himself, it was clear that something was wrong.

The videos and photographs Tennant had collected showed cattle with patchy fur, growths and lesions, white slime coming from their mouths, and staggering gaits. Tennant told Bilott that the abnormal behavior and physical deformities had started after his brother Jim sold his property to DuPont, a chemical company with a big presence in Parkersburg. Jim’s property bordered on Wilbur’s, and a stream running from Jim’s

He was worried he wouldn’t be able to find anything incriminating or even conclusive Because of the medical monitoring claim, plaintiffs can file personal injury lawsuits against DuPont. So far, 3,535 people have. If it weren’t for Bilott and Tennant, the public might have never known the dangers of PFOA. DOYOUR PART TO KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL And Maintain Green Living Spaces for Everyone

jogging and picking up litter, which takes care of your health and keeps your community clean. Anybody can do it: Just throw on your running shoes, grab a bag, head out the door, and pick up any stray bits of trash you see on your morning jog or evening walk.

to better the place you live in. Here are three ways to show your appreciation for a green America this month.

Have you ever walked through a park and seen a plastic bottle or wrapper lying on the ground? If so, did you pick it up and properly dispose of it? You might not have realized it, but in that moment, you took a small step toward keeping your community — and, by extension, America — beautiful! April is Keep America Beautiful Month, and folks who celebrate aim to help each community in every state stay clean and green. Created by the nonprofit organization Keep America Beautiful, this holiday offers a perfect opportunity to roll up your sleeves and work

VOLUNTEER FOR THE GREAT AMERICAN CLEANUP.

IMPROVE RECYCLING THROUGH EDUCATION.

This event is one of America’s largest community improvement programs, with hundreds of thousands of people

An important goal during Keep America Beautiful Month is to spread awareness about recycling. There are various ways to educate those around you about recycling and encourage them to do their part. At work, for example, you can volunteer to lead a recycling initiative by printing off guides and fostering discussions on why recycling is so essential. At home, you can make a commitment with your family to fulfill the three R’s of recycling: reduce, reuse, recycle. To discover more ways to participate in Keep America Beautiful month, visit their website at KAB.org today!

participating each year. In 2019, over 550,000 volunteers participated in the GAC to bring natural beauty back into their communities. 2020 marks this event’s 22nd year, and you can be a part of it this month! Volunteer your time with a local Keep America Beautiful affiliate or another community improvement program close to home. Do your part to clean up your parks and spread awareness today.

START PLOGGING.

If you’re passionate about staying active and cleaning up your neighborhood, then this is the perfect activity for you! Plogging combines

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TAKE A BREAK

Few things change faster than the internet, and how we connect with the internet is constantly evolving. When it comes to wireless capabilities, fourth-generation (4G) networks have been the norm for 10 years. But 4G couldn’t meet demands forever, and there’s already talk of a fifth-generation (5G) network taking center stage. So, what makes 5G different from 4G, and how will it affect consumers and their internet-enabled devices? SO, WHAT IS 5G? A New Horizon in Wireless Technology

WHAT ARE THE BASICS?

Simply put, 5G is the fifth generation of wireless technology that enables mobile devices like cellphones and stationary devices like desktop computers to send and receive data without being physically connected to a network via cables. As technology improves and more connection points are established around the globe, new network generations are “released” to represent significant advancements in speed and reach.

HOW POWERFUL WILL IT BE?

Consumers will notice the rise of 5G mostly with their smartphones. Apps and services that function using the internet will have fewer delays, faster loading times, more reliable internet access in remote locations, and more stable downloading and uploading capabilities. Experts predict that 5G will provide download speeds of up to 10,000 megabits per second, which is roughly 100 times faster than 4G. While it can take a 4G network upward of 15 seconds to download a simple 5-megabyte music file, a 5G network will be able to download an entire movie in less than two seconds.

EASY DEVILED EGGS

While the kids hunt for Easter eggs in the yard, whip up this easy deviled egg recipe for a hearty snack that’s sure to satisfy any craving.

Ingredients

WHAT’S NEXT?

1/2 tsp ground mustard

1/2 cup mayonnaise

Salt, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper, to taste

2 tbsp milk

These network updates are all about speed, but that doesn’t mean you should rush to switch your cellphone over to 5G. Many providers are still testing the service with select markets, and a full rollout of 5G isn’t expected until later this year. Check with your network provider about the options they currently offer and get ready to connect with the world like never before.

1 tsp dried parsley flakes

12 large eggs, hard-boiled

1/2 tsp dill weed

Fresh parsley, minced, and paprika for garnish

1/2 tsp fresh chives, minced

Directions

1. In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, milk, parsley flakes, dill, chives, mustard, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper. Mix well and set aside. 2. Cut eggs lengthwise and remove yolks carefully to preserve egg whites. 3. In a small bowl, mash yolks. 4. Mix mashed yolks with mayonnaise mixture. 5. Spoon or pipe the mixture back into the egg whites. 6. Garnish with fresh parsley and paprika. Refrigerate before serving.

Inspired by TasteOfHome.com

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1

The Best Way to Celebrate Easter is With Family

The Lawyer Who Took on a Multibillion-Dollar Company Keep America Beautiful

2

Easy Deviled Eggs 5G Made Simple

3

4

The History of Libraries in America

THE OLDEST LIBRARIES IN AMERICA A STORY OF MANY FIRSTS

A FEW MORE FIRSTS

What’s the oldest library in America? It’s an easy question to ask, but it has an unexpectedly complicated answer. Before the Industrial Revolution generated greater interest in public services, a library’s function and purpose varied widely. Several libraries in the United States claim to be the country’s “first,” but for different reasons.

During the 1700s, a few more “first” libraries were established. In 1731, Ben Franklin and a few others started the first subscription library in the United States. Members of subscription libraries could pay to buy books or borrow them for free. In 1757, 60 men founded the Library Company of Burlington in New Jersey, and Thomas Rodman received a charter from King George II to operate the business in 1758. The library still operates under that charter today. The Library of Burlington was the first library to operate out of its own building after a prominent resident donated the land in 1789.

COLLEGES AND THE CLERGY

Hampshire, at a town meeting. It was the first tax-supported free public library in the United States and in the world. Not long after that, the Boston Public Library, known as the “palace for the people,” became the first municipal public library in the country. The Boston Public Library was also the first library to have a space specifically for children. Out of all the “first” libraries in the country, these are the most probable progenitors of most libraries today — even if they weren’t exactly “first.”

Some believe Harvard University hosted the first library in the United States. Harvard was the first university in the United States, founded in 1636, and clergyman John Harvard seeded the library with a 400-book collection. Soon after, however, Thomas Bray, another clergyman, began establishing the first free lending libraries throughout the colonies to encourage the spread of the Anglican Church. Not surprisingly, most of the libraries’ holdings were theological.

BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE

In 1833, just as the Industrial Revolution was picking up steam, the Peterborough Town Library was founded in Peterborough, New

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