Frye Law - December 2019

THE Defender

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DECEMBER 2019

A DECADE OF TEAMWORK

It’s incredible to think about, but this is the last month of 2019, which means another decade is coming to an end as the 2010s give way to the 2020s. And what a decade it’s been for all of us here at Frye Law Group. For one thing, these last 10 years have allowed for me to now say, “all of us” rather than just “myself.” Our team has more than doubled over the last few years, and it has made us such a strong firm because it has improved what we can offer our clients, and how we can conduct business for them. If there’s anything the last decade has taught me, it’s that there is immense power in teamwork. With my name on the masthead of our web pages, on every piece of marketing material, and even at the top of this newsletter, sometimes it’s hard for clients to look beyond me and feel assurance about trusting a different attorney with their case. While I’m honored by their faith, the truth is, it’s our great team that makes the services we provide so effective. We have multiple fantastic attorneys working for Frye Law Group, all with different insights and personalities that bring essential elements to our repertoire with clients, prosecutors, and judges. There are different flavors of Skittles in our bowl and we aren’t “one size fits all.” However you want to phrase it, our diverse team allows us to do so much more for our clients.

someone to pick up every phone call, to dedicate attention to every detail, and to exhaust every tactical avenue. We’ve developed a reputation for being where we need to be, when we need to be there, and prepared on every level that’s expected of us. That’s not a reputation you can develop on your own.

face unfair systems, and developing cases for people on probation who need a hand getting back to a productive life sooner rather than later. These and other underrepresented parties need someone to fight for them, and we want to be that someone. Above all, our goal is to continue fostering deep connections with every single one of our clients. We handle even the smallest of cases with the utmost dedication, because we know if you’re the one in the midst of it, it doesn’t feel small to you. Our vision is to give our clients every opportunity to defend themselves, and let them know they have a team they can trust every step of the way. So here’s to an inspiring past and an exciting future.

More important than reminiscing, we now have a new decade to look forward to together. As wonderful as growing this team has been, our goal is not to continue expanding in size. We don’t want to be a firm that simply hires more attorneys so it

“We’ve developed a reputation for being where we need to be and when we need to be there, prepared for what is expected of us on every level.”

Working as a team means we not only have the bandwidth to be more attentive, but we’re also a more formidable force against our opponents. We no longer need to stretch ourselves thin, but instead find strength in working with each other so that we can get the very best results every time. We have

can take more cases and earn more profit. Instead, our ambition is to expand the types of cases we can take on. We’re looking to delve into new fields so we can represent people who otherwise may not have someone they can trust. We’re ambitiously exploring more protections for college students who

–Kim Keheley Frye

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FLORIDA CITY BATTLES TO END ‘EXTREME’ LIGHTS DISPLAY LIGHTS OUT

There’s nothing quite like the magic of twinkling Christmas lights. But for city officials in Plantation, Florida, Christmas lights are a stark reminder of a prolonged fight, nearly $500,000 in court fees, and continued drama. In 2014, Plantation sued residents Mark and Kathy Hyatt for their “Hyatt Extreme Christmas” lights display, claiming it was a “public nuisance.” Each year, the Hyatts decorated their yard with more than 200,000 lights, snow, a Christmas tree, a Nativity scene, a functioning Ferris wheel, and more. Their creation was featured on two nationally televised programs and attracted flocks of visitors. But, for the Hyatt’s neighbors, extreme didn’t even begin to explain the chaos. Neighbors complained to the city about increased traffic, litter in their yards, and potential injury or death to pedestrians due to the traffic. Police officers in Plantation were dispatched to the light display multiple times each season for complaints by neighbors, accidents, and traffic control. After a two-year battle in court, a judge ruled in favor of the Hyatts, claiming the city could not prove the display was dangerous or a nuisance. The city had spent nearly half a million dollars fighting their case. For the Hyatts, Christmas 2016 was a celebration, though their display was restrained due to the timing of the court’s decision. By 2017, “Hyatt Extreme Christmas” was in full swing again, much to their neighbors’ chagrin. Mark

Hyatt rode the wave of support for his display all the way to a vacant seat on the Plantation City Council in 2016, but the highs would soon stop there. Plantation news outlets reported in 2018 that Mark Hyatt filed for divorce, effectively ending any hope of another “Hyatt Extreme Christmas.” As the snow has settled, an extravagant lights display has instead become a story of nasty court battles with a sad ending for the Hyatts and their “extreme” Christmas devotees.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO WHILE YOUR LAWYER WORKS

HELP US HELP YOU

At Frye Law Group, we do everything in our power to make your defense as strong as it can be. Effective outcomes are the result of great teamwork, so here are some things you should strive to do when working in tandem with your lawyers. SHARE ALL INFORMATION Share all relevant information. If you’re not sure if something is relevant, it still doesn’t hurt to share it and let your lawyer make that deduction. If new information arises as the case progresses, let your council know right away. Sharing your schedule is important too. Your presence is often needed at meetings or court dates that are scheduled long in advance, so being clear about your availability keeps the case moving at a reasonable pace.

than they will. So, if needed, offer to provide them yourself. Also, remember that lawyers are trained to make decisions in the best interest of their clients, so trust their opinions, and be open to their suggestions. PRACTICE HONEST COMMUNICATION If there’s something you’re embarrassed, ashamed, or scared about, it’s still important to let your lawyer know about it. The consequences of not knowing could lead to much more severe emotional distress for you. Likewise, you should expect your lawyers to be open and honest with you, so ask for explanations when you don’t understand something because they want you to be confident when making decisions.

LISTEN TO YOUR LAWYER You hired a lawyer for a reason, so let them do what they do best. If they ask you for information, provide it quickly and concisely so that deadlines aren’t missed. You’ll often have easier access to certain records, like medical history,

The lawyer-client relationship is a two-way street that is most effective when we can work together. If you have a case you’d like Frye Law Group to take a look at, give us a call at (770) 919-9525.

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HEAD-TURNING HOLIDAY LEGAL CASES FA-LA-LA-LA-LAWSUIT Celebrating the holiday season is all about having a good time, but sometimes, people celebrate a little too hard and it gets them into trouble. Here are 3 holiday court cases we found inspiring, yet eye-rolling. A lawsuit over a 20-year tradition of decorating a property with 200,000 lights and other festive displays ended in triumph before leading to disaster. The Hyatt family’s Christmas display drew hundreds of spectators every year, but the city of Plantation, Florida spent nearly half a million dollars on legal action to shut down the display due to the “unsafe conditions” it created. The Hyatt’s won the case year after year, but it took a toll on their marriage. All the city had to do was wait it out for the couple to split and cease the tradition. Seems that all bulbs burn out eventually. TURN THE LIGHTS OFF

time. It wasn’t until 2013 that the city finally decided the music made inmates more irritable, and limited Arpaio to playing it just 4 hours a day. Still plenty of time to appreciate all the classics, in our opinion.

MIRACULOUS AND TERRIFYING

In 2013 in Cincinnati, Jasen Dixon decorated his front yard with a life-size Nativity scene. But there was a twist: every person from Baby Jesus to Mother Mary were zombies. Naturally, this display amused some and enraged others. Perhaps in response to the outcry, Sycamore Township took Dixon to court over zoning violations caused by the structure he built for the display. Even though they eventually dropped the case, Dixon has since stopped with the tradition. He thinks it’s a great freedom of expression, but just not worth the controversy it creates. Maybe he should try it out for Halloween instead.

JAILHOUSE ROCK

Sheriff Arpaio of Phoenix survived 6 separate lawsuits by inmates at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. Every holiday season, he cranked up festive tunes inside the jail for 12 straight hours a day in an effort to “lift the spirits of the men and women who are away from friends and family during the holidays.” Apparently, the inmates didn’t appreciate the gesture, but the court sided with the Sheriff every

IT’S TRIVIA TIME! CAN YOU GUESS THIS POORLY EXPLAINED MOVIE PLOT? Here at Frye Law Group, we love a good trivia question, and we want to invite you in on all the fun — and a chance to win a prize! Here’s how it works. We will provide a plot description of a well-known movie or movie series. All you have to do is send us an email at news@ fryelawgroup.com as soon as possible, including your phone number and the title of the film(s). What’s the catch? The description provided won’t be like the ones you see on the back of the DVD case. The plot will be poorly (albeit humorously) explained, which makes the guessing a little trickier. Here’s one to get you thinking! “A neglected boy takes out his anger on two men by orchestrating a series of highly illegal pranks.” Can you guess the title from this poor description? Let us know! The first three responders to answer correctly will win a free gift card to Jack’s New Yorker Deli!

CRANBERRY GINGERBREAD

Gingerbread is a holiday classic of the very first order, but it’s often a construction material rather than a treat. This recipe, on the contrary, is purely for eating.

INGREDIENTS • 1/2 cup canola oil, plus more for greasing • 3/4 cup unsulphured molasses • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar • 2 large eggs • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated DIRECTIONS 1. Heat oven to 350 F. 2. Grease a loaf pan with canola oil.

• 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped • 2 cups all-purpose flour • 2 tsp baking powder • 1 tsp baking soda • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon • 1/2 tsp ground cloves • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together 1/2 cup canola oil, molasses, brown sugar, eggs, ginger, and cranberries. In a separate bowl, sift and combine flour with baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients until blended. 4. Scrape batter into loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes. 5. Transfer to a rack, let cool for 20 minutes, slice, and serve.

Inspired by Food & Wine Magazine

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Inside this Issue

Our Team Looks Forward to the Years Ahead page 1 Florida City Sues Family Over Extreme Christmas Display Best Practices When Working With a Lawyer page 2

Head-Turning Holiday Legal Cases

Cranberry Gingerbread page 3

The Gift of Giving page 4

LIGHT UP THE NIGHT

WHY DO WE HANG CHRISTMAS LIGHTS?

The first string of twinkling lights illuminating your neighbor’s house is always a telltale sign of the upcoming seasonal festivities. Christmas lights are a holiday staple, but have you ever wondered where this beloved tradition started? The tradition of hanging lights on the tree originally started with candles. Because this posed an immense fire hazard, Edward Hibberd Johnson, a close friend of Thomas Edison and vice president of the Edison Electric Light Company, vowed to find a better way to decorate Christmas trees with light. In December 1882, three years after Edison’s invention of the lightbulb in November 1879, Johnson hand-wired 80 red, white, and blue lightbulbs together and wound them around a Christmas tree in his parlor window. A passing reporter saw the spectacle and declared in the Detroit Post and Tribune, “One can hardly imagine anything prettier.” Johnson continued this tradition, increasing the number of lights each year and eventually putting them up outside. But because electricity was still a new concept, many years passed before the fad took off for regular Americans. In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge began the tradition of lighting the National Christmas Tree, which spurred the idea of selling stringed lights commercially. By the 1930s, families everywhere were buying boxes of bulbs by the dozen. Today, an estimated

150 million Christmas lights are sold in America each year, decorating 80 million homes and consuming 6% of the nation’s electricity every December.

Whether you’ll be putting up your own lights or appreciating the most impressive light displays in your neighborhood or town, let the glow fill you with joy this season. Just don’t leave them up until February!

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