Brooks & Crowley December 2018

Review Brooks & Crowley

December 2018


439 Washington Street Dedham, MA 02026

*Services Throughout Massachusetts

A SURPRISE IN THE CITY OF LIGHTS Dodging Detection and Enjoying Vegas

when you want to. And Micayla was great about texting everyone to tell them to clear the deck. Thinking back, I’m sure the security officers had a lot of fun watching us foolishly darting around the lobby. Thankfully, none of us blew our cover, and the surprise was incredibly successful. Rich was dumbfounded when he walked into the room and had no idea what was happening, which was perfect. The ducking and dodging everyone did throughout the day Friday was all worth it. We all had a great dinner, and afterward, many of the guests went out to the casinos and kept the celebration going. Las Vegas has made great strides in becoming more kid-friendly. It’s a much different trip when you bring them, since instead of heading off to gamble, parents get to focus on attending shows that are appropriate for the youngsters. We were able to catch a magic show, view several traveling museum exhibits, see their new hockey arena, watch a marathon, and even see their new NFL stadium under construction. If we could only experience all of those things in Massachusetts … Everyone had a great time in Vegas, and we were all really happy that my brother’s surprise party worked out so well. I’m grateful that the family got together to enjoy the city and one another’s company for a few days. It was a great experience for all (especially the kids)!

She suggested that since they were already in the area, why not spend a night or two in Vegas? And of course, when my brother agreed, he had no idea there were going to be 40 people waiting for him at the restaurant Friday night. It was simple enough for my family to travel out there, but the hard part was avoiding running into him. There were a bunch of us there to celebrate him — friends from work, friends from home, and many relatives, including our mother, step-mother, older brother, cousins, aunts, uncles, wives, and kids. The whole group was staying in the same place — Hotel Aria — and we were all on high alert to avoid being spotted. Our biggest worry was that Rich would notice someone around the hotel on Friday and the element of surprise would be ruined. I concocted a cover story with my family in case any of us came across him before the official surprise party. I was going to tell him that I was attending an attorney conference and brought the family along to enjoy the city, too. I went over it with the kids so no one would slip up and confess our true objective. It soon became obvious that my bogus story wouldn’t fly when we happened to be in an elevator and a man who looked vaguely like my brother stepped in with us. My three kids all immediately gasped and blushed as though they were caught in the act! It only took a moment before we realized he wasn’t their uncle, but it was clear my team would immediately crack under even imaginary pressure! I knew the cover story wouldn't really work, but luckily, we didn’t have to use it. Most of the family and friends who came just ducked out of the way when they spotted him in the lobby or the casino. The place is so large and filled with so many people that it's easy to disappear quickly

Last month, the family and I went to Las Vegas for a weekend trip to attend my brother’s surprise 50th birthday party. The whole family was in on it, and we had to be incredibly careful once everyone was in Vegas so he wouldn’t see us and accidentally spoil the entire operation. Richie’s wife, Micayla, was the one who got him to Vegas under the guise of visiting the Grand Canyon. They made plans to spend a few days at the Canyon, exploring and enjoying the magnificent view, but then she fooled him into adding a few days to the trip to spend in Vegas.

–Steven Brooks


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Healthy Food Faux Pas Misleading Ingredients You Should Avoid

DINNERTIME DECEPTION Your California roll may be hiding more than you think. Sushi is usually rolled in sugar- loaded and carbohydrate-heavy white rice. Aside from the white rice, the more intricate rolls often include toppings and condiments best savored in moderation. If you think you can avoid fried and greasy options by ordering a veggie burger, think again. These meat alternatives often contain another unhealthy dose of rice and are fried or baked in processed oils. While this information may send you into a panic about finding healthy foods, remember to stick to natural, low-additive foods, monitor your portion sizes, and create homemade alternatives to some of your favorites. You don’t have to compromise on taste to get the most nutrition out of your meals. Try cooking your favorite foods from scratch and avoid the consequences of misleading ingredients.

Instagram models and fitness specialists flood social media feeds with nutrition tips and tricks, but amid the blur of muscled selfies and misguided dieting advertisements, it’s hard to determine what is actually healthy. Arm yourself with the following knowledge about tricky food ingredients, and always question diet fads blasted on social media.

DEVIOUS DRINKS There’s actually no scientific evidence to suggest “performance-enhancing” drinks will make you a better athlete. If you drink sports drinks regularly, you’re actually filling your body with unnecessary sugars and additives. Furthermore, common fruit juices contain a lot of sugar, and skim or fat-free milk contains additives that eliminate the full feeling whole milk provides you. SNEAKY SNACKS Food marketing labels use the latest diet trends to twist consumers into thinking they’re making smart choices simply because something is labeled “organic” or “low-fat.” Next time you’re shopping for a quick snack, be mindful when grabbing trail mix, yogurt, granola, microwave popcorn, or protein bars.

These items are often falsely advertised as healthy options, and while they may contain some nutrients, most people don’t adhere to the listed serving size. When you eat more than recommended, you could be offsetting the nutritional benefits. LETTUCE LIARS Yes, even salads can be misleading when it comes to dieting. Salad dressing is a yummy way to make a salad more exciting, but it should be doled out in limited quantities. Unfortunately, most prepackaged salads do not limit dressing portions. A pool of ranch dressing over lettuce will limit the benefits you’ll get from the healthy greens. Additionally, nuts, cheeses, and seeds can be healthy and tasty on your salad, but they should also be eaten in moderation.

Client Testimonials

Hear What Our Clients Are Saying!

"Neil was an excellent lawyer from start to finish. He was very professional and cared to get me the best possible outcome in my automobile injury case. He kept in touch and updated me throughout the process until we reached a final settlement." –Tish "We used Steve for our family will and to set up a trust for our son, who has special needs. He did a terrific job and did not leave out a single detail. We highly recommend Steve." –Jim

"Attorney Crowley communicated my case to me in a manner that I understood. His patience was exemplary. Attorney Crowley knew I had suffered a significant physical injury, and he gave me the time I needed to compose my thoughts through the pain and anxiety I experienced in this tenuous situation. Attorney Crowley offered advice in a kind way, and he went the extra mile trying to establish facts and precedents that were critical to the success we achieved. He put a positive spin on a terrible experience." –Sean

"I met Steven a few years back through another attorney. I was in need of a real

estate lawyer who had experience in dealing with complicated real estate transactions. He not only contacted me right away, but he also provided an in-depth explanation of the issues at hand and guided me through the process to a quick and painless solution. If not for his vast experience and ability to navigate what were some dangerous waters, the deal would have never been completed. From that point on, I’ve used Steven in every transaction I’ve been involved with. I can assure anyone that they will not find a more competent and professional lawyer than Steven." –Billy


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Fake Discounts and Angry Shoppers A Massive Black Friday Lawsuit

business’s arsenal, provided they aren’t out to mislead customers. Big-box stores may try to manipulate innocent people, and it’s up to aggrieved customers to hold those corporations accountable. Nearly every year, you’ll read about a class-action lawsuit that develops in response to the shady tactics of businesses eager to secure those holiday shopping dollars. Are there great bargains to be had on Black Friday? Of course. But if something sounds too good to be true, it very well might be. Keep your eyes peeled and don’t let retailers trick you into a purchase you wouldn’t make otherwise.

price that product was offered at every day. Therefore, it wasn’t actually on sale.

Shoppers flock to retailers every Black Friday in hopes of securing the best deals on the year’s hottest products. There are many nasty aspects of Black Friday — the long lines, the overzealous shoppers, the limited stock of items — but phony pricing and fake sales shouldn’t be among them. But that’s exactly what happened to folks in Los Angeles during the 2016 holiday season, leading to the biggest Black Friday lawsuit in history. In December of 2016, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office sued J.C. Penney, Sears, Macy’s, and Kohl’s for a practice called “false reference pricing,” a nefarious tactic whereby retailers lie about the original price of an item to make a discount appear bigger than it actually is. For example, Sears sold a Kenmore washing machine at a “sale price” of $999.99, compared to a “regular price” of $1,179.99. The problem was the so-called sale price was actually the

Duping your customers is a bad business practice, but what makes it illegal? Well, California law requires that retailers post a retail price no higher than what the product was sold at within three months prior to the ad. "Families today … are striving to get the very most they can get from an extremely hard-earned holiday shopping dollar," said LA City Attorney Mike Feuer. "They deserve to make an informed decision." After the suit was brought against them, the retailers all quickly moved to settle, promising to never engage in false reference pricing again. Most retailers offer discounts around the holidays to encourage shoppers to come into their stores or visit their websites. Promotions and sales are great tools in any

Laugh Out Loud

Paleo Hot Chocolate

Yes, you read that right. Just because you adhere to a paleo diet doesn’t mean you have to forgo one of winter’s most nostalgic and warming treats. Here’s how to make a killer hot chocolate that meets the standards of a paleo diet.


1. In a large saucepan, bring almond or coconut milk to a boil. 2. Once boiling, remove from heat and gradually stir in cocoa and vanilla until well-combined. 3. To make whipped cream, remove coconut cream from refrigerator and pour into a large bowl; whisk with an electric mixer. Add coconut sugar and mix well. 4. Pour hot chocolate into a mug, top with whipped cream, and enjoy. Instructions

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2 cups almond or coconut milk 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 can (14 ounces) coconut cream, chilled 3 tablespoons coconut sugar

Inspired by


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439 Washington Street Dedham, MA 02026 Inside This Issue


Surprise Party in Vegas

Misleading Foods to Avoid




The Biggest Black Friday Lawsuit in History

Paleo Hot Chocolate


Local Events

Engage in the Community Around You Local Events in the Boston Area

Don’t miss out on these fantastic winter events near you! CULTURAL SURVIVAL BAZAAR Where: Prudential Center, 800 Boylston Street, Boston When: Dec. 21–23, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Admission: Free!

along the way. The event starts at the Kickstand Café next to the Minuteman Bikeway.

unique trinkets. If you need to do some last- minute shopping, now’s your chance to snag a special gift! JINGLE RIDE Where: Arlington to Boston When: Dec. 16, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Admission: Free! Stay active this holiday season with a 22-mile round-trip bike ride from Arlington to Boston. Wear your festive clothing and sing carols along the way. There is a cookie and cocoa stop in Harvard Square and there are other stops

FIRST NIGHT BOSTON Where: Copley Square, Boston Common, and Boston Harbor When: Dec. 31, noon to midnight Admission: Free! The entertainment starts at noon and continues through midnight. There will be processions, fireworks, ice sculptures, and a midnight pyrotechnics and light show. The 7 p.m. family fireworks display will make you believe it is midnight early. It has fooled me before. This event is great for kids and families.

Immerse yourself in a culture outside your own this December! Artists from across the world are coming to sell their goods at Boston’s Cultural Survival Bazaar. Browse their selection of beautiful tapestries, jewelry of all kinds, colorful baskets, paintings, hand-woven scarves, and much more. People of all ages are welcome to speak with artists and purchase


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