Smiley Law Firm March 2018

March 2018

365 Canal Street, Suite 1680, New Orleans, LA 70130



Hello, readers! If you’ve been in to visit our firm in the past year, chances are we’ve already met. As an intake specialist, I’m often the first point of contact with new clients, getting to hear their stories and determine the best course of action we can offer. Being able to help so many people move forward with their lives is an extremely rewarding experience. In fact, I’ve always been interested in helping people. The only question was, “How?” After doing an internship at a nonprofit organization, Louisiana Civil Justice Center, my mind was made up. I wanted to be a lawyer. Thus, I spend a lot of my time outside of the office studying up for the LSAT. But despite all of my prep books, the most important lessons I’ve learned about working in law have come from this firm. My year at Smiley Law Firm has taught me the human side of the profession. Not only are all of our lawyers energetic and motivated, they really care about our community. Through our day-to-day efforts to help clients and our involvement with SBP, St. Bernard Project to construct housing for those in need, I’ve learned just how honest and down-to-earth lawyers can be. You won’t find that in a text book. “My year at Smiley Law Firm has taught me the human side of the profession. You won’t find that in a text book.” Getting to show the human side of our firm to a wider audience is one of the best parts of my job. Part of my responsibility is managing our social media presence on Facebook and Instagram. I’m the one behind all the “throwback Thursdays” and food truck shoutouts! Being able to capture our exuberant team spirit in a post or picture is as fun as it is rewarding. Between using social media and assisting clients directly, I’m incredibly lucky to have a job where I’m excited to work every single day.

2017 Beignet Festival on Lafayette Square

Outside of work, you’ll find me exploring everything our fair city has to offer. I grew up outside of New Orleans in the suburbs of Metairie and graduated from Loyola, so I’m about as local as they come. Still, New Orleans has so many gems hidden within her margins, and I am endlessly rediscovering it. Finding the cafés and antique shops that history has sprinkled throughout our streets never gets old. The only thing better than the architecture in this city is the people. Folks here have a warmth and resilience you don’t see anywhere else. Whether I’m out for a jog or just wandering the city, the exuberant spirit of the people I meet along the way never fails to recharge my batteries. I’m so fortunate to live and work in this town. Being able to serve such a loving community has been an amazing opportunity. Come March 12, I’ll be celebrating another birthday in the city I love. Stay awesome, New Orleans.

–Meriem Seddiki

504-894-9653 • 1

A Boutique New Orleans Law Firm Resolving Your Legal Matters


skill, such as a foreign language for a trip next year, the resource you need may be an app on your phone.

March is the month of spring time and rejuvenation. It’s also the time when most people have forgotten about the resolutions and goals they set earlier in the year. Have you neglected or given up your goals? If you have, you are far from alone. Most people let their goals fall to the wayside at least by March, if not long before. It comes down to four simple reasons.

When you bring specific goals together with the necessary resources, achieving your dreams becomes more possible than ever before. You just have to take steps to avoid falling into the mistakes listed above. Set attainable concrete goals, track your progress, and check in with someone to keep you accountable. Since it’s been a few months, take a moment to review how far you’ve come since January. What do you need to do to make the next three months — and the rest of 2018 — your best yet?

1. They set goals that were out of reach or unrealistic.

2. They had zero accountability.

3. They set abstract goals.

4. They didn’t track progress.

Setting goals is the easy part. A lot of people say they want to lose weight, eat better, learn a new skill, or try a new hobby, but they don’t define their goals any further. Vague goals aren’t really goals at all. The best way to stay on track is to be as specific as possible. Understand what you need to do to accomplish your goals. Make sure you have access to the appropriate resources that will help you make progress. Resources come in all forms. Look to the people around you for accountability — your family, friends, neighbors, or colleagues. If you don’t want to involve anyone else, keep a notebook or diary to track progress. Or if you are learning a new

WAIT — SCREEN TIME IS GOOD FOR KIDS? How a Balanced Media Diet Bolsters Child Development If you Google the effects of screen time on children, you’re sure to be bombarded with horror stories. Numerous articles claim that, beginning in infancy, the more time a child spends in front of a TV, phone, or computer, the worse their developmental outcomes will be. tree or running in the backyard. But in October of 2016, they offered new recommendations for parents.

For infants and young toddlers, the research still sides pretty heavily against the use of iPads and television. Before 18 months of age, a child lacks the cognitive capabilities allowing them to apply the lessons of technology to real life, and even after that, the APP recommends that media consumption should be limited to “high-quality programming, such as the content offered by Sesame Workshop and PBS.” But for kids ages 5 and up, parents should avoid banning screen time outright, but function as their child’s media mentor. Instead of decrying time spent building complex structures in “Minecraft” as hours that could be spent on the soccer field, we should set expectations and boundaries to ensure that children can deepen their experience of the world through media, not hamper it. The problem starts not with the screen itself, but when the consumption of media becomes problematic, replacing regular face-to-face interactions and physical activity. But with a balanced media diet, kids can have the best of both worlds.

At first glance, the research is utterly conclusive. It seems we should throw out every TV in our house, smash our kids’ smartphones, and usher our children into the great outdoors as soon as possible. But what most of these studies fail to take into account is the content of the electronic media. If a child spends two hours a day bingeing episodes of “The Big Bang Theory” or screaming obscenities into a headset while playing “Call of Duty,” it’s going to negatively impact their experience of the world along with their mental and physical health. But not all content is created equal. In the past, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended strict limits on electronic engagement for kids, following the old line of thinking that any kind of screen time would be better spent climbing a

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UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE Add This Safety Blanket to Your Policy

Going through an accident is a physical, mental, and emotional rollercoaster. A study done by the American Psychological Association states that car accidents are the leading cause of post-traumatic stress disorder. With this level of anxiety and complication added to your daily life, you may think it doesn’t get much worse, but unfortunately, it does. It’s estimated that 1 in 8 motorists are operating their vehicle without insurance. When these drivers are involved in an accident, they not only cause potential injury, but they also leave the onus on you to solve the problem. This added hurdle makes an already stressful process feel almost insurmountable. This is the reason why many insurance companies provide uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Your traditional auto policy only covers situations where you are at fault for an accident. By adding this service to your policy, you protect yourself from the damage caused by uninsured drivers and various situations where you are not at fault. Having this safety blanket prevents you from being buried in out-of-pocket expenses and gives you the peace of mind to drive in confidence. Adding this simple fee to your policy could save you thousands of dollars and countless hours of stress. If you find yourself in a situation where you’ve been harmed by an uninsured motorist, contact us. You may be entitled to compensation for the pain

you’ve been through. Our team of competent lawyers are here to help you through every step of the process. Call us today and let us show you what proper representation can do for you.



This simple and delicious one-pot recipe is perfect for a weeknight. It only requires about 15 minutes of hands-on work, but will taste like you spent all day building flavors. It’s a hearty comfort food that’s sure to delight eaters of all ages.


• 4 large carrots, cut into sticks • 1 tablespoon sugar • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped • Salt and pepper

• 1 tablespoon olive oil • 8 small bone-in chicken thighs • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth • 12 radishes, halved


and stir in radishes, carrots, and sugar. 4. Return chicken to pan, placing on top of vegetables. Gently

1. Heat olive oil in a large

saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. 2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Brown in pan for 6 to 7 minutes per side. 3. Remove chicken from pan and scrape off excess fat. Add broth

simmer with lid on pan for 15 to 20 minutes. Finish with chives.

Recipe inspired by Real Simple

504-894-9653 • 3

A Boutique New Orleans Law Firm Resolving Your Legal Matters

365 Canal Street, Suite 1680 New Orleans, LA 70130 Phone: 504-894-9653 Fax: 866-761-8934 OPEN: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.



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Smiley Spotlight: Meriem Seddiki

Are You Keeping Up With Your Goals? When Screen Time Is Good for Kids


An Insurance Policy Must-Have Braised Chicken and Spring Vegetables


The 3 Best Places to See Beautiful Flowers

EARTH’S MOST BEAUTIFUL FLOWER DISPLAYS Spring is here, which means flora will soon be in full bloom. Flowers can be an easy pick-me-up or a great way to add color to your home, but some people take their flower obsession to the next level by planning botanical-themed vacations. Here are some of the most impressive gardens and flower displays in the world. Netherlands Holland, most famous for its tulips, always draws visitors at the first sign of spring. One of its most famous destinations, Keukenhof, located in Lisse, is among the world’s largest flower gardens. The park is 79 acres and boasts approximately 7 million flowers each year. This colorful garden is open annually from mid-March to mid-May, but mid-April is the ideal time to see the tulips. Washington, D.C. Besides the monuments and historic buildings, one of the biggest attractions in Washington, D.C. is the cherry tree blossoms. Travelers who visit the Tidal Basin during the spring can witness 3,000 trees, which were a gift from Tokyo in 1912, flaunt their beautiful pink blossoms. The best time to see the spectacle is from the end of March through the end of April.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Desert lavender, flowering cacti, pygmy poppies, and rock daisies are just a few of the many wildflowers decorating Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The various native species are often seen weaved together to form a colorful carpet over any barren patch in the park, which is located just two hours from San Diego. In addition to flowers, visitors often spot bighorn sheep. Wildflower blossoms vary in intensity each year, but they typically begin to bloom in late February or early March.

Next time you’re planning a spring trip, consider visiting one of the world’s most beautiful flower displays. No green thumb required.

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