Albrecht Law September 2019


September 2019

Nobody Hits a Home Run Without Swinging for the Fence

For the past fewmonths, I’ve been batting .200. Our firm has hired five different people to fill our legal assistant position, and, despite our high hopes, four out of those five candidates didn’t fit. They each had skills we appreciated, and I have no doubt their abilities will lead them to opportunities in another position with a different company. But we weren’t looking for an “okay”fit. We needed someone who would be a home run. metaphors just a bit). Georgina has been with Albrecht Law since May 8, and there’s a reason she’s the first of the five you’re hearing about in the newsletter. Georgina, or“Georgie”to her close friends, comes to us with a background in insurance, which has already been very helpful. Georgina, now Albrecht Law’s legal assistant and records specialist, collects records for our clients, organizes these files, and directs us to where we can find the records. She pulls from her experience to understand and analyze complicated insurance subrogation and claims issues and will help our clients know we’ve got only the best people working on their claims. Georgina grew up in Peterborough, England, and has been in the States since she was 11 years old (England’s loss, I say). You might think somebody who loves organizing and understanding records and insurance billing must have a boring personality, but you’d find out quickly how wrong you are once you meet This Month’s Happiest Client! I’m proud to say we found our home run teammate (if you don’t mind my mixing “Very pleasant working with the firm! The staff was very friendly and helpful. Matt was able to break it all down and made everything easier to understand. I would totally recommend him!” -Stephanie

Georgina, from her sense of humor to the sequined, sparkly shoes that are part of her daily uniform. Georgina lives in Spokane on the South Hill with her husband, Spenser, and their toddler son, Rupert.

has been integral in making sure none of our clients receive anything less than the exceptional service we strive for. She’s aided me in the hiring process as well, but Melanie can do it all. She drafts pleadings, manages QuickBooks, and makes our clients feel welcome and cared about. She has great relationships with dozens of judicial assistants around the state, which really keep things running smoothly. These relationships are so meaningful. After five years, I could not imagine our firmwithout Melanie. Georgina and our firm are lucky to learn from her.

As a small law firm, we can’t skate by with an employee who isn’t going to excel in their position. We don’t have the manpower to fill in the gaps left by employees who thrive in one area and struggle in another. That means we may take a few swings and misses before hitting that elusive home run, and we have to accept that. It’s difficult, and there are raw emotions that follow this reality. Ultimately, it comes down to selecting the employee who is going to serve our clients best. Our behind-the-scenes process is what makes it possible for our attorneys to devote as much time to our clients as we do. We don’t neglect their needs, concerns, and cases because we aren’t too focused on finding files or servicing the reception area. The attorneys with the best information most readily available have a great head start, and our team gives every attorney here a big advantage over opposing firms. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention one of our most dedicated employees, Melanie Evans. During this period of transition and turnover, Melanie

I’m proud of the teamwe have built at Albrecht Law, and I’m so glad we took the risk of continuing to swing for the fences. Each member brings unique skills that make them invaluable to our clients, and they are happy to feed off one another. A strong foundation for an office is an environment that fosters collaboration and sharing of ideas. When everyone on the team is genuinely happy for their colleagues doing well, you know you have something special. It may have taken five chances, and our statistics may show us batting at .200. But what matters most is we hit a home run with Georgina. | 1

HONORING THE CANINES OF 9/11 The 4-Legged Heroes of Ground Zero

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets to clear rubble, offer supplies, and search for survivors. It was a powerful act of resilience in a deeply trying time, and while most of the individuals helping with the disaster stood on two feet, more than 300 canines also answered the call to service.

Some dogs that found deceased victims refused to eat or interact with other animals. Search and rescue dogs became increasingly stressed and depressed the longer they searched without any results, mirroring their handlers. It wasn’t uncommon for handlers to stage mock “findings” of survivors to keep the dogs’ spirits up.

Dogs of all breeds and backgrounds, including search and rescue dogs, police dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs, were brought in to help find and care for survivors in the wake of the destruction. They worked tirelessly alongside rescue crews as they searched through the debris. Search and rescue dogs and their handlers worked 12–16-hour days, searching for survivors and victims. They worked through dangerous conditions: Many dogs burned their paws as they dug through hot rubble, and both handlers and canines inhaled toxic dust. The task was both physically and mentally exhausting for the dogs during their shifts.

Fortunately, the sacrifices these dogs and their handlers made did not go unnoticed. Many dog owners were inspired to earn their search and rescue certifications after the events of 9/11, promising to aid in future disasters and hopefully lessen the impact of such catastrophes. After 9/11, various researchers conducted many studies examining the effect this kind of work has on animals, both physically and mentally. Many of these studies wouldn’t be possible without the AKC Canine Health Foundation, so if you’re looking to give back this September, visit them at their website to see how you can help:


In 2002, the quaint town of Reed Springs, Missouri, declared bankruptcy. The hard decision came after the town was forced to pay $100,000 to Sally Stewart, a woman who sued Reed Springs after she tripped over a pothole during a shopping trip. News of a greedy woman ruining a small village to make a quick buck sparked outrage across the country. But Stewart wasn’t the real villain of this story. A little digging into this case reveals a much deeper conspiracy. Stewart had been visiting Reed Springs in 1998 when she tripped on a pothole hidden beneath some overgrown grass on the sidewalk. But this was no small stumble. Stewart tore two ligaments in her ankle and

had to undergo surgery. To help pay for the medical bills, Stewart, who’d never sued anyone before, initially filed a personal injury lawsuit against the owners of the store in front of the pothole. However, the Missouri Court of Appeals determined the city of Reed Springs was liable for Stewart’s injuries. The court ordered Reed Springs to pay Stewart $100,000, over half the city’s annual budget. Despite the high price tag, in normal circumstances, this verdict wouldn’t have forced Reed Springs to declare bankruptcy because the town’s insurance would have covered the bill. Unfortunately, at the time of Stewart’s accident, the mayor of Reed Springs was a corrupt man named Joe Dan Dwyer. Dwyer left office while being investigated for insurance fraud, child pornography, statutory rape, witness bribery, and perjury, and he was later sentenced to seven years in federal prison. Among his many indiscretions, Dwyer also let the town’s insurance policy lapse. Reed Springs didn’t have insurance when Sally Stewart got hurt, which is why they had to write a check out of their own budget and ultimately declare bankruptcy. In this case, what started as a simple pothole accident quickly unveiled the lasting damage of an unscrupulous politician. Perhaps this case serves as reminder about why it’s important to vote in local elections.

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Have you ever wanted to experience the colors of a Boston fall while enjoying the peace and tranquility of the great outdoors? Autumn leaves are a universally appreciated sign of the changing seasons, and there’s no better place to see those vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds on display than in one of America’s national parks. So, if you’ve got some free time this autumn, here are some parks worth seeing. THE BEST NATIONAL PARKS TO VISIT THIS FALL While the maple, birch, and poplar trees of Acadia begin to change color in September, mid-October is the best time to witness autumn in full swing. The park is crisscrossed with unpaved trails that date back to a time of horse-drawn carriages, preserving an idyllic setting. If you want to see the colors in full effect, take a drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard, and watch the sun crest over the vibrant leaves. To fully experience fall in the Northeastern U.S., Acadia National Park is a must-see. Acadia National Park, Maine



Inspired by Bon Appétit

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina

6 oz pasta, ideally spaghetti or bucatini 3 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed and divided 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, ideally Parmigiano- Reggiano 1/3 cup finely grated pecorino cheese Kosher salt, for pasta water and to taste

Further south, the autumn colors of the Smoky Mountains are no less breathtaking than those in the Northeast. This park offers many scenic lookout points accessible by car, so don’t worry about hoofing it into the forest if that’s not your thing. Park wherever you like and watch the warm colors of ancient maples, oaks, and cedars change before your eyes.


Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

1. In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stopping 2 minutes short of desired doneness. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. 2. In a large pan over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp butter. Add pepper and cook until toasted and aromatic, about 1 minute. Add reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer. 3. Transfer pasta and remaining butter to pan and reduce heat to low. Add Parmesan cheese and cook until melted, tossing pasta throughout. Remove pan from heat and add pecorino, continuing to toss until cheese is melted and sauce coats pasta. 4. Transfer to bowls and serve.

While the West might typically be associated with evergreen pines, the deciduous trees of the relatively small Grand Teton National Park pack a colorful punch starting around the third week of September. It’s also breeding season for elk in the area, and their high, eerie whistles can be heard in the evenings. Popular destinations in the park include the Christian Pond Loop and String Lake. Just because the weather is cooling down doesn’t mean you have to abandon your favorite national parks until next summer. The natural beauty of America can be experienced at any time of the year, so start planning your next autumn outdoor excursion! | 3


509-495-1246 421 W. Riverside Ave., Ste. 614 Spokane, WA 99201 INSIDE THIS ISSUE


Completing Our Team

Honoring the Canines of 9/11 A Surprising Reason for Bankruptcy


Cacio e Pepe The Vibrant Colors of America’s National Parks



Why Are so Many People Deciding Not to Retire?


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, upward of 40% of people aged 55 and older are continuing to work past the normal retirement age. There are a number of reasons why people are choosing to stay employed, with one of the biggest being a lack of retirement funds, but some are also using work to keep their minds and skills sharp. In fact, most of the jobs that the 55-plus crowd goes after keep them engaged with the community and help them lead more active lives.

ones. This balance is exactly what many older workers are looking for, especially those who are “part-time retired.”

More importantly, however, most older workers find these jobs fulfilling. They allow older folks to interact with the community and stay active, both of which, research suggests, are essential to healthy living as people age. For many, working past retirement, or not leaving the workforce entirely, can be a win-win-win: It’s a win for your bank account, a win for your health, and a win for the community.

The BLS categorized the jobs many older workers are currently pursuing:

Real estate appraisers/assessors

• Property/real estate/community association managers • Technical writers • Tax preparers • Construction/building inspectors • Crossing guards • Clergy These seven jobs are projected to grow between 8–14% over the next six years according to BLS data. They often pay well and don’t always require a full-time commitment. Many even offer flexible schedules, which can help older workers spend more time with peers or loved

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