Shannon Law Group June 2017

312-578-9501 | JUNE 2017


Gifts of Faith and Resilience

In honor of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, I’d like to share with you a small piece of the remarkable story of my mom and dad. Tom Shannon and JoAnne Conyard were married 68 years ago in Portland, Oregon. Mom was a 19-year-old college freshman. Dad was a World War II Pacific veteran who had recently graduated from college on the GI Bill. The plan was simple: Tom and JoAnne wanted to have a large family. Tom would work as a traveling salesperson and JoAnne would take care of the family. The young couple moved to Yakima, a town in central Washington. They found a good parish with a school, bought a modest home, and started raising kids. I was child number nine. In my opinion, the most important characteristics of a trial lawyer are faith and resilience. A trial lawyer must have faith in their clients and their team, but most of all, they must have a crazy amount of faith in their own ability to serve their clients who cannot represent themselves. If I have but a small percentage of the faith and resilience of my parents, I am truly blessed. You see, my parents didn’t spend a lot of time talking with us about faith and resilience. They showed us faith and resilience day after day and year after year. To put it simply, my parents needed faith and resilience in a big way to survive. When my dad injured his back, the traveling salesperson company fired him. A couple of guys from the East Coast traveled to our home and took the company car. With a house full of kids and Dad being injured, my parents leaned on faith. My dad took a number of odd jobs before being hired as a social worker for the state. Ten people living on a social worker’s salary is certainly walking the walk. But the walk went further. When I was six years old, my mom was working for Catholic charities and came across my future brother, Terry, living in an abusive home. Terry was a little 3-year-old boy, deaf and nearly

blind and, as the story goes, being physically holed up in a closet. Terry was a victim of the rubella epidemic in the 1960s. When mom saw that helpless, little, abused boy, one thought went through her head: “God put me here right now to take care of this little boy. The love of our big family will heal him, and he will flourish. If we can feed 10, we can feed 11.”

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A hobby? Who’s got time for that? Well, you do — at least according to psychologist and professor Jaime Kurtz. “We habitually waste time, creating the illusion of busyness. Facebook, email, Netflix — pick your poison,” she writes in Psychology Today. Back in 1957, Cyril Northcote Parkinson wrote a book called “Parkinson’s Law.” It was all about time management and workflow, and it centered around one idea: The more time you have to do something, the longer it will take. If you have something you do two nights a week, odds are your chores will be done those nights so you can get to the hobby. The rest of the week? Not so much. Besides the obvious — turning off the screens — there are other tricks to managing your time for hobbies. One great way? Just schedule hobby time into your planner or calendar. Set a reminder on your phone, and when the time comes, just go do it, no excuses. Another trick, if you know you won’t get to it later, is to do your chores early in the morning. That way, when you come home from work, they’re all done, and you have time to work on your hobbies. Oh, and bonus — you come home to a clean house! In fact, hobbies have a lot of benefits. They “can be a healthy escape,” according to Dr. Beth Howlett, “and can be very beneficial to mental health.” And some hobbies — like

reading and exercise — can even boost your career success, according to the Washington Post. Plus, unusual hobbies, like beekeeping or playing a funky instrument, make for great conversation starters. There are also plenty of affordable hobbies that trick you into staying active, like geocaching or Ultimate Frisbee. Consider something outside of your comfort zone — with a welcoming community that’s happy to show newcomers the ropes. Never be afraid to stop people who are doing something that looks fun and ask them what’s going on. That’s how you learn!

Dr. Kurtz sums it up best: “Maybe there’s something you’ve always wanted to do,” or “maybe something you used to love but stopped doing.” Her advice? Take that thing and run with it. “Just don’t follow that phrase with, ‘Ah, well. Maybe someday — when the kids leave the house or when I retire.’” Because we all know what that means!

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Mom scooped up that little 40-pound boy, brought him to our home, and introduced all of us to our little brother. To this day, I am stunned by this act of faith by my parents. The resilience my parents had in the early years of Terry screaming nonstop for hours due to his abusive upbringing and their drive to give him the best education makes the work I have done in the legal field look elementary. Terry is a miracle. Nearly five decades later, through the help of my siblings and parents, my brother, Terry, lives in his own condo and has a full-time job at a Safeway in Issaquah, Washington. Mom and Dad didn’t stop there. Over the years, it would not be uncommon for us to wake up and see a woman sleeping on our couch because she had nowhere else to go, and my mom and dad were there for her. My dad was constantly helping unemployed people find jobs. You see, my mom and dad lived their faith. Even though we did not have many material possessions, I rarely, if ever, heard them talk about what they did not have. They would constantly thank God for what they did have: nine children and a great faith. I am grateful to my mother and father who constantly prayed for me and encouraged me throughout their lifetime, even though I was (and still am) very selfish and vain. As a father now, I cannot fathom the unbelievable patience and faith my parents placed in me.

My mother and father constantly taught me that everything I am and everything I have is a gift from God. I profoundly believe that through my mother’s saintly devotion and prayers, I have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams. My father has been a constant conscience for me. Whenever I have a difficult judgment call to make, I ask myself what my father would do if he was making the call. To this day, I love to hear the voice of my 95-year-old father telling me about the weather in Seattle, how he played cards with one of my siblings, or how he loves to be a lector at mass. I thank you, Mom and Dad, for the greatest gifts you have given me: faith, resilience, and the example of your life. I love you. – Joe Shannon


Bicycle Injury Prevention TWO-WHEELED SAFETY

Bikes are growing ever more popular in Chicagoland. When you commute by bike, you save gas money, benefit from exercise, and reduce your impact on the environment. Illinois is also consistently investing in new bike lanes and paths. As the number of bikers increases, so too do the number of injuries from cycling accidents. If you are biking to work, there are a number of precautions you should take to avoid serious injury. The most beneficial way to prevent serious injury is also the most obvious: Wear a properly-fitting bike helmet. Injury rates are extremely high when bikers collide with cars (a bike doesn’t offer much protection against a several-thousand-pound vehicle), but a helmet will greatly reduce the risk of brain trauma. No matter your age or skill level, a little extra protection can be the difference between a minor injury and a catastrophic one. Other protective equipment includes active lighting and fluorescent clothing. These increase your visibility to those you share the road with and are crucial for nighttime riding. Another important practice is defensive riding, just like defensive driving reduces the risk of auto accidents. Be mindful of traffic and pedestrian patterns, and never ride absentmindedly. When

you anticipate dangerous situations, you’ll be able to react faster. Follow intersection laws and signal when you’re turning.

Some accidents, though, cannot be prevented, no matter how cautious you are. If you are injured in a bike accident, be sure to record all the details. Insurance companies are sometimes all too eager to place the blame with a bicyclist for their injuries. The more evidence you have, the better chance you stand to gain a favorable outcome.

Shannon Law Group has years of experience handling bicycle injury cases. If you are injured through no fault of your own, you shouldn’t end up footing the bill. We will stand up for you and get you what you deserve.


Sensational Summer Salad

It’s officially the season of salads, and fruit salads are summer’s specialty! Enjoy this tasty dish as a side or main course. For some added protein, toss in a handful of slivered almonds or chopped pecans.

Directions 1. In a medium serving bowl, combine the Ingredients • 1 pound strawberries, thinly sliced • 3 medium peaches, thinly sliced • 1 cup blueberries • 1 heaping tablespoon fresh basil or mint, chopped

• 2 tablespoons lemon juice • 1 tablespoon maple syrup • 2 teaspoons

balsamic vinegar

3. Gently toss to combine. 4. Serve immediately, or chill for later.

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strawberries, peaches, blueberries, and basil.

2. Drizzle lemon juice, maple syrup, and

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balsamic vinegar on top.

Recipe inspired by




Phone: 312-578-9501 Fax: 312-268-5474

3550 Hobson Rd., Ste. 203 Woodridge, IL 60517


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Lessons From Mom and Dad

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What’s in a Hobby?

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Bicycle Safety Tips

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Sensational Summer Salad

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What to Do With All This Sunlight?

How to Celebrate the Longest Day of the Year WHAT TO DO WITH ALL THIS SUNLIGHT?

We call the summer solstice the “longest day of the year,” and though there aren’t really more hours in the day, extended hours of sunlight do make June 21 feel longer. So, why not do something with that extra light? We can’t all make a pilgrimage to Stonehenge to watch the sunrise, but there are still plenty of ways to enjoy the summer solstice wherever you live. TRY OUTDOOR YOGA Yoga is a popular activity for exercise and stress relief, practiced by millions across the world. The International Day of Yoga is held on June 21 each year. Expert and beginner yoga enthusiasts alike celebrate by taking their yoga mats outside. Find ways to get involved by visiting CATCH SOME WAVES The summer solstice also happens to fall right after International Surfing Day, so why not enjoy the extra hours of sun by road tripping out to the beach to catch some waves? The official International Surfing Day website, , has lots of information and lists great ways to celebrate. You might even be surprised to find awesome events near you!

SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK The week surrounding the summer solstice is often referred to as midsummer. William Shakespeare’s beloved comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” takes its name from this, so what better way to mark the occasion than with some of the Bard’s classic works? Theater groups all across the country put on outdoor performances, and it’s a wonderful chance for the community to come out and enjoy some of literature’s greatest stories.

There are numerous celebrations surrounding the summer solstice. So why waste a sunny day? Get out there and have some fun!


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