Perez Halpern English January 2018

301.744.7750 •

January 2018

WHAT I WANT FOR 2018 I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I want to do in 2018. With several cases headed to trial, a solid office manager named Andy, and great colleagues to bounce ideas off, I’m very excited for this year. I know that I’ll get more chances to hone my litigation skills, and I believe that I’ll have many opportunities to become a better attorney. I look forward to all of them. THE STORY OF JOSÉ

That said, when I think about what I really want for 2018, I keep returning to a recent meeting I had with a client — let’s call him José. José’s case should have been straightforward. He was walking across a parking lot when he was struck by a commercial vehicle driven by an employee who was on the clock. Obviously, the insurance company should have taken care of it right away, but I can’t say I was surprised by the way the insurance company acted. They refused to pay a dime, and now we’re building our case. We’re going to get justice, one way or another. When we build cases like this, we always check with our clients regularly, and José and I had a meeting that was only supposed to last half an hour. After all, we were just going over his medical treatments so far and discussing the pain he’d endured as a result of the accident. When José arrived, I could tell that something was wrong. I’m not a big-firm attorney. I don’t have someone looking over my shoulder to make sure I’m going to make my next appointment or calculating how much to bill a client who goes over their allotted time. I’m a solo practitioner, and my time is my own. As a result, I get to know my clients very well. So I started digging, and I found out that the accident had set off a chain of events that José had been dealing with for the past several months. Some of those events might factor into his case, but for the most part, José just needed someone on his side who he could talk to. When he left, he seemed much better than when he arrived. I watched him relax as he talked with me. We chatted for over an hour — much longer than anticipated — but so what? I was able to help a client, and helping clients is my job.

I became an attorney to help people through the practice of law. But I became a solo practitioner because I wanted to go further, because I wanted to build a relationship and level of trust with my clients that isn’t possible when working for a big law firm. Meeting with José reminded me of that. And helping all my clients like I was able to help him is what I want more than anything for 2018. –Meliha Perez Halp ern | 1

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In Case of Emergency: The Importance of a Go Bag

DOCUMENTATION Make a photocopy of any and all

Natural disasters happen all the time. From hurricanes and tornadoes to wildfires and earthquakes, our homes are never entirely safe from potential hazards. While natural disasters aren’t an everyday worry — and the 2017 hurricane and fire season is finally behind us — nothing is better than being prepared. You need a go bag! A go bag is something you can keep by the door in case of any kind of emergency. With essentials at the ready, you eliminate the possibility of a last-minute scramble. Here are the most critical items to include. BATTERIES AND FLASHLIGHTS Not only do you want a selection of standard batteries for your devices, but you also want portable lithium-ion batteries to charge your cellphones and other mobile devices. Additionally, Every parent wants to see their child do well in school, and there’s one fun activity that benefits students of all ages: reading. In a world with so much stimulation, however, it can be difficult to motivate kids to put down a screen and pick up a book. New Year’s resolutions are the perfect opportunity to make reading a priority. Here are a few tips to make 2018 the year your kids become bookworms. MAKE IT A FAMILY RESOLUTION There’s no better motivator than solidarity! Plus, we’re guessing everyone in your household could stand to read a little more. You don’t have to read the same books or set identical goals, but it’s a lot more fun when everyone participates. Schedule weekly reading discussions so everyone can share the cool stories they’ve read. Stack your completed books in your house

after you’ve packed these items, be sure to check them every three months. You want to ensure they are functioning and at full capacity so you can rely on them if the time comes. FIRST-AID KIT You can find well-stocked first-aid kits online (including on that are packed to the brim with most or all of the essentials. You may want to include baby wipes and a multi-tool in the kit as well. MEDICATIONS can be tricky, but they are necessary. Include a supply of any medications you take (anywhere from a week’s to a month’s supply) and be sure to rotate them out on a regular basis. This ensures that any prescription medications are up-to-date and that there is no risk of potential expirations.

critical documents you have and store the copies in a watertight container (such as a freezer bag) in the go bag. Include your birth certificate, driver’s license, and Social Security card. You may also want to include a copy of any Medicare cards, insurance information, your will (along with any powers of attorney), and some proof of address. Some people even include marriage, adoption, and naturalization certificates. CASH Store enough small bills to get yourself through five to seven days. On top of the small bills, coins are just as important, particularly quarters.



somewhere as a monument to all the knowledge your family has gained.

share ratings, and create lists of both completed and to-be-read books. Users also create reading lists based on topic, genre, decade, and more. With over 2 billion books added, you’ll never run out of inspiration. Biblionasium offers the same services, but it’s designed specifically for children. Talk to other parents and create a network of friends and classmates. After all, nothing is cooler to a kid than what their friends are doing. Avid readers tend to do better academically from kindergarten through college. In fact, a study from the Journal of Education and Practice found that reading comprehension predicted success in other subjects more than any other factor. If you want to see improved report cards, make a reading resolution for your entire household.

SET REWARD MILESTONES Positive reinforcement will propel your kids to keep reading long after the calendars have turned. For a certain number of books completed or hours spent reading, offer them a prize. You can even create a big end goal to really cement those reading habits. Better yet, set a combined goal that the entire family can work toward. Don’t be afraid to pull out all the stops. If your kids know that reading one book per week through June means an extra-special summer vacation, their enthusiasm won’t wane come spring. USE READING APPS Goodreads is a social network for bibliophiles. You can find recommendations,

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Do your kids get enough nutrients in their diet? If they’re like most kids, the answer is probably no. You want your children to eat more vegetables and less processed junk, but that’s easier said than done. Getting the average kid to chow down on a serving of broccoli is a chore. Food manufacturers have built an entire industry around our kids’ penchant for sugary cereal and fast food. However, a diet of processed foods can lead to a host of problems, including hindered brain development and even behavioral issues. A study in the American Journal of Public Health found links between poor diet and the development of depression in kids and teens. So, how can you encourage your kids to eat healthier foods? One way is through presentation. A mound of plain old

veggies is unappealing, whether you’re 10 years old or 40. The solution is to think of vegetables as an ingredient rather than as a stand-alone dish. Take lasagna, for instance. You can easily modify this beloved Italian dish. Instead of using lasagna noodles, slice zucchini into thin, noodle-like strips and layer them as you would typical pasta. The same can be done for other pasta dishes. Zucchini noodles made with a spiralizer — also known as “zoodles” — make a mean substitute for spaghetti. Pair them with your favorite marinara sauce or toss them in a slightly less decadent, but still delicious, alfredo. Vegetables can also be incorporated into other foods your children already know and love. Did you know you can make brownies with avocado and black beans? Slipping in

a few healthier ingredients here and there can deliver the nutrients your kids need to power through a busy school week. If you want to foster long-lasting healthy eating habits, the best thing you can do is offer your child some agency. For example, saying to your child, “You can have the cauliflower or the broccoli. It’s up to you!” empowers them to make their own decision based on their preferences. Psychologists and social scientists, including the famed Dr. Maria Montessori, argue that when kids feel in charge of a decision, they are more likely to embrace the ability to choose, even if it’s between two kinds of vegetables. Ultimately, as a parent, you are in control of your child’s diet. Help them explore new foods and foster a positive culinary environment. Your kids will develop a taste for healthy eating in no time!


Asopao de Pollo

Ingredients • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper • 1 serving light adobo seasoning • 3 tablespoons olive oil

• 2 tablespoons tomato paste • 1½ cups medium-grain rice

• 2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth • 1 bay leaf • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste • 1 cup frozen petite peas, thawed • 1 cup sliced pimento-stuffed green olives • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro cooked vegetables to the pot along with rice, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, bay leaf, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until rice is tender and chicken is no longer pink inside, about 20 minutes.

• 1 green bell pepper, diced • 1 red bell pepper, diced • 1 medium onion, diced • 4 cloves garlic, minced

Directions 1. Season chicken thighs with black pepper and adobo seasoning. 2. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium- high heat. Cook and stir green pepper, red pepper, onion, garlic, and tomato paste in the hot oil until the vegetables have softened slightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove vegetables from the pot and set aside. 3. Add chicken to pot and fry until browned, 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Return

4. Stir in peas and olives and cook for

another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and discard bay leaf. Stir in cilantro and serve. | 3

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inside What I Want to Achieve in 2018 PAGE 1

Find us on Facebook! Perez Halpern, LLC

Why You Need a Go Bag PAGE 2

The Resolution That Leads to Better Grades PAGE 2

Trick Your Kids Into Healthy Eating PAGE 3

Asopao de Pollo PAGE 3

Can Chicken Fat Cure Your Cold? PAGE 4

Contact me for all of your auto accident and personal injury needs!

Have a Tickle in Your Throat?

The cruel winds of winter swirl just outside your window as you stoke the fire and curl up in the armchair nearby, eager to finally start that Agatha Christie novel. But as you stir your tea and pull on a pair of socks, you feel a slight tickle in your throat. Frantic, you reach for your trusty onion necklace …

While sweating does help rid the body of unwanted bacteria and germs, the dirty sock adornment served more as a reminder for the healthy to steer clear of their feverish neighbors. YOU’RE HOT THEN YOU’RE COLD This holistic approach supposedly clears nasal congestion for a restful night’s sleep. Simply soak your feet in warm

Yes, it’s as strange as it sounds. Among the countless cold remedies in the world, there are some that involve onion necklaces and others that require powdered frog skin. But most of the time, these superstitions do little or nothing to combat your infections. Take these two sock remedies, for instance.

water until they’re hot and pink. While you’re sitting, let a pair of socks rest in a bowl of ice water. Wring them out, then pull them over your warm feet. Immediately add another layer of dry socks and hop into bed! But Does It Work? Maybe! This approach is a standard practice in hydrotherapy. Your body is surprised by the sudden change in temperature and increases its circulation rate. This could help clear your nasal passages and jump-start your immune system.

A DIRTY LARD SCARF Some home-remedy enthusiasts

encourage infected friends to grease their necks with chicken fat. After their skin is sufficiently coated, the afflicted wrap their necks with dirty socks, and warm and a little sticky, sweat out their germs.

In the end, whether you’re experimenting with socks or just taking another dose of Nyquil, it’s important to fight your cold when it arrives. Get adequate sleep, drink plenty of fluids, and enjoy some chicken noodle soup. Your body will thank you!

But Does It Work? Probably not. This remedy surfaced in England before drugs and vaccines eliminated contagious illnesses like diphtheria.

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