Brooks & Crowley August 2017

Review Brooks & Crowley

August 2017


439 Washington Street Dedham, MA 02026

*Services Throughout Massachusetts


Oh, and I almost forgot the lobsters! Mr. Fitz was a part-time lobsterman, getting up early to go out on the water before coming back in to teach a whole day of school. During the summers, he did it full time, and I don’t think the guy got a lot of sleep! Not only was this a lot of work, but Mr. Fitz was always happy to share his bounty with the students. One time, he showed up on my doorstep unannounced with a bunch of lobster for our family, and I know he did the same thing with many other students. Mr. Fitz passed away a few years ago, long after he had retired from teaching, but his spirit has lived on in those he impacted. As we head into another school year, I hope that there are many students fortunate enough to have great educators like John Fitzgerald, who touched so many lives for the better. –Steve Brooks

At the end of August, the kids head back to school. It happens every year, and it gets me thinking about my own school days. Last year, my law partner, Neil, shared some of his favorite teachers with you in the newsletter. Now, it’s my turn, and I know exactly who I want to talk about: a teacher I had at Medford High School back in the 1980s, John Fitzgerald, better known as “Mr. Fitz.” Mr. Fitz was one of the most down-to- earth teachers I ever had, and everybody liked him. He couldn’t walk down the hall without 50 people saying hi to him, and he was always happy to say hi right back. It didn’t hurt that the guy was a fantastic teacher; you’d want to take a class from him, no matter what it was. Although he taught some of the required biology classes, I also had him for anatomy and physiology classes. Those were more difficult subjects, and it’s

no exaggeration to say that Mr. Fitz was a very bright guy. In less-capable hands, those classes could have been really tough, really boring, or both. But I really don’t remember a boring day in his classroom — just class after class of learning really interesting stuff from a guy with a lot to teach. Mr. Fitz also built solid relationships outside of the classroom. Occasionally, I would spend time with him after school, and I learned that he built close relationships with many of his students, especially with those in my class, the graduating class of 1984. At the end of that year, as we were preparing to graduate, he personally wrote each of us a letter — not a card or quick note, but an actual letter — thanking us for being a part of the best class he’d ever taught. It was wonderful and very heartfelt, just like a lot of the things he did.


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Are You a Pro- Level Athlete? The NFL Scouting Combine Tests

Do you ever wonder how your athleticism stacks up against the NFL players you watch on the field every Sunday? Well, it’s actually not too hard to find out. Every spring, the top prospects for the NFL draft participate in the scouting combine, where they perform tests in front of representatives from every team. The tests cover speed, strength, endurance, and explosiveness. You can easily replicate these tests and see how you compare to some of the world’s best athletes. The 40-yard dash, which is exactly what it sounds like, is a test of raw speed. The 40 is the headline event of the combine, and a player’s draft stock can rise and fall based on a few tenths of a second.

L, each five yards apart. Run from the first to the second and back, touching the ground as you reach each cone. Run back to cone two, turn right, and weave in between cones two and three. Then turn around the last cone and sprint back to the start, making a 90-degree turn around cone two. The shuttle drill tests lateral quickness and acceleration. Starting in a three-point stance (one hand on the ground), sprint five yards to the right, then 10 yards to the left, placing a hand on the ground at each stopping point. Finish with a five- yard sprint back to the starting line. The bench press highlights strength and endurance. At the combine, players are tasked with lifting 225 pounds as many times as they can. You can choose a weight that you feel

comfortable with, and make sure you have a spotter on hand.

The vertical and broad jumps measure the height and length of your jump, respectively. To find your vertical, reach your hand as high as you can to get a baseline measurement. Jump as high as you can from a standstill, reaching your hand up again. The difference between these heights will determine your vertical. The broad jump is a standing long jump. The difference between the start line and your heels at landing will give you your score.

The 3-cone drill gauges change of direction. To perform it, set up three cones in the shape of an You can perform these tests regularly to measure your progress. It’s a fun way to see how you stack up against your friends — and the pros. To see the best combine results, check out top-performers. The Law Is Not Enough

Underinsured Motorists Pose Risk to Your Health and Finances

Want to make smart investment in your future? Add uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to your vehicle insurance policy. Yes, you’ll pay a couple dozen bucks more a month. But let’s talk about what that money buys you in our great state of Massachusetts. In our state, drivers are only required to have $20,000 per-person insurance, with a $40,000 limit on all payments from a single accident. That means that if you’re hit by someone carrying only the legally required insurance, the most you’ll get is $40,000. What if you’re taking the kids to soccer practice? Will that be enough to pay for the medical bills of everyone in the car?

drivers are hard to sue successfully and even harder to get money out of, if they even have any money worth taking. Furthermore, a protracted legal battle is much more aggravating than an insurance claim. And if you need money now (say, for medical bills), it’s not the way to go. As personal injury attorneys, we regularly make claims against our client’s uninsured/underinsured policies, often enough to tell you that if you don’t have this coverage, you need it. Uninsured/underinsured coverage also helps you in case of a hit-and-run, where the at-fault driver flees the scene and cannot be tracked down. You can effectively triple or even quadruple the money available to you after an accident by only spending a few more dollars a month.

Of course it won’t. So, what are your options? You can always sue in civil court, but I have to be honest: Unlike businesses and other entities, at-fault


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The First Spot Is the Best Spot Why Parking in a Prime Spot Isn’t Worth It

We are all guilty of circling the parking lot at least once in search of the perfect parking spot. There are spots we consider more valuable than others — spots where we desperately want to leave our vehicles. For some people, the prime spots are nearest the store entrance. For others, the best spots are under trees, or spots that give you optimal door-opening space. All of these “perfect” spots have one thing in common: They offer convenience, a convenience many drivers are willing to fight for.

But is it worth it?

drivers circle around the parking lot at least twice before settling on a spot. Another 24 percent of drivers are “stalkers.” These drivers follow people carrying bags or pushing carts toward their own cars. Stalkers can be particularly troublesome for other drivers who only care about getting in and out. They are notorious for pulling near their target spot and waiting. This can cause traffic jams and hamper the parking process for others. Are parking tactics like this really worth it? If you value your time, the answer is a resounding no , according to the Southeastern Psychological Association. Drivers defined as vultures or stalkers “spend significantly more time on the lot” compared to virtually all other drivers. If you value your time, parking in the first available spot you see will get you in and out faster than parking anywhere else.

Let’s look at the parking spots near and around the entrance of the store. In an ideal world, parking in these spots ensures you get in and out quickly. But we don’t live in an ideal world. In reality, the spots closest to the store entrance are often the least convenient spots in the entire parking lot and almost never worth the hassle or aggravation. Foot traffic dominates the area around a store entrance. During peak hours (and peak shopping days), you may spend more time waiting for people to filter in and out of the store than it would take to park farther away and walk into the store. Areas near store entrances are routinely congested, and when drivers compete for those “best” spots, traffic jams are guaranteed. When it comes to scoping out the best spots, has identified two types of drivers. Upward of 38 percent of drivers are “vultures.” These

Laugh Out Loud

Summer may be drawing to a close, but the heat doesn’t feel like it’s going anywhere soon. Cool off with this light, cold soup and enjoy those last few sunny summer afternoons! Avocado and Cucumber Cold Soup


• • • • •

1 lemon, juiced

• • • • •

Olive oil

½ cup cold water

2 medium ripe avocados, halved

1 clove garlic

1 large cucumber, halved

¾ teaspoon salt

6 stalks spring onions

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 jalapeno

1. Preheat grill to medium-high. 2. Coat halved avocados with lemon juice to avoid browning. Brush olive oil over avocados, cucumber, spring onions, and jalapeno. Oil grill while hot. 3. Grill vegetables until everything is grilled or slightly charred. Once grilled, remove and place on platter to cool. Instructions

4. Chop grilled veggies and puree with lemon juice, cold water, garlic, salt, and black pepper. 5. Once smooth, portion soup into bowls and refrigerate to cool before serving. 6. Garnish with toasted cubed bread, avocados, spring onions, chives, lemon zest, or a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.

Recipe inspired by


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439 Washington Street Dedham, MA 02026

Inside This Issue


My Favorite Teacher

Test Your Athletic Prowess The Law Is Not Enough



Don’t Become a Parking Lot Vulture Avocado and Cucumber Cold Soup


August 1914

This Month in History August 1914 August 1914 may be the most important August in history. Earlier that summer, Archduke Franz Ferdinand had been assassinated in Sarajevo (in an attempt that was almost botched but was ultimately successful). Tensions that had been simmering in Europe for years began to boil over, and in August the first shots were fired — the beginning of World War I. Patriotic and nationalistic jingoism amongst European nations soon turned to horror as the full picture of mechanized slaughter became clear to all. By the end of the year, a million European soldiers and citizens had been killed in the trenches and city streets. They were the first casualties of a war that would claim the lives of 16 million — and the souls of a rapidly globalizing world. and disease, as famine encroached upon the civilian populations of Central Europe.” Blockades on some countries, especially Germany, were not lifted after the war ended in 1918. Punitive measures like these were designed to prevent Germany from rising again. Instead, they resulted in needless death and more tensions between Germany and the rest of the world, which ultimately led to the Second World War a few decades later. Some countries fared better. America and Canada, untouched at home across the Atlantic, found what Canadian Lieutenant Timothy C. Winegard describes as “a context of nationhood and a sense of pride in an achievement” as new-world nations testing their headed for the trenches. It was a lesson the world would never forget, even when war broke out again two decades later.

mettle. They had no food shortages, and the war boosted their economies. This was particularly true in America, which entered the war relatively late for the final effort to topple the German alliance. It was the United States’ first European intervention. But in August 1914, nobody knew any of that. Not the world leaders, not the men and women back home, and certainly not the millions of soldiers

While young men were being cut down by the newest technology in the trenches, the folks back home in many European nations were being cut down by famine and disease. The war put immense pressure on lines of supply, pressure that was intensified by intentional blockades of civilian food supplies by both sides of the conflict. Historian N.P. Howard writes that these blockades “spread death


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