Albrecht Law - May 2020

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May 2020

Is Anyone Still Out There? We’re Still Open andWorking for You and Our Civil Rights

we’ve had to help people find new pathways through the regulations so they can continue to be productive. In addition to servicing our clients, one of our main goals is to ensure our civil rights don’t die just because we are fighting a pandemic. For example, local firearms dealers have been forced to shut down, but Walmart is still able to sell ammunition and firearms. Local candy makers are shut down, but Walmart and Costco are selling candy by the bucket. This squeezes out our local businesses who are trying to survive and limits available options to those who live in smaller towns without access to big-box stores. We’ve been fighting for small-business owners, including local shops, restaurants, and arms sellers, to ensure that Costco andWalmart aren’t the only businesses that survive this pandemic. (No, I’ve got nothing against Costco, by the way, I’m a big fan — but I’m also a fan of smaller local businesses getting fair treatment from our government.) Small businesses need our support now more than ever, and anything we can do to help them, whether that’s through our legal expertise or purchasing gift cards and takeout, is beneficial. We have also been advocates in the court system to guarantee our clients have their day in court and aren’t delayed in getting

By the time you read this, the world may look very different, but when we were writing this in late March, we still had people squabbling over toilet paper and were just a few weeks into our quarantine from COVID-19. In fact, we’re writing this newsletter from a secure mountain location. We’re curious to know if this will all be worse or better by May, but in the meantime, we thought you should know that we are here, we’re still alive, and we’re still working for our clients. I had a bit of a front-row seat to what was happening in our world in early 2020 when I was flying to Seattle in January and February for depositions. When I returned to the office in February, I knew we had to take precautions. We began sanitizing the office twice every day and moving our meetings with clients to the phone or through video conferencing. By March, our in-person office hours were limited. Then, prior to any statewide lockdowns in late March, we agreed to shut down and go remote, with the exception of someone in the office to answer our phones. By the time the announcement came, we were prepared to move our operations off-site. Because of the new regulations and restrictions that have been enacted by states, businesses, and the federal government,

the justice they may need. In fact, we’ve been taking on new clients and welcoming people to seek us out for their legal needs. We have alternative meeting solutions to ensure each check-in is safe, secure, and productive. You deserve help regardless of the state of the world. While I cannot predict what the world will look like in May, I do know that our country and other civilizations have survived this before. When we look at the swine flu, the Spanish flu, SARS, and more, we see that there have been plenty of past instances of fighting against disease outbreaks. It would be unwise to bet against our country. Now is a good time to invest in our future and work hard to ensure it’s a bright one for us all. So, regardless of what has happened in the month since we wrote this newsletter, I hope it finds you well and safe. I know it’s an anxious time for many people, but I’m confident that it’s all going to work out. We’ll still be here for you, even if it’s just via video conference from an undisclosed secure mountain location.

We’ve created a completely contact-free way to complete Estate Planning so nobody has to risk their health to get their will or health care directives in place. During the crisis, we’re offering this as a free service to health care workers — send any who need this our way so we can ease their stress just this little bit.

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THE PROS AND CONS OF BUYING A HOME IN A 55-PLUS COMMUNITY

Depending on your wants and needs, buying a home in a 55-plus community might be a financially savvy way to set yourself up for retirement. But is it the right decision for you? Here are a few financial pros and cons associated with moving into one of these neighborhoods. PRO: THE HOMES ARE IN EXCELLENT CONDITION. Oftentimes, 55-plus communities provide maintenance services, including housekeeping and landscaping. Also, it’s likely that only a handful of people have occupied the home since it was built, so buying in a 55-plus community means you’ll get a property in excellent condition with less wear and tear. CON: YOU’LL HAVE TO PAY A MONTHLY FEE. Unfortunately, all the great stuff doesn’t come free. Usually, you’ll have to pay an extra monthly bill, similar to a homeowners association fee, to live in a 55-plus community. Some communities include all maintenance and amenities in the monthly rent or mortgage (some even cover utility bills), but make sure you understand what is and isn’t covered before you sign a contract! PRO: AMENITIES ARE INCLUDED. Most 55-plus communities include amenities like exercise classes and educational programs for their residents. They also invite community

organizations and leaders to speak about local issues or upcoming elections. Some even have a clubhouse or dining hall for social gatherings. Save money by taking advantage of these programs instead of paying for a gymmembership or a course at the local community college. CON: IT’S A LIMITED BUYER’S AND RENTER’S MARKET. Most people who buy in a 55-plus community plan to retire there. If this is your original intention but your plans change down the road, you might have a harder time selling your home here than you would in a community that is open to people of all ages. Make sure to budget for those potential holding costs and plan accordingly.

Regardless of where you decide to buy, be sure to consult an experienced real estate agent and a financial planner. Here’s to living out your golden years in comfort and convenience! THE $60,000 HEISTYOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF Crimeless Theft in Cyberspace

Because of the risk-reward nature of the game, many players unite in huge factions for safety and to pool their resources. One of these groups, Circle of Two or CO2, was the target of the 2017 attack. Within a matter of hours, CO2’s bank accounts were drained and the space stations holding their fleets of ships were sold to their enemies. It was clear from the beginning: This was an inside job. The thief was CO2’s own head diplomat, a player called “The Judge.” For years he’d worked his way through the alliance’s ranks, only to use the access he eventually gained to rob it blind. But greed may not have been his only motivation. He’d had public disagreements with CO2’s leader called Gigx, and a rival faction was able to capitalize on this internal conflict. During an in-person EVE Online summit held in Iceland, representatives from The GoonSwarm Federation convinced The Judge to leave CO2 and commit the single largest robbery in gaming history on his way out. In the real world, The Judge’s actions were completely legal — currently, international law doesn’t treat such virtual objects as personal property. But this perception may be changing. As in-game purchases become more widespread in video games, legal lines have blurred, causing an increasing number of lawmakers to rethink what constitutes “ownership” in the digital age. But, for now at least, it seems like a good time to be a space pirate.

In 2017, sometime between Sept. 11 and 12, a total of $60,000 worth of digital assets were stolen from people around the world. The conspirators didn’t hide their identities, and they faced no criminal charges. As it turns out, there are no laws against stealing spaceships in a video game — even if they’re worth thousands of real-world dollars. EVE Online is a massively multiplayer online game (MMO) that was launched in 2003, and it was on this game that the theft occurred. This science-fiction game is all about spacefaring, but one notable feature of the game is that it allows players to purchase in-game assets with real money. This attracts players who can spend large sums on the game, with some of the game’s largest spaceships costing $9,000. But one thing to note in EVE Online is that no matter how much you pay, once you lose an asset, it’s gone forever.

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TAKE A BREAK

When cats are orphaned as kittens, they don’t get the chance to develop all the skills needed to become successful cats. Just like human children, kittens need older role models too. The most famous cat role model had a rough start in life but became an inspiration for kittens and humans alike. His name was Grandpa Mason, and during the last years of his life, he stepped up and gave love, care, and guidance to the orphaned kittens that lived with him. The Canadian animal rescue group TinyKittens rescued Grandpa Mason in 2016 from a property that was scheduled to be bulldozed. The poor feral tabby was suffering from many health problems, including severe dental issues, a badly injured paw, and advanced kidney disease. Since TinyKittens is a no-kill rescue organization, euthanization was out of the question. Given his health conditions, veterinarians predicted the battle- scarred Grandpa Mason didn’t have long to live, so TinyKittens’ founder, Shelly Roche, took him in and provided him with a comfortable place to sleep, plenty of food, and time to relax in the last months of his life. Grandpa Mason had a hard time adjusting to domestic life and would often shy away from being petted. In an interview with The Dodo, Roche described him as “an elderly gentleman [who] lived his whole life a certain way, and then, all of a sudden, [was] forced to live completely differently.” After Grandpa Mason grew accustomed to his home, Roche took in several foster kittens, and those new roommates completely altered Grandpa Mason’s behavior. Roche expected him to hiss, swat, or growl at the kittens when they invaded his space, but he didn’t. Instead, he allowed them to crawl all over him and appeared to enjoy it when they licked his ear. Suddenly a playful, affectionate, and gentle personality came out of Grandpa Mason as he played with, bathed, taught, and cared for the orphaned kittens that Roche welcomed into her home. Potentially due to the kittens’ influence, Grandpa Mason surpassed his prognosis by more than two years. During the last few years of his life, Grandpa Mason passed on important lessons and good manners to the kittens he looked after and adored, as a true grandfather should. He passed last September, but he spent his last night in his ultimate happy place: snuggling in his bed surrounded by kittens. THE STORY OF GRANDPA MASON How a Feral Cat Came to Care for Orphaned Kittens

STICKY AND SWEET PORK ‘RIBS’

Inspired by Bon Appétit

Whether you’re celebrating your mom or those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country, there’s no better recipe to grill up than these delectable country-style pork ribs.

Ingredients

1/2 cup chili oil

2 heads garlic, cloves separated

1/3 cup oyster sauce

3 thumbs ginger, chopped

1/3 cup toasted sesame oil

1 cup hoisin sauce

5 lbs boneless pork shoulder, flattened

3/4 cup fish sauce

2/3 cup honey

3/4 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup rice wine

1 tbsp molasses

Directions

1. In a blender, purée garlic, ginger, hoisin sauce, fish sauce, honey, rice wine, chili oil, oyster sauce, and toasted sesame oil until smooth. 2. Reserve and chill 1 1/2 cups for later use. 3. In a bag, add the remaining mixture and pork shoulder. Marinate for at least 8 hours. 4. Using a convection plate on the grill, cook pork until the thickest part reaches an internal temperature of 140–145 F. 5. In a large saucepan, simmer brown sugar, molasses, and reserved marinade for 6–8 minutes. 6. Baste the pork with the brown sugar glaze for 2 minutes before serving.

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PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411

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

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Progress Report: Is Anyone Still Out There?

Is a 55-Plus Community Right for You? A $60,000 Robbery With No Jail Time

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Sticky and Sweet Pork ‘Ribs’ The Best Grandfather a Kitten Could Have

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Technology Saves the Day

HOW TO STAY IN TOUCHWITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS WHILE FOLLOWING SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES

SPRUCE UP EVERYDAY ACTIVITIES.

Get in touch with other parents to set up virtual play dates over video chats for your kids. They can even watch a movie or TV show together.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging communities across the U.S. to practice social distancing. While this will help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, it also means that social interactions will be minimal. In addition to impeding many industries and businesses, this has significant impacts on families and friends who can no longer visit each other in person. Luckily, the technology we have today allows us to stay in touch while still practicing social responsibility.

Hopping on the phone or your laptop to video chat is a great way to reach out and catch up with loved ones. While folding laundry or doing other mundane chores, give a friend or your parents a call to idly chat; it can make your tedious tasks much more enjoyable. Video calls are also beneficial if, for example, you’re missing out on your daily workouts with a friend. Hop on a video chat to practice yoga, cardio, or other simple exercise routines together.

HOST A MOVIE NIGHT.

Speaking of movies, Netflix developed a unique way for people to watch movies and shows together: Netflix Party. If you have a desktop or laptop with a Chrome browser, visit NetflixParty. com to download the application. Once downloaded, open the movie or TV series you’d like to watch, create or join a “party,” then relax and enjoy the show while chatting with friends. These are only a few examples of how we can stay in touch during these concerning times. Talk with your family and friends and see what other creative ideas you can come up with together. Even though you may be apart from loved ones right now, virtual communication has never been easier or more plentiful.

LET YOUR KIDS CHAT WITH FRIENDS.

Kids can benefit from video chatting by staying in touch with their friends while school and other activities are canceled. Letting your kids connect to social media is a pretty big step, so consider signing themup for Yoursphere or Kidzworld, kid- friendly networks that let them keep in touch with their friends while you canmonitor their activity.

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