Smiley Law - April 2019

April 2019

365 Canal Street, Suite 1680, New Orleans, LA 70130 • 504-894-9653 •


April’s an amazing time to call New Orleans home. So long as it’s not raining, the temperature is perfect to get out and enjoy the great events going on in our city. In last year’s April edition of this newsletter, I talked about my love for the Crescent City Classic. I try to attend the event in some capacity every year, whether I run in the race or just show up for the festivities afterward. But this time around, I wanted to talk about a New Orleans tradition I recently rediscovered: the Jazz and Heritage Festival. Going to LSU, I didn’t always make it down for Jazz Fest. The tickets were a little out of the price range of your average college student, and the drive to and from Baton Rouge didn’t help. There were a few years when some friends and I made it down for an evening, but nothing beyond that.

“The event almost feels like ‘Mardi Gras light’ — the crowd’s still looking for a good time, but they’re more mellow about it.”

an unforgettable evening. Not only did Simpson give an incredible performance, but we also got to see many local favorites, including the always fantastic Trombone Shorty. We hung toward the back of the crowds while listening, something my younger self would never have done at a concert. But to my surprise, I really enjoyed being able to just sit back and listen to some amazing live music. Maybe I’m getting older, but in that moment, I realized that Jazz Fest was exactly my speed. The event almost feels like “Mardi Gras light” — the crowd’s still looking for a good time, but they’re more mellow about it. It was a nice change of pace to be able to enjoy all the music and food our city has to offer without having to dodge beads and belligerent tourists. Don’t get me wrong — I still love Fat Tuesday. But Jazz Fest is definitely now my wife’s and my second-favorite event. We’re already planning which day we want to go this year. If you see us there, come say hello!

Even when I moved to New Orleans after graduating law school, I didn’t become a Jazz Fest regular. Between starting a law firm and starting a family, time was a very precious commodity. We could take our young boys out to wave at the Mardi Gras parades as they passed, but we weren’t about to try to keep track of them amid the crowds of a full-blown music festival. But now that the boys are both old enough to stay with Yaya and Poppy without Mom and Dad around, my wife and I have decided to start giving this event some attention. Last year, we gave Jazz Fest a shot since Sturgill Simpson was one of the featured acts, and the experience did not disappoint. We met up with some friends and rode our bikes down to the fairgrounds for

–Seth Smiley

504-894-9653 • 1

A Boutique New Orleans Law Firm Resolving Your Legal Matters


Whether you were the star player or the kid who picked flowers in the middle of the field all game, almost everyone has memories of being on a sports team when they were young. Some lose interest over time and pursue other activities, while others find they really enjoy their sport, maybe have a real talent for it, and continue playing until they are young adults. Whatever the case, parents should take a couple of factors into consideration when determining if their child is ready for sports. If they begin playing too early, it might turn them off to the sport before they really understand it. It could also result in premature wear on muscles and bones that prevents them from playing their sport later on. Most experts believe that the proper age for introducing your child to sports is somewhere between 6 and 9 years old. When they are younger than 6, it is important for them to be active, but their motor skills are not yet developed enough to play most competitive sports. Trying to get them to understand this fact at that age might only make them frustrated with the sport and make them dislike it before they can even give it a try. Even when children are between the ages of 6 and 9, they might not be ready for sports that require higher forms of coordination, like football or hockey. Instead, try sports like T-ball, soccer, or karate. They won’t be ready for more intensive sports until they are 10–12 years old.

Their personality can be just as significant as their age when it comes to choosing the right sport.

Some children might not show interest in organized sports at all. If your child does not seem interested in any sports, even though they are old enough to understand the rules and are coordinated enough to play, you might want to consider other activities, like art or music classes. Still, it is essential that they are active for at least an hour every day, no matter their interests. Sometimes kids will get frustrated with the sports they play (even if they like playing them), and they might want to quit. If your child doesn’t seem to like the sport you signed them up for, encourage them to at least finish out the season. They might just need a little more time to warm up to it. However, if they still aren’t enjoying it at the end of the season, help them find other activities that they might like better. Ultimately, when a child is ready to play sports, it is important to stay in tune with what brings them joy and what keeps them mentally and physically healthy.

If your child does not seem to enjoy team sports, you might see if they may like more individual sports, like running or swimming.


From the bayous to the Big Easy, you can smell it in the air: cayenne, paprika, and garlic. Peak crawfish season is here, meaning there’s no better time for a good boil. Whether you dive into some mudbugs at one of our great seafood restaurants here in town, hold your own backyard boil, or get out to the countryside, you’re sure to find the same key ingredient: great company. Our firm is made up of a healthy mix of Louisiana natives and those who came from elsewhere but fell in love with the Pelican State. One thing we all agree on is the truly special sense of community that comes with breaking shells alongside friends and neighbors. There’s something about being elbow-to-elbow at a rowdy boil that breaks down barriers and brings people together. Maybe it’s because there’s no shy way to eat a crawfish. Whether you’re a lawyer, an office assistant, a dock worker, a doctor, or a farmer, everyone’s going to get a little messy around that picnic table. And we think that’s a good thing!

As a community firm, we value staying close to our roots. We aren’t interested in becoming a big, disembodied law office that treats every person we represent as a case number. Every one of us loves to get out and enjoy the sights, sounds, and people of this community. You’ll find us at the Crescent City Classic, jazz performances, local hole-in-the-wall restaurants, and more than a few crawfish boils. But more than anything, what helps keep our firm true to its roots is you. We’re proud to say that we’ve grown our firm almost exclusively through the referrals of those whom we’ve helped. That accomplishment simply wouldn’t be possible without such a supportive community at our back. We really can’t say this enough: Thank you for singing our praises over the years. When it comes to representing the people of New Orleans in personal injury cases, we’ll always bring our very best to the table.

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The moments after a car accident can be some of the most disorienting minutes of our lives. From major wrecks to fender benders, emotions sometimes run high as adrenaline and uncertainty take over. But the most important thing you can do in this situation is remain calm and collected. While this certainly isn’t easy, having a clear plan of what to do in these situations can help. So we’ve put together this checklist you and your loved ones can use if you’re ever involved in an accident. Make Sure Everyone Is Okay The first thing you need to do when the dust settles after an accident is establish whether or not an ambulance needs to be called. This means checking on yourself, your passengers, and anyone else involved in the crash. If someone is unresponsive, has visible wounds, or has trouble moving, call emergency services. You should still seek out a medical professional afterward to look for signs of whiplash, but life-threatening injuries need to come first. Notify the Police Regardless of whether or not anyone is critically injured, you should still call 911. By notifying law enforcement of the accident, you are helping yourself in the long run. Trained officers will be sent out to put together a police report of the events that led to the crash. These professionals can often spot details others can’t, and the report they file will be an invaluable

piece of evidence when dealing with the insurance company. Gather Information While you wait for the police, you should turn your focus to collecting evidence to help you during the claims process.

This means, at a bare minimum, exchanging information with the other driver. You’ll need their name, address, driver’s license and license plate numbers, insurance company, and policy number. Beyond this essential information, you should also take the time to photograph the accident and talk to witnesses who saw it take place. Having concrete evidence to back up your claim is invaluable. Follow this advice in the event of a car accident, and you’ll have already taken a major step toward protecting your future. For guidance through the rest of the claims process, contact an expert New Orleans personal injury lawyer like our great team of attorneys here at the Smiley Law Firm. Schedule a free consultation with us; we’d be happy to look over the details of your case and advise your next steps toward getting your life back on track.




• 3 slices bacon • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped • 2 bunches spinach • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper • Salt and black pepper, to taste


1. Heat a large skillet to medium. 2. While skillet is warming, cut bacon into squares. 3. Cook bacon until fat is rendered and bacon is almost to your desired doneness. If desired, you can remove bacon fat from skillet and replace with 1 tablespoon oil. However, keeping the fat is recommended for flavor. 4. Add garlic and cook for 1–2 minutes. 5. Add spinach and crushed red pepper and stir-fry for 10 minutes. 6. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Inspired by

504-894-9653 • 3

A Boutique New Orleans Law Firm Resolving Your Legal Matters

365 Canal Street, Suite 1680 New Orleans, LA 70130 Phone: 504-894-9653 Fax: 866-761-8934 OPEN: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.



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Rediscovering Jazz Fest

Letting Your Kids Have Fun With Some Healthy Competition What We Bring to the Table After-Accident Checklist Easy Bacon and Spinach Stir-Fry

3 Travel Myths Debunked


Traveling has many social and educational benefits, but some people have hesitations that prevent them from jetting off on new adventures. Below are three debunked travel myths to give you some ease as you plan your summer vacation! Myth: Vacations are expensive. Fact: You can travel anywhere on a budget. Tracking flights to score the best deal, setting spending limits, and packing meals are a few ways to save money. Hostels and Airbnbs are great alternatives to spendy hotel stays. Additionally, you don’t have to cross the country to have a great trip. Every state has museums, unique roadside attractions, historical sites, and a booming nightlife. When you know your price limits and what you want to do, traveling can be a fun and inexpensive venture. Myth: Traveling is dangerous. Fact: If you’re smart about what you do and where you go, traveling can be safe. Go with your gut and only stay somewhere that is approved by travel guides. Visit places you feel comfortable in, and do your research by reading travel blogs, websites, and books to

find places that have been vetted by others.

Traveling in groups can also be a great way to lower your risk of danger. As long as you plan ahead, you will have a safe trip.

Myth: Jet lag is caused by a lack of sleep. Fact: While jet lag can make you sleepy, it’s actually caused by a disruption in your circadian rhythm. Our bodies are cyclical, and the circadian rhythm is set by both a natural need for your body to reset and outside forces, such as your job, time zone, and diet. Travel can disrupt this rhythm and routine, which leaves you lethargic during and after your vacation. Sticking to water before and during your flights and staying physically active during and after traveling are great ways to fight jet lag and get back into your normal rhythm. Don’t let these travel myths keep you from seeing the world. Set a budget, go with your gut, and prepare for a shifting rhythm to make your next adventure the best one yet.

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