Smiley Law January 2018

January 2018

365 Canal Street, Suite 1680, New Orleans, LA 70130



The new year is an invitation to look to the future. It’s a time to map out your plans and set goals, whether they be personal, professional, or spiritual. I’m a big believer in this practice. Without it, neither I nor Smiley Law Firm would be where we are today. We had a fantastic 2017, helping so many people and growing our roots in the community. I even met my fitness goals — well, almost. As we dive into 2018, I find myself, once again, cracking open my notebook and charting the road forward. When I set goals, I like them to be specific. What concrete thing am I going to do? When will I get it done? How will I get there? If you don’t have clear benchmarks, you can’t measure your progress towards success. I’ve found the more cliche your goals sound, the better. For example, last year I planned to exercise for 20 minutes a day, every day, for 66 days in a row. “Once you set your goals, you have to do everything in your power to meet them. Why write them at all if you aren’t going to follow through?” Which brings me to my second point. It’s very important to keep goals realistic. Yes, you should challenge yourself, but don’t aim for the pie in the sky. If you’re too ambitious in the beginning, you’ll only discourage yourself down the road. I thought I was being very reasonable with my workout goals. It should be easy for a guy like me to exercise for 20 minutes a day, right? Well, yes. But when you run a law firm and have a wife and two young boys, finding a spare 20 minutes every day can be difficult! This is where wheel meets road. Once you set your goals, you have to do everything in your power to meet them. Why write them at all if you aren’t going to follow through? Yes, there are going to be challenges, but you owe it your absolute best shot. For me, this meant occasionally going to ridiculous lengths. Sometimes, I went for 9 p.m. jogs around the neighborhood. Other times, I was doing crunches at the office between meetings. I even started doing pushups on the bathroom floor when it was my turn to bathe the boys! You know how the saying goes, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

For 44 straight days, I kept to my goal, soapy floors and all. I was so close to success I could taste it. Then, Hurricane Nate barreled our way. Given how tragic the storm season had been up to that point, my wife and I decided to play it safe and move the family inland. We packed up the essentials and made the drive north to stay with my parents. Somewhere in all the preparation, I forgot to exercise, and that was that — back to square one.

These are the moments that define successful people. Nobody hits their goals 100 percent of the time. There will always be moments when life throws you curve balls, or entire hurricanes, for that matter. You can’t control it. You can control your response, though — either throw in the towel or pull yourself up by the bootstraps. My forty-fifth day was a setback, not a failure. The next day, I went for a jog: one down, 65 more to go. Rounding the corner into 2018, it’s time to take stock and set new goals. We at Smiley Law Firm will continue to serve you and your loved ones with the same care and attention to detail we always have. We will strive to help all we can and expand our capacity to serve our community. As for me, I’d like to get back into running marathons this year. There’s a race in San Diego I’ve had my eye on. It looks like I better get jogging.

To all those striving to hit their goals this year, happy 2018.

–Seth Smiley

504-894-9653 • 1

A Boutique New Orleans Law Firm Resolving Your Legal Matters

Want to See Better Report Cards in 2018?

Make Reading a Family Resolution

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. recommendations, 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. USE READING APPS Goodreads is a social network for bibliophiles. You can find

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

The Battle for MLK Day

On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. Four days later, a legislative bill was proposed to establish a federal holiday in his honor. It would be the first of many. The battle for a day of remembrance for Martin Luther King Jr. was long — too long, considering his life and legacy. But we ultimately got better than we bargained for: America’s first Day of Service, rather than a day of remembrance. That first bill didn’t come to a vote until 1979. It lost by five votes. Opponents claimed that a holiday honoring a private citizen would break the long-standing tradition of honoring politicians. But the campaign continued. The King Center in Atlanta lobbied heavily, and Stevie Wonder released the single “Happy Birthday” a year later, which calls for the holiday. Six million signatures were collected, the most signatures in favor of an issue in the history of America. Many politicians continued to resist. Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina led a filibuster against the bill in 1982, claiming Dr. King had ties to communists and wasn’t important enough. Others opposed the bill because it would cost too much for the federal government to implement the holiday.

Finally, on Nov. 3, 1983, President Reagan signed a bill declaring the third Monday of January to be Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It was first observed in 1986. However, several states refused to observe it. Some states preferred to call it Civil Rights Day, while others didn’t observe it at all. The National Football League threatened to move Super Bowl XXVII from Arizona if they voted down a bill to ratify MLK day. It was voted down, and the Super Bowl moved to California. Meanwhile, at the request of Coretta Scott King, President Bill Clinton signed a law in 1994 declaring MLK Day a Day of Service, rather than just remembrance.

On May 2, 2000, South Carolina’s governor signed a bill declaring Dr. King’s birthday an official state holiday. Before that, government employees could choose between observing MLK Day or a confederate holiday. Utah became the last state to change Human Rights Day to Martin Luther King Jr. Day that same year. In the spirit of the holiday, we encourage you to find some way to serve your community this MLK Day, just as Dr. King did years ago.

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CAR CRASH INJURY? You’re Entitled to Compensation

Accidents happen. Car crashes are a daily reality here in New Orleans, and they can strike when we least expect them. Even the best drivers can’t avoid getting rear-ended by a distracted driver. You may not have the power to stop an accident, but you can make sure you receive the proper treatment and compensation afterward. Whether you’re part of a three-car pileup or a fender bender, you can be left with lasting injuries ranging from severe head and chest trauma to neck and spinal injuries. These can take months or even years to heal, and recovery entails long regimens of pain medication, expensive physical therapy, and missed workdays. While insurance companies are supposed to help cover the cost of recovery, they will seek the lowest compensation rate possible. It is a business, after all. So, what can you do to make sure you get adequate compensation? First, gather information from the scene of the accident. Get the contact and insurance information from any drivers involved, as well as the license plate numbers. Also, collect contact information from any witnesses and use your phone to take pictures of the crash. The earlier you start gathering evidence and the more comprehensive it is, the stronger your case will be.

Next, seek the help of a New Orleans car accident attorney. After an accident, your focus should be on recovering, rather than fighting with insurance agents. Talented lawyers know the ins and outs of the industry, and they will fight for the compensation you deserve. Automobile accidents are traumatic events, but the aftermath does not have to be. Our car accident lawyers will be by your side every step of the way.

Leftover Turkey RAMEN



• 4 eggs • 4 ounces bacon • 4 portions fresh (not instant) ramen noodles • 2 cups leftover turkey, shredded 3. Cook bacon until crisp. Drain, chop, and set aside. Chop remaining scallions. 4. Once the broth is done

Instructions • 1 leftover turkey carcass • 6 scallions, divided • 8 slices ginger • 6 dried shiitake mushrooms • 16 cups water 1. Remove most of the meat from the turkey carcass, shred, and set aside. Put carcass in a large stockpot along with 3 scallions, ginger, mushrooms, and water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 3 hours. 2. Place eggs in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then immediately remove pot from heat and let sit for 4 minutes. Transfer eggs to an ice bath to cool.

simmering, prepare the fresh noodles according to package directions. Divide noodles among 4 bowls and cover with broth. Add shredded turkey, chopped scallions, chopped bacon, and an egg to each bowl.

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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The Key to Success

The Resolution That Leads to Better Grades The History of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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What to Do After a Car Crash Revive That Leftover Turkey!

Escape to Nicaragua

Escape to Nicaragua The Country That Has Something for Everyone After the hectic holiday season, many of us feel like we need another vacation just to unwind. Luckily, January and February are two of the best months to travel. Flight prices plummet, and crowds thin out after the Christmas rush. If you’re looking to escape the dreary winter weather, there’s no better place to visit this season than Nicaragua, the “Central American country that has it all,” as Condé Nast Traveler puts it. Whether you’re looking to explore the rainforests surrounding the Río San Juan or get lost in the quirky-yet-beautiful architecture of Granada, there’s something for everyone in this tropical wonderland. One must-see destination is the Cerro Negro volcano. Just a baby at 150 years old, it’s one of the most active volcanoes in the region. It only takes about an hour to scale its smoking, black gravel surface, and the verdant forests surrounding the peak are a sight to behold. Adventurous travelers can board down the side, reaching ludicrous speeds as they teeter and try not to fall. In fact, it’s almost impossible to travel anywhere in the country without seeing an “I boarded a volcano” T-shirt. If relaxing on a pearlescent beach is more your speed, take a short boat trip out to the Corn Islands. There, you can amble around the small towns bordering the shockingly blue Pacific, visit a number of laid-back

seafood restaurants, get scuba-certified for a fraction of the price anywhere else in the world, or just read your book

as you swing in a hammock by the waves.

You can also visit the gorgeous alabaster Our Lady of Grace Cathedral in “new” Léon. The biggest church in all of Central America, this unique Baroque and neoclassicist structure was built in 1814. Visitors can climb onto its roof (as long as they don’t wear shoes) and bask in the view of surrounding volcanoes (including Cerro Negro). If you’re planning on heading to Nicaragua, it’s best to do it soon. Neighbor Costa Rica often overflows with tourists, and instead of wading through the crowds there, many travelers are catching on to what Nicaragua has to offer.

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