The Balams Firm - March 2024

Check out our March newsletter!

404-445-2005 | March 2024

Sometimes, amongst the hustle of operating a business, being a mother, and working as an attorney, I take a step back for a moment of gratitude. I’m grateful I get to do what I do every day. I’m grateful for my team and the clients who trust us. And this March, as we celebrate both International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, I’m grateful for the women and girls who motivate me every day and those I have the honor of supporting through two meaningful organizations. This month, I want to introduce you to these groups. I’m proud of their work and grateful to be part of it. One Million Black Women: Black in Business As part of a Goldman Sachs initiative, One Million Black Women provides mentorships, workshops, and training to support Black women who are business owners. Black women are one of the fastest growing sectors of entrepreneurs, and this initiative is dedicated to furthering that growth. The 10-week program is free and connects participants to a network of Black women forging the same path as them. By the end, women receive a valuable, industry-leading business education and a network of Black women, all dedicated to growing their businesses. I was able to participate in this organization as a mentor with my first cohort recently, and I’m really proud of the work I did and the expertise I could share. I’m starting with my second cohort this month, and I can’t wait to get into the trenches with them. This organization is incredibly meaningful to me, and I’m honored to share my expertise as a successful Black female entrepreneur. Women Excelling It’s a great experience to support Black women entrepreneurs on a national level, but I also have the opportunity to help those in our community. I’m a member of the Women Excelling committee Supporting Women How I Give Back to My Community

through the Alpharetta Chamber of Commerce. This committee hosts lunches, learning events, and other opportunities designed to help women business leaders in our community through personal and professional development. We create a strong partnership of women in business across our community, helping each other reach our fullest potential through knowledge and resources. And when that happens, our community is better for it. I don’t take working for these organizations for granted. Both are important to me, just as the support I have been given means so much to me. Reflecting on my career, I know my hard work and dedication are part of the equation, but my mom has also been incredibly influential. She has inspired me in countless ways, and I’m proud to give some of that back to my local and national community. Moreover, I’m proud to be a mom to my girls, with the hope that I can be someone they can also look up to. Please take an opportunity this March to consider how women in your life have pushed, molded, and supported you so you could become who you are today. I know I’m lucky to have amazing women and girls in my life, both personally and professionally. Our

communities thrive when women are provided with opportunities to reach their fullest potential. And when we can give that back to others, our reach is limitless.


Published by Newsletter Pro •

How Someone Under 21 Can Legally Consume Alcohol WHEN MINORS ARE ALLOWED TO IMBIBE

When it comes to drinking age requirements, the U.S. is strict for a Western country. The National Minimum Drinking Age Act was enacted in 1984, which raised the minimum age for alcohol consumption from 18 to 21. It also set a precedent for the age requirement for other substances. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned tobacco purchase for anyone under 21, and recreational cannabis is similarly age-restricted. While the law dictates that people under 21 can’t consume alcohol, that’s not the whole story. There are many exemptions nationwide, with every state having unique age requirement laws. Even counties can have special restrictions. American Indian reservations have independent sovereignty, so they don’t follow American laws at all. Religious Ceremonies and Services Currently, 26 states allow for religious exemptions for underage alcohol consumption. Alcohol is commonly used in many religious services; for example, Christian communion often involves a sip of wine. These legal loopholes are why priests aren’t arrested every Sunday. States that don’t have laws for religious exemptions never generally enforce the alcohol requirement on religious organizations, so they are practically legal. Medicinal Purposes People use alcohol for more than just recreation: it’s often used for medicinal purposes, too. For example, cough syrup uses it to break down ingredients. It is thus legal for medicinal purposes in 16 states, including Wyoming and Utah. Isopropyl and rubbing alcohol are distinct from the ethyl alcohol used in spirits, so they aren’t regulated similarly. Drinking for Education Alcohol is a culinary mainstay for many cultures, and many dishes include alcohol as an essential component — tiramisu, coq au vin, and flambé, to name a few. For minors interested in pursuing a culinary career, preventing them from accessing alcohol can be detrimental to their education. So, many states allow students enrolled in the culinary arts — including brewing, enology (the study of wines), and hospitality — to consume alcohol for educational purposes. For example, in Florida, students can drink as much as they want as long they’re on campus and have specific curriculums. Undercover Imbibing Minors can work for law enforcement. If they’re going undercover to expose illegal activities, there’s a good chance they’ll be offered

alcohol or put into situations where drinking is advisable. In Hawaii and Michigan, undercover agents are allowed to purchase or consume alcohol so long as it pertains to their assignment. With Family Some parents prefer that their children drink at home for various reasons. A few argue it discourages drunk driving and other risky behavior. Others just like to share a beverage with their children at dinner. Regardless of the reasons, several states allow underage drinking in the presence of a family member or guardian. The details of this exception vary widely. For example, some stipulate that a family member must provide the alcohol, like in New Mexico. Many states restrict alcohol to home use only, such as in Nebraska. Texas and other states allow the exemption in any location, such as restaurants. Drinking is distinct from possession, in case things weren’t complicated enough. In 19 states, minors can possess alcohol with parental consent. Other states, like Utah, prohibit alcohol possession at all times. Other Complexities The law is always nuanced, but few are as complex as the tangled web of alcohol restrictions. States like Pennsylvania restrict the drinking age and require sellers to fulfill strict requirements, like only selling beer and wine under 5.7% alcohol. Meanwhile, Louisianians sell daiquiris from drive-thrus (so long as they don’t have straws). The bottom line is that the U.S. has so much variety because it allows the states to set their own guidelines, and the differing cultures within states and counties affect their drinking laws. “The bottom line is that the U.S. has so much variety because it allows the states to set their own guidelines, and the differing cultures within states and counties affect their drinking laws.” ”


Published by Newsletter Pro •

BIGFOOT IS AN ENDANGERED SPECIES!? A Washington County’s Unique Hunting Ban Most people don’t consider the legality of Bigfoot hunting, but in Washington state, it’s part of the law. In Skamania County, it’s illegal to kill the mythological ape. Should someone murder the creature, they’d face a stiff penalty. Bigfoot — sometimes called Sasquatch — is an elusive ape-like cryptid said to roam the forests of North America. It allegedly has reddish-brown fur, a gorilla-like body, and its namesake big feet. Some claim Bigfoot is the “missing link” between walking apes and our ancestors, who walked on all fours. Most scientists dispute the claim, saying that any ancestor this old likely would’ve adapted or gone extinct. Bigfoot was first spotted in California in 1958, and most sightings since occur in Washington state. Per every 100,000 people, 9.12 sightings are in the Evergreen State. That’s a third more often than its neighbor Oregon, the runner-up at 6.06. If there were a Bigfoot capital of the world, it’d be in Washington. On April 1, 1969, the Skamania County legislature enacted Ordinance 1969-01, the first law prohibiting the killing of Bigfoot. Anyone convicted of murdering the cryptid would be classified as a felon and imprisoned for five years. While modified decades later, it set an important precedent: Bigfoot is a protected species. Tourism picked up shortly after that. Bigfoot mania officially hit the U.S. in the 1970s as directors released films like “Sasquatch, the Legend of Bigfoot.” New Bigfoot enthusiasts started to visit Washington in droves, hoping to be the first to find proof of its existence. While locals appreciated the influx of cash from tourism, they didn’t appreciate the influx of guns from Bigfoot hunters. County legislatures enacted a new ordinance in 1984. It further clarified the regulations on Bigfoot and designated the ape as an endangered species. As such, hunting Bigfoot with the intent to kill is illegal. However, the ordinance softened the penalty for hunting Bigfoot, lowering the penalty for poachers to a year in prison or a fine of up to $1,000. Every law has some logic; no matter how frivolous it may seem, there’s a reason why lawmakers went through the trouble. While this law may seem unnecessary, it protects “Bigfoot” and the Skamania County citizens alike.


Chipotle-Inspired Chicken Burrito Bowl Inspired by


• 2 boneless chicken breasts • 2 tbsp olive oil • 1 tsp paprika • 1 tsp cumin • 1/2 tsp chili pepper • 1/2 tsp salt • 1/2 tsp pepper • 1 cup white or brown rice, cooked • 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce • 1 cup canned corn

• 1 cup canned black beans • 1 avocado, cubed • 1/4 cup sour cream • 1/4 cup shredded cheese For Salsa • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro • 1/2 tomato, chopped

• 1/2 onion, chopped • 2 tbsp white vinegar • 4 tbsp lime juice • Salt, to taste

Directions 1. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces. In a medium-size bowl, add chicken, olive oil, paprika, cumin, chili pepper, salt, and pepper. Mix until chicken is evenly coated. 2. In a skillet over medium heat, cook chicken for 7 minutes or until cooked through. Set aside on a plate. 3. In a large bowl, layer the rice, lettuce, corn, beans, and cooked chicken. 4. In a separate bowl, mix together salsa ingredients, then pour over the chicken mixture. 5. Top with avocado, sour cream, and cheddar cheese. Enjoy!

Published by Newsletter Pro •


404-445-2005 310 Maxwell Road, Suite 500 Alpharetta, GA 30009 INSIDE THIS ISSUE


We All Gain When We Support Women

When Minors Can Drink


Chipotle-Inspired Chicken Burrito Bowl


Why Bigfoot Is a Protected Species in Washington


The Marketing Campaign That Cost Red Bull Over $6 Million


For decades, Red Bull has run the marketing campaign that its energy drink gives people wings. Most assume it’s a joke, an exaggeration of the beverage’s stimulating effects. The courts disagreed. A group of Red Bull drinkers in 2014 filed a class action lawsuit against the Austrian company, accusing them of false advertising. Despite the company’s claims, they alleged that the drink does not give you wings. To be more specific, the suit alleged that the ad campaign uses flying imagery to convey that the beverage is better than other caffeinated drinks. While the brand’s messaging claims it improves response times and concentration, the suit alleges the beverage isn’t much more effective than a cup of coffee. Red Bull settled for over $6 million. They also agreed to compensate customers who were disappointed about the drink’s wingless results. Such claimants could receive $10 or

a voucher for $15 of Red Bull products. But before you go writing a letter to Red Bull for your voucher, know that customers are no longer eligible for this compensation. In Red Bull’s words, they settled to “avoid the cost and distraction of litigation,” noting that their ad campaigns and can labels “have always been truthful and accurate.” Red Bull denied any wrongdoing. What Red Bull did was tread the line between false advertising and “puffery,” the legal term for extravagant claims about a product. The law allows for some lofty claims — such as “World’s Best Coffee” — so long as they are opinions. “Red Bull gives you wings” sounds like a factual statement, so it doesn’t fall under puffery. The energy drink company has continued using the slogan in its marketing in event sponsorship and TV ads. So, while Red Bull may not actually give you wings, it did pay out a lot of money in a court settlement over the claim.


Published by Newsletter Pro •

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4

Made with FlippingBook Ebook Creator