Bruce Law Firm March 2019

CHANCE, FATE, AND A LOT OF LUCK Thank Goodness for Second First Dates march 2019

The luckiest thing that’s ever happened to me by far was meeting Ashley. Well, truthfully, the luckiest thing is that Ashley got back in touch with me. The story starts just after we finished law school. You’d think that once you graduate you’d be a real, bona fide lawyer, but it’s not that easy. You have to take an exam with the state to prove you’re really ready to practice law: the infamous bar exam. Because it’s such an intense test, many freshly-graduated law students take one last class to help prepare them for the bar exam. Instead of staying in Tallahassee to take the class near my school, I decided to take it in South Florida where my parents are from. Lucky thing I did because in this class, I met Ashley.

I had the good fortune to sit behind her on the first day of class. We had conversations throughout the week and I loved talking to her, although I’m pretty sure she thought I wasn’t all that smart — there was one occasion I forgot which topic we were talking about. Of course I might have been ... a little distracted. By contrast, Ashley was really focused on her studies and passing the coming exam. At the end of the course I worked up the courage to ask for her number. She kindly brushed me off. As Ashley says today, she knew we’d be seeing each other again, and she was right. Lady Luck was still looking out for me. Ashley and I ended up working in the same city. We happened to meet again at a networking happy hour, and eventually we went out for sushi. Here’s where the story takes a turn. I messed up big time — I didn’t call Ashley after our date. Can you believe that? Understandably, she started dating someone else. Some time went by, and eventually — thank goodness — we connected again. She reached out to ask if I wanted to play on a kickball team with a group of friends. I said yes and soon learned she wasn’t dating anyone. Eventually, I asked her to go see a comedy show, and we had our second first date. The rest, as they say, is history. I’m really lucky Ashley got back in touch with me. I’m also grateful she didn’t give me her number that first time because it showed me she was passionate about what she was doing. It’s true to who she is today — a strong, passionate, motivated person whom I feel so lucky to be with. March 8 is International Women’s Day, and I want to take a moment to celebrate the strong women in my life — my wife, Ashley; my mom, and Ashley’s mom, Bernice, who are trailblazers in the fields of law and accounting; and my coworkers, Nicole, Rosalie, and Jennifer. These women balance very demanding and respected roles, helping people every day and raising their families. They do all of it admirably, and they are an inspiration to me.

Which women inspire you?

– Chris Bruce

Then after that second first date ...

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How to Prepare for Trial

5 General Rules for the Courtroom

As attorneys we are comfortable in the courtroom, but we recognize that for many of our clients, their trial with us will be the first time they’ve ever been in front of a judge. It can be intimidating, and there are a few things you should know about the courtroom before you go to trial. Here are five of the general “rules” I give my clients when we’re preparing for trial. 1. WAIT FIVE SECONDS BEFORE ANSWERING A QUESTION. Give yourself some time to think about what you’re going to say. It also gives us the opportunity to object to the question if we need to. 2. IF YOU’RE NOT SURE ABOUT THE ANSWER TO A QUESTION, SAY SO. When you’re on the spot, it can feel like you have to give an answer, but if you truly do not know the answer to a question, it’s okay to say, “I don’t know.” 3. KEEP YOUR ANSWERS BRIEF. If you’ve determined you do know the answer and I haven’t made any objections, keep your answer as brief as possible and directed toward the question being asked. In some situations, a simple “yes” or “no” is best. 4. IF YOU’RE ASKED TO EXPLAIN THE ANSWER TO A QUESTION, KEEP YOUR ANSWER AS SHORT AS POSSIBLE. As with No. 3, keep it brief, and your answer should relate directly to the question being asked. 5. YOUR ATTORNEY WILL GET TO ASK FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS. If the other attorney asks a question and you’re worried that your answer won’t paint you in a very positive light, know that there will be an opportunity for me to ask follow-up, clarifying questions. It’s very important to be truthful in every aspect of the case. Everyone has less-than- ideal circumstances in their life. It’s much better to confront them than to beat around the bush. All that does is highlight to the other attorney that there’s something you don’t want to talk about. If an attorney wants to get it out of you, they are going to keep asking questions. Being straightforward, truthful, clear, and brief in your answers is often the best policy in trial.



When the dolls and baseball cards get pushed to the wayside for cell phones and movie dates, it may be time to gently nudge your child out from under your wing and into the workplace. It doesn’t have to be pushing shopping carts or spinning signs on the corner; working in any capacity during formative years builds character and gives your child real-world experience. Summer jobs teach the value of a dollar and give kids lasting memories, and after-school gigs lead to more pocket change for the weekends and less worrying for Mom and Dad. The hard part isn’t asking yourself if they should work; it’s asking yourself when they should work. In the U.S., most of us have about four decades of working to look forward to. Many start working in late adolescence and continue until retirement age. Now, that’s a lot of work to be had. So why rush it? Well, idle hands often spell disaster. Sitting around all day is a burden on both child and parent, whether they realize it or not. Those few years between hitting puberty and graduating high school are the sweet spot for your child to start their part-time career. There’s no shame in flipping burgers, stocking shelves, or mowing lawns. As of 2014, there were 16 million workers in the retail and food service industries, and the numbers have only gone up from there. But work ethic is changing among American teenagers. Just one-third of individuals aged 16–19 had a job lined up for last summer, compared to 51.2 percent for the same age range in 1997.While surviving on minimum wage as an adult is a topic of great debate, raking in around $10 an hour as a 14-year-old can seem like a king’s ransom. A few working hours here and there will do your grown baby a world of good and prepare them for the next chapter of their lives.

I’ll be back next month with some additional pointers for trial preparation. Please reach out if you have any questions. I’m happy to help.

Is your friend or client in need of a guide as they prepare for divorce? our divorce strategy book can help! The book can be downloaded for FREE at If your friend or client lives in the South Florida area, we will mail them a hard copy of the book upon request.

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Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change


artist. Go see a movie written and directed by women, like the documentary about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “RBG.”

March is also Women’s History Month, which gives you a great reason to read about a heroine you knew nothing about. Read a book written by an influential novelist like Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” or Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” You can also learn about a modern-day hero through the inspiring tale of “Malala.”

As Chris shared on the cover, March 8 is International Women’s Day. For the occasion, the United Nations has set a theme of “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change.” It’s a call for all of us to support and empower the women in our lives and make sure their voices and perspectives are being heard. Here are a few ways to do just that. 1. WRITE A THANK-YOU LETTER TO AN INSPIRING WOMAN AND LET HER KNOW THE POSITIVE IMPACT SHE’S HAD ON YOUR LIFE. Maybe it’s your mom, your sister, or even a celebrity. Take this time to let them know how they’ve influenced you. Give them a call, or if it’s someone in the public eye, write them a letter about how they’ve helped you become who you are. 2. GRAB A FRIEND AND CHECK OUT SOME ENTERTAINMENT. This month is about promoting the achievements of women, so why not have some fun while you’re at it? Check out a local female comedian, musician, or


The U.N. theme for International Women’s Day this year is about encouraging women to go into science, math, technology, and engineering so they realize the important influence they can have in these fields. Take a field trip with your daughter or niece to a science and technology museum or spend a day learning about ecology on a hike outside. Even playing video games can provide a gateway to enjoying math. The U.N. states of their mission, “It is vital that women’s ideas and experiences equally influence the design and implementation of the innovations that shape our future societies.” The only way to do that is to make sure each woman knows that the sky’s the limit to what she can do.

have a LAUGH

Beet, Mint, & Ricotta Hummus


1 garlic clove, grated

1 6-ounce beet (about the size of an adult fist), scrubbed

1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste

1 15 1/2-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1/3 cup tahini, well-mixed

Mint leaves, poppy seeds, and olive oil, for garnish

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup ricotta cheese



Once beet is cool enough to handle, use a paper towel to remove beet skin. Trim root end and cut into small pieces. Add to blender or food processor, and blend until entire mixture is smooth. Add additional salt if desired. Transfer to a shallow bowl, top with garnishes, and serve.


Heat oven to 425 F.


Wrap beet tightly in foil. On a foil-lined baking sheet, roast wrapped beet until fork tender, about 60–70 minutes. While beet is roasting, blend chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, ricotta, garlic, salt, pepper, and coriander until smooth.



Inspired by Bon Appétit magazine

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1601 Forum Pl. Ste. 1101 West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Love and Luck page 1

Is It Time for Your Child’s First Part-Time Job?

Rosalie Talks About Trial Preparation page 2 3 Ways to Celebrate International Women’s Day page 3 How to Make Your Sailing Dreams Come True page 4

Set Sail for Vacation If you’re lucky enough to have been aboard a ship under full sail, chances are you know the thrill and serenity sailing can give you. If you’ve never been but have always wanted to know what it’s like to get out on the wind and waves, there are many great options available for beginners. Here are some ideas to inspire your next waterside vacation. START SMALL For those who dream of becoming a skipper one day, a great way to start is by sailing dinghies. These one-sail, beach-launch boats fit 1–2 people and can be rented at most water sports shops. If you want to make it a family experience, shops usually have 16- foot catamarans for rent as well. Catamarans have two hulls rather than one, making for a smoother, more spacious ride. If you’ve never sailed before, inquire about lessons. Most rental operations have instructors on hand who can show you the ropes. The great thing about sailing is that whether you’re in a 12-foot dinghy or a 60-foot sloop, the same basic principles, rules, and skills apply.

Take Your Next Trip Offshore

TAKE A DAY SAIL Many day-sail charters exist for those who want to go out a little farther than a dinghy would permit. If you’ve captained a boat and are familiar with the waters, you can apply for a bareboat charter. However, if you are inexperienced or simply don’t want a local guide at the helm, signing up for a day trip with a skipper and crew is a great option.

DO A FULL CHARTER Short of owning your own vessel, chartering a boat for multiple nights is the closest you can get to living out your nautical dreams. Some of the most beautiful destinations on earth — from the Caribbean Sea to the Mediterranean — are best experienced from the deck of a sailboat. Letting the sea guide you to

amazing snorkeling destinations, remote cays, and bustling harbors is the stuff of real adventure.

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