Smiley Law - December 2018

December 2018

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


This time of year, it’s impossible not to be nostalgic. As holiday decorations go up and those classic Christmas songs come on the radio, who doesn’t think back on their childhood experiences of the season? Sitting down to write this newsletter, I’m immediately reminded of the Christmas that marked a big change in my life: the year Santa brought me my very own bicycle. It was a BMX-style bike, shiny and knew. As the baby of the family, I was proud to have something that wasn’t a hand-me-down. But more importantly, the bike offered me a degree of freedom and responsibility I’d never had before. In many ways, this gift helped me pedal into adulthood. I was off and going, there was no catching me. Soon I was riding anywhere and everywhere: to school, my friends’ houses, the store. That bike was my first real taste of independence. I rode that thing all the way up until I got my driver’s license. Now the time is coming when my own kids are beginning to take on that first step of freedom and responsibility. Our youngest, Luke, has just learned to bicycle. Sure, he had a few falls on the first day, but come morning, he was up and excited to get out and try it again! Both my boys have been fortunate enough to learn to ride at their Pop Pop and Yaya’s house. They’ve got a big grassy area for the kids to practice on that certainly beats the tree- laden areas of my youth, and Pop Pop has a six-seater. “This was another one of those full-circle moments I keep encountering as a parent. Just as my mom watched over me during my first rides, I’ve done the same for Jude and Luke.” I’d learned to ride in the wooded areas outside of Baton Rouge. My mom tried her best to keep me from crashing into trees, but once

This was another one of those full-circle moments I keep encountering as a parent. Just as my mom watched over me during my first rides, I’ve done the same for Jude and Luke. As a marathon runner and a bit of a “helicopter dad,” I was the one to run alongside the boys as they were learning. It was sort of a two-for-one deal — they felt safe and confident as they started to pedal for themselves, and I got quite the workout trying to keep up with them! The boys are still a bit young to be out riding on their own, but I’m sure the day will come in a blink of an eye. For now, we’ll enjoy riding together as a family. But as I watch my boys take off without the need of training wheels or their father running beside them, I’m reminded of just how important the holidays are. They let us slow down and savor these simple moments, remembering that life’s a journey and we should enjoy the ride.

From our family to yours, I hope you have a safe and wonderful holiday season, and a happy new year!

–Seth Smiley

504-894-9653 • 1

A Boutique New Orleans Law Firm Resolving Your Legal Matters



In some families, caroling is an annual event, while others stick to watching the characters sing at the end of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” If you want to make Christmas caroling part of your holiday traditions, we have some tips to help make your outing the best ever. Plan Early Calendars fill up fast around the holidays, so if you want to include people outside of your household in your caroling party, send out invitations early. You don’t want your caroling gathering to be a bust because all your guests had other plans. Have Songs Picked Out Will your caroling group perform classics like “Silent Night” or something silly like “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”? Get everyone on the same page, print out sheet music, and practice before the big night. Dress for Success Some carolers wear matching scarves, while others go out in full Victorian-inspired costumes. Whatever dress code you decide on, dress for what the temperature will be after dark. You don’t want your caroling to get cut short because of frostbite. If you are caroling outdoors, add reflective tape and flashing lights to your clothing so your party can be seen by passing cars.

Don’t Make Everyone Sing One of your kids may be ready to rock around the Christmas tree, but what if another would rather get coal in their stocking than sing in public? That’s okay! Nonsingers can still participate in caroling by ringing silver bells or handing out candy canes at the door. Bring Gifts Small goodies like bottles of cider, homemade Christmas cookies, or candy canes are always sure to spread holiday cheer. Keep the Party Going! After a night of singing your heart out, everyone deserves a treat. When you get back home, enjoy some traditional wassail or hot chocolate. Warm up, enjoy leftover cookies, and spend time with your loved ones.


Every day, Smiley Law Firm has the pleasure of working with amazing people. Each person who walks through our doors seeking help after an injury is often scared, confused, and frustrated. Recovering from an accident can be frightening for you, a family member, or a friend, and it’s for this reason that you want the best of the best fighting for you. We understand the stress an accident causes, so we approach every case personally. Smiley Law Firm gives our clients the one-on-one attention you can’t get anywhere else. When you come to us, you are more than just a client; you’re family. It’s never just business to us. We know you came to us with a personal and critical issue for you and your family, and we treat the case as such. With each person you send our way, you help us grow our Smiley Law Firm family. You allow us to reach out to people in need, giving us a chance to fight for what they deserve. During this challenging time in your loved one’s life, you put faith in us to help them through it. We are so very humbled by your trust and confidence in letting us extend our helping hand to people who need us.

Over the years, we’ve received numerous referrals from you, our readers, and we at Smiley Law Firm are beyond grateful. Smiley Law Firm is proud to have such fantastic people come to our offices every day. When you take a moment from your busy schedules to leave online reviews or refer a family member to us, no words can truly express how thankful we are to you.

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THE NEXT STEP 7 Things You Need to Do After an Accident

You’ve been in a car accident. What do you do next? You may be disoriented, in shock, or injured, but there are several crucial steps you need to take. Here are seven things you need to do right after you are in an automobile accident. 1. Immediately after the accident, take care of yourself and any others who might be injured. Then take pictures of all damaged vehicles as well as any wounds or injuries, if possible. 2. Do not make statements to anyone about injuries. Without professional care, you may be completely oblivious to certain injuries after a wreck. Often, pain only sets in later, once your adrenaline has subsided. You may seem fine right after the wreck, but the reality can be very different. 3. See a physician ASAP and without exception. Even if you think you feel fine or are only a little sore, visit a doctor and get checked out. Again, issues tend to pop up in the days following the accident. Don’t skip out on vital care. 4. Contact your insurance company to establish a claim, and contact the other driver’s insurance company. Never assume the other party is going to do any of this.

5. Keep constant tabs on how you feel. Write down every detail, including aches and pains. These details may be helpful if your case goes to trial. 6. Make and keep your treatment appointments. Your doctor’s office keeps track of everything. They know when you skip or reschedule appointments. This absenteeism can be detrimental to your case, regardless of the reason behind the missed appointments. 7. Speak with an attorney. Whether you call from the side of the road or from your home the following day, an attorney will guide you through the next steps. Tell them the facts of the accident, your treatment plan — if you have one — and show them any pictures you took. Some cases might not need an attorney, but many do. Negotiation with insurance companies isn’t a cake walk. They rarely play fair until they are backed into a corner. We are more than happy to help you through this difficult process.




• 1 bone-in prime rib (6–7 pounds) • 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

• 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

• 2 cups red wine • 4 cups beef stock


1. 30 minutes before cooking, remove roast from fridge and let sit until it reaches room temperature. 2. Heat oven to 350 F. 3. Make small slits in prime rib and stuff with slices of garlic. Liberally season with salt and pepper. 4. Place a rack inside a roasting pan and roast prime rib for 2 hours, until medium-rare. 5. To make au jus, place roasting pan with drippings from roast over 2 burners on high. Add wine and scrape pan as liquid reduces. Add beef stock and cook until reduced by half. Finally, sprinkle in thyme. 6. Slice roast and serve topped with au jus.

Inspired by Food Network

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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On Christmas and Cycling The Ultimate Christmas Caroling Checklist More Than Just Clients 7 Things You Need to Do After an Accident

Holiday Roast Prime Rib Holiday Decoration Tours


There’s nothing quite like the magical lights of the holiday season, and some destinations in the U.S. have perfected the craft of holiday decoration. If you’re looking to get away this December and still engage in seasonal festivities, add one of these places to your must- visit list. New York City’s Rockefeller Center New York City is an iconic location for Christmastime. The scene is like a Hallmark card: Ice-skating lovers whiz past miles of twinkling lights underneath an exceptionally tall and amply-decorated tree. The tree is specially selected by Rockefeller Center’s landscaping crews, who scout out trees years in advance. It remains lit from November to early January, so you have plenty of time to check it out. Ranch Christmas in Jackson, Wyoming Jackson, Wyoming, takes its frontier culture to the next level during the Christmas season. All year, the city proudly displays four elk antler arches, but around the holidays, they are lit up with white string lights and flanked by snow. The Christmas decorations and lights surrounding

the archway make for a Western-themed holiday pulled right out of a John Wayne classic. For holiday admirers looking for a unique spin, Jackson has you covered. Yearly Yuletide in Santa Claus, Indiana This one’s for the Christmas lover. If you can’t make it out to Santa Claus, Indiana, this holiday season, you can still celebrate Christmas in this tiny Midwestern town in January, June, or even October. Embracing its unique name, the town boasts a museum, holiday shopping center, and a Christmas theme park. In a moving tribute, the town’s residents also write responses to children’s letters to Kris Kringle himself. It’s impossible to avoid holiday cheer in this town. Disney World’s Christmas Magic What better place to celebrate the most magical time of the year than in the most magical place on Earth? Walt Disney World’s halls are decked to the max with a parade, gingerbread homes, strings of lights, and festive parties. Plus, costs to visit Disney World can be cheaper during the Christmas season, so keep an eye out for a vacation steal.

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