Brooks & Crowley - May 2020

Review Brooks & Crowley

May 2020


439 Washington Street Dedham, MA 02026

*Services Throughout Massachusetts


(And I couldn’t be prouder of her for it.) As soon as I get on the phone, I get many, many questions about how she’s doing, if she’s safe, and what she’s been up to. I’m happy to inform you all that my mother is safe, healthy, and quarantining in her home in Cambridge. She’s been very cautious and only goes out for groceries. Other than that, she’s been home and occasionally gardening. A lot of healthy, caring people are on her side, including the mailman and everybody at our firm. We’re not making her work from home; we’re supporting her as much as we can.

over and take some calls for you,” she offered, “until you get a new employee, of course.”

You could almost say the rest is history. It might surprise you, but the transition of working with my mother wasn’t really that difficult. Roberta has always been the type of woman to speak her mind, but she’s an empathetic, emotional advocate for our clients. I’ve learned a lot from this characteristic of hers — not just from working with her, of course, but throughout my life as her son. She’s a good judge of people and character, and I like to think I picked up many of my people skills from her. I feel lucky every day to have such an incredible mother who was willing to learn a new job at her age just to help my business while I was worried about losing an employee. I remember teaching her how to join our fight for our clients by hunting down paperwork like medical bills and records, mortgage discharges, and lien certificates. We must have these important papers for many of our cases, and often she wasn’t sure who to follow up with. At one point I told her, “Mom, pretend these people owe you $100. What would you do to find them? Do that.” Man, that unleashed a fury within her in all the right directions. My mom’s past careers were always in hospitality, but if you were a medical recordkeeper or a tax collector, you might not be able to sense that right away. She's very passionate about following up and getting the files complete around here. For all those reasons and many more, I’ve always suspected that my clients love my mother a little bit more than me. But ever since COVID-19 broke out, I’ve realized just how true that is!

Not every attorney has the opportunity to work alongside their 80-year-old mother every day, but at Brooks & Crowley, I am that lucky. My mother, Roberta, has been working with us for the past 19 years. Let me explain here, even though you might already know the story from asking me in person. (Many people ask!) Back in 2001, Neil and I worked out of our offices in Charlestown. We had a very busy and hectic litigation practice with a productive young secretary who we thought would be with us for decades; however, a few weeks after 9/11, she and her sister decided to join the Army. She walked into our office one day and put in her notice. It was sudden, but we understood. Later, I was lamenting the loss to my mother. “I don’t know how quick we’re going to be able to find someone new,” I said over the phone. My mom was retired and lived in Cambridge, which was only a couple miles away. “I’ll come

“I’m happy to inform you all that my mother is safe, healthy, and quarantining in her home in Cambridge.”

“Wait, the mailman?” I hear you ask. Yes! Roberta is the type of woman who befriends everybody that visits the office, including our great mailman, Bob. She’d text him when our mail wasn’t on time (and it was only on his off days!). Now, Bob texts her to make sure she’s okay. And of course, so do I. I talk with my mom every day, so if you want another update about her, just give me a call.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

–Steve Brooks


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Tackle Allergies This Spring

With These 3 Strategies


hair and on your clothes. And while 30 minutes of outdoor exercise will, according to WebMD, completely coat your nasal membrane with allergens, showering and laundering your clothing will limit your exposure while indoors.

You can usually find information about local pollen levels on the internet or in your local newspaper. If pollen counts are through the roof, consider working out inside instead of running outside. In general, pollen counts are highest on warm and breezy mornings and lowest when it is cool and rainy. Plan your outdoor pursuits accordingly.


Spring has officially sprung. Grass is growing, flowers are blooming, and longer days are here again. And while the arrival of spring is a cause for celebration, for outdoor enthusiasts who suffer from seasonal allergies, the season is bittersweet. For many, this time of the year is characterized by stuffy noses, burning eyes, and sneezing. But according to WebMD, even severe allergy sufferers can enjoy the outdoors without worrying about allergies by taking the following precautions.

Depending on the severity of your allergies, medication, not prevention, will likely provide the best relief available. Every person is different, so ask your doctor about the best medicine for you, and make sure you understand how you’re supposed to use it before dismissing its efficacy. Some allergy medicines can take as long as three weeks to reach their full effectiveness.


If you suffer from seasonal allergies but still love to exercise outdoors, build a habit of showering and changing immediately after coming back inside. While you were out crushing that 30-mile bike ride, pollen was slowly accumulating in your

Why Do I Need a Will? The First Steps to Protecting Your Family’s Future

need to state it explicitly. As mentioned previously, related family members tend to get your assets by default. Secondly, you’ll need to name a personal representative. This person is responsible for ensuring everybody in your will receives their share, plus paying any debts or taxes on behalf of your estate. A personal representative can be a friend, family member, colleague, or a professional, like an estate attorney. Of course, these are only the very first steps. If you have any questions about starting your will, creating a trust, or making adjustments to either, our team at Brooks & Crowley will help you do it right. Give us a call and we’ll be happy to set up a remote appointment for you!

a guardian to look after them. A will can ensure your loved ones will receive every asset you want them to have, valuable and sentimental alike. Many homeowners put their real estate into a trust for the benefit of their family, which passes the asset along to successors without having to go through the probate court. Done correctly, it is a great way to hold title to property without overly complicating how it is treated while you are alive.

It’s tough to think about how our families will live after we’re gone, but when we do, we want their lives to be as easy as possible. That’s why many people have been reaching out to us to adjust or update their wills or begin creating one. We’re happy to help walk you through the first steps to getting your will together.


According to most state regulations, the law gives your assets to family members by default; however, navigating that process and deciding for themselves who gets what can be very challenging for your grieving family. A will is a legal document with specific instructions on what you want to happen with your money, assets, and property in the event of your death. For example, with children under the age of 18, you’ll be able to name


First, you’ll want to decide on beneficiaries, those to whom you want to give your property and assets. If you do not want to give to specific family members or want to give to someone outside the family, you’ll


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Achieve Innovational Success With ‘Loonshots’

organizational structures went wrong. To Bahcall, the way business owners organize their team is the same as how temperature shapes water. You can be cold toward new ideas, which freezes progress and makes your company too brittle in the face of change, or you can be warm and let your team’s ideas flow in exciting new directions. Drawing on his experience as both a physicist and the co-founder of a biotechnology company, Bahcall is able to make his case in entertaining, down-to-earth prose. Beyond being a good read, “Loonshots” addresses an often overlooked factor in the ways innovative companies succeed at redefining their industry, making it a great addition to any entrepreneur's library.

innovations that were originally deemed “crazy” or “doomed to fail,” including the breakout success of the James Bond movies and how Lipitor became a pharmaceutical blockbuster. What these phenomena have in common is that they were supported and made possible by a positive work environment structured to nurture ideas that were “just crazy enough to work.” However, success stories aren’t the only focus of “Loonshots.” The book also examines companies that paved the way as innovators, only to stifle change and lose momentum. Bahcall puts Pan American World Airways (Pan Am), Polaroid, and other titans that let the lightning out of the bottle under the microscope to show readers where the companies’

LAUGH OUT LOUD Many entrepreneurs dream of catching lightning in a bottle — of harnessing new, powerful ideas that will propel their business to the cutting edge. Whether they call it disruption, innovation, or genius, many business books focus on the “lightning” side of the equation. But those flashes of brilliance mean nothing without a bottle to capture them in. According to author and physicist Safi Bahcall, if you want to turn momentary inspiration into tangible success, you need structure. Bahcall explores this idea in his book, “Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries.” He examines many successful

Grilled Prime Rib

Who says the cookout has to ruin your diet? Try this paleo-friendly recipe for a main dish that’s worthy of your next barbecue.


• • •

1 1/2 lbs beef rib roast 1 tsp Himalayan salt 1/2 tsp black pepper

1. Take rib roast out of the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to grilling. 2. Season roast with salt and pepper and allow it to rest for 10 minutes while you heat a gas grill to 600 F. 3. Sear roast for 3–4 minutes on each side. 4. Turn off the grill but continue cooking the steak, flipping every 4–5 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 125 F. Remove from grill. 5. Allow the roast to rest — its internal temperature will continue to climb — for 5–10 minutes. Slice and serve. directions

Inspired by Primal Palate


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439 Washington Street Dedham, MA 02026 Inside This Issue


A Tribute to Roberta: World’s Best Mom and Legal Secretary

How to Avoid Allergies This Spring


Why Do I Need A Will?


How Crazy Ideas Become Innovations

Grilled Prime Rib


Boston Shows Support for Boston Health Care Workers

The Good News in Boston Supporting Front-line Health Care Workers

the option to buy hot meals for hospital employees. For example, Shy Bird, a bar, cafe, and rotisserie in Cambridge, announced a program to allow anyone to buy a meal for $10 and have it delivered to a Massachusetts General Hospital worker. Similarly, a service called Off Their Plate collaborates with many other restaurants to allow $10 donations to provide a meal for front-line health care workers. Since April 3, it has provided more than 31,000 meals and supplied about $155,550 in wages to workers throughout Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco. If you have the chance, try giving the service a go and fuel the good news stories of the future!

some of the Beth Israel staff, Krasinski brought on the Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz and announced the Boston team is going to donate four tickets to everybody at Beth Israel. Not just once, but for life. The show also gave the workers a much- needed break with a private (sanitized!) Duck Boat ride and reserved the entire Fenway Field for the workers to play baseball in. The large screen showed various videos of local celebrities and political officials clapping for the health care workers, encouraging them to keep on keeping on. That doesn’t mean noncelebrity Bostonians haven’t stepped up in their own big way, too. Multiple local restaurants have started offering

Instead of our local events, Brooks & Crowley wanted to share all of the latest local feel-good stories we’ve been hearing about. While these times might be tough, the world still has a lot to give, and people are giving now more than ever. However, it seems like one Bostonian has beat us to the punch! You might recognize John Krasinski as Jim from “The Office,” but he’s also a Newton, Massachusetts, native and has a new show called “Some Good News,” a YouTube exclusive where Krasinski announces the best news to come out of the COVID-19 crisis. In the third episode, Krasinski honored the nurses and respiratory therapists in the COVID-19 unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, right here in Boston. While in a video chat with


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