Phyllis Law - January 2020 | 404.514.3397

Protecting Bright Futures


Bright Futures Bulletin


T here is a simple sentence ingrained in my brain. I couldn’t get it out if I tried. I learned this motto while a student at Marietta High School (1988–1992). “Be somebody.” It was coined by the great Coach Benjamin Tyrone “Ben”Wilkins, the head football coach at Lemon Street High School, which ultimately integrated into Marietta High School. Coach Ben coached the Lemon Street Football team to win the state championship in 1966. The next year, Lemon Street integrated with Marietta High, and Ben joined the coaching staff as assistant coach. The Marietta Blue Devils won the state championship in 1967. Incidentally, the Blue Devils won their second state football championship in December 2019, which prompted me to write this article. After Coach Ben passed away, Coach Friday Richards took the baton from him. He made sure students knew the motto and lived it. Fridaywas an all-state running back for Marietta High in 1971. He played for University of Florida and spent two years in the NFL. He returned to Marietta High School and had a long and successful career for 15 years as the head football coach. I was lucky enough to know himwell. He was so much more than a coach. He preached and lived the motto, “Be somebody”. He made every student feel loved. He saw the good in everyone, and he let you know it, too. He took in many kids to his own home who did not have anywhere else to go. He was not going to see kids fail on his watch.

And none of us wanted to disappoint him. Ultimately, that taught us not to disappoint ourselves.

I know now that this motto was part of the foundation that built me to the person I am today. I knowwhat Coach Ben really meant when he said, “Be somebody”. It doesn’t matter who you choose to be; just choose something. Make your mark. Whatever you choose to do, do it well. Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent, doctor, lawyer, landscaper, teacher, sanitation worker, coach, or social worker, do it well. And, most importantly, use your craft to influence others in a powerful way. I chose the law. It is an honor for me to represent people in crisis. I wish I had known when I was a student that everything I was learning, inside and outside of the classroom, was preparing me for my purpose. And that purpose is to show people that they will make mistakes, but they can get through it and become even better through the journey. The only failure is in giving up. We work hard at my firm to broker second chances for young people who have made mistakes. We invest in their growth and guide them through the struggle. Many times, they just need to hear that they are SOMEBODY already and that they can BECOME the person they want to be — that it is totally within their control and reach to BE SOMEBODY. I

"He was not going to see kids fail on his watch."

hope Coach Friday would be proud of what we are doing.

–Phyllis Gingrey Collins

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Help Your Kids Achieve More This Year

With Simple, Actionable Goals

With every newyear comes an opportunity to reinvent ourselves or start down a new path toward self-improvement. Making resolutions is a big part of many families’ NewYear’s traditions, and parents often have a desire for their kids to take part in that tradition when they’re old enough. Following through on resolutions is tough, especially for young children, but with your help, they can achieve their goals. Practicewhat you preach. You are your children’s role model for almost everything, including following through on New Year’s resolutions. So, ask yourself if you follow through on your own resolutions. When you proclaim that you will read more books or finally get a gym membership, do you actually try to do it? Your kids will assign as much importance to NewYear’s resolutions as you do, so by sticking to your own commitments, you can help them stay on track too.

I hear this question a lot, especially in my role as a judge, but it’s a very good question. Anyone accused of wrongdoing enjoys the presumption of innocence. The court presumes that the accused is not guilty, unless and until the prosecutor proves the case beyond a reasonable doubt. That is a high burden of proof for the government — just the way our forefathers wanted it. As a society, we are more comfortable allowing guilty people to go free than convicting innocent people. That is why we have the greatest criminal justice system in the world. Defense attorneys ensure we uphold the protections afforded in the Constitution. Sometimes, even if someone is guilty, the prosecutor has problems with the evidence. Certain types of evidence will not be admissible at trial. It’s the attorney’s job to identify that evidence. That lack of admissible evidence can be used to negotiate a favorable plea agreement. Prosecutors are usually willing to reduce charges to less serious offenses if they realize they may struggle to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. their first attempts will probably be very broad. Statements like “I want to be more kind” or “I will try to help more around the house” incorporate good values but don’t include any actionable steps. Help your kids think of tangible ways to act on those goals. For example, if theywant to be tidier, a good resolution might be for them to clean their room once a week or take responsibility for one household chore every day. Don’t do all thework for them. While it’s important for you to help your kids formulate their goals, be sure that you aren’t taking over. If they’re ultimately responsible for their resolutions, they’ll feel more compelled Keep things simple and achievable. When your kids are forming their resolutions,

In addition, there may be special programs available such as diversion, drug court, DUI court, etc. These programs give accused people an opportunity for dismissal of charges after completing community service, treatment, restitution, etc. Usually, these programs are only available to people who are represented by counsel. Finally, defense counsel is there to tell the story of the accused. The prosecutor only sees what is within the four corners of the paper: the police report, criminal history, written statements/videos/audios, etc. It is the job of defense counsel to tell the prosecutor and the court who the accused is, where they work, who their family is, what their community contributions are, what their education is, and anything else that shows the value of giving them a second chance. If you or someone you know has been accused of committing a crime, at least seek a free consultation with a lawyer. Tell them what your goals are. Ask them if it’s possible to achieve those goals. You can always make the decision to not retain them. Better to be safe than sorry. We are happy to provide a free hour consultation to anyone in need. to keep them. Instead, suggest different goal areas they could improve, such as home, school, or sports, and let them elaborate. When it comes to creating habits, nobody is perfect, so even if your kids falter on their goals in the middle of February, don’t worry. The important thing is that you continue to encourage them every step of the way.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer if I’mNot Guilty?

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SUDOKU BREAK Solution on pg. 4

Live Your Dream I attended a conference recently to work on my business. At lunch, I met one of the event vendors who was sitting at my table. It would end up being one of those chance meetings that would change the course of my life. He went on to explain that he is hired by companies to work with their employees to identify their dreams and create plans to reach those dreams. The theory is that if employers invest in the dreams of their employees, they will be loyal to the company and fully vested in the mission of the organization, thereby delivering a better product to clients. Now, that got me thinking … The dream manager told me about realizing his own dream. He explained how he and his wife loaded up their minivan one day with all five of their kids, all under age 14, and headed for the road. They had a dream to travel the country with their family, so they did it. They decided to work through all the obstacles. They home- schooled their kids. They made sure wherever they “stayed” was close to an airport so he could continue to work. He was a quiet, unassuming guy, but when he told me what he did, my jaw dropped. He was a dream manager. What?

How toMake Your Own Sauerkraut Inspired by

Cabbage is in season right now, which means it’s the perfect time to try your hand at making sauerkraut. The fermented cabbage requires only two ingredients, keeps for months, and is packed with beneficial probiotics.

He said it was the best year of his life.

And you knowwhat happened next? He asked me about my dream. Well, that took me a minute. I told him I wanted to rent a summer house at the beach or the lake. He asked if I imagined my kids there with me. Of course, I said yes. Then came the bombshell question: “How old is your oldest child?”


• •

● 2 lbs cabbage

“He’s 15,” I replied.

● 4 tsp fine sea salt

The dream manager said, “So, you have two, maybe three more chances?


That stopped me dead in my tracks. I realized the time is now. So, I immediately set out to execute a plan to get it done. In addition, I asked each of my employees at to identify their dreams. We all committed to working together to realize their dreams. We know this investment in the team will ultimately benefit our clients and further our firm mission of brokering second chances.

• •

● Jar

● Lid with airlock

• ● Something to weigh down cabbage, ideally made of a nonreactive material like glass


I encourage each of you to do the same. Identify your dream, write it down, and set out a detailed plan to make it happen. Don’t let it pass you by. Good luck!

1. Remove outer leaves from cabbage. Slice very thinly. 2. In a large bowl, combine cabbage and salt. Let stand for 20 minutes. 3. Squeeze cabbage to release juices. Let the cabbage continue to soak and release juices for another 20 minutes. 4. Transfer to a jar and press down cabbage until completely submerged in its juices. Weigh down cabbage. 5. Seal jar with airlock. Let cabbage sit at room temperature and away from sunlight for one month. Once fermented, transfer to the fridge. Sauerkraut will keep for six months to one year.

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Solution from pg. 3

Inside This Issue

Be Somebody 1

Helping Your Kids Make NewYear’s Resolutions

Why Do I Need a Lawyer if I’m Not Guilty? 2

Live Your Dream

How to Make Your Own Sauerkraut 3

Real Winter Wonderlands 4

Escape to aWinterWonderland

Chill Out in These Frosty Destinations

Snow is magical and gorgeous — unless you have to commute in it. If you want to enjoy all the wonder that winter has to offer without the hassle, why not turn it into a vacation? Here are a few breathtaking, snow-covered destinations that any winter lover can enjoy. Above the city of Gyeongju, this ancient Buddhist temple has stood on the slopes of Tohamsan Mountain since the eighth century. Bulguksa, or “Temple of the Buddha Land,” is South Korea’s No. 1 UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it a popular attraction for domestic and international tourism. The crowds and school tours die Bulguksa Temple, SouthKorea

down during the winter, however, which also happens to be when Bulguksa is at its most pristine. The iced-over lotus ponds and snow-dusted pagodas add to the sense of tranquility this site naturally exudes.

The Dolomites, SouthTyrol, Italy

If you want the feel of a ski trip to the Alps without the packed slopes and ritzy resorts, the Dolomites are just for you. Located in northeastern Italy, this stunning mountain range is home to some of the best skiing in Europe, as well as many historical sites. The secluded villages that dot the mountain valleys are an attraction in their own right, especially for the rustic cuisine you’ll find there. Don’t expect pasta though. This region is a melting pot of flavors from Austria, northern Italy, and the local Ladin people. Ricotta and sauerkraut pancakes, anyone? This is the one entry on this list that is best enjoyed during the summer months, which is December–February in the Southern Hemisphere, because that’s when the freezing temperatures of the southernmost continent are at their most hospitable. The Antarctic has become an increasingly popular tourist destination, with cruises taking adventure seekers through the vast, untouched beauty of this far-flung destination. Some tourists even enjoy kayaking or cross-country skiing through this icy paradise. The Antarctic

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