Skaug Law - April 2020

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April 2020

Reading Books: An Essential Element of a Free Society

Celebrating National Library Week About 15 years ago, I was appointed by the mayor of Nampa to serve on the Nampa Library Advisory Board, and I did so happily for a few years. Since the greatest societies throughout history have had the greatest libraries, I considered it a privilege to serve the public library in my community. I’m not just telling you this out of the blue, however. The first week of April is National Library Week, and because of how important libraries, books, and reading are to a free society, I think this is a celebration worth observing.

Today, I have Kevin France to thank for my love of nonfiction, specifically books about history. I remember reading all about people like Marquis de Lafayette, a Frenchman who helped the Continental Army in the American Revolution. His biography was one of my favorites. He was a national hero in both the American and French Revolutions, and the French actually offered him the position of dictator of France. He declined, just like George Washington declined to lead the United States for life when he was elected president. I read all about him and other people in my classes when I should have been paying attention to the teacher. Ironically, by reading in class, I inadvertently taught myself a lot and fostered my love of reading even more. I love reading pretty much any type of book today, whether it be fiction or nonfiction. I live vicariously through so many people and characters by reading, and I visit far off places without leaving my home. Every time I read a book, I feel like I can approach the world with a little more intelligence and wisdom than before. Perhaps one of the most important benefits of reading books that I’ve found, however, is that I can learn about perspectives that differ from my own. It’s important to read books with authors or points you disagree with. Sometimes, they might even change your mind! Whenever I hear someone say that they don’t like to read, I don’t understand it. If you don’t read, you miss out on countless opportunities to learn new things. We live in a free society, and we have access to a wealth of knowledge in our libraries that many other people only dream of having. Why would we pass up the opportunity to access it? Even though we have so much information available to us on the internet now, libraries are still invaluable parts of our communities — even if only as testaments to the importance of sharing information and stories.

“Every time I read a book, I feel like I can approach the world with a little more intelligence and wisdom than before.”

My love of reading goes back to the second grade. I remember loving the “Dan Frontier” children’s books. They were a fictional series about a frontiersman named, you guessed it, Dan Frontier, and all his adventures in the American West. Then, one day, another kid in my class named Kevin France asked me why I wasn’t reading about real people, like Daniel Boone or the American presidents. I perceived Kevin to be smarter than I was, so I figured I would give nonfiction a shot.

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What to Do When Your Workers’ Comp Claim Gets Denied You reported your injury within 60 days and filled out the proper forms to file a workers’ comp claim. Now, your employer is denying your claim and forcing you to take on all the medical costs for an injury that happened under their roof, on their time, and you’re drowning in medical bills. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make sure you get properly compensated by your employer, even after they deny your claim. For a formal complaint, you will record what happened, what medical treatments you’ve received, and the damages you’re requesting from your employer. Then, you need to send a copy to both your employer and their workers’ compensation carrier. When they receive this form, they will have to respond to your concerns in a legal document called an answer. The IIC will also assign you a commissioner to help you monitor the status of your appeal. GO THROUGH THE MEDIATION PROCESS. Mediation is less formal than an appeal hearing. It’s a way to see if the disagreement between you and your employer can be quickly resolved before proceeding to an actual appeal. If you reach an agreement in the mediation process, your case doesn’t need to go any further. FILE A FORMAL REQUEST FOR A HEARING. If mediation doesn’t work, then the next step is your appeal hearing. The hearing will be similar to a civil trial, with evidence presented and witnesses called. Depending on the amount of evidence, the number of witnesses, and a few other factors, the hearing could be as short as a few hours or as long as a few weeks. Once you and your employer present everything, the IIC commissioner will review the evidence and give you a decision within 90 days of the hearing. CHALLENGE THE DECISION. If things don’t end in your favor, you can ask the IIC to reconsider within 20 days of learning their decision. If that doesn’t work, you can appeal to the Idaho Supreme Court within 42 days. Throughout this process, it is important to have Skaug Law in your corner. We are the biggest workers’ comp firm in Idaho, and we will fight for your case. Give us a call today at (208) 466-0030. FILE A FORMAL COMPLAINT WITH THE IDAHO INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION (IIC).

Something in the Water

Why Rob Bilott Took on DuPont Rob Bilott never should have agreed to represent Wilbur Tennant’s case. The cattle farmer had presented evidence of the strange malady plaguing his cattle to lawyers, politicians, and veterinarians in Parkersburg, West Virginia, but no one took Tennant’s case seriously. The videos and photographs Tennant had collected showed cattle with patchy fur, growths and lesions, white slime coming from their mouths, and staggering gaits. Tennant told Bilott that the abnormal behavior and physical deformities had started after his brother Jim sold his property to DuPont, a chemical company with a big presence in Parkersburg. Jim’s property bordered on Wilbur’s, and a stream running from Jim’s property provided water for all the cattle and wildlife in the area. Since the sale, the stream had become frothy and discolored, and the animals that drank from it were sick, malformed, or dead, including 153 of Tennant’s 200 cows. When Bilott stumbled upon a letter from DuPont to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the real horror story began to emerge — one that went far beyond the boundaries of Tennant’s farm and into the drinking water of every American. The letter mentioned a mysterious chemical called PFOA, and Bilott requested documentation from DuPont to find out more about it. However, the company refused, so Bilott requested a court order. Soon, dozens of disorganized boxes filled with thousands of 50-year-old files arrived at Bilott’s firm. He was worried he wouldn’t be able to find anything incriminating or even conclusive in the mess of documents, but soon, his time as an environmental lawyer helped him see the bigger picture. It became clear that DuPont had orchestrated a massive cover-up regarding their use of PFOA. PFOA is used in the manufacturing of Teflon, and the company had knowingly exposed workers and the Parkersburg water supply to it. Bilott filed a class-action suit as a medical monitoring claim on behalf of the people of Parkersburg, and, as of 2011, a probable link between PFOA and six health conditions, including two types of cancer, has been found. Because of the medical monitoring claim, plaintiffs can file personal injury lawsuits against DuPont. So far, 3,535 people have. If it weren’t for Bilott and Tennant, the public might have never known the dangers of PFOA. But when Bilott saw the evidence for himself, it was clear that something was wrong.

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Why Shouldn’t I Represent Myself in Court? 3 Reasons to Leave It to the Professionals

YOUR EMOTIONS WILL GET IN THE WAY. One of the best reasons to hire an attorney to defend you is to get someone in your corner who isn’t emotionally invested in the case. The best attorneys can use the facts of your case to create a compelling defense without getting bogged down by the emotions involved. Trying to emotionally divest yourself from the case in order to defend yourself is nearly impossible, and more likely than not, you’ll end up resorting to emotional arguments that won’t sway the judge and jury. THE JUDGE AND COURT STAFF CAN’T HELP YOU. Defending yourself is a lonely endeavor. The clerk responsible for managing records and providing information can’t help you actually fill out the forms or offer legal strategies. The judge can help you understand your rights and recommend you find council, but they’re prohibited from helping you beyond that. When you opt to not hire an attorney, you get rid of the one person who could guide you through any paperwork and offer advice on how to proceed in your case.

When it comes to fixing minor issues with your car or doing some basic home maintenance, you can probably get away with solving the problem yourself. When it comes to your legal defense in court however, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. What starts as an attempt to save money will quickly take a turn for the worse when you represent yourself in court. Consider these three major pitfalls. YOU COULD INCRIMINATE YOURSELF. While you might feel like you have a good grip on the facts of your case, that doesn’t mean you can convey them effectively to a judge and jury. In fact, some of the facts that you think could help your case might not actually be a legal defense. Presenting information in the incorrect format is the easiest way to incriminate yourself and, in turn, lose the case.

Don’t go through the headache of defending yourself only to lose your case. Give the attorneys at Skaug Law a call at (208) 466-0030.

We Supports Kids’ Chance of Idaho

Beet, Goat Cheese, and Arugula Salad Ingredients

Inspired by FoodNetwork.com

Kids’ Chance of Idaho is a nonprofit organization that helps the children of injured workers continue receiving important education when they otherwise may not have the means to. They provide scholarships for children ages 16-25 who have a parent who’s been gravely affected by a workplace injury, and as a result can no longer provide the monetary support their kids need in order to pursue and achieve their educational goals. Kids’ Chance organizations have collectively awarded 5,593 scholarships totaling over $16,592,000 across the country. The Idaho organization is currently accepting submissions for scholarships until April 15, 2020. Skaug Law supports Kids’ Chance of Idaho and all the incredible work they do. If you know a child in need of one of their scholarships, or if you’d like to support the organization directly, visit KidsChanceOfIdaho.org to learn more.

• 6 cups fresh arugula • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped • 1/4 cup dried cranberries or cherries • 1/2 avocado, cubed • 2 oz crumbled goat cheese

• 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar • 3 tbsp shallots, thinly sliced • 1 tbsp honey • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil • Salt and pepper to taste • 6 beets, peeled and quartered

Directions

1. Heat oven to 450 F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. 2. In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, shallots, and honey. 3. Gradually whisk olive oil into the mixture and season with salt and pepper. 4. In a small bowl, toss the beets in dressing until they are coated. 5. Place coated beets on baking sheet and roast them for 12 minutes. Set the beets aside and allow them to cool. 6. In a large bowl, toss arugula, walnuts, and berries with the remaining vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper. 7. Top salad with beets, avocado, and goat cheese.

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Inspired by Food & Wine Magazine

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INSIDE THIS Issue

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An Essential Element of a Free Society

The Lawyer Who Took on a Multibillion- Dollar Company What to Do When Your Workers’ Comp Claim Gets Denied Why Shouldn’t I Represent Myself in Court? Beet, Goat Cheese, and Arugula Salad

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Tips for Raising Strong, Confident Women

Tips for Raising Strong, Confident Women Encouraging Your Little Girl In a time when it’s so easy to let technology and school run your child’s life, what’s your role as a parent or guardian? We often hear motivational quotes talking about the importance of risk-taking and resilience, but it can be tough for little girls to learn from just YouTube videos and school alone. Here’s how you can encourage your daughter to spark her own confidence during her toughest moments. brain grows and adapts rapidly whenever we encounter failure and that failure and mistakes are a part of life. Once they understand that failure isn’t permanent, they’ll be inspired to take risks and solve their problems. TRUST YOUR DAUGHTER WHILE TEACHING GRIT. Psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth studies successful people in a wide variety of fields, from business to the military, and has found that the quality most successful people share is grit. The ability to stay engaged with tough tasks for a long period of time is a skill that takes a long time to build, but it’s not impossible for your girl to begin developing grit right now. Duckworth believes the growth mindset can start young girls on a path to embracing failure and moving forward from it.

However, a lack of trust in your daughter can suffocate her growth. Despite all the adult-directed activities we give our kids, we need to step back and let them make some of their own decisions. We can give them encouragement and help along the way, but for the most part, we need to trust they can solve problems on their own.

ENCOURAGE BRAVERY AND A GROWTH MINDSET. Even children can feel pressured to perform to high standards yet stay within their comfort zone. They might think, “I’m not strong enough to climb this tree.” But whether it’s climbing trees or building things with others, small feelings of bravery can grow larger as they grow older.

When you put faith and trust in your little girl to handle her most difficult problems, she’ll learn to do the same for herself.

Confidence will be a crucial skill in their lives, so encourage a mindset focused on growth through the process of learning. Teach them how the

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