Smith Wallis & Scott February 2018

FEB 2018


327 Bankhead Hwy, Carrollton, GA 30117


than going through the jury system. You have to show that they got hurt on the job, as opposed to tort law, where you have to prove someone is at fault. I liked the idea of representing the injured worker and seeking justice on their behalf. In this role, you’re representing the little guy who is out of work, trying to get by with no funds, and receiving no money. You’re up against the insurance company that has all the resources in the world. They can hire all the people they want. It’s a little bit like David and Goliath, and I find it encouraging to be on David’s side. Our firm is very focused on providing excellent service to our clients. We are problem solvers, and if our clients have problems, we’ll do anything in our power to solve them. Being involved in our community is also important to us. Our client appreciation party last year was a highlight because we got to interact with so many great people. We had a grill out and enjoyed food and drinks and great conversation. I’m looking forward to even more community involvement from our firm this year. Tennis is my biggest pastime and the way I unwind after work. I usually play five days a week, weather permitting. I played in high school, both singles and doubles, but I focus on singles now because it’s more of a workout, which I need. I mentioned that I went to UG, so it may come as no surprise that John Eisner is my favorite tennis player, and I’ll be sure to catch the match on TV when he’s playing. My favorite part about this job is being able to settle a case with terms that ensure my client receives a satisfying outcome. When someone comes to me, they’re hurt, possibly feeling desperate, and not getting any income. If I can settle a case so that it puts them back on their feet and they can return to the workforce, that’s my favorite.

My father was a police officer and a detective. In the summer, he’d go to court, and because I wasn’t in school, I went with him. This early exposure to a lawyer’s role in the judicial system sparked an interest that blossomed into my career. In court with my dad, I watched as the lawyers prosecuted people my father had brought in, and then I watched as the defense presented evidence to support the same people. It seemed that both sides were an important part of the justice system. I had a lot of respect for what they were doing and I admired the work. “That’s something I would like to do,” I thought. Of course, the reality of achieving your dreams often takes more effort than simply thinking about them. I had to get good grades to make sure I could pay for law school, and I worked to get a high score on the LSAT. Once I got to the University of Georgia, I found law school to be a tremendous amount of work. Classes were very hard, but despite that, I’m very glad I did it. In particular, my tort class became an area of interest. Torts are civil wrongs committed against someone, and I thought I might practice this type of law. But when I got out of law school, I found my way into workers’ comp law, and I’m happy my career led me here. With workers’ comp law, when someone gets injured, you have an administrative system where they can get relief, rather

If you find yourself in that situation, we are here to help. David against Goliath.

–Ken Smith



MATH Baking is a numbers game. Just take a look at any recipe, and you’ll recognize the importance of math in building a beautiful cake. Having children measure out ingredients helps them learn about fractions and ratios. You can also test your kids by doubling or halving a recipe for multiplication and division practice. With older kids, practice unit conversions by asking, for example, how many pints are in half a gallon. FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS Not unlike computer science, baking requires a strict order of operations. The wet and dry ingredients often need to be mixed separately and then folded together. It only takes one deviation from the instructions for a pastry to go from delicious to disgusting. Spending time in the kitchen, then, is a great way for kids to learn the importance of reading directions carefully and comprehending what they’ve just read. CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING Cuisine is a fundamental part of every culture. Introducing your child to dishes from around the world will expand their horizons. Want your child to be a less picky eater? Involving them in the cooking process is the surest way to get them excited about trying new flavors and ingredients. What Your Child Can Learn From Baking NUTRITION Now, you might not think that baking cookies will encourage greater nutritional awareness, but hear us out. Sugar is often buried within packaged foods. When you bake something at home, a child gets to see, firsthand, just how much sugar goes into certain sweets. Meanwhile, cooking savory dishes also allows them to learn what constitutes a balanced, healthy diet. EDUCATION IN THE KITCHEN

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, you’re probably wracking your brain for the perfect recipe to bake for your loved one. There’s nothing wrong with store-bought chocolate, but there’s no topping the personal touch of some homemade baked goods. If you have kids, baking alongside them can be just as rewarding as enjoying the fruits of your labor. As an added bonus, baking is a hands-on opportunity where your child can learn all sorts of important concepts. Here is a short list of some of the educational lessons hiding in your kitchen.


The word autonomy comes from the Greek ‘autonomous,’ meaning “to have one’s own laws.” On the road to recovery, a patient’s autonomy, or sense of independence, plays an important role. According to a study in SciELO journal, when patients feel autonomous, they’re more likely to act on that feeling and develop their independence. Conversely, when we feel reliant on others, the resulting loss of autonomy can lead to depression and further reliance on others. As the article explains, “When we fall ill, we want and we need the care of others, be it the specialized knowledge that a professional has to share, be it the affection and emotional support that professionals, friends, or relatives can bring. This, in itself, doesn’t reduce a sick person’s autonomy; on the contrary, it may even strengthen it.” But when support turns into enabling, and an injured or sick person becomes dependent on you, their autonomy is lost, and the relationship has turned from helpful to harmful.

find their favorite movie or TV series and watch it with them. How about a painting night so they can exercise their creative mind? As you plan an activity, keep their limitations in mind. A hike, for example, may put too much stress on their injury and make them feel worse about their limitations, so plan accordingly. Remember the importance of autonomy as you help your loved one, and resist the urge to smother with too-frequent check-ins or offers of assistance. Don’t be offended if your offers are rejected; car accident victims sometimes need time to process things out before they can truly accept help from others. One of the easiest ways you can help a loved one after an accident? Send them to Smith, Wallis & Scott, LLP. Compassionate legal counsel always helps, so get in touch with us today at (770) 214-2500.

A loved one needs to feel that you are there to support them if they need help, but they also need to feel that they can function as an individual.

How can you help your loved one during their recovery without inhibiting it?

Distraction might be the best gift to give. If your loved one is a strategy wizard, suggest a game night where they can practice their skills. You might



From ‘The Georgia Workers’ Compensation Survival Guide’

“If you don’t know the past, you are doomed to repeat it.” With that in mind, let’s review Georgia’s development of workers’ compensation and where it exists today so we can understand the past and carry these important legal protections into the future.

self-insured employers and insurance company assessments. Any Georgia worker who is injured at work and who is covered under the law may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and physical therapy services, among other benefits.


In this excerpt from our book, you’ll learn how the laws have evolved over the years to provide protection to injured workers.


Georgia’s current workers’ compensation law applies to all employers with three or more full-time or part-time employees, including public corporations and nonprofits. The law allows employees with job-related injuries to receive specific benefits without regard for negligence or fault. It also provides employers with limited liability. Per state regulations, Georgia employers receive coverage for workers’ compensation either through private insurance companies or self-insurance programs. A worker’s rights under the workers’ compensation law disqualify him or her from taking other legal action against the employer in the event of a work-related injury. To learn more about workers comp in Georgia, including where exceptions apply, download your free copy of “The Georgia Workers’ Compensation Survival Guide” by visiting Your guide to answering challenging questions, and to some peace of mind, is only a click away.

Employees around the turn of the 20th century technically could file lawsuits, but these legal actions were generally unsuccessful and brutal for everyone involved. The trials were long and expensive, and businesses suffered serious brand damage. Injured workers, meanwhile, often came away from the experience with no way of paying for medical bills and other costs. Both sides of the labor equation realized something big needed to change, and they eventually struck a grand bargain: Workers would relinquish their right to sue for injuries at work (with some exceptions) in exchange for guarantees for compensation. In 1920, the Georgia State Legislature instituted the State Board of Workers’ compensation to oversee this process. Today, the board serves over 250,000 Georgia employers and over 3.8 million employees. It receives funding from


Sure, your showoff pal can wrap a tater tot with a piece of bacon and call it “The Daniel,” but you can take it a step further. Prepare a couple batches of these savory snacks for your Super Bowl party or the next family get-together. Snag a few for yourself before they disappear!


2 cups frozen tater tots, defrosted

4 slices bacon, quartered

Winners will be announced Wednesday, February 14th HAVE A LAUGH

1 ounce sharp cheddar, cut into 1/4-inch squares

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon chopped parsley


1. Heat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 2. Press a cheese square into each tot,

3. Place tots seam side down on baking sheet. Bake for 20–25 minutes, using metal tongs to turn halfway through. 4. Garnish with parsley, if desired, and serve immediately.

then wrap with a piece of bacon. Dredge each tot in brown sugar.

Recipe inspired by




770-214-2500 INSIDE THIS ISSUE

327 Bankhead Hwy Carrollton, GA 30117

1 2

Ken’s Take On Law and Tennis

Cook Your Way to Better Grades

How to Show Support After an Accident


A History of Georgia’s Workers’ Comp

Bring These to Your Super Bowl Party


What Happened to February?

new moon will always land right around Valentine’s Day. There’s no chance of even a waxing crescent for couples on that special night. But, how did this come to pass? February used to not exist at all. The calendar used by the ancient Romans would, at a glance, look very familiar to us. Its months had 30 and 31 days, and the year ended in December. But both January and February were missing. This is because the Romans, as an agricultural society, didn’t feel the need to track winter months. The days and weeks between December and the spring equinox were just, well, nothing. Eventually, the calendar was updated to more accurately reflect the lunar cycle. January and February were added, and the year was extended to 355 days. At the time, people believed that even numbers were unlucky, and the Roman ruler of that era, King Pompilius, was hesitant to create any more even-numbered months. But, to get everything to add up to 355, he had to leave one month stuck with unlucky number 28. And the rest is history. Over the centuries, days were added here and there, the leap year was eventually instituted by Julius Caesar, and we came to the 365-day calendar we know today. But this year, as we let Valentine’s Day pass in the dark, think back to the legacy of King Pompilius and his one unlucky month. WHY IS FEBRUARY SO SHORT? And Why Is There No Full Moon This Month?

If you were planning a romantic, moonlit stroll sometime this month, you’d better reschedule for March. But, on the bright side, if you’re terrified of werewolves, you can rest easy for the entire month of February. Every 20 years or so, because of its 28-day length, February lands between the zeniths of the lunar cycle. February passes without a full moon, while January and March get to double up. Astronomers call this event a “black moon,” and it’s happening this year for the first time since 1999.

There’s a certain irony that comes with the full moon skipping the most romantic month of the year. In fact, a black moon February ensures that the


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