77 Central Street, Manchester, NH 03101 • www.DaveNixonLaw.com • 603.669.7070 • April 2018
FROM REAL EXPERIENCES Before my disability, I loved to golf. One time on the course, I learned what an incredible
W hen I was a kid, my parents didn’t read me any of those typical children’s stories. Since both of my parents are deaf, I didn’t get read to aloud. So, I grew up not knowing any of the typical nursery rhymes or fairy tales. When my wife Anne and I started to read these kinds of stories to our kids, they were all new to me. One night, my youngest daughter Rebecca asked me to read her a story just to help her fall asleep. Rebecca is 12 and is perfectly capable of reading on her own, but she was restless that evening and said she wanted to listen to my voice while I read to her. I didn’t see any problem with it, so I read to her “The Story of the Three Bears,” but it had me reeling. I found myself thinking, “What kinds of lessons are these stories teaching our kids?” Goldilocks wanders through the forest on her own, trespasses into the bears’ house, breaks their furniture, and eats all their food. “Hansel and Gretel” is similarly problematic. The children in the story also invade a stranger’s home and help themselves to her food, but this time, they push the owner of the house into a fire, too! I am always unsure of what these stories are trying to teach kids. So instead of reading these fairy tales to my children, I try to tell them about real ones instead. A true event might teach them a more valuable lesson than breaking and entering. One of my favorite stories to tell is about my grandfather, Alex Simoneau, who lived to be 103.
man my grandfather was. I had gathered all my clubs
and was handing my credit card to the guy across the counter to pay for the day. He glanced at my card and asked, “Your last name is Simoneau? Are you related to Alex Simoneau?” Puzzled, I confirmed that he was my grandfather. The man promptly handed my card back to me and said that I could play for free that day. He also requested I tell my grandfather that Mr. Smith — that’s what he called himself — said thanks. The exchange had me eager to talk to my grandfather. The next time I saw him, I asked about this man, Mr. Smith, and how my grandfather knew him. During the Depression, my grandfather owned a coal supply, and his product was generally used to heat people’s homes. Apparently, Mr. Smith had been a little boy during that era, and his father owed my grandfather money. The story goes that Mr. Smith’s dad had passed away, leaving his wife and son in debt. The wife, was aware of the debt and wanted to do all she could to settle it. She went to my grandfather to inform him of her husband’s passing and tell him she would pay as soon as she was able. Well, my grandfather told her that her husband had settled the debt a few weeks prior to his death and she owed nothing. So he lied, and even the wife knew it. Then, a whopping 75 years later, I was gifted a free round of golf from the woman’s son. What are the chances? When my grandfather told me the story, it was clear that he wasn’t bragging. And had I never asked, I probably would have never known. Grandfather died 5 or 6 years after he told the tale. Around that time, his family priest, Father Paul, gave me a curious ledger. In it, I found name after name of people my grandfather helped in a similar way. I was awed by the pages recounting all of those whose debts my grandfather forgave. He had every right to collect what was owed, but my grandfather acted with spectacular compassion instead.
I tell my kids the moral of the story: You never know when the act of kindness will come around. These true stories are the tales that have the most meaning, offering our children life lessons they can carry throughout their lives.
Kirk Simoneau 603.669. 7070 • 1
Guiding You Through Life’s Trials
Don’t Forget to Clean the Heart of Your Home THE IMPORTANCE OF SPRING CLEANING YOUR UTILITY ROOM
The start of spring brings everyone’s favorite seasonal chore — spring cleaning! As you dust, vacuum, organize, and declutter, don’t forget about the one room that often gets neglected. This year, give special attention to the utility closet. The utility closet houses your furnace, boiler, water heater, A/C junction, and other similar large appliances. Homeowners often forget about these appliances because they are out of sight and out of mind, and this can cost a lot in the long run. Like all the other rooms in your home, this space needs to be kept clean. Dust, for instance, can be hard on HVAC systems. Over time, it accumulates in the HVAC intake and clogs the air filter, reducing its effectiveness and efficiency. This results in a short lifespan for your system, higher power bills, and a poorly heated or cooled home.
• Family homes (three or more occupants) with no pets or allergies: 3–6 months.
• Family homes with at least one pet or minor allergies: 2–3 months.
• Family homes with multiple pets or allergies: 1–2 months.
In addition to changing the air filter, it’s important to schedule a routine inspection of your home’s HVAC system. This includes an inspection of the appliances themselves and any connecting ducts. Dust, dander, and mold can accumulate in the ducts and spread throughout the home, which can lead to health issues, including respiratory problems. A routine inspection will identify potential problems in your HVAC system. On top of that, you can get these systems professionally cleaned and maintained. These are simple steps that will keep your home’s air systems running smoothly for years to come. Plus, you’ll be ready for the summer months ahead!
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU REPLACE YOUR AIR FILTER?
• Homes with minimal foot traffic (single or double occupancy) and no pets or allergies: 6–12 months.
A FRIVOLOUS LAWSUIT:
Acting the Foo c e oo
April Fools’ has long been a day for joking around with people. You might play a couple of harmless pranks on family members, co-workers, or friends the first of the month and maybe even throughout the week. One thing’s for sure though: whether it’s April Fools’ or not, no one wants to be a “fool.” Some people play the part though. A young man made a foolish decision that made him out to be worse than he actually is. The man was a bright and athletic sort, someone who had worked hard his whole, brief life. As a child, he played little league, and he continued to play baseball as he grew up. He continued to hit, pitch, and catch throughout the years and became quite skilled at the sport. In high school, he excelled even further. He was his team’s starting pitcher, and he felt he had a good chance of earning a college scholarship or being picked up by a professional team.
But, despite all that effort and success, the only offer that came to him was from a “lesser” college. They offered a scholarship, but it wasn’t the full ride he had hoped for. This young man, who had worked hard at something he loved all his life, was thoroughly upset and discouraged, as anyone would be. But, instead of accepting the situation, he began to search for someone to take the fall for why this had happened. The young man decided to hire a lawyer — or at least try to — in order to sue the doctor who had delivered him, the theory being that the doctor must have done something wrong when he was born. While it was understandable for him to be upset about not getting the scholarships he wanted, there was no need for such a frivolous lawsuit. If you ever find yourself in an upsetting position, whether it be April or not, avoid playing the fool and think before you file such a lawsuit.
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Just last month, we at Nixon, Vogelman, Barry, Slawsky & Simoneau settled a case that went well for both us and the client. The case involved a young woman who had a prior connection with one of our lawyers, Kirk Simoneau, who had coached her in basketball when she was little. The client was still a minor when she reached out to us for Simoneau to represent her. This connection led to such a pleasant outcome for us both. Our client had been driving with her family when their car was rear-ended — essentially, smashed — by a utility truck. The collision left our client with a rather nasty broken leg, which healed well.
But in this case, the two insurance companies caused an issue.
capable of representing her to the insurance companies and articulating her character. In the end, our client received a pretty large sum of money considering the type of case it was. Connecting to the client on a personal basis truly helped make the case special. Being able to tell your story from a human perspective is something we at Nixon, Vogelman, Barry, Slawsky & Simoneau know how to do. If you’ve suffered from a personal injury, we can represent you and do everything we can to help you receive what you deserve.
Instead of cooperating to help our client, the companies were arguing over who was going to pay for what. Rather than making a huge demand, we gave them the option to each pay half or to explain to a judge why they refused to pay. They finally complied, and we were able to settle her case for six figures. The key to this particular success was how Simoneau was able to connect with our client. Having known her before, he was more than
Be Inspired and
Have a Laugh
603.669. 7070 • 3
Guiding You Through Life’s Trials
77 Central Street Manchester, NH 03101 www.DaveNixonLaw.com 603.669.7070
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INSIDE This Issue
What Are Stories Truly Teaching Our Kids?
Spring Clean Your Utility Room A Frivolous Lawsuit
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Connections and Negotiations
This Season’s Best Family Activity
SEARCHING FOR SPRING Family Scavenger Hunts Made Easy
Spring is in bloom, and there’s no better time to get some fresh air. If you are looking for a way to get your family outside and away from their screens, why not plan a spring-themed scavenger hunt? More than just a fun way to spend the afternoon, scavenger hunts build problem-solving skills, encourage teamwork, and get your family to exercise their minds and bodies. Here are some tips on how to plan a memorable family scavenger hunt.
worry about losing anything you find, and your teams can more safely collect certain items. For example, bird feathers are a great item for a spring scavenger hunt, but you don’t want your kids to touch them. Make a rule that a team member must appear in every picture so no one can cheat by finding photos online.
PLAY IN TEAMS
CUSTOMIZE YOUR LIST
DON’T FORGET THE PRIZES!
Your whole family can participate together, but it can also be fun to strike up some friendly competition with teams. Have at least one parent or an older, responsible sibling on each team to make sure everyone stays safe and follows the rules.
There are plenty of scavenger hunt lists online, but it’s more fun to brainstorm with your family. Have everyone think of three to five spring- related items, like yellow flowers, a kite, or a rabbit-shaped cloud. Do some research into your local flora and fauna. If you put a bluebird on the list, you might want to make sure there are bluebirds in your area.
Prizes don’t have to be elaborate to be fun. It can be something simple, like Popsicles or fake medals, or maybe the winning team gets to pick a restaurant for dinner. Scavenger hunts are one of the best ways to create lasting family memories this spring without breaking the bank. Just get your list, gather your family, and have fun. Happy hunting!
Since everyone has a camera on their phone, why not use it? By taking pictures, you don’t have to
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