The Law Office of James R. Snell Jr. February 2018

18 FEB

Road to justice |

My Roots in Lexington Stretch Back Centuries

Discovering a Family Connection

Though I grew up in Spartanburg, South Carolina, my family has a long history in Lexington. I always knew my parents were from this area and my grandparents hailed from Gilbert and West Columbia. What I didn’t know until I began practicing law here is that my ties to the area

stretch back much further than that.

“Though I didn’t come here knowing about my ancestors, finding out about my heritage built a very strong connection between me and Lexington. It means a lot to know the community I’m now a part of was developed in part by my very own ancestors.”

If you’ve lived in Lexington long enough, you’ve probably heard the names Laurence and Barbara Corley. Laurence fought in the Revolutionary War, and his wife, Barbara, was affectionately known as “Granny.” They were prominent residents and did a lot of good for our community. The reverberations of their philanthropy are still being felt today. Their log cabin, built in 1772, is now part of the Lexington County Museum. They also happened to donate the land upon which our courthouse now stands. You can imagine my surprise when I found out that I’m a direct descendant of the Corleys. From our new office, I can almost see the Corley family burial plot. Though I didn’t come here knowing about my ancestors, finding out about my heritage built a very strong connection between me and Lexington. It means a lot to know the community I’m now a part of was developed in part by my very own ancestors. In fact, the courthouse, which bears a plaque dedicated to the Corley family, is where I was first sworn in as an attorney. As I was graduating law school, I already knew I wanted to open up my own practice immediately. What I needed to decide is where that practice would be located. I did a little research and discovered that Spartanburg and Lexington had the lowest number of lawyers per capita in the state. Seeing an opportunity to provide a valuable service and plant roots somewhere, I took the leap of faith and chose Lexington. It ended up being one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Of the 240 or so students from my graduating class, I think I was the only one that went into business for themselves right away. I didn’t even wait for the ink to dry on my papers to start working. While other lawyers went to the reception to celebrate, I already had a client who needed me. Mere minutes after officially becoming an attorney in the state of South Carolina, I started my career in earnest. Since that day, I’ve been fortunate enough to represent the great people of Lexington, the surrounding areas, and the rest of the state. The fact that I now try cases in a courtroom that owes its existence to one of my relatives inspires me to do my absolute best.

I don’t think I’ll ever have a plaque commemorating my achievements, but I hope I’ve played a small role in continuing the Corley legacy here.

–Jim Snell | | F: 803-359-7691 | P: 803-753-1476 1

How Young Minds Absorb a 2nd Language

And the Benefits of Learning Early

If you speak a second language, you have the unique ability to set your child up for a lifetime of

thing or change their responses, a skill called cognitive flexibility. The more you can expose your little one to different sounds in their first year, the more they’ll pick up those sounds as their brain creates new neural circuits. If you speak a second language and have a child at home, now is a great time to share it with them. Your child is especially ready to pick up new sounds and words, with the added benefit of learning their heritage. If you’re ready to teach your child a second language, here are a few ways to incorporate new words. 1. Take time to talk with your child in a second language during playtime. Research shows babies need personal interaction to learn, so switching on the TV in another language won’t suffice. 2. Increase vocabulary by giving options in a second language. Try questions like “Do you want juice or milk?” or “Do you want to play on the swings or by the tree?”

advantages. Not only does a second language benefit your child in adulthood, but learning another language also strengthens

multiple parts of their developing brain, according to Michigan State University. You may not want to overload your kids with two lexicons, but this is really not the case. Children quickly adapt to dual languages. The brain is a like a muscle, and like any other muscle in our body, the more it’s exercised, the stronger it becomes. With all the research floating around about how beneficial it is to teach your child a second language, you might wonder why youngsters pick up languages so easily. According to NBC News, the answer lies in their flexible minds. Children’s brains develop in response to external stimulants. Did you know that babies are born with the ability to distinguish the sounds of all languages? As they get older, even before their first birthday, they lose that ability. Kids are able to take in sounds, intonation, and language structure more easily than adults who have to painstakingly memorize verb structures and grammar. Children under 8 are especially primed to pick up a new language thanks to flexible ear and speech muscles. As they take in new words, it increases their ability to focus on one

3. Find a language exchange group or bilingual daycare to increase your child’s exposure to a second language.

If you don’t know a second language but want to give your child a head start, you can begin by learning new words together. How fun would it be if you become bilingual as a family?

When you think about a law office, European paintings probably aren’t the first things that come to your mind. But in addition to his relentless passion for helping our clients, Jim Snell is also something of a museum nerd. As we’ve undertaken the process of decorating our new office, Jim wanted the place to reflect our personalities. To that end, he’s put in the effort to order high-quality reproductions of his favorite paintings. Over the years, Jim and his wife have been lucky enough to visit some of the world’s most famous museums. On a trip to Paris, they spent a lot of time at the Louvre and the Musee D’Orsay. Jim thought it only fitting that we name two of our meeting rooms after these iconic destinations for art lovers. Once that was decided, he had the much harder task of deciding which paintings would fit best. Of course, we don’t have the wall space for even a tiny percentage of the masterpieces on display in these museums, so Jim had

to make some tough decisions. Even with thousands of works to choose from, Jim knew that one artist would be featured prominently: Caravaggio. Jim was a fan from the moment he saw his work, and he jumps at any chance to see them in person. Another easy choice was the majestic polar bear statue by Francois Pompon from the Musee D’Orsay. We’re still in the process of selecting all the works for these rooms. It’s become a bit of a running joke that whenever Jim has a few minutes to spare, you can find him scrolling through reproductions online. If he ever gets tired of the law, he might have a future as a museum curator. We would never pretend that our reproductions, high-quality as they are, can replicate the experience of seeing these stunning works in the flesh. However, we are willing to bet that they’re as close as you can come to visiting Paris without ever having to leave Lexington.

From Paris to South Carolina The InspirationforOur NewMeetingRooms

The Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr. LLC | P: 803-753-1476


A New Text by Jim Snell and Jim Nesci The Publication of ‘South Carolina DUI Defense’ During his career, Jim Snell has had the opportunity to defend

specific trials. DUI cases present special challenges, and the text explores every facet of them, from pre-trial intervention to field sobriety tests and unethical

numerous clients facing DUI charges in South Carolina. His experience has led to him becoming an expert in the field. So when Lawyers & Judges Publishing Company, Inc. was seeking a co-author for its upcoming text “South Carolina DUI Defense: The Law and Practice,” Mr. Snell was honored to be selected for the job. The book, which was recently published, was written alongside DUI defense expert Jim Nesci, and will be an authoritative text for practicing attorneys and law students. Attorney Jim Nesci is dean of the National College for DUI Defense. He has written numerous books on the subject, including “How to Beat a DUI,” also published by Lawyers & Judges. He is one of the nation’s foremost experts on the scientific aspects of DUI and DWI cases. In particular, he has tried many cases involving breath-test manufacturers. He has represented Supremes singer Diana Ross and Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tight End Jerramy Stevens. Combined with Mr. Snell’s intimate knowledge of in-state laws, the two attorneys have created a comprehensive examination of the law in theory and how it plays out in practice. The book also features case studies based on

police practices. Hopefully, it will become a must-read resource for all attorneys representing DUI clients in South Carolina.

There are a number of academic-focused books on the issue, but Mr. Snell hopes this text will prove definitive for lawyers in need of on-the-ground advice. Whether through continuing education or networking, Mr. Snell has always believed that a good attorney is one who helps raise the quality of the industry as a whole. He hopes this text will help achieve that goal. No matter which attorney a client selects, they deserve the best defense possible. We’re very proud to announce the publication of “South Carolina DUI Defense.” We hope it will be used from the bookshelves of our state’s attorneys for years to come.


Bacon-Wrapped Tater Tot Bombs

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 1 ounce sharp cheddar, cut into ¼-inch squares

¼ cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

4 slices bacon, quartered


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

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.

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

Recipe inspired by | | F: 803-359-7691 | P: 803-753-1476 3


The Law Office of James R. Snell Jr., LLC 123 Harmon Street Lexington, SC 29072

Don’t hesitate to give our office a call! 803-753-1476

Inside this Issue

From the Corleys to the Snells PAGE 1

The Brain on 2 Languages Lexington’s New Art Museum PAGE 2

Mr. Snell’s New Book Not Sure What to Bring to the Super Bowl Party? PAGE 3

What Happened to February? PAGE 4

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 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?

The Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr. LLC | P: 803-753-1476


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