Berlin Law Firm December 2018


Timber and Tradition My Holiday Memories

I still vividly remember the way it felt to cross the threshold into that house when we brought the tree in: the warmth rushing to meet my prickling cheeks, the smells of last night’s Thanksgiving dinner mingling with the scent of the fresh pine we’d dragged back from the wilderness, and the crackling of the fireplace. The experience was like stepping into a Norman Rockwell painting. This holiday tradition never lost its magic. Even after the childhood talk and “revelation” about Santa Claus, this day was something I always looked forward to and understood was special. From spending the morning picking out a great tree, to the afternoon spent chopping a mound of firewood to keep us warm all winter, to an evening of eating leftovers and decorating, there was no better way to welcome the Christmas season. There are a lot of childhood memories we only realize are special after the fact. But this is one that I knew was special in the moment. Coming to Tulsa from the Montana wilderness, obviously my Christmas traditions have changed a lot. I can’t exactly grab an ax and head to LaFortune Park to get a Christmas tree — not that I’d need to anyway. You see, my wife and I have created a new, unique Christmas substitution of our own. A few years ago, during an after-Christmas sale at Restoration Hardware, my wife picked up these two metal “trees.” Not fake Christmas trees — in fact, they aren’t even pines. Don’t tell Estelle, but they look like a tree after a forest fire roared through. Essentially, they’re metal renditions of

stripped regular trees, with light bulbs for leaves. Estelle leaves them up year-round as decorative lamps.

When the Friday after Thanksgiving does roll around, we do hang an ornament or two on one of these metal tree limbs, in keeping with the spirit of the season. As big of a departure from

In the picture you see, the three smiling kids are my little brothers and me, having just hunted down that year’s Christmas tree. Every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving, our father would let us pile onto the sled behind his snowmobile and drive us up to the timberline of the mountain behind our ranch. We’d dismount, chainsaw or ax in hand, and begin our search for the perfect tree. Our annual tree hunts certainly beat Black Friday shopping. With basically a whole mountainside to choose from, we took our time finding the exact tree we wanted. With a Thanksgiving meal in our bellies and the excitement for Christmas in our minds, we’d easily spend an hour bounding through the snow and exploring old logging trails. Our only real concern was accidentally picking a tree that was too big for our home! Some years, our mom would tag along with us, but usually, when there was snow, she took it upon herself to go down to the tack room and pull out all of the Christmas decorations. By the time we got back, she’d have the Christmas music playing, the fire roaring, and the stockings hung.

1 Berlin Law Firm • Here’s to the magic of the season and REAL trees, - Lee Berlin my childhood as this sounds, I have come to accept it as opposed to doing what everyone else does by getting a regular old tree. When you’ve spent your childhood Christmases with a freshly cut tree in your household, store-bought pines or replicas just don’t do the job. So, we thought, better to have something radically different than something that misses the mark. (I secretly want a real Christmas tree again. Although she doesn’t read the newsletter, please do not tell her. She loves those burnt-renderings of trees.) From all of us here at the firm, I hope you and your family enjoy your own holiday traditions this month, whether you’re sticking with something from your childhood or trying something new.


We would like to welcome back Cyndie Wood to the Berlin Law Firm. Cyndie is our paralegal and a great asset to our firm. Her knowledge and experience had been greatly missed, along with her winning personality and “go get ‘em” attitude. Cyndie had to leave us for a short while, and we are certainly glad that she is back and part of our team. When asking Cyndie how she feels about being back with the winning team, her response was “I

UGLY SWEATER PARTIES A Fun Trend You Can Easily Follow! It’s speculated that the first ugly sweater party took place in Vancouver, Canada, back in 2001. Since then, the trend has become one of the most popular holiday party themes. Come Thanksgiving, you’ll start to see racks in all types of clothing stores lined with hideous sweaters. If you’re ready to jump on the ugly-sweater-party bandwagon this Christmas season, here a few things to keep in mind. Ugly sweaters come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. You can head to H&M or a local thrift store to pick one up. However, if you have a sweater that’s been cozied up for years in the back of your closet or a drawer, now’s your chance to give it new life. Arm yourself with a hot glue gun, thread, and needle, and patch Santa, Rudolph, or Frosty on it. And let it be known that an ugly sweater isn’t complete without sparkles, beads, and sequins galore. It’s rather simple — slip on your favorite Christmas sweater, gather all your friends and family members, make sure there are plenty of refreshments and games, and you’re guaranteed to have a top-tier party. A few ugly-sweater-themed games that should be on the agenda include an ugly gift exchange, which is similar to the white elephant exchange, except with the gaudiest gifts you can find; an ugly photo booth, complete with terrible, tacky props; and, of course, an ugly sweater contest. This is the only time of year when slipping into a lurid red sweater with a stuffed Santa sewn on the front is considered trendy. So adorn yourself in the frumpiest, tackiest sweater you can find, and have some fun this December! YOUR VERY OWN UGLY SWEATER WHAT EXACTLY IS AN UGLY SWEATER PARTY?

put the second ‘N’ in winning.” Her contagious laugh is nice to hear throughout the office again. Welcome back, Cyndie!

We are excited to announce our new

associate attorney Kyle Killam. Kyle has been the firm’s contract conflict counsel for the past few months and immediately formed a great working relationship with the Berlin Law Firm staff. After years of friendship and working cases together with Lee, it seemed the most natural next step to have him join our team. Kyle has 19 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney and his

dedication to his clients fits hand in hand with the Berlin Law Firm values. With Kyle joining our team, we forecast great things happening in the future. Welcome aboard, Kyle!

2 Berlin Law Firm • 918-770-0172

Oklahoma Issues New Laws for Past and Future Offenders

How to Access the Sex Offender Registry

Sex crimes occur more often than anyone really knows. Fortunately, for the victims of these crimes and their families who do report and have the offender successfully prosecuted, the laws are constantly being revised in order to hold convicted sex offenders more accountable for their crimes. Convicted sex offenders are required to register as sex offenders with the State of Oklahoma. Once registered, the offender is logged in to the state’s sex offender database and online registry. To access the Oklahoma Department of Corrections Sex Offender Registry, type sors. into your web browser. Once there, users can access the offenders’ names and addresses through the registry or by using Google Maps. In addition to simply being registered with the State of Oklahoma, there are other laws in place that the registered sex offender must follow. Up until November 1 of this year, Oklahoma State Statute 21 OS section 1125 stated that registered offenders were prohibited from violating a zone of safety of 500 feet around any elementary, junior, or high school,

day care center, playground, or park. Additionally, the Sex Offender Registration Act 21 OS section 581-590 in Oklahoma, among a number of other requirements, prohibits a registered sex offender from living within 2,000 feet of a park, school, playground, or child care center. While these laws are still on the books and enforced in the State of Oklahoma, 21 OS 1125 recently underwent an important change. Effective November 1, 2018, in addition to being barred from these zones, registered offenders can no longer live within 1,000 feet of their victim’s home, nor can they loiter in the areas that their victim frequents. In the past, if victims didn’t happen to live near a school zone or park, their abuser could relocate to the same neighborhood and even move in next door if they wanted. If you have any other questions about the updated state statute or how to access the offender registry, please don’t hesitate to give our office a call at 918-770-0172.

Inspired Be

Holiday Roast Prime Rib


Inspired by Food Network

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped

1 bone-in prime rib (6–7 pounds)

8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 cups red wine

4 cups beef stock


5. To make au jus, place roasting pan with drippings from roast over 2 burners on high. Add wine and scrape pan as liquid reduces. Add beef stock and cook until reduced by half. Finally, sprinkle in thyme. 6. Slice roast and serve topped with au jus.

1. 30 minutes before cooking, remove roast from fridge and let sit until it reaches room temperature. 2. Heat oven to 350 F. 3. Make small slits in prime rib and stuff with slices of garlic. Liberally season with salt and pepper. 4. Place a rack inside a roasting pan and roast prime rib for 2 hours, until medium-rare.

3 Berlin Law Firm •


8516 E. 101st Street, Suite A Tulsa, Oklahoma 74133

Phone: 918-770-0172

Inside This Issue

My Holiday Memories Page 1

Everything You’ll Need for an Ugly Sweater Christmas What’s New at the Firm Page 2 Oklahoma Issues New Laws for Past and Future Offenders Holiday Roast Prime Rib Page 3

Christmas Tours Get Away and Be Festive This Holiday Season

RANCH CHRISTMAS IN JACKSON, WYOMING Jackson, Wyoming, takes its frontier culture to the next level during the Christmas season. All year, the city proudly displays four elk antler arches, but around the holidays, they are lit up with white string lights and flanked by snow. The Christmas decorations and lights surrounding the archway make for a Western-themed holiday pulled right out of a John Wayne classic. For holiday admirers looking for a unique spin, Jackson has you covered.

There’s nothing quite like the magical lights of the holiday season, and some destinations in the U.S. have perfected the craft of holiday decoration. If you’re looking to get away this December and still engage in seasonal festivities, add one of these places to your must-visit list. Christmastime. The scene is like a Hallmark card: Ice-skating lovers whiz past miles of twinkling lights underneath an exceptionally tall and amply-decorated tree. The tree is specially selected by Rockefeller Center’s landscaping crews, who scout out trees years in advance. It remains lit from November to early January, so you have plenty of time to check it out. NEW YORK CITY’S ROCKEFELLER CENTER New York City is an iconic location for

Christmas in this tiny Midwestern town in January, June, or even October. Embracing its unique name, the town boasts a museum, holiday shopping center, and a Christmas theme park. In a moving tribute, the town’s residents also write responses to children’s letters to Kris Kringle himself. It’s impossible to avoid holiday cheer in this town. DISNEY WORLD’S CHRISTMAS MAGIC What better place to celebrate the most magical time of the year than in the most magical place on Earth? Walt Disney World’s halls are decked to the max with a parade, gingerbread homes, strings of lights, and festive parties. Plus, costs to visit Disney World can be cheaper during the Christmas season, so keep an eye out for a vacation steal.


This one’s for the Christmas lover. If you can’t make it out to Santa Claus, Indiana, this holiday season, you can still celebrate

4 Berlin Law Firm • 918-770-0172

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