561.671.5995 | 954.272.6187 | www.matthewkoneckypa.com 110 SE 6th Street, Suite 1700, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 4440 PGA Blvd, Suite 600, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410 A GOOD PRANK GOES A LONG WAY
P eople tend to take things a little more seriously today than they did in the past. That isn’t to say people lack good humor, but you never know who is going to be offended and what will offend them. You might say people have adopted a “better safe than sorry” attitude toward pranks. When my sister and I were kids, my grandfather would play all kinds of pranks on us. He’d get us on April Fools’ Day, and then he’d make even bigger fools out of us on any other day of the year. He never shied away from playing a prank at just about any opportunity.
Matthew (far right) with his prankster friends in college
We tried to even the score every now and then. My sister and I would conspire to get back
at him and make a plan. Yet somehow, we were never quite able to pull one over on our grandfather. It was as if he was one step ahead of us at all times. Years later, when I was in college, I got into plenty of hijinks. One prank in particular stands out. As it happened, I was living in a house right next to a major golf course. One week, a professional golf tournament was going on, and a few friends and I decided to have a little fun. It also happened that one of the tournament sponsors installed a giant inflatable man — Bud Man, the Budweiser mascot at the time — in our neighbor’s yard. It was a nice bonus for our neighbors, who were compensated for the use of their yard. The giant inflatable man was out of the way for competitors of the tournament but still visible for all to see. On the second night of the tournament, we thought we’d sneak over and give the inflatable man something of a makeover. The next morning, tournament officials scrambled to correct the changes we made to the mascot. They knocked on our neighbor’s door to get into their backyard and rushed to get the tournament started on time.
Well, I will admit that our antics caused the golf tournament to be slightly delayed. It was televised, so all sponsor advertisements, inflatables and all, had to meet certain standards. In short order, Bud Man was back to normal, and the tournament continued. My friends and I — and I’m sure many others at the tournament — had a good laugh. The important thing, though, is that no one got hurt. It was a relatively simple prank that provided a few hours of entertainment and a story to tell later on. That’s really the hallmark of a good prank. Everyone should have a good laugh and a funny tale to remember. I encourage you not to take life too seriously — at least when you don’t need to. This April, whether it’s April 1 or April 21, play a creative, wholesome prank on someone, and a have a good laugh. After all, sometimes we just need a good laugh. –Matthew Konecky
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A Small Token WITH A BIG MESSAGE Kindness Is Contagious Have you ever had one of those days when nothing seems to go right? You wake up late, you can’t find your keys, the kids aren’t ready, and the day continues to unfold in a negative fog. Those difficult days are the reason Megan Murphy started the Kindness Rocks Project. After her parents passed away, she found comfort in finding heart-shaped rocks and sea glass on the beach. She realized that these small tokens might make other people feel better, too.
“One moment can change a day, one day can change a life, and one life can change the world.” –Gautama Buddha
How to Make Your Own Kindness Rocks
If you want to spread kindness, start with a few smooth 3- to 5-inch rocks. Part of the adventure is in finding the rocks, so take the time to explore outside to find them. Maybe take the kids for a trek to a nearby park or beach. Once you have your rocks, use nontoxic paint or spray paint to color them. Use bright colors so that others can spot them. After the paint has dried, use paint pens to write your messages on the rocks. These can be as simple as one word or as big as an inspiring quote or verse. After you’ve written your message, use a clear nontoxic sealant to protect your artwork so it will be there when others find it. Find an outdoor space to leave your rock —maybe even in the original spot you found it.
Megan’s friend, one of the first to pick up a rock Megan had left behind, sent her an encouraging message after finding it: “If you did drop this rock, you made my day.”
Since then, Megan has inspired others with randomly placed messages of kindness. She finds a rock, paints a kind message on it, and leaves it on the beach for others to find. And the idea has spread. As the project has grown, so have people’s stories about finding kindness rocks. When people find a kindness rock, they get a boost to their day, but they also feel inspired to pay the kindness forward.
In a world that often seems dark, your message of kindness will serve as a beacon of hope for others.
Download these books today ! YOUR LEGALRESOURCE
Why should I hire a lawyer if I know that I am guilty? There are several reasons why you should hire an experienced lawyer. Just because you are arrested does not mean you will be convicted. The police have protocol they must follow. If they do not, it is possible some evidence could be suppressed. This could lead to dismissal. In some cases, the prosecutor may charge you with several crimes that arise out of one event. An experienced lawyer will do their best to get charges reduced or dismissed. COMMON QUESTIONS FOR CRIMINAL DEFENSE SITUATIONS
When it comes to the legal process, you have a lot of questions. Well, I have answers! Right now, I am offering my two resource books for free. “One Bad Night” If you or a loved one has been arrested for domestic violence, you probably have a lot of questions. Get answers and find insight into the criminal justice process. “What You Must Know About Your DUI Case” Being convicted of a DUI charge can drastically change your life. Learn what goes into a DUI case and what your first step should be. Head over to matthewkoneckypa. com today for your free downloads!
To ensure the best possible outcome, you should hire a lawyer any time you are charged with a crime. While you might be guilty, there may be reasons to mitigate
your fines and/or jail time. You may be able to enter a program that could keep your charge off your criminal record. Aren’t I entitled to a public defender? You are not always entitled to a public defender. The court will make a determination based on your financial situation. If you do not qualify, you will not get a public defender.
AT THE ARRAIGNMENT
WILL THE JUDGE THROW OUT YOUR CASE?
One common courtroom misconception is that a judge will look at a case at an arraignment and “throw it out” depending on the circumstances. In reality, judges only throw out criminal cases under very limited circumstances.
People generally have their cases dismissed during the pretrial phase. That dismissal may not necessarily be from a judge; instead, it’s a “nolle pros” or state’s dismissal. Under Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure 3.190(c) there are four different reasons the judge can throw out a case pretrial:
First, it’s important to understand what happens at an arraignment. Under the Florida rules of criminal procedure 3.160, “The arraignment shall be conducted in
● The defendant is charged with an offense for which the defendant has been pardoned.
open court or by audiovisual device in the discretion of the court and shall consist of the judge or clerk or prosecuting attorney reading the indictment or information on which the defendant will be tried to the defendant or stating orally to the defendant the substance of the charge or charges and calling on the defendant to plead thereto.”
● The defendant is charged with an offense for which the defendant previously has been placed in jeopardy.
● The defendant is charged with an offense for which the defendant previously has been granted immunity.
In other words, the state reads the charges, and the defendant pleads guilty or not guilty. The judge won’t look at evidence to determine whether the state has enough to move forward. This was done at first appearance.
● There are no material disputed facts, and the undisputed facts do not establish a prima facie case of guilt against the defendant. The facts on which the motion is based should be alleged specifically and the motion sworn to. The fourth in the list is the most common reason a judge throws out a case. A person who is unrepresented by counsel rarely has the insight to file a motion properly under this rule. When someone goes to court without a lawyer to see if the judge will throw the case out, they’re putting their case in jeopardy. Abraham Lincoln said it best: “He who represents himself has a fool for a client.”
Unless there is an evidentiary issue, the judge won’t look at the facts of your case until the time of trial. Think of a judge as an umpire in baseball. The judge is only looking to call “balls” and “strikes.”
Cooking With Ashley
Roasted Asparagus With Lemon Breadcrumbs
2 pounds asparagus
• • • • •
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons lemon zest
Freshly ground pepper
Juice of one lemon (fresh, not packaged)
Instructions 1. Heat oven to 425 F. Toss asparagus with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet and bake for 20–26 minutes, turning asparagus halfway through. 2. When asparagus is nearly done, heat remaining olive oil in a small skillet over
medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add breadcrumbs and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and fold in parsley and lemon zest.
3. Transfer asparagus to serving platter, drizzle with lemon juice, and top with breadcrumb mixture.
Recipe inspired by Food and Wine Magazine
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Pranks for the Memories
The Message Behind Kindness Rocks
Common Questions for Criminal Defense Situations
Why Judges Really Throw Out Cases
Roasted Asparagus With Lemon Breadcrumbs
April Fools’ Pranks From the Pre-Internet Age
3 April Fools’ Pranks FROM EARLIER, MORE TRUSTING TIMES April Fools’ Day isn’t what it used to be. Sure, it’s still a fun distraction, with Google announcing “scratch and sniff” digital technology and Amazon declaring new features enabling Alexa to understand your pets. But it’s pretty hard for anyone to genuinely pull your leg in the internet age.
Swiss Spaghetti Growers Enjoy Record Harvest
Back when you couldn’t debunk a hoax with a simple Snopes search, things were a little more interesting. Here are a few of the most hilarious — yet somehow convincing —April Fools’ pranks in history.
Ah, to be as naive as we were during the early days of television. In 1957, a BBC news show called “Panorama” conducted a special report on a massive spaghetti harvest in Ticino, Switzerland, following a remarkably mild winter. The black and white images showed farmers pulling huge strands of noodles off tall trees and prompted hundreds of viewers to call into the station and ask how they might procure their own spaghetti tree.
Nixon for President, 1992
When NPR’s popular “Talk of the Nation” program announced in 1992 that former President Richard Nixon had announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination, listeners were shocked. Never mind that he’d been the center of the largest presidential scam in history, but his campaign slogan, “I never did anything wrong, and I won’t do it again,” left something to be desired. NPR even brought political experts on the show to discuss the ramifications of such a move, and listeners flooded the station with outraged calls — until host John Hockenberry revealed that the on-air Nixon was actually comedian Rich Little.
Thomas Edison’s Amazing Food Machine
When Edison was in his prime, Americans truly believed he could create anything — even a machine that transformed air, water, and dirt into biscuits, vegetables, meat, and wine, as reported by the NewYork Daily Graphic in 1878. The article was reprinted in newspapers across the country. Thousands of people bought the trick. When Buffalo’s Commercial Advertiser ran an editorial on Edison’s genius in the endeavor, the Graphic reprinted it in full, along with the headline, “They Bite!”
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