Christmas Law Firm - January/February 2020

January/February 2020

M y N ew Y ear ’ s H ead S tart WHY I SET MY 2020 GOALS IN OCTOBER 2019 I don’t really believe in New Year’s resolutions. Too often, they’re made without any kind of plan or attempt at follow-through. Still, I like the idea of them. I’m a very goal-oriented person, so I always have something in mind to strive for — but I lay out my goals in October, not January. When it comes to goal setting, I always think of this old saying: “How do you eat an

elephant? One bite at a time!” In that spirit, I try to check one thing off of my goal sheet each week. I’d highly recommend that strategy. If you’re anything like me, you’ll look back over the last

I started the tradition of goal setting in October back in the ‘90s because that’s the month when the fiscal year wraps up and because it’s the month when Christmas Law Firm first opened its doors. It feels natural to write down my goals for the next year on the anniversary of our opening, and I’ve found it helpful to get that deep thinking out of the way before the holiday chaos sets in. Between buying gifts, going to events, and planning time with family, Christmas can be a bit crazy with 7- and 12-year-old kids. It’s an incredibly fun time of year, but the chaotic holiday mindset isn’t conducive to setting goals, which requires quiet reflection. Every year, I set two big goals — one personal and one professional — and write them down on separate goal sheets. I start the process by sitting down and thinking. The world is so busy that I’ve found it necessary to block out some quiet time without the distraction of the TV, radio, phone, or my kids running around in the background. Once I’ve locked in on what I want most in my personal and professional life, I map out an agenda for the year, starting with my big-picture goal and then breaking it down into intermediate goals. Sometimes a big dream needs just three or four intermediate steps; other times, one might need a dozen. Next, I list the challenges below each of those steps and number them so I can get started.

12, 24, or 36 weeks and be amazed at what you’ve accomplished. Even if your goals are big, by writing them down, holding yourself accountable, and working on them week by week, you’ll accomplish more in a year than you might have in four or five. This year, my personal goal is to work on having a closer relationship with God, and my professional goal is to continue the expansion of Christmas Law Firm. We have three offices now, and I have my eyes on additional outposts in Columbia, Beaufort, and Savannah. Since October 2019, I’ve been diligently checking off one item a week to make that happen. If you’d like to try my method of goal setting for yourself, I have one last piece of advice: Don’t undervalue the planning stage. Ask yourself, “What do I want?” and then explore why these goals are important to you. Don’t worry if you can’t narrow down your big goals in a single sitting. The good ideas will come, but you’ll have to let them marinate. Eventually, your subconscious will tell you what you want to work on first, and personally, I find it comforting to make difficult choices between big goals. That way, I know I have more great ideas to take off the shelf going forward. If one of your goals for the year is to deal with legal issues hampering your family, don’t hesitate to give Christmas Law Firm a call today at 843-535-8000. I’d love to help you check that first box off of your list.

–Gary Christmas

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After losing an article of clothing from a dry cleaner, most would say “c’est la vie” and move on. At most, someone might leave a bad review or ask for a few dollars to cover the loss, but for one administrative law judge, that wasn’t enough. He decided instead to launch an all- out legal battle. Roy Pearson, a Washington, D.C. judge at the time, sought $54 million to cover the loss of his pants after his dry cleaner lost them. He argued that the “same-day service” sign located in the window of the dry cleaners meant that the company had to provide same-day service. However, Pearson never specified a specific time he needed his clothes returned. He also insisted that the “satisfaction guaranteed” sign meant that the cleaners had to satisfy a customer’s wishes without limit. Based on those arguments, he claimed the signs were fraudulent. After the initial allegations, the dry cleaners scoured their business to find the pants and found the judge’s trousers untarnished. Even

so, Pearson argued that he didn’t need to prove the pants were lost or damaged to satisfy his “satisfaction guaranteed” claim. Unfortunately for the judge, the court found his position to be ridiculous and ordered him to pay the dry cleaner’s attorneys’ fees. In response, Pearson sought that his own attorneys’ fees be covered to oppose this motion. Ultimately, Pearson paid the dry cleaner’s legal fees, but the case isn’t the only thing he lost. The verdict also cost the judge his job and any semblance of professional dignity. Ten years after the case closed, the District of Columbia Board on Professional Responsibility sought a 90-day suspension. As the board put it, Pearson “failed to conduct an objective appraisal of the legal merits of his position. He made and continues to make arguments that no reasonable attorney would think had even a faint hope of success on the legal merits.” From a legal standpoint, we’d call this judge’s behavior “dissatisfaction guaranteed.”

W ho W ears the P ants ? L ady J ustice !

a well - deserved $500,000 win


Our client was working hard to provide for her family when the worst happened.

In cases like hers, compensation generally pays for surgery, hospitalization, medical supplies, prosthetic devices, and prescriptions as needed. Third-party lawsuits can also seek additional compensation for personal expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Her injuries were severe, and we fought hard to get her the money she needed. We were able to settle her case for $527,897.74 — more money than she had ever hoped for and enough to put her life back on track. Workplace injuries like hers happen more often than you’d think. The Occupational Safety and Health Act ensures that employers provide a safe and healthy working environment, yet more than 6 million workers are injured or become sick on the job each year in the U.S. If a workplace injury happens to you or someone you know, the experienced lawyers on our team can help. Call 843- 535-8000 to schedule a consultation today!

As a longshoreman, her job was to load and unload cargo from ships. It was difficult, honest labor and she was proud to do it. Everything was going well until, during one of her many shifts, She was working next to a forklift with a bag extension. Before she could react, she was pinned painfully between the lift equipment and the bags, unable to escape. She survived the ordeal, but it left her with a debilitating injury to her spinal cord, chronic pain in her neck, arms, chest, back, shoulders, and dysesthesia in both hands. She couldn’t move normally and was in pain even after surgery. Because her injuries came as a result of insufficient health and safety protections at her workplace, we were certain we could help her win the compensation she deserved.



Sometimes national news headlines make it seem like arts programs and STEM activities are at war, but education doesn’t have to be a battle. Here at Christmas Law Firm, we believe any activity that gets kids learning and keeps them engaged is worth funding, which is why we donated $500 to the Mamie P. Whitesides Elementary School Color Run, an event that brings the arts and the sciences together. Every October, Whitesides Elementary School in Mount Pleasant hosts its annual color run, a bright, festive celebration that lets kids use their creativity while also raising funds for the school’s STEM programs. Each kid who runs is given their own fundraising page and receives sponsorships from friends and family for the contest. Then, 100% of the proceeds from the dash go to STEM programs, the computer lab, math and grade-level interventionists, field trips, and supplies for the kids.

Last year, Whitesides aimed to raise $75,000. Though our $500 gift was just a small contribution, we’re still proud to have helped make a difference in the lives of these children. We’re always looking for ways to give back to the community we serve, and we were happy to find this unique event to support!

If you’d like to learn more about the color run and perhaps contribute to next year’s event, visit And as always, if you’re facing a legal dilemma and could use a compassionate, experienced attorney by your side, call Christmas Law Firm today at 843-535-8000. We’re here to help.


Easy Tomato Soup

Inspired by Nom Nom Paleo


• 2 tbsp coconut oil • 4 leeks, white parts only, thinly sliced • 6 cloves garlic, minced • 1 28-oz can roasted and diced tomatoes (Muir Glen Organic is a good brand)

• 1 cup chicken broth • 8.5 oz coconut milk • Kosher salt • Freshly ground black pepper


1. In a skillet over medium heat, sauté leeks in coconut oil until softened and translucent, about 7–10 minutes. 2. Add garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds. Remove from heat. 3. Meanwhile, in a blender, purée entire can of tomatoes, including juice, until smooth.

4. Add sautéed leeks and garlic and purée again. 5. Transfer purée to a saucepan and add chicken broth and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then drop to simmer and cook for 10 minutes. 6. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve.





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105 S. Cedar Street Suite D Summerville, SC 29483 843-535-8000

My New Year’s Head Start inside this issue 1 2 2 3 3 4 The Curious Case of Roy Pearson’s Pants A Well-Deserved $500,000 Win $500 That Keeps on Giving Easy Tomato Soup Meet the World’s First Airport Therapy Pig


A i

Imagine you’re navigating a vast airport on a busy Saturday, shouldering your way through crowds and struggling to hear the PA system over the clatter of 1,000 wheeled suitcases. Suddenly, you see a pig wearing a hot pink sweater waddling toward you on a leash. Do you stop in your tracks? Does your stress level drop? Do you laugh out loud when you see its pink nail polish?


trend for the last few years. According to NPR, as of 2017, more than 30 airports across the U.S. employed therapy dogs, and these days, estimates land closer to 60. The San Jose and Denver airports have therapy cats, and the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport even offers passengers the chance to play with miniature horses before boarding their flights. Therapy dogs started appearing in U.S. airports after the 9/11 terror attacks, which changed American attitudes about flying. They did so well at helping passengers calm down that airports began implementing permanent programs. Some have pets on hand 24/7 to assist passengers, while others host animal visits every few weeks or months. These days, regular travelers have fallen hard for their local therapy animals, many of whom even have their own Instagram accounts and hashtags. So, the next time you’re traveling, keep an eye out for a friendly pup, cat, pig, or horse to pet. A bit of love from an animal just might improve your trip!

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then you can sympathize with the passengers, pilots, flight

attendants, and staff at the San Francisco International Airport. They get to enjoy visits from Lilou, the world’s first airport therapy pig, on a regular basis! As part of the Wag Brigade, the airport’s cadre of (mostly canine) therapy animals, Lilou wanders the airport with her humans, bringing joy, peace, and calm to everyone she meets. Lilou may be the only pig of her kind, but airport therapy animals have been a growing


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