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As crazy as it is to say, 2018 is finally here. And though I probably won’t be setting any New Year’s resolutions, I will be eating some black-eyed peas for good luck in the coming year. Though they may not be pinned up on a vision board, I certainly am excited to make some meaningful steps forward over the next 365 days, both personally and professionally. One of the most promising developments I hope to pursue in 2018 is to finally establish a couple of satellite offices for the firms in Columbus and Macon. While I tried to do that in the first half of 2017, it didn’t quite pan out for the business at the time. Though I made my investment back with a couple of new cases, we just weren’t able to gain enough of a foothold to make a lasting impact, for one reason or another. But I’m far from giving up on that particular project. While it’s definitely challenging to gain the trust of an entirely new area, I believe with the right outreach and marketing efforts, our case history and the experiences of all our supportive clients will speak for themselves. Right now, I’m just looking at the strategies we took with the initiative last year and figuring out what went wrong. Formulating this Plan B is near the top of my list as we step into the new year. In addition, all of us at the firm are doing everything we can to go completely paperless in the coming months. This may sound like a dry subject, but I guarantee the digitization of all our data will not only aid us in serving our clients, but will make communicating and keeping them up to speed on their STEPPING INTO A PROMISING NEW YEAR
case that much faster. Soon, we’ll be able to send text updates to our clients whenever we need. Though I should say going paperless is a lot easier said than done, and wrangling stacks and stacks of important files is no small feat. In the past few months, it’s taken all we have just to keep up with the growth of the firm — the best possible problem to have. As more and more clients decide to entrust us with their well-being, we’ve had to adjust a few things around the office. With every new protocol we implement and every new member of the team we bring on, we streamline and improve the client experience. Though we may be gradually expanding each month, one thing will never change — my dedication to returning phone calls from those requesting my time. My dad instilled a courtesy I’ve tried to maintain throughout my career, respecting everyone’s efforts to contact me and doing what we can to ensure everyone gets a callback within 24 hours at the longest. As I outline all these new developments, I’m realizing just how busy 2018 is going to be. I have to say, though, I welcome every new lesson the year will throw at me. I’m just grateful to continue doing some good for the people I serve. Happy New Year,
-William F. “Trey” Underwood, III
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The Battle for MLK DAY
The battle for a day of remembrance for Martin Luther King Jr. was long — too long, considering his life and legacy. But we ultimately got better than we bargained for: America’s first Day of Service, rather than a day of remembrance. That first bill didn’t come to a vote until 1979. It lost by five votes. Opponents claimed that a holiday honoring a private citizen would break the long-standing tradition of honoring politicians. But the campaign continued. The King Center in Atlanta lobbied heavily, and Stevie Wonder released the single “Happy Birthday” a year later, which calls for the holiday. Six million signatures were collected, the most signatures in favor of an issue in the history of America. Many politicians continued to resist. Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina led a filibuster against the bill in 1982, claiming Dr. King had ties to communists and wasn’t important enough. Others opposed the bill because it would cost too much for the federal government to implement the holiday. Finally, on Nov. 3, 1983, President Reagan signed a bill declaring the third Monday of January to be Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It was first observed in 1986. However, several states refused to observe it. Some states preferred to call it Civil Rights Day, while others didn’t observe it at all. The National Football League threatened to move Super Bowl XXVII from Arizona if they voted down a bill to ratify MLK day.
It was voted down, and the Super Bowl moved to California. Meanwhile, at the request
of Coretta Scott King, President Bill Clinton signed a law in 1994 declaring MLK Day a Day of Service, rather than just remembrance. On May 2, 2000, South Carolina’s governor signed a bill declaring Dr. King’s birthday an official state holiday. Before that, government employees could choose between observing MLK Day or a confederate holiday. Utah became the last state to change Human Rights Day to Martin Luther King Jr. Day that same year. In the spirit of the holiday, we encourage you to find some way to serve your community this MLK Day, just as Dr. King did years ago.
“I truly appreciated the warm and professional service that was rendered on behalf of my granddaughter’s case. Mr. Underwood and his staff were patient and informed us and guided us through the entirety of the case. They displayed a personal, as well as professional, atmosphere. This enabled us as a family and as clients to be at ease. We recommend his services to everyone who would like to have their case handled with care.” –W.M.B Testimonials “It was an honor and a privilege to have Mr. Underwood represent me on my workers’ comp case. He really was very helpful, professional, and he put his personal touch in
my case. He and his staff were very friendly and helpful to the highest level. I highly recommend him to anyone that has been struggling with a workers’ comp case, and it was a blessing to have him represent me.” –L.H. “I really want to thank Mr. Underwood for everything he did on my case. He is a wonderful attorney to have on your side. Most of all, he is a wonderful person to know, and I really enjoyed getting to know him as my attorney and as a person. If anyone ever needs a workers’ compensation attorney, he is the one for the job!” –F.B.
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A FAKE ROBBERY This Month’s Strange Workers’ Comp Claims
AND A HAPLESS TREE CLIMBER
At the Law Offices of William F. Underwood, we see dozens of workers’ compensation cases every year, so many that we sometimes feel like we’ve seen it all. That is, until we read about these outlandish workers’ comp claim situations and realize the law gets a lot weirder than most people think. BOSS “FAKE ROBS” HIS EMPLOYEE Running security exercises for your business is one thing, but terrorizing your employees is quite another. In 2016, a California court awarded organized a mock robbery of his store while she was on duty. Wearing a terrifying ski mask and dark sunglasses, the “robber” came into the store during the night and slapped a paper bag onto the counter in front of her, along with a note: “I have a gun. Put your money in the bag.” At first, the plaintiff tried to reach for the silent arm, but the “robber” tapped threateningly on the note in response. After she handed over the money, the robber — who actually turned out to be the employer’s quality control manager — left, and the woman broke down, sobbing. $360,000 to the woman alleging that her employer had
The jury found sufficient evidence that she’d been assaulted and undergone severe emotional distress. WHEN CLIMBING TREES ISN’T PART OF YOUR JOB, FALLING OUT OF ONE ISN’T COMPENSABLE
Last year, a Mississippi pipefitter filed a claim requesting compensation for the severe injuries he sustained after falling almost 25 feet from the top of a gum tree, arguing that the damage occurred in the course of
employment. But when it came to light that climbing trees wasn’t any part of the worker’s job, the court became skeptical. It turned out that as the worker climbed higher and higher, his co-workers urged him to come down. Instead of doing so, he shook the branches harder and harder, until one eventually broke and sent him plummeting to the ground. The claim was dismissed by the appellate court.
Have a Laugh!
Leftover Turkey Ramen
1 leftover turkey carcass
4 ounces bacon
6 scallions, divided
4 portions fresh, not instant, ramen noodles
8 slices ginger
6 dried shiitake mushrooms
2 cups leftover turkey, shredded
16 cups water
Directions 1. Remove most of the meat from the turkey carcass, shred, and set aside. Put carcass in a large stockpot, along with 3 scallions, ginger, mushrooms, and water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 3 hours. 2. Place eggs in a small saucepan
3. Cook bacon until crisp. Drain, chop, and set aside. Chop remaining scallions. 4. Once the broth is done simmering, prepare the fresh noodles according to package directions. Divide noodles among 4 bowls and cover with broth. Add shredded turkey, chopped scallions, chopped bacon, and an egg to each bowl.
and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then immediately remove pot from heat and let sit for 4 minutes. Transfer eggs to an ice bath to cool.
Recipe courtesy of TwoPeasAndTheirPod.com
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inside Looking Forward to 2018 With Trey Underwood PAGE 1 The History of Martin Luther King Jr. Day PAGE 2 Hear From Our Clients PAGE 2 Strange Workers’ Comp Claims PAGE 3 Revive That Leftover Turkey! PAGE 3 Bleeding-Edge Tech for 2018 PAGE 4
New Year, New Tech! 3 OF 2018’S MOST FUTURISTIC GADGETS
demonstration, a model of Chicago, complete with real-time crime data. A TV THAT GENERATES SOUND WITH ITS SCREEN Yeah, yeah — another new, bigger, shinier TV. Big deal, right? At first glance, Sony’s new 65-inch Bravia A1E television looks just like another high-end display among many. 4K resolution, HDR technology, and OLED display round out the catchwords that come standard on TV ads these days. But one look at the massive TV reveals this is a bit of a different beast than its competition. Instead of mounting on the wall or sitting an ordinary vertical television stand, the new Bravia TV comes equipped with a stand that leans directly on the floor. There’s no visible stand or border. The processor and other essential components are all housed in its back unit. But what’s really interesting about this TV is the way it generates sound. Examining the unit, you’ll discover there’s not a single speaker to be found. Instead, Sony’s equipped the screen itself with four actuators that turn the entire screen into a sound-emitting device — a new technology called “Acoustic Surface.”
Along with a collection of short- lived resolutions, each new year brings a staggering array of wild technology. Here are a few of the coolest new gadgets predicted to hit the scene in 2018.
A MICROWAVE THAT DOUBLES AS A FLASH FRIDGE For a couple of years now, the Spanish-Korean company Frigondas has been developing a microwave that, in addition to perfectly warming up your leftovers, comes equipped with the ability to rapidly cool down foods. Not only can you use it to freeze fresh foods for later use, but you can toss a beer inside and let it chill in just a couple of minutes. A ‘HYBRID REALITY ENVIRONMENT’ FROM SCIENCE FICTION Composed of 72 LCD panels, a 20-speaker immersive surround sound system, and an optical motion tracking system powered by 10 separate cameras, Cave2 is half virtual reality, half insanely futuristic whiteboard. After donning a pair of 3-D glasses, users, namely scientists and engineers, can fully immerse themselves in whatever they want, whether it’s a visualization of data that describes our solar system or, as exhibited in a recent
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