Shannon Law Group March 2019

312-578-9501 | MARCH 2019

A SALUTE TO PRESIDENT U. S. GRANT Lessons From History, Delivered by Ron Chernow

Ron Chernow is one of my favorite authors. Through his relentless research for first party historical records, Chernow and his team breathe life into history. Don’t believe me? Ask all the people who have seen the musical phenomenon Hamilton, which is based on Chernow’s biography of Hamilton. Chernow makes history cool. He has written other great books as well, like Washington: A Life (a biography of our nation’s first president) and Titan (a biography of John Rockefeller).

young Americans sacrificed their lives. Grant’s victory over the Confederate Army and his gracious meeting with General Robert E. Lee on April 9, 1865 in Virginia are the background “stuff” every American should know and understand. To me, a significant part of this book is how Grant’s loyal friends and family were vigilant in keeping this very talented individual on the straight and narrow — away from alcohol — so he could focus on his strengths. Grant needed his family during these times, and his wife and friends guided him through it all. The second half of Grant explores his two-term presidency from 1868–76. When I compare the troubles of our time to those of Grant’s time, there is an argument to be made that our country was in a lot worse shape than it is now. During the Civil War and its aftermath, our country was divided more than any other time in our history. 620,000 men died during the Civil War, and the outcome was a giant dumpster fire. Lincoln had been assassinated, and the ill-equipped Andrew Johnson presided over Reconstruction. Grant inherited the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, which terrorized black Americans and sought to keep them from voting. Grant’s greatest triumph of his presidency was his relentless protection of black Americans’ civil rights. He worked tirelessly to crush the Ku Klux Klan. Frederick Douglass called Grant “the vigilant, firm, impartial, and wise protector of my race.” Through his dedication to his fellow men, Grant saw that, as a nation, we had much more in common than that which divided us. We are created for something great. What we have in common clearly outweighs our differences. When I think of the present problems in our home state of Illinois — namely the lack of respect for human life, huge debts, record crime rates, education problems, and more — I truly believe they can be solved through faith, sacrifice, hard work, and ingenuity. As Americans, we have a track record for solving much bigger problems. Grant and other terrific books by Chernow remind us of that fact.

Each book shares three major themes:

1. We are each created for something great.

2. We need others to help us through our lives.

3. We have much more in common than that which divides us.

Chernow’s latest 900-page work is a biography of Ulysses S. Grant. After reading Chernow’s masterpiece, I have a much broader view of this man and, more importantly, a better perspective of the Civil War. Chernow’s books ( Washington, Hamilton, Titan , and Grant ) explore the greatest parts of each figure’s life, as well as their seamy and not-so-flattering sides. In other words, Chernow reveals their humanity. Grant is a story of struggle, hardship, resilience, redemption, glory, loyalty, and a fall from grace. At the age of 39, Grant had retired from military life and was working for his father’s business in Galena, Illinois. Grant had a lifetime struggle with alcohol, especially when he was away from his family, and at this point in his life, it did not appear that he was created for anything great. That all changed on April 12, 1861 when the Confederate Army shelled Fort Sumter in South Carolina, setting the stage for the Civil War. The book tracks Grant’s rise over a four-year period from a humble shopkeeper, to local army leader, to a general who won battle after battle, and finally to the Commanding General of the Union Army.

–Joe Shannon

Our family’s driving trips from Illinois to Florida will never be the same as we pass the hallowed grounds where thousands of

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The early ‘90s was a contentious time in college basketball, full of pure amateur competition. The days of the “one and done” player were far ahead, which meant that all the top-level talent was bred in the hotbed of the NCAA. Players like Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and David Robinson had to prove their NBA mettle in the grueling basketball tournament we all know as March Madness. It has always showcased the best of the best, but America has always loved an underdog. Last year, audiences adored Loyola Chicago as they made their way to the Final Four. Cinderella teams fill our hearts with hope and optimism, but not all of them are loveable. Perhaps no small school is more polarizing than the UNLV squad that was put together by the late, great Jerry Tarkanian. The team was nasty, flashy, and, most importantly, downright impossible to beat. “The Runnin’ Rebels” ran the court like no team before. Reports have the 1991 Tarkanian squad referring to the Arkansas Razorbacks’ “40 minutes of hell” as “40 minutes of vacation” when it beat the then second-ranked team on its home court. The team embodied swagger and wasn’t

afraid to create a splash everywhere it went. Most of the noise wasn’t positive, but when you win the national championship the year prior, a little arrogance is necessary to maintain your “bad guy” image. Formally a small state school known to locals as “Tumbleweed Tech,” UNLV wasn’t even a Division I school until 1970. When Tarkanian took over in ‘73, the school went from an institution most acclaimed for its hospitality program to an NCAA basketball tournament regular. After making their first Final Four appearance in 1977, the team started down a path that would take them to four Elite 8s in five years, and there would be no greater success than the season that came to pass in 1990. Most games are back-and-forth, with drama centering around every possession. That was not the case during the 1990 national championship game. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski guided his team to the final through steady stellar performances throughout the tournament, and all was well until the legendary program met UNLV’s rowdies. The opening tipoff was about as close as Duke ever got to controlling any part of that game. Anderson Hunt, Stacey Augmon, and Larry Johnson ran the Blue Devils off the court, and the Cinderella team everyone came to hate won 103–73 in the biggest blowout in NCAA tournament history.

Everyone is Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day, or so the saying goes. My mother’s parents, Tom Corcoran and Mary Gallagher, could boast more Irish blood than most. They, of course, settled on the south side of Chicago to raise my mother and her five siblings. Growing up, “South Side Irish” was a trademarked phrase for all I knew. Saint Patrick’s Day was always a day full of prideful celebrations at my grandparents’ Evergreen Park home. Each year, we would gather with my aunts, uncles, and cousins and wear green and orange. On some occasions, we attended the South Side Irish Parade to get a glimpse of men in kilts shouldering bag pipes and patrons sipping green beer. For dinner, my grandmother would make too many pounds of corned beef and a table covered with the traditional sides, including cabbage, potatoes, and carrots. After dinner, my cousins and I would run around outside with the neighborhood kids, who were also dressed in green. Even as I outgrew the neighborhood games, Saint Patrick’s Day at my grandparents’ house was always a special celebration. My family’s Irish roots have always been an important aspect of my identity. I routinely meet people who have a connection to the South Side and, more often than not, an Irish surname as well. It is a community I feel lucky to be connected to, however tangential that connection may be. I am grateful to my parents for teaching me about my ancestry and encouraging me to explore those cultures. MY IRISH ROOTS Celebrating March 17 in the South Side of Chicago

I hope you celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day this month. After all, we are all Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day.

–Jon Svitak



When someone who has been injured in a truck crash meets with us for the first time, they often have little knowledge of, and zero experience with, the civil justice system. It’s usually a confusing time for them. They’re not sure what they should (and should not) do after the crash. Their medical bills are piling up; the insurance company won’t stop calling them; and they can’t go back to work for a while. If you find yourself in a similar situation, these three tips will point you in the right direction. company begins its investigation within hours of your crash, likely when you’re still in the emergency room. The insurance company’s immediate response almost always gives them a head start on gathering the facts of the case. That’s why it is important to speak with and retain a truck accident attorney as soon as possible. The sooner your attorney begins their investigation, the better it is for your case. 1. Contact an attorney as soon as possible. As you might expect, a trucking company’s insurance

Oftentimes, they will ask you for information about the crash or your medical treatment. They are not asking for this information because they’re trying to help you. Instead, they’re looking for any piece of information that will limit the amount of money that their company has to pay you. Adjusters have also been known to advise injured victims against hiring an attorney or recommend that you sign a release absolving them of their liability. Therefore, it is always better for you to give the insurance company your attorney’s contact information as soon as possible. 3. Focus on your physical, mental, and emotional recovery. When you have been injured in a crash, the last thing you should be doing is dealing with insurance companies and bill collectors. Every time we meet with a new client, we ask them to delegate the stress and anxiety inherent in litigation to us. Let us shoulder the burden of litigation; we do it every day. By not allowing yourself to get bogged down with the minutiae of a lawsuit, you can focus on what’s most important: getting back how you were prior to the injury. Whenever something shifts your focus from your recovery to the lawsuit (e.g. wondering how you’re going to pay or whether or not a certain document is important) let your attorney know. You can make your attorney’s job easier by saving documents that come in and forwarding them to the law office.

2. Avoid talking to insurance companies. When an insurance company calls you, refer them to your attorney immediately. Insurance adjusters can be ruthless.

–Pat Cummings


HOMEMADE CORNED BEEF Ingredients • 2 quarts water • 1 cup kosher salt • 1/2 cup brown sugar • 2 tablespoons saltpeter (potassium nitrate) • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into large pieces • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns • 8 cloves garlic • 8 whole allspice berries • 12 whole juniper berries • 2 bay leaves, crumbled • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger • 2 pounds ice • 1 5-pound beef brisket, trimmed • 1 small onion, quartered • 1 large carrot, coarsely chopped • 1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped

March 6

Ash Wednesday

Directions 1. In a large stockpot, combine water, garlic, and all herbs and spices to make brine. Cook over high heat until salt and sugar are fully dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in ice. 2. Once water temp reaches 45 F, place brisket in a 2-gallon zip-close bag, pour in brine to cover, lay flat in a large container, and store in fridge. 3. Brine for 10 days, checking daily to make sure brisket is fully submerged and brine is stirred. 4. After 10 days, remove brisket from brine and rinse under cool water. In a large pot, cover brisket, onion, carrot, and celery with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and gently simmer for 2 1/2–3 hours. 5. Remove, slice across the grain, and serve.

March 15

St. Joan of Arc K of C March Madness Fish Fry

March 17

St. Patrick’s Day

March 19

Feast of St. Joseph

March 19

NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament begins

March 28

White Sox at Royals Opening Day

March 28

Cubs at Rangers Opening Day

Every Saturday morning throughout the year, St. Joan of Arc Men’s group meets from 7–8 a.m. in the St. Joan of Arc Parish Center. Please join us.

Inspired by Food Network




Phone: 312-578-9501

3550 Hobson Rd., Ste. 203 Woodridge, IL 60517


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Learning From America’s Greatest Figures

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The Most Hated Cinderella

My Irish Roots

What to Do if You’ve Been in a Truck Crash

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Homemade Corned Beef

March Madness!



Whether your team is dancing or not, there’s no denying that the NCAA tournament is one of the greatest events of the sporting year.

Don’t miss out on the fun this year; join Shannon Law Group’s annual Bracket Challenge today. It’s free to enter, and there are cash payouts for the top four performers. Check your email or our Facebook page for the link. You can also email Brittany at, and she will send you the link directly.

Make sure to get your picks in by tip-off of the first game on Thursday, March 14!


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