Why Didn’t You Call Me?
I can’t tell you how often I’ve talked to a client who’s had a bad experience with lawyers before and didn’t know I could help. I hear about child custody gone wrong or inheritance run amok, and I always find myself asking the same question: “Why didn’t you call me?” “No matter what you’re going through, if you call me, I will help you find someone who can handle your case — the right way.” I get that. It’s true that there are many different areas of law. The work I do with criminal cases is totally different than what someone who handles tax law does, and neither of us have much in common with a trust, wills, and estate attorney. This is especially true for solo practitioners like me. In order to give the best client service, I really have to focus on limited areas. Some bigger firms handle multiple areas of law, but they usually do that by hiring attorneys with experience in different legal fields. Usually, the answer is, “Well, you don’t practice that kind of law. I figured you couldn’t help.”
“the back of the phone book.” The fact is, there are a lot of attorneys out there. Many of them are great, and some of them aren’t. But if you’re not a member of the legal industry, it’s hard to tell which are which. I may not practice all areas of law, but I know good lawyers in every area. No matter what you’re going through, if you call me, I will help you find someone who can handle your case — the right way. Legal issues cost money, and they take time. If your case is handled by someone who doesn’t have your best interests at heart or is out of their depth, the fallout can be disastrous and long-lasting. You may still feel the effects years down the road, or it might take the better part of a decade to rebuild your life. I don’t want that for any of my clients. I got into this business to help people, and that’s exactly what I want to do. Nothing gives me more satisfaction than seeing justice work for my clients. If that means referring them to an attorney that I trust, then I’m happy to do so. Don’t go alone or by the back of the phone book. When you have a legal issue in your life, I want to be your first phone call, even if you need help with an area of law that I don’t practice. If you need help with a divorce, settling a civil suit, or creating a will, call me first — seriously.
When I ask people how they found the attorneys that didn’t do a very good job, they usually say “TV ads” or
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Forced Sharing Is Not Caring TEACH CHILDREN GENEROSITY THROUGH AUTONOMY
One of the most common principles of early childhood education is teaching children to play well with others, and oftentimes, this includes teaching them to share. While this aspect of education seems like a no-brainer to some, others have started to question the importance of sharing. In fact, this movement is taking the internet and nation by storm, one blog and social media post at a time, and it’s gaining traction with parents and preschools alike. According to Laura Markham, clinical psychologist at Columbia University and author of “Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings,” “Forcing children to share doesn’t teach the lessons we want them to learn.” During preschool, kids are learning to meet their own needs, and rather than teaching kids to speak up for themselves, forced sharing teaches them the following.
I am in constant competition to get what I need.
can give it to the other child when they are finished, we are teaching them the following.
If I make my parent miserable, I’ll get more time with what I want.
I can ask for what I want. Sometimes, I get a turn soon; and sometimes, I have to wait.
Forced sharing undermines children’s ability to lose themselves in play while also plaguing their relationships with other children with constant competition. In the end, neither child gets to experience true generosity from their peer. So, what should be taught? Markham says children need to be given the tools to handle sharing situations. “We do want our child to notice when another child would like a turn, and to ensure that child gets a turn,” she said. “And when someone else has something that our child wants, we hope that she’ll be able to control her impulses and use her words to work out an arrangement so that she can use the object in the future.”
It’s okay to cry, but it doesn’t mean I get my way.
I don’t get everything I want.
I don’t have to whine and convince my parent that I need a turn, because I know I will get it.
When I give my toy to my sibling, I feel good inside. I’m a generous person.
According to Markham, this helps your child learn patience and empathy, which may leave them better equipped to handle bigger situations in the future. Forced sharing may seem positive in nature, but the harmful competition it creates may rob children of the chance to be truly generous and communicate their feelings and desires.
If I cry loud enough, I get what I want.
Parents are in charge of who gets what and when, and it’s arbitrary, depending only on their whim and how dramatically I beg for my turn.
When we teach kids that they can use an object for as long as they’d like and that they
CASE STUDY DEFENDANT CHARGED WITH A LIFE FELONY Charges Dismissed, Reduced, and No Conviction on Her Record
Result: Secured a lower charge and bond prior to arraignment, ultimately plead to an even lower charge, with no conviction and early termination of probation at nine months. Facts: The defendant was working at a residential condominium complex when a resident complained that she was not doing an adequate job cleaning the hallway and common area. An argument ensued after our client was disrespected by the resident. The resident alleged that our client entered her apartment, struck her repeatedly, grabbed her by the hands, pulled the phone out
of her hand, and threw it off the second-floor hallway onto the ground. Davie Police arrested our client and charged her with burglary with battery (punishable by life felony) and giving a false name to police. Our client was initially held NO BOND following arrest. We were able to convince the state attorney’s office in Broward to agree to bond and file the lesser charges of burglary of a dwelling (a second-degree felony), misdemeanor battery, and giving a false name. After investigating and fighting the case, taking depositions, and speaking with witnesses, we were able to negotiate a dismissal of the charges, and our client took a plea to the reduced charge of aggravated assault.
She received a withhold of adjudication (no conviction on her record) and is eligible for early termination of probation after nine months. DISCLAIMER: The results are specific to the facts and legal circumstances of each of the clients’ cases and should not be used to form an expectation that the same results could be obtained for other clients in similar matters without reference to the specific factual and legal circumstances of each client’s case.
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Focused on You • www.izlegal.com
WHAT I ACTUALLY VALUE
A lot of businesses — law-related or not — tout their “values.” I started thinking about what my values were. It didn’t take long for a few important ones to spring to mind. I went into law to help people, plain and simple. I wasn’t seeking fame or fortune, and I didn’t expect a medal for helping, either. I just wanted to do good work for good people and to make their world a little brighter, one person at a time. In a country where almost one in three Americans are arrested before they turn 23, there are a lot of people to help. That’s my first core value: Always serve the client. It’s the reason I got into the practice of law, and it’s also my legal obligation as an attorney. But how far do you go for your clients? Well, I treat mine like family. How far would you go to help your brother or your aunt? What would you do for family? That’s the way I view the people I’m able to help. Of course, wanting to help is just the first step. The second? Solve problems . I do what I do because people need assistance with their legal problems. People need help, so they come to me, and I help them. I often start
with the major problem of navigating the legal system. Even a run-of-the-mill case will be totally unwinnable for most people unless they have an attorney on their side. And if their case involves legal complexities, jurisdictional issues, or other quirks, you can pretty much guarantee they won’t get the justice they deserve. These are the problems I want to solve. All of this is centered on building trust. I don’t want to just help you out and never talk again.As you see in this month’s cover story, I want to continue to help you in any way I can, even if you need legal help down the road in an area of law that I don’t practice. But it all takes trust, and that can be hard for people who are in a tough spot or who may not trust lawyers in general. I understand both of those things, and I am okay with both of them, as well. It’s nothing more than a different place to start. I have other core values, which you can find at izlegal. com/library/core-values.cfm, but I wanted to focus on these for now. It’s all about client service and client trust. Just remember that I’m here to serve you and want to earn your trust.
Laugh Out Loud
Bacon-Wrapped Tater Tot Bombs Sure, your showoff pal can wrap a tater tot with a piece of bacon and call it “The Daniel,” but you can take it a step further. Prepare a couple batches of these savory snacks for your Super Bowl party or the next family get-together. Snag a few for yourself before they disappear! Ingredients
2 cups frozen tater tots, defrosted
4 slices bacon, quartered
1 ounce sharp cheddar, cut into ¼-inch squares
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1. Heat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 2. Press a cheese square into each tot, then wrap with a piece of bacon. Dredge each tot in brown sugar.
3. Place tots seam side down on baking sheet. Bake for 20–25 minutes, using metal tongs to turn halfway through. 4. Garnish with parsley, if desired, and serve immediately.
Recipe inspired by ThisGrandmaIsFun.com.
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Focused on You • www.izlegal.com
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INSIDE this issue
Call Me First
Sharing Isn’t Caring When It’s Forced
What I Actually Value
Not Sure What to Bring to the Super Bowl Party?
What Happened to February?
And Why Is There No Full Moon This Month? WHY IS FEBRUARY SO SHORT?
If you were planning a romantic, moonlit stroll sometime this month, you’d better reschedule for March. But, on the bright side, if you’re terrified of werewolves, you can rest easy for the entire month of February. Every 20 years or so, because of its 28-day length, February lands between the zeniths of the lunar cycle. February passes without a full moon, while January and March get to double up. Astronomers call this event a “black moon,” and it’s happening this year for the first time since 1999. There’s a certain irony that comes with the full moon skipping the most romantic month of the year. In fact, a black moon February ensures that the new moon will always land right around Valentine’s Day. There’s no chance of even a
waxing crescent for couples on that special night. But, how did this come to pass?
to 355 days. At the time, people believed that even numbers were unlucky, and the Roman ruler of that era, King Pompilius, was hesitant to create any more even-numbered months. But, to get everything to add up to 355, he had to leave one month stuck with unlucky number 28. And the rest is history. Over the centuries, days were added here and there, the leap year was eventually instituted by Julius Caesar, and we came to the 365- day calendar we know today. But this year, as we let Valentine’s Day pass in the dark, think back to the legacy of King Pompilius and his one unlucky month.
February used to not exist at all. The calendar used by the ancient Romans would, at a glance, look very familiar to us. Its months had 30 and 31 days, and the year ended in December. But both January and February were missing. This is because the Romans, as an agricultural society, didn’t feel the need to track winter months. The days and weeks between December and the spring equinox were just, well, nothing. Eventually, the calendar was updated to more accurately reflect the lunar cycle. January and February were added, and the year was extended
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