Al l fami ly law. Al l around Georgia. Al l around the wor ld.
S eptember 2020
L eading a C ompany C ulture of G iving Celebrat ing Internat ional Day of Char i ty
Across The Manely Firm, our employees actively support the many communities we serve through a variety of charitable causes. The impact of our service is felt locally, nationally, and internationally! There’s Kiwanis International, where Attorney William King, Office Manager Senceria Levesque, and I are members, which supports Project Eliminate, effectively eliminating neo-natal tetanus world-wide; Attorney Jess Lill volunteers shifts at the Rape Crisis Center in Chatham County, Georgia; Paralegal Karen Perez offers Spanish translation at the Innovation Law Lab in Gwinnett County, Georgia; and, Margaret Bryant, Melissa Pike, and Kim Holloman show support at MUST Ministries, a shelter for the homeless in Cobb County, Georgia. Partners Michael Manely and David Purvis and their team of attorneys regularly provide pro-bono legal services to low-income litigants as identified through the United States Secretary of State for international parental abduction through The Hague Convention and litigants throughout Georgia as identified by Legal Aid. There’s also an impressive list of stewardship and leadership roles our team provides to the charities we serve. Attorney William King is President of Soulstice, Inc. in Fulton County, Georgia, which counsels, supports, and coaches youth through participation in mock trial and moot court competitions. Marketing Assistant Margaret Bryant serves as both a board member and cheerleading commissioner with Northside Youth Organization in Chastain Park, Georgia. Paralegal Karen Perez is Secretary for Tri Sigma Atlanta Alumnae Chapter. I serve in leadership roles with organizations here in Marietta, as well. For example, I serve on the board of directors for Kiwanis Club of Marietta, and duties there have included being the chair of the finance committee, chair of public relations and
communications, and chair of the spiritual aims committee. Along with Attorney William King and Office Manager Senceria Levesque, I participate in the club’s Flag Project as well. “ Empathy, skill and determination are an integral part of our firm culture .” —Shelia Manely, Business Manager In this project, the Marietta Kiwanis distributes American flags to subscribed businesses and homeowners throughout Marietta, placing and retrieving them seven times a year around patriotic holidays. Businesses pay $25 per flag, and the thousands — upon thousands — of dollars raised are donated to support the education and welfare of the youth in our community. We’ve donated laptops to low-income, high-achieving youth, stocked schools’ food pantries, and invested in the development of the Student Success Center at Marietta High School. Attorney William King serves as a flag captain, maintaining a route of nearly 100 flags. The Manely Firm provides donuts and coffee to volunteers who meet at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday mornings to deploy and retrieve flags, and we serve as a corporate sponsor for Marietta Kiwanis Club fundraising events. Our firm is also a corporate supporter for The Center for Family Resources (CFR), a nonprofit that provides housing, life skills, and other services to help move families from homelessness (or the brink of homelessness) to financial stability and self-sufficiency. I have served the CFR as a board member for three years and am currently the board chair elect.
One interesting fact about CFR is that we are not a shelter. We provide families with their own home in which to live while providing support to address the root causes of homelessness. It’s a long-term investment that we see pay off time and time again. One of my goals for 2021 as chair of the CFR’s Board is to elevate awareness about the need to provide support for families facing homelessness. Homeless families are often invisible in the community. They are commonly working mothers and fathers who have encountered an unexpected financial crisis like job loss or the catastrophic illness of a family member. Oftentimes, these parents and sometimes grandparents are raising their children in cars. I’ve seen situations where one parent is trying to keep their children clean at public facilities (and occupied at public parks) while the other parent goes to work to earn what wages they can under such circumstances. Some remain stuck in costly extended-stay hotels, barely covering their expenses and never able to save the money needed for apartment and utility deposits. At the CFR, we’re proud to say we offer a hand up — not a handout. It’s very meaningful work, and I am proud that I, and our firm, am part of it. We at The Manely Firm realize how blessed we are to work together in service to our clients and our communities. Empathy, skill, and determination are an integral part of our firm culture, woven throughout what we do and how we do it. That was an important part of my and Michael’s vision when he founded our firm. It fills my heart with joy and awe when I reflect on the magnitude of the positive impact that early vision has had on so many lives.
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I s S tress H arming Y our M emory ?
How to Cope Wi th Dai ly Tr iggers
Stress can cause more than just a bad mood and low energy. Over time, mental exhaustion from stress can lead to forgetfulness and reduced cognition. This can hamper your ability to do your job and enjoy life. Though stress is unavoidable, there are steps you can take to mitigate some of the negative effects of mental exhaustion, including forgetfulness. First, consider the source of your stress. These days, a common stressor is social media. If your feeds are full of bad news and negativity, shut them down. Many researchers suggest that spending less time on the internet leads to better health. Several studies have found that constant internet use, including time spent on social media, is negatively impacting our memories. Research from Harvard, Oxford, King’s College London, and Western Sydney University all confirm this: Too much internet use is a bad thing. Of course, it can be easier to delete a social media app than it is to eliminate other types of stressors. Coping with a stressful coworker, for example, can be difficult. You have to figure out why they’re causing you stress and how the situation can
be remedied. Dealing with a work-related confrontation can be hard, but having that difficult conversation and resolving the problem can ultimately lead to less long-term stress and improve your mental health. Another thing you can do to reduce stress is avoid multitasking. Taking on multiple projects or doing too much in too little time can leave you feeling overworked. Plus, studies have found that multitasking is not effective. You cannot deliver the same results when your attention is scattered as you can when you are focused on one thing. To make matters worse, multitasking takes a major toll on memory and cognition, according to a study from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. If stress is impairing your memory, judgment, or cognition, take the above steps to reduce it. If you find your memory and cognition aren’t improving, consider speaking with a mental health professional to discuss your best next steps. Mental health and stress management are important, and the more we do to improve these areas of our lives, the healthier and happier we will be.
M eet C at G onzalez Dedicated to Helping People in Need
The Manely Firm is made up of a dedicated and caring team that always strives to do the best they can for clients, and Cat Gonzalez is one of those teammembers. However, Cat’s path had a few unexpected turns before she found her way to our firm. Cat’s interest in the legal field started before she even entered college. But life can be unpredictable, and her career moved in a completely different direction. In fact, she worked as a graphic designer and a project manager for a trade show convention company for many years. When her husband opened up his business and was successful, Cat chose to stay at home. However, she soon began to look for other opportunities because she wanted to work. That was when Cat saw that the local community college had a few law classes, and she decided to give it a try. As Cat dove into this new career path, she wondered where she wanted to settle. “When I started my career, I wanted to do immigration, tax, or maybe even business law,” Cat said. “But my first job was in family law, and I never looked back. Everything else wasn’t as good as family law.”
you see parents reunited with kids and ensure the right people receive money for child support. Helping people find that resolution — and doing what we can to help them move on — is the best part of what we do here. We’re doing the right thing, and that’s what the Manely Firm is all about. The people here are wonderful and really care about everyone. I always feel so proud of what we do, and I’m so grateful for all my coworkers. I’m happy to be part of this firm.” Not only has Cat found her work fulfilling, but her skills go far and beyond helping both our clients and our team. Cat speaks both Spanish and English, making her an integral part of our firm especially since we work with people all across the world. Her knowledge of graphic design has also helped us tremendously over the years, especially now as remote work continues. Despite how busy she keeps herself, Cat does find time for herself. At home, Cat relaxes by working on her flower garden. With fall on the horizon, however, Cat looks forward to when the art classes around town will open again so she can indulge in a favorite pastime once more.
Ever since, Cat has excelled in this field. “You really feel like you can help people who really need that help. In family law,
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D oing O ur P art : O ffering S ervices in M ultiple L anguages As an international family law firm, we deliver services throughout the world. Our attorneys and staff work with people from multiple countries, who live in a variety of cultures and speak a range of languages. In order to provide the best services, our team is set up with the skills, knowledge, and experience to ensure that each of our clients — no matter which country they reach out to us from — are taken care of. This includes our team’s ability to communicate in several different languages. The Manely Firm offers our services through English, German, Kartuli, Spanish, Russian and Ukranian. With our emphasis on international family law, the ability to speak multiple languages and connect with people across the world is a necessity. Additionally, our team understands what it means for clients when we can explain a concept, legal practice, or process in their native language. By doing so, we can help our clients understand these legal concepts far better. We also have staff members who share similar cultural experiences and understand how to work with people of various backgrounds. This is very important, as it helps communicate effectively when they are making legal decisions. While people share cultures, languages, and experiences, the entire conversation — from tone to body language — is reassuring, especially when clients are making the type of choices that could impact people’s lives forever. Last month, Attorney William King, who works on our webinars for estate planning and probate issues, put together our first three bilingual webinars. These webinars, conducted in both English and Spanish, covered the Georgia Advance Directive for Health Care, power of attorney, and general estate planning. Our team wants to give our clients and their loved ones an opportunity to hear and fully understand these crucial — and often life-changing — topics. We are so excited to offer this service to our Spanish speaking clients! By the time this newsletter is published, these three webinars will be over, but they are not the end of our multilingual webinars. They are just the beginning. This service will be an ongoing effort to proactively deliver useful information and services to all of our clients.
“Life is not about how fast you run or how high you cl imb, but how wel l you bounce.” –Vivian Komor i
E asy S tuffed S weet P otatoes
Who says a loaded potato has to clog your arteries? In this healthy version that serves four, a sweet potato base is topped with fiber-rich bean salsa.
Inspired by EatingWell.com
• • • • •
1 tsp cumin
4 medium sweet potatoes
1 tsp coriander
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 tsp salt
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1. With a fork, prick each sweet potato a few times. Microwave the potatoes on high 12–15 minutes, or until cooked through. 2. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the beans, tomatoes, olive oil, cumin, coriander, and salt. When the potatoes are done, microwave the mixture on high for 2–3 minutes. 3. Cool potatoes slightly, then cut each potato open lengthwise. Pull the halves apart to create space to spoon the warm bean salsa inside. 4. Add a scoop of sour cream to each potato, garnish with cilantro, and serve!
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211 Roswel l St . NE Mar ietta, GA 30060 (866) 687-8561 www.al l fami lylaw.com
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We Serve Our Communi ty: Inside and Out
Is Stress Making You Forgetful? Shining the Spot l ight on Cat! The Start of Our Mul t i l ingual Webinars Easy Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
How 11 Days Were Deleted From History
11 D ays D eleted F rom H istory How the British Changed Their Calendar System and Caused Chaos
For centuries, Europeans used the Julian calendar, created by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C. It was based on the solar calendar, so most of Europe thought it was the most accurate calendar. However, over the centuries, dates had “drifted,” and many important days, like Easter and the spring equinox, were no longer falling on the dates they were supposed to. To compensate, the new Gregorian calendar was developed and put to use by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. It helped put things back in order and eliminated the extra day every 128 years. However, not everyone adopted the Gregorian calendar right away, such as the British. That meant that Europeans were using two diverging calendars for over 200 years. Talk about confusing! People realized that as the world started to expand and as countries became more connected, having a single calendar system was critical. Finally, the British chose the year 1752 to make the change. But, in order to make it work, they had to “jump” forward. For instance, 1751 could only be 10 months long — starting with March and ending with Dec. 31, 1751. But even that adjustment didn’t quite bring the English up to speed in time to make the shift. They also had to cut 11 days from 1752. The unlucky dates that were cut were Sept. 2–14, 1752.
The people were not happy. English historians found research that British citizens chanted “Give us our 11 days!” in the streets. The phrase became so popular that some politicians even campaigned with that as their slogan. Several other historical accounts state that many people were worried that by cutting the calendar, their own lives would be cut 11 days shorter. There was a lot of confusion and chaos, but over time, dates fell where they were supposed to, and everyone lived their full lives, those 11 days included.
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