BITTERSWEET ENDINGS AND HAPPY BEGINNINGS Welcoming a Familiar Face to the Team April 2019
Like anything in life that’s new and unknown, stepping out on my own as an attorney was scary. While there were risks, our young family took the leap of faith because we knew it was a step in the right direction. In many ways, I was only able to do this because of Ashley’s amazing job. For the past several years, she’s been an attorney with Berger Singerman, a highly respected Florida law firm focusing on all areas of business law. As part of their Business Reorganization and Dispute Resolution Teams, Ashley has focused on bankruptcy and insolvency cases, complex commercial litigation cases, and earned well-deserved accolades and honors along the way. (I could keep bragging about Ashley, but I’ll let you ask her.) Berger Singerman gave Ashley the opportunity to live out her dream of practicing bankruptcy law at a top and well-respected bankruptcy firm. Since she started law school — and even before that —Ashley wanted to practice bankruptcy or family law. Her mom, Bernice, was a bankruptcy and family law attorney practicing out of Boca Raton, and Ashley’s dream was to follow the path Bernice had paved. Fresh out of law school, Ashley was very lucky to get a position in the appellate court clerking for Judge Melanie G. May. Since positions with judges last for two terms, Judge May connected Ashley with Judge Raymond B. Ray, a bankruptcy judge in Ft. Lauderdale, after her terms ended because she knew Ashley’s interests.
In her two terms working with Judge Ray, Ashley gained exposure to the commercial and litigation side of bankruptcy law, including high profile cases like the one revolving around Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein (a story you’ve probably heard, as it’s made many news headlines and was featured in CNBC’s “American Greed”). At that time, attorneys from Berger Singerman were working on the Rothstein case, and they got to know Ashley as their work intersected. All it takes is meeting Ashley for you to know how amazing she is, and Berger Singerman quickly offered her a job after her terms ended with Judge Ray. In her six years at the firm, Ashley has not only found a great job and a strong foundation for her legal career but also a group of people who’ve become friends and mentors. The folks at Berger Singerman are an outstanding group of people that I’ve been lucky enough to get to know through Ashley. The firm took Ashley in early in her legal career and provided the support and training she needed to navigate the complex bankruptcy and litigation work they do. The past six years have been full of growth, learning, new challenges, and amazing opportunities. Thank you to everyone at Berger Singerman for being part of this. Reflecting on the role the firm has played in Ashley’s life makes it bittersweet to share the next bit of news. This month, we’re taking our next step as a firm, and as a family, and welcoming Ashley to the Bruce Law Firm. We’re so excited for Ashley to start this next chapter of her career. At the same time, it was a difficult decision for Ashley to leave her team at Berger Singerman, as they have been so good to her. Thanks to you, our firm has continued to grow. This next step made the most sense for Bruce Law Firm, our family, and our clients. Getting to work alongside a respected and knowledgeable attorney like Ashley will be a huge benefit to our team and to our clients. It also gives Ashley the opportunity to work in family law, an area she is passionate about and excited to grow in. We’re looking forward to working together to help our clients. Ashley and I are thankful to all the people who have supported us in our careers and our business along the way, especially the attorneys from Berger Singerman who gave Ashley the chance to learn and grow. We can’t wait to share this next chapter with all of you. –Ashley & Chris Bruce
Ashley, Russell, & Ruby on the carousel!
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How to Prepare for Trial If you’re appearing for the first time in court, you might feel uncertain about what to expect. It can be an intimidating situation, but your attorney will be there to guide you through the process. As attorneys, we spend a lot of our time in and around the courtroom, and we know what a judge and others are looking for. Here are some of the general guidelines I go over with my clients before their trial so they can feel confident when they walk into the courtroom. 1. DRESS (AND BEHAVE) PROFESSIONALLY. For men, this generally means a blue or black suit with a tie and nice shoes. For women, dress conservatively. A sweater or blouse, nice shoes, and a skirt or pants are good options. 2. DON’T SHOW OFF YOUR ROLEX. While it’s not prohibited to wear luxury items to court, it’s also not helpful. It can turn off some judges, and when the matter of finances comes up, it can paint the wrong picture. 3. ALWAYS STAND UP WHEN THE JUDGE WALKS INTO, OR OUT OF, THE ROOM. This shows respect for the judge and demonstrates your cooperation with the court. General Guidelines for the Courtroom
RATED E FOR EVERYONE
WHAT DO RATINGS MEAN, AND HOW SHOULD YOU USE THEM?
Despite guidance from ratings systems, it can be difficult for parents to discern what digital content is appropriate for their children. Learn more about ratings guidelines for common entertainment media and how to decipher that information so you can make educated decisions that work for your family. MOVIES: G-rated movies are considered suitable for all ages, whereas PG, PG-13, and R-rated movies are progressively less appropriate for kids because of violence, nudity, and language. Some ratings come with age limits; children who are under the age of 17 must be accompanied by an adult at R-rated movies. TV SHOWS: Due to laws that limit inappropriate content on public airwaves, TV rating systems follow unique codes. In the U.S., shows that are rated as TV-14 (content that is suitable for those ages 14 and older) can only air after 5 p.m. Meanwhile, TV-MA (content that is appropriate for mature audiences) can only air between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Most shows airing between the hours of 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. are rated TV-G or TV-PG. These are similar in content to their movie counterparts. Some television children’s shows will also be rated as TV-Y or TV-Y7, and their only distinction is that TV-Y7 has been deemed appropriate for young children ages 7 and older. TV ratings can also have additional descriptors attached to them to explain what kind of content earned the rating. VIDEO GAMES: There are seven video game ratings: Early Childhood (EC), Everyone (E), Everyone 10+ (E10), Teen (T), Mature (M), Adults Only (AO), or Rating Pending (RP). These ratings provide consumers with more information about content. Again, as the age of the intended user increases, content progresses from allowing mild violence or suggestive content to adult themes. When choosing family entertainment, experts suggest using both the rating and the description of the media to make your decision since the rating system may not fully explain media content. For example, studies have found that a PG-13 movie can sometimes have just as much violence as an R-rated movie. Additionally, you may be fine with the content in a T-rated video game for a more developmentally advanced 11-year-old. Once you get past all the combinations of numbers and letters, you as a parent might find that ratings for video games, movies, and TV shows provide helpful information. Couple the ratings with your own research and your own values, and put an end to worrying about what surprises may lurk in your children’s media.
4. ADDRESS THE JUDGE AS “YOUR HONOR.” Avoid using “judge” or “sir.” Stick to the respectful “Your Honor.”
5. SHOW RESPECT TO EVERYONE IN THE COURTROOM. Especially when addressing the other attorney and the other party, be respectful. Use “Mr.” and “Mrs.” and avoid using first names. Try to keep your emotions in check and avoid showing anger in the courtroom. Even if you might enjoy seeing your former spouse getting “beat up” by the judge, don’t show it.
During the trial, remember that people — especially the judge — are paying attention. They are watching body language as much as they are the evidence. Being respectful, looking and behaving professionally, and managing your emotions will set a good tone for your case and help you establish yourself in a better light to everyone involved.
Is your friend or client in need of a guide as they prepare for divorce? our divorce strategy book can help! The book can be downloaded for FREE at ControlYourDifficultDivorce.com If your friend or client lives in the South Florida area, we will mail them a hard copy of the book upon request.
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Vacation Without the Hassle
BE A TOURIST IN YOUR OWN TOWN
Gallery to historical sites like the Boca Raton Museum and the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, there are many fun ways to see a new side of the place you call home. Many of these locations hold regular tours, so stop in and explore. 2. STAY AT A HOTEL OR GO FOR A SPA DAY. Part of creating the ‘home-away-from-home’ experience is actually getting away — even if it’s just a few miles. Whether it’s a couple nights at a local hotel or Airbnb in a neighborhood you’ve always admired or a spa day that gets you into full relaxation mode (or both), getting away from your everyday routine can help you reset and rejuvenate like you would on vacation. 3. ATTEND A LOCAL EVENT YOU’VE NEVER BEEN TO. You’ve dreamed of wining and dining at a far-off destination, but why not do it around Palm Beach? Boca Bacchanal, Boca Raton’s premier wine and food weekend, is coming up on April 4 through April 6, and the menu and wine list promise to be mouth-watering. Additionally, if baseball is your sport, why not head to some of the spring training games? Indulging in the staycation experience is a fun, budget-friendly way to relax and unplug. In fact, you might even consider fully unplugging by silencing notifications from your phone and allowing yourself to be immersed in your local excursion. Go ahead; give yourself permission to relax.
When you crave a weekend getaway but your schedule (and stress level) doesn’t oblige, consider the benefits of a vacation — right where you are. A “staycation” can provide all the perks of a vacation without the packing, airport security, or missed flights.
Here are three ways to enjoy a relaxing weekend without hopping on a plane.
1. TAKE A TOUR. There are likely sites you’ve always wanted to visit in your town but have never had the opportunity. Now’s your chance! From local galleries like The Boxy
have a LAUGH
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
12 ounces pasta, ideally fusilli
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 pound broccoli florets
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 carrots, shredded
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, ideally Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, for pasta water and to taste
Add tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook until tomatoes are wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in reserved pasta water. Add tomato mixture to pasta pot, stirring to coat evenly. Divide into bowls, top with parmesan, and serve.
In a large pot, liberally salt water and bring to a boil. Add fusilli and cook according to package directions. Add broccoli, carrots, and bell pepper during the last 2 minutes of cook time. Drain the pasta and veggies, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking liquid. Return pasta and veggies to pot. In a large skillet, heat olive oil to medium heat. Add garlic and cook until translucent and golden, 30 seconds.
Inspired by Food Network
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Welcoming a Familiar Face to the Team page 1
Understanding Media Ratings
Preparing for Trial page 2
How to Be a Tourist in Your Own Town page 3
Books to Engage the Whole Family page 4
Worlds Within Pages Learning to read opens up a world of possibilities. When your child walks through the back of the wardrobe into Narnia with Lucy Pevensie or rides with Harry Potter on the train to Hogwarts, they connect to something beyond their own experiences. In the U.S., April 23 is World Book Day, and the date commemorates the deaths of legendary authors Cervantes, Shakespeare, and Garcilaso de la Vega, as well as the birth of author Vladimir Nabokov. World Book Day is the perfect time to sit down with your family and let yourself be transported to new worlds. So, here are three great stories to help you take young readers on brand-new adventures.
Books to Engage the Whole Family
simply to appreciate the colorful depictions of each animal. This book was written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Petr Horácek.
FOR THE MIDDLE SCHOOLER: ‘THE NIGHT DIARY’ 12-year-old Nisha navigates her world after the partition of India creates the new country of Pakistan and her family is forced to leave their home. Her mother may be gone, but Nisha finds solace in writing nightly letters to her in her diary as she discovers what the future holds. Based on author Veera Hiranandani’s memories of her own family, this moving tale lets readers experience life through someone else’s eyes. FOR TEENS: ‘BRAZEN: REBEL LADIES WHO ROCKED THE WORLD’ While some might not think of comics as proper reading, Penelope Bagieu’s graphic novel forces reconsideration. Her clever, colorful artwork and engaging narrative take the reader through the biographies of 30 women, from Bette Davis and Mae Jemison to lesser-known but equally intriguing ladies like Giorgina Reid. All in all, this book provides a great way to get kids excited about history in an entertaining form.
FOR THE ELEMENTARY READER: ‘SONG OF THE WILD: A FIRST BOOK OF ANIMALS’
“Song of the Wild” makes a great read-aloud book for beginner readers because they can get lost in the beautiful artwork while you read the text. Written in prose and rhyming poems, this book showcases sprawling landscapes — savannahs, jungles, and oceans — and features the wildlife living there. It’s worth a read
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