The Bledsoe Firm - March 2020

The Bledsoe Firm | 949.363.5551 MARCH | 2020 More Lessons Learned From My Father S ince my father died last November, I have reflected on my early years and experiences living in the very large family I grew up in. My mother gave birth to 10 children in 14 years. As I have mentioned,

out of the question. We just didn’t have the money. It took a lot of effort to keep food on the table for all us kids. I have memories of being in the garage or in the backyard helping my dad fix our cars. There were always repairs that we had to make — brakes that needed to be replaced, oil that needed to be changed, and various other parts that needed to be fixed. And Dad generally wanted one of us with him to hand him wrenches or various parts. As the years went on, I spent a good deal of time helping Dad. I learned about various car parts, and I would often accompany him to the auto parts store where he would buy anything needed to do the job. By the time I left home for college in the fall of 1975, having just turned 18, I had some working knowledge of what various tools were used for repairs and how automobiles functioned. This experience working with my dad really benefited me when I was working my way through college in the late 1970s and early ‘80s. In the summer of 1980, I got a job working for an oil field service company in Evanston, Wyoming, where we drove in a large diesel truck around the Rocky Mountains of Utah and Wyoming and provided services to large oil drilling rigs. The things I learned from my dad about basic mechanics helped me to not embarrass myself in that job, because we did minor repairs on the truck assigned to us. And after I got married in 1982, I soon found myself with my own growing family. By then, I was working a full-time job and going to law school at night, and I was fortunate enough to be able to do routine maintenance on my own vehicles instead of spending money on a mechanic. My wife was somewhat impressed (and trusting) when I fixed the brakes on her 1981 Toyota Celica. Looking back, I realize that those times helping Dad fix our cars were also times when I got to talk to and get to know him. He would frequently have the Michael Jackson talk radio show on from KABC in Los Angeles. I learned that there was other entertainment out there besides the FM music channels. And I probably developed a lot of my political views from these early experiences listening to talk radio and talking with Dad while we worked together.

my father worked as a Los Angeles County fireman for many years, along with owning a restaurant service business that he also worked hard at. Even with my dad’s two jobs, we didn’t have much discretionary income in those days.

It’s really quite a story. We all had to go out and earn our own money. I remember at the age of 10 having a job as a paperboy delivering the evening edition of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner after school. I would have to fold up newspapers and put rubber bands on each one of them and then load up the canvas bag and ride my bike around the neighborhood throwing papers. I would also have to collect money from the neighbors who were customers. There was always work to do at home. My dad worked hard around our house, and we had at least four or five cars. Paying a mechanic to fix them was

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pet. Anything beyond a walk may require extra obedience training or equipment — like a specialty tool that prevents your pet from colliding with your bike — but after a few loops around the trail, your pet will be begging to go again. And how can you say no to that face? Plus, this idea isn’t just for dogs. You can find leashes and harnesses for cats, lizards, ferrets, and other pets that love to get fresh air.

WELLNESS AND WHISKERS 3 Ways to Work Out With Your Pet

Going for a Swim

If you have a dog that appears to be more fish than canine, swimming might be the workout for you! Swimming is a joint-friendly cardiovascular exercise that works your entire body. If you’re not one for a dip in the pool, then kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding are great for your arms and core. Meanwhile, your pet can enjoy a relaxing ride or an exciting game of fetch. Just be sure to secure your pet with a life jacket before you and your four- legged friend splash away! If you want a good full-body workout while entertaining your pet, then consider including them in traditional exercises. Entertain your pup with a game of fetch and drop down for a burpee every time it runs away. Balance your bird on your shoulder while you squat and lunge. Mentally and physically stimulate your cat by dragging a string around your body during Russian twists. With a little creativity and a few of your pet’s favorite things, both of you can work up a sweat. Keeping It Traditional

Creating a healthy lifestyle is often easier with support, but if you’re struggling to find someone to join you on your path to wellness, then look to your furry friends instead. Read on for some ways to get active with your pet, and learn more about their wellness and health at

Racking Up the Miles

A simple way to get moving with your pet is to go for a walk. If you’re looking for a bigger challenge, then try running, biking, or hiking with your

How to Read Reviews to Find a 5-Star Attorney

Online reviews have become central to our decision-making for nearly everything these days. From choosing the best Bluetooth speaker to choosing the best divorce attorney in town, you are probably the type of person who does their research (including reading online reviews) before choosing a product or service. Here are some pointers for how to assess online reviews when choosing an attorney: 1. Start with Google Reviews. Look for what most people say about how they were treated and how responsive the attorney and their staff were. Do you like what you see? If not, it’s time to check out the next option. 2. Some negative reviews may be okay. Don’t automatically discount a prospect just because they have a few negative reviews. This could be a sign that the attorney has a high case volume (which means they are experienced). If someone has been in practice for many years and seen thousands of cases, a few negative reviews are par for the course. Look at the overall percentage of negative to positive reviews, read all the reviews carefully, and look for trends. 3. Quantity matters. How many good to great reviews does your potential attorney have? Quantity matters quite a bit. When many people are recommending your potential attorney, you can rest

assured. Look for at least 30-50 good to

excellent reviews for your attorney. Less than that and

you are quite possibly choosing someone who is either inexperienced or who tends to leave clients either dissatisfied or indifferent. 4. Check peer ratings. The experience of previous clients is important, but an attorney’s peer rating is equally important. Seeing that an attorney is rated well by their peers is an excellent sign that the attorney is honest, ethical, and skilled. It’s easy for an attorney without scruples to rack up billable hours filing frivolous motions or impeding your case’s progress through the system. The best way to avoid this type of attorney is to look for someone whose peers rate them well.

For more informative articles like this one, be sure to visit our blog at!

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As I look back on my time now raising my own children, I realize that some of the very best experiences I had with them were when we worked together on a project. Working hard and sweating with somebody really breaks down barriers and leads to honest conversation and real bonding. It works with your children. It works with neighbors. It works with the person at church who you barely know. Work hard for a few hours with that person on some kind of project and you will develop a strong bond with them. Thank you, Dad, for these experiences and all of the things that you taught me. Next month, I will write about the very unusual family I grew up in and the effect it had on the career choices of my seven brothers and my sister. —John Bledsoe

H ow M ediation H elps Y ou G et P ast the T oughest I ssues It’s no secret that going through a divorce is a complex process. When two people are dealing with intricate emotional and financial issues, divorce negotiations can come to a complete stop. If you and your former spouse hired separate divorce attorneys and keep hitting roadblocks, it might be time to seek out divorce mediation. Mediation can be the ideal way to overcome the emotional or financial barriers that prevent progress. The great thing about mediation is that you can take advantage of it at literally any time during the proceedings. Here are few of the common barriers it can help couples work through during divorce. CHILD CUSTODY When your child’s best interests are on the line, emotions can quickly spiral out of control. Through mediation, couples can better identify common goals when trying to preserve their children’s best interests. In any divorce, the child’s interests should never be forgotten or put aside. PARENTING TIME Children often thrive when both parents are actively involved in their lives. Mediation gives parents an outlet to discuss creative solutions for how children can consistently see both parents with as little disruption as possible. CHILD SUPPORT During mediation, couples can learn more about how child support works and how it might affect each parent. There is often a lot of misunderstanding about how child support works, and discussing it in this format can help ensure there are no surprises down the line. If you or your former spouse are not realistically able to make child support payments, you may be able to find an alternative financial solution during mediation. PROPERTY DIVISION In many instances, personal property has sentimental value, and during divorce negotiations, this value can create another major hurdle for divorcing couples. If you and your former spouse are struggling to divide jewelry, antiques, furniture, electronics, or other personal items, sitting down with a third-party mediator can bring you some much-needed perspective and help you to truly see the value of what you need to divide.

Inspired by

Pesto Chicken With Blistered Tomatoes

Brighten up after a cold, dark winter with this fresh and flavorful springtime dish.


• 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided • 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, pounded to a 1-inch thickness • Salt and pepper to taste • 1/4 cup whole-wheat panko • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese

• 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted • 6 tbsp spinach pesto • 2 cups cherry tomatoes • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced • 1 tsp red wine vinegar


1. In a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil. 2. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and add it to pan. Cook chicken for 5 minutes on each side, then remove pan from heat. 3. In a bowl, combine panko, Parmesan cheese, and butter. 4. Spread pesto over chicken and top with panko mixture. 5. Broil chicken for 2 minutes on high heat until browned. 6. In a skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. 7. Add tomatoes and cook for 6 minutes. 8. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. 9. Season tomato mixture with salt and pepper, and add red wine vinegar. 10. Serve tomatoes with broiled chicken.

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23101 Lake Center Drive • Suite 310 Lake Forest, CA 92630



More Lessons Learned From My Father

Get Fit With Fido


Reviews Can Tell You a Lot About an Attorney

One Great Tool for Overcoming Divorce’s Greatest Hurdles


Pesto chicken with blistered tomatoes


Ditch the Energy Drinks

Need a Boost?

N atural S upplements to I ncrease Y our E nergy

As spring kicks off, many people will be tempted to grab a Monster, Red Bull, or Rockstar to get through the day. Energy drinks may give you a quick boost, but the high levels of caffeine and sugar can

energy drinks. However, in doses less than 5 grams, creatine provides impressive benefits during high-intensity activities, short-duration exercises, and sports, including football, shot put, and weightlifting. This compound is found in red meat, pork, poultry, and fish, and when consumed, it releases phosphates that give your body a quick burst of energy. Ingesting more than 5 grams, though, will leave you feeling bloated with a lot of stomach discomfort. Creatine powder can be found at most wellness stores. Beetroot Powder Beetroot powder is made from the roots of the beet plant and is rich in nitrate. Nitrate relaxes blood vessels, creating increased blood flow and oxygen delivery. This enables your body to produce energy more efficiently and maintain energy levels, making beetroot powder a great aid for endurance sports like running, soccer, and biking. In the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, a study reported that athletes could work out for 25% longer when they used beetroot powder. Fatigue didn’t set in until much later in their workout, which improved their training and performance.

lead to migraines and increased anxiety. If over-consumed, these drinks can even lead to Type 2 diabetes. To avoid these health hazards, try out a few of these natural energy boosters instead. Ashwagandha Ashwagandha is an evergreen shrub found mostly in India. As part of the Ayurveda system, an alternative medicine practice from India, it’s also known as “Indian ginseng.” The Alternative Medicine Review published a study indicating ashwagandha increases the body’s resilience to physical and mental stress by lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol by 28%. Ashwagandha can also help you through long workouts and the 9-to-5 grind because it may also improve brain function, including memory. You can get ashwagandha in pill form at most convenience stores around the world.

This spring, say goodbye to energy drinks and get the boost you need with one of these natural energy supplements.

Creatine Many people don’t realize creatine is a natural energy booster because they get it mostly in processed, high-sugar

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