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Stevenson Klotz Monthly Calendar—March of 2017

Ash Wednesday, March 1. The first day of Lent in the Western Christian Church. It is marked by services of penitence and/or fasting.

World Book Day, March 2. A celebration of authors, illustrators, books, and reading, designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a worldwide festival in over 100 countries.

Pi Day, March 14. It’s a never-ending number: 3.14159... It is also Albert Einstein’s birthday. Fitting, isn’t it?

Saint Patrick's Day, March 17. Share the love of all things Irish. A day to celebrate with an Irish feast. Corned beef and cabbage, beer, and red beards. What’s not to love?

World Storytelling Day, March 20. A global celebration of the art of oral storytelling.

Also Inside This Issue:

Recipe of the Month

Mississippi Caviar

Another surprisingly simple and delicious dip. It’s also pretty healthy! Mix this appetizer all in bowl and allow to sit overnight. This is an outstanding dip with crackers or scoop-sized Fritos

Ingredients:

  • 3 cans of black eyed peas
  • 1 cup bell pepper (diced)
  • 3/4 cup onion (diced)
  • 1 tbsp garlic (minced)
  • 3/4 cup pickled jalapeno (diced)
  • 1/4 cup pimento (diced)
  • 1 8oz bottle of Italian dressing

What’s Up at SKLF?

Stevenson Klotz had an amazing February. We were able to help resolve a number of personal injury claims for our clients and our case intake was up. We are excited to help more and more people each month.

We also had a lot of fun during Mardi Gras. The office had many king cakes and Girl Scout cookies were ubiquitous.

We are looking forward to a great March. We are working on a new look to our website and hope to have at least the demos rolled out by the end of the month. We hope everyone has a great St. Patrick’s Day, maybe we will see you out at the McGuire’s 5k!

Watch for a St. Patrick’s Day themed contest on our Facebook page.

Memory Trick

A man in a bar had three beers. When he got up to leave, the bartender said, “That’ll be $12.”

“But I already paid you,” the man said. “Don’t you remember?”

The bartender didn’t, but he decided to give the customer the benefit of the doubt. “OK. I guess if you say you did, you did.”

The man went outside and called a friend. “Hey, the bartender here can’t keep track of who’s paid or not. Come on over!”

So the friend came into the bar a few minutes later and drank three beers. Again, when he got up to leave, he told the bartender he’d already paid for his drinks, and the bartender let him go.

Out on the street, the friend spotted another acquaintance and told him the trick. So the new guy headed into the bar and ordered a few beers.

When he started to leave, the bartender leaned over. “You know, I’ve had two guys in here tonight claiming they’d paid when I didn’t remember it. Just so you know, the next joker who tries that is going to get a punch in the face.”

“Fine.” The third man shrugged. “Just give me my change, and I’ll go.”

Community Spotlight: Pathways for Change

Community Spotlight: Follow Up on Pathways for Change Pilot Program

Each month, we like to feature people we work with, our neighbors, or people who are influential in our community. This month, we would like to feature a follow up article with Pathways for Change. Our first article with Pathways for Change was in our January of 2017 Newsletter. View it on our website.

For two and a half days in early February, legal aid attorneys, community activists, social service providers, law professors, Florida Bar Foundation staff and others gathered at a community service center in Pensacola to design new approaches to the delivery of legal services. Led by Margaret Hagan, director of the Legal Design Lab at Stanford Law’s Center for the Legal Profession, the group began with a question: “How do we get legal help to those who need it and who may not even know they need it?”

Hagan, a member of the advisory council for the American Bar Association Center for Innovation and the facilitator for the Foundation’s 2015 Legal Aid Summit, said the project is using a model of participatory service design employed by service innovation labs in Malmo, Sweden and Milan, Italy. “Rather than starting from the usual lawyer-first or court-first point of view, we are starting with the people. It’s not about setting up more traditional law offices or clinics and hoping that people realize they have a legal need and then find their way to a lawyer,” Hagan said. “This proposition of people-driver legal services has been rumbling around as a concept in classes, conferences, and discussions about improving the legal system.”

The Escambia Project, tentatively named for the Florida County where it’s located, is an effort to turn that talk into action.

The project is hosted by Pathways for Change, which takes a holistic approach to its mission of transforming the lives of people on the wrong path because of poverty, substance abuse or lack of education. The Pathways for Change family center stands amid four public housing blocks in Pensacola and offers a continuum of services including education, prevention, intervention and aftercare.

Pathways for Change CEO Connie Bookman, a public member of The Florida Bar Foundation board, has worked closely with Melissa Moss, the Foundation’s deputy director for strategic initiatives, to bring together the team that is collaborating on the project. “Our staff has worked since 2004 to ensure that those we serve at Pathways for Change have all the resources they need to really turn their lives around,” Bookman said. “Legal services, while they have been available to a limited extent, have really been the missing piece in terms of providing residents of this under-served community with a comprehensive set of tools to overcome barriers to success.”

The Escambia Project’s design teams met on site during the first week of February to map out needs, brainstorm, propose and vet design ideas, and narrow those ideas to a few worth piloting. Bookman invited 10 members of the Pathways for Change Men’s Residential Treatment Program to serve as design reviewers. All are men who have been convicted of non-violent, non-sexual crimes and who are participating in the organization’s rehabilitation program.

Based on the feedback they received, each of three design teams prioritized and refined their ideas. The three projects they decided to pilot are:

  • Justice on the Block, through which community centers would host free legal help sessions that would integrate legal aid and pro bono lawyers in person, via Skype or by appointment.
  • One-Stop Life-Shop, which would bring together legal and other social services at the Pathways Family Center.
  • Smart Intake, a tech tool that would enable a volunteer – not necessarily a lawyer – to better spot when people have a legal issue and craft a game plan for how he or she could access legal services.

The next step is to develop and implement pilots that would run through the summer.

“We want to create something meaningful and to challenge the status quo, but in just enough of an incremental way that we can actually implement it, fix its bugs, and measure exactly what it’s doing,” Hagan said. “We are also in a second round of scouting out inspiring models and experts in the field. Rather than try to reinvent models, logistics, and best practices, we’re looking for people who have already built out similar parts of the system we are creating in Pensacola.”

Chris' Corner

It’s spring and where are the fish? Not that I’m the best fisherman, but the family has been on a couple small trips on the Pensacola Sound now that the temperature is getting warmer, and still trying to hook that big one. We will keep trying though!

Kid’s lacrosse is now in full swing. My eldest is so much faster than he was last season. He has also grown three and one half inches in the last 5 months, so his legs are a lot longer. It’s amazing the difference a few months of growing can make. All part of the spectacular growth spurts of a 12 year old. My youngest has decided to lay off of lacrosse this season in favor of taking tennis lessons and wants to play every free moment.

Hopefully, the boys will finish up their SCUBA classes before too much longer and we can be ready to dive over the summer months. SCUBA lessons are a work in progress and are taking a good bit of time to finish with all of the other kid activities going on. We will keep you posted.

Have a great spring and Easter. We look forward to helping you!

Sticking to Values

In 1859 a train crashed near Johnson Creek, Wisconsin, killing 14 people. Two of the victims had recently become policyholders of the newly formed insurance company Northwestern Mutual. Claims for the accident added up $3,500—but the new organization had only $2,000 on hand.

They could have denied the claims. Instead, the leaders immediately took out a loan to pay the claims and show their policyholders they were committed to doing the right thing. It’s a story that defines the values of Northwestern Mutual, and one that its leaders have told employees and customers ever since.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

New research into head injuries have made new treatments and diagnoses possible for people who have suffered serious brain damage due to car wrecks, sports injuries, falls, or other traumatic events. Generally referred to as “mild traumatic brain injury”, there is nothing mild about the symptoms or the effect on someone suffering from it. The word “mild” refers to how the person received the injury, not the injury itself. Symptoms usually appear shortly after the event and include headaches, nausea, dizziness, and lack of awareness. Other symptoms that appear later are mild headaches, lightheadedness, inability to focus or concentrate, fatigue, intolerance of light, intolerance of loud noises, ringing in ears, anxiety, depression, irritability, and a low tolerance for frustration.

People who suffer from “TBI”, have, until recently, simply had to deal with the life changing effects and problems which frequently have gone undiagnosed. TBI can be hard to see because most sufferers appear to function normally and seem to have little trouble going about their day. Modern techniques and technology have made diagnosing and treating TBI easier, but the science and medicine are still evolving. MRI’s and CT scans have been the primary ways of trying to find objective proof of TBI, but they have a limited ability to see the white matter damage in the brain and are not as helpful as newer technology. PET scans, SPECT scans, functional MRI “fMRI”, and Diffuse Tensor Imaging “DTI” provide doctors and clinicians with better abilities to diagnose and treat TBI. A variety of treatment options are available to sufferers. Usually, a coordinated treatment plan is coordinated between a neuropsychologist, a neuropsychiatrist, a neurologist, and physical therapists. Treatment is designed to retrain the brain’s neuro pathways to aid in recovery.

Doctors who treat TBI may recommend cognitive therapy, physical therapy, medication, ultrasound, neuro-ophthalmologic therapy, change in diet, and other methods. Recovery from TBI can be slow. Sufferers in treatment will have good days and bad days. Sometimes the therapy can be frustrating. However, without treatment, the chance for recovery is slim.

If you have suffered a brain injury, be sure to consult with doctors who have experience with TBI diagnosis and treatment and that can get you on a coordinated treatment plan. If you have suffered TBI through the negligence of another, consult with a lawyer who has experience with TBI cases and how to present them to maximize recovery for your injuries.

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