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2017-07-stevenson-klotz-law-firm-newsletter 7-19-2017

Stevenson Klotz Monthly Calendar—July of 2017

Canada Day, July 1. A national holiday celebrating the Constitution Act of 1867, which united the separate colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick into a single dominion within the British Empire called Canada.

Independence Day, July 4. The date of the Declaration of Independence, formally announcing the separation of the original 13 colonies of the United States from Great Britain.

Official Shark Awareness Day, July 14. Much as we love to fear this predator of the seas, the shark has a key role to play in keeping marine ecosystems in balance.

National Mutt Day, July 31. Also known as National Mixed Breed Dog Day, National Mutt Day is all about embracing, saving, and celebrating mixed-breed dogs. (It is also celebrated on December 2).

Also Inside This Issue:

Recipe of the Month

“Better Than (Insert Your Favorite Whatever) Cake”

OK, this cake originally had a different name, but it wasn’t kid friendly, so I temporarily changed the name for this month. This is an unbelievably easy cake to make, but so, so good. I’ve been making this cake for almost 20 years, and its always tasty, unless you over-bake it.


  • 1 (18½ ounce) yellow cake mix
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • ¼ cup water
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup non-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 (3¾ ounce) box instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 (4 ounce) bar German chocolate, grated
  • ⅓ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chopped pecans (optional)


Combine all of the ingredients (except chocolate chips and pecans) into a large mixing bowl. Beat slightly until mixture is combined.

Stir in chocolate chips and pecans.

Pour mixture into a 10-inch fluted bundt pan coated with non-stick cooking spray and dusted with flour. Bake at 350º for 50–55 minutes. Do not over-bake. If you don’t love this cake, I’ll eat my hat.

What’s Up at SKLF?

Summer months can seem to drag. When you are busy, however, they can fly by. We have been blessed lately with new clients to help in our personal injury practice, so June was busy. We expect July to fly by.

We are looking forward to another great Youth Music Project show this Gallery Night on July 21 in Downtown Pensacola. Our Youth Music Project show at Gallery Night last month was a great success with local talent Borderline, Hannah Moorer, and Soul Station playing through the night.

We will be spending another day this month in a retreat to work on processes to better serve our clients. If you ever have any suggestions for how we can do better, please contact us. We want you to think of us first when you or a family member need a lawyer. We are grateful for any input on how we can better serve!

If You Can Keep It

One afternoon in the 18th century a young man approached Benjamin Franklin outside Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. Throughout the broiling hot month, the statesmen of the young nation had been debating furiously over the establishment of the Constitution of the United States.

The young man asked Franklin, “Well, sir, what sort of government have you given us? A monarchy or a republic?”

Franklin, understanding the importance of popular support in keeping democracy alive, responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”


Community Spotlight: Associated Court Reporters

Community Spotlight

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 Associated Court Reporters.

Associated Court Reporters is opening a Pensacola location at the Carlton Palms at 224 E. Garden Street.

Melissa Odom and Kim Hightower have literally “cornered the market” for court reporting in Milton being on the corner across the street from the courthouse downtown. Now they will bring their skills and small town hospitality across the Escambia River into downtown Pensacola. They will continue taking and transcribing testimony in Milton.

Their Pensacola office will be an expansion of an already successful business. If you are in downtown Milton or Pensacola, stop by and say hello. They are great folks, and we are happy to have them in Pensacola as well.

Chris’ Corner

When will you ever learn to relax? Its only halfway through the Summer and all I’ve done is move into a new house, get married, spent a week out of state mediating a case, gotten ready for a murder trial, had multiple hearings on some very serious civil and criminal cases, taken the kids fishing, been to two theater shows, gone to every kid friendly restaurant or venue in 30 miles of Pensacola, been biking to get ice cream, thrown the football and played monkey-in-the-middle countless times with the kids, teach my youngest how to mow the yard, me re-mow the yard (LOL), fixed the little outboard engine… twice, been to a business conference, been to several band rehearsals, taken my eldest son to meet his first movie “date”… and the list could go on forever.

Why are we so driven to keep moving all the time and never stop to take a breath? I literally took the first breath this last weekend I’ve taken in a long time. I felt terribly guilty sitting in the house just taking a moment to do nothing. Being still, especially, intentionally still, was very difficult. This was at the direction of my perceptive and wise spouse who threatened me if I didn’t stop moving/doing for a minute. I did not know what to do with myself at first. Then, I actually found a way to get comfortable for a couple of hours just being still and present in the moment. It was a nice gift to be told to be still.

My message this month is give yourself the gift of stillness before the Summer is over. Take some time to stop, be still and quiet and take a breath this Summer. Its not so easy, but you probably need and deserve it.

Take care of yourself and have a great quiet moment this Summer! I hope you are having a great one. And, as always, thank you for trusting us with your case.

A Simple Answer

A seeker of spiritual truth decided to visit a very wise sage who lived on top of a mountain. The seeker climbed for weeks to make the painful ascent.

When he finally reached the wise man’s home, he asked, “What should I do to make my life happier?”

The sage responded, “To begin with, the next time you come to visit me, start on the other side of the mountain and take the train to the top.”

Personal Injury Protection

You may have read in the last few months that the Florida legislature was thinking about doing away with the No Fault or Personal Injury Protection “PIP” law. Personal Injury Protection provides $10,000.00 in coverage for medical, funeral, and lost wages coverage regardless of who is at fault in an automobile accident. While it may seem strange, generally, a person injured in a car wreck makes a claim against his or her own insurance policy when making a PIP claim.

Florida does not require a driver or car owner to carry Bodily Injury “BI” coverage, which pays for the other person’s medical bills if the other person causes the accident. The legislature wrestled with whether to do away with the current system where an injured person makes a claim against his or her own insurance for medical bills regardless of fault. Had the legislature canned PIP coverage, it would have placed it with mandatory BI coverage meaning that the at fault party’s insurance company would pay for medical bills.

Proponents of the change argue that mandatory BI coverage would save consumers money. Proponents of keeping the current system say that the change would cause delays in getting medical bills paid and increase litigation.

The legislature chose not to take any action on PIP this year. The law did not change, so the No Fault law is still in effect. The issue was hotly debated, so expect the legislature to address it next year.

Employee Spotlight: Celia Johnson

This month we would like to introduce a member of our legal support staff who is frequently out of the spotlight, but ever-present behind the scenes helping to keep things running smoothly.

Celia Johnson is one of our talented legal assistants who can do just about any job and pull it off with a great sense of humor and fun wit. In many of our cases when clients have a physical injury it is quite helpful that she has a medical background as a corpsman during her military service.

As a new or potential client you may talk to her in her capacity as our intake specialist, helping to get your case file started.

As an existing client you may sometimes talk to her as she is giving an update or collecting documents to investigate your case.

Thank you Celia for all you do for the firm and for our clients!

Stay Safe on the Stairs

When a clown falls down a flight of stairs as a gag, it’s funny. In real life, though, falling down a staircase can be dangerous, even fatal. Here are some basic tips for preventing stairway accidents in your home:

  • Handrails. Railings should extend the full length of the staircase, on both sides.
  • Lights. The top and bottom of every stairway should be well lit, with light switches at both ends.
  • Rugs. Don’t leave loose rugs or carpets on the landings. Either fasten them securely to the floor so no one can trip, or get rid of them.
  • Steps. Make sure they’re not slippery. Put non-stick treads on each step.
  • Obstacles. Keep stairs clear of books, toys, and anything else that might clutter the path.
  • Gates. If you have small children living in or visiting your house, gates to prevent them from tumbling down the stairs are a must.
  • Packages. Don’t overload yourself when carrying items up and down the stairs. Be sure you can keep at least one hand on the rail as you ascend or descend.
  • The bottom step. Paint the lowest step white, especially for stairs leading into dark basements. This will make seeing the final step easier.

Energy Drinks and Vodka? Think Again.

Energy drinks like Red Bull or Monster Energy are all the rage, and so is mixing them with alcohol for a more potent cocktail, especially among young people. But is it safe? In research reported on the WebMD website, the answer looks like “no.”

Canadian researchers analyzed 13 studies involving alcohol mixed with highly caffeinated energy drinks. They found a higher rate of injury among people indulging in such cocktails compared with simply drinking alcohol by itself. Injuries included car accidents, falls, violence, and suicidal behavior.

The authors point out that the stimulant effects of energy-drink caffeine can mask the impact of alcohol, even though alcohol still has an impairing effect on the body and the brain.

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