2017-09-stevenson-klotz-law-firm-newsletter 9-27-2017

Stevenson Klotz Monthly Calendar—September of 2017

Eid al-Adha, September 1. First day of the Muslim holiday honoring Ibrahim (Abraham).

Labor Day, September 4. Fire up the grill and remember the efforts of those workers who fought against unfair labor practices.

National Day of Service and Remembrance, September 11. Held on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

National Peanut Day, September 13. When it comes to plants packing protein power, peanuts provide a whopping eight grams per ounce, according to The Peanut Institute.

Constitution Day, September 17. Celebrate the signing of the U.S. Constitution on this day in 1787.

Autumn Equinox, September 22. This day, on 4:02pm EDT, marks the first day of Fall in the 2017 calendar year.

Also Inside This Issue:

Recipe of the Month

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya


  • 2 lb. chicken (with bone) or 1 lb. chicken (boneless)
  • 1 lb. smoked sausage (sliced)
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • ¼-½ cup green onion (chopped)
  • 1 bell pepper (chopped)
  • 2–3 celery stalks (chopped)
  • 3–5 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • ¼-½ cup parsley (chopped)
  • ¼-½ stick of butter or olive oil
  • 14 oz. can chicken broth or 1 cup broth made with bones/skin
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. roux
  • 2 tsp. Cajun seasoning mix


  • Brown the chicken and sliced sausage in oil or butter.
  • Remove chicken/sausage from pot. Set aside.
  • Remove chicken from bone and skin (if applicable).
  • Dice or tear the chicken into small pieces.
  • Sauté vegetables together in separate pan.
  • Place sautéed vegetables in large pot with meat, rice, and remainder of ingredients.
  • Fill pot with just enough chicken broth to cover all ingredients.
  • Bring mixture to a low boil and then put on simmer until rice is tender (about 20 minutes).

What’s Up at SKLF?

In August, we focused on getting pieces and plans in place to complete our annual goals. We had a mini-retreat at the end of July and followed up in August with plans to achieve our goals.

At the end of every year we set 5 goals to meet for the next year. For 2017 our goals included marketing, organizational, and financial goals. Setting goals and taking steps to reach them gives us the opportunity to help more people each year.

Eric and our managing paralegal, Cheryl, traveled to San Francisco for 3 days to meet with a national group of personal injury lawyers. This group meets quarterly at different places around the country and each firm presents what steps they have taken since the last meeting to market and to give their clients top level service. The meeting is intensive. It is always surprising how exhausting it can be to hole up in a conference room and focus on your business for 18 hours in 2 days.

The lawyers in our group are some of the best we have met. We critique each other’s ideas and come away with new systems to implement. It is a great group. We are glad to have them as a resource to help us better serve our clients.

Happiness and Sadness

Three campers were sleeping in the Colorado Rockies one starry night when they suddenly heard a thunderous voice from the sky. The voice commanded them: “Go to the riverbed and pick up some stones. Put them in your backpacks. Do not look at them until morning, and never return to my mountain stream again!”

The campers did as they were told and quickly packed up their campsite. Then they heard the voice again, this time saying, “Tomorrow will be the happiest and the saddest day of your lives.”

As the sun began to brighten the sky, the campers stopped to examine the pebbles in their backpacks. To their amazement, the pebbles had turned to gold. As they celebrated their new wealth, one of them stopped.

“Now I know what the voice meant when it said that this would be both the happiest and the saddest day of our lives.”

“What do you mean?” asked another.

“We have the gold, but think how much richer we would be had we picked even more of the pebbles.”

Often people go through their lives and at some point realize, “There could have been so much more.” They fail to take advantage of all of the opportunities around them, abandoning or wasting the treasures right at their fingertips.


Community Spotlight: Santa’s Bookshelf

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 our firm’s project, Santa’s Bookshelf.

Before you know it, it will be Christmas. We are beginning to ramp up our Santa’s Bookshelf project.

Santa’s Bookshelf is our firm philanthropy whose goal is to obtain new or gently used books for children who may not have the opportunity for access to good reading material.

Our hope is to encourage parents to read with their children. Years and years of studies have affirmatively shown that parents who actively read with their children will raise better readers and better students.

If you have new or gently used children’s books in your home, or know somebody who may have some picking up extra space on the bookshelves, we would love to have them as a donation.

We distribute the books both locally and through community out reach in South Africa for the last two years. Last year we had in excess of 500 books. We are shooting for 1000 or more this year.

If you have books to donate we can pick up. Please contact Chris or Cheryl. And thank you for supporting Santa’s Bookshelf!

Chris’ Corner

I think the kids have all grown 6 inches this summer. Hardly anybody could wear any school clothes from last year.

Sam is starting his last year with the Webelos and in March will be transitioning over to Boy Scouts. He is still intent on earning his Eagle Scout.

Max is about to start Lacrosse in late September and has eagerly been waiting for the season to begin after spending most of his summer honing his fishing skills with his friends on the bays and sounds. Max will be 14 next year and he is already thinking about completing his boater safety course so he can try to have access to a boat to do some fishing.

Zoe is involved in a musical and has gotten the lead part, which will begin showing in November. She is also doing after school cheerleading and will be competing starting later this month.

All in all, we are all happy to have had a wonderful summer together and are looking forward to a great school year and fall.

We will keep you posted!

When Should You Call a Lawyer?

When you are in a car wreck, your first thought should be yours and your passengers’ safety. If you are injured, you should be concerned with getting to the hospital or doctor and getting the appropriate treatment.

At some point though, you will likely have to deal with insurance companies. You are required to report the crash to your insurance company. The other party’s insurance company will likely want to talk to you as well.

You want to consider talking to a lawyer when you start talking to insurance companies. If only your car was damaged, you may not need a lawyer. If you only suffered minor injuries, you might want to talk with a lawyer to decide whether you need a lawyer for your injury claim.

If you or a loved one suffered injuries that require multiple treatments or limitations on work or pleasure activities, then you absolutely should hire a lawyer for your claim. Hopefully no one died in the car wreck, but if there is a wrongful death claim, you want to have an attorney help you with the claim immediately.

Good personal injury attorneys are paid by a contingency fee. Personal injury lawyers get paid a percentage of whatever amount is recovered from the insurance company. A contingency fee means you do not have to worry about coming out of your pocket to pay your lawyer his or her hourly rate. Your attorney will work to get the maximum recovery for you.

It is important to find a law firm with experience handling serious injury or wrongful death claims. The attorney you choose should listen to you, answer your questions, and have the experience and skills to challenge to take the insurance company to trial, if needed.

You also want to choose a firm that will provide you with personalized attention, explain things to you, and return your phone calls and emails. Some of the larger firms are injury “mills”­—your case may be pushed off to only a paralegal to handle most of the work, and you may not get to talk to your attorney on a regular basis.

Employee Spotlight: Micki Harmon

Micki is our bookkeeper. She keeps track of all the money that comes in and goes out. She started working with us in January. We are excited that she is on our team.

Besides keeping track of the money, Micki is a super mom. She has a wonderful son, Matthew, who attends school in Gulf Breeze.

Micki is also a huge cat lover. She helps feed and rescue feral cats in both Pensacola and Gulf Breeze. She helps trap them and get them fixed to help control the pet population. We are grateful for Micki and all she does for our firm and our community!

Review Your Response to Emergencies

A disaster can strike your organization at any moment—fire, weather, or even workplace violence. Once you’ve overcome it, you may slip back into a “business as usual” mode, but that can be almost as dangerous. Follow this three-step plan to improve your safety preparations:

  • Review your response. Look back at a recent emergency situation and assess what worked well and what didn’t in terms of your response. Ask people within your organization:
    • What were the goals of our crisis-response efforts?
    • Did we achieve them?
    • What were the values that we communicated by our response?
    • What did we do well in terms of communication?
    • What should we have done better?
  • Design an improved response. Use the answers gathered above to design an improved crisis response effort. Consider such possibilities as fire, power outages, severe weather, or any comparable crisis that puts your community on high alert, as well as the potential for a direct attack on your workplace or organization. Once you’ve created the plan, be sure to communicate it throughout the workforce at regular intervals so that everyone knows what to do, or where to find guidance, as soon as an emergency strikes.
  • Redesign your work processes. As you redesign your crisis plan, proactively rethink how your organization performs work.
    • Do people really need to be at the office all day every day to be productive?
    • How much travel is really necessary?
  • Gather data, make recommendations, and then implement new ideas on a trial basis. The end result may very well be a new workplace where things get done smarter, faster, and cheaper.

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