2018-05-stevenson-klotz-law-firm-newsletter 5-8-2018

Stevenson Klotz Monthly Calendar—May of 2018

Garden Meditation Day, May 3. Gardening is good for the soul, and so is meditation. Take time out of your busy schedule to quiet your mind and spirit by smelling the roses, curling your toes in the grass, or napping in the shade of a tree.

International No Diet Day, May 6. Take a break from your diet today and figure out if it’s the best thing for you. This day is less about indulgence and more about loving yourself while embracing healthy and positive attitudes toward nutrition and eating.

World Lupus Day, May 10. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can lead to pain, inflammation, and damage in any part of the body. Since 2004, organizations throughout the world have used this day to raise awareness and emphasize the need for funding and research focused on a cure.

Armed Forces Day, May 19. On the third Saturday of May, citizens around the world pay tribute to the women and men serving in their nation’s military branches. Look for parades, exhibits, and events in your area.

Don’t Fry Friday, May 25. As we embark upon this long holiday weekend and many warm and sunny days ahead, the American Cancer Society wants you to remember to make protecting your skin from harmful UV rays part of all your outdoor activities.

Also Inside This Issue:

Recipe of the Month

Easy Bananas Foster

Bananas Foster can seem complicated to make at home. It always looks complicated when they make it in the restaurant at your table-side. This recipe makes it easy and quick. It serves about four people.


  • 4 ripe bananas (peeled, halved, and sliced lengthwise)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cum dark rum
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Coconut ice cream


In a pan, melt the butter on medium heat and add the brown sugar slowly. Keep stirring to keep from burning. When the sugar has dissolved, add the vanilla and the bananas. Just when the bananas are warmed, add the rum. Cook until the alcohol has evaporated. This is the point where you will see a restaurant light the dish to speed the evaporation of the alcohol, but I don’t suggest this unless you have a fire extinguisher and nothing flammable in the vicinity. Some people like to put the coconut ice cream on top of the banana mixture in a bowl. Some people like to put the bananas on top of the ice cream. I’d suggest to try both ways!

What’s up at SKLF?

We are getting settled and comfortable in our new office space. We are not completely unpacked, and we are nowhere near ready to have an open house, but we are fully operational and thrilled to be here. We still have to hang some artwork and diplomas on the walls and figure out exactly where furniture goes, but we love our new space and are happy to see our clients here.

In all the chaos of moving and unpacking and having a couple of trials in March and April, we did not meet our deadline for our April newsletter. If you were wondering why you did not get your April newsletter, do not blame the post office. We are at fault. We are back on track!

In March, Eric and Cheryl went to a conference in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina dedicated to internet marketing. They learned all sorts of new and innovative ideas and methods. Look for new marketing and social media and our website in the near future.

Speaking of social media, our “guess how many marshmallows in a family size box of Lucky charms“ contest was a success. The winner was Ms. Talia Freeman. She won a gift card to McGuires! Thank you to everyone for participating and look for our next contest on Facebook.

Our March gallery night was rained out, so we were unable to have our youth music program stage. April’s Gallery night featured The Juice is OK and Soul Station. These kids rocked the stage! The next Gallery Night is May 18. Come on out to see local, young, musicians!

Also, as part of our Youth Music Program, we awarded two sets of scholarships to young musicians and those who teach them. Brice Lyublanovits won a $250.00 scholarship for writing an essay about how important music is to him and his band director Lawrence Young won a $100.00 scholarship for inspiring Brice. We also held a songwriting contest and Benjamin Kennington and Matthew Masuca were the youth winners who each won a $250.00 scholarship. Each of their teachers, Mrs. Reeves and, again, because he is such an inspiration, Lawrence Young, each won $100.00.

Thanks for the Referrals!

A special thank you to the following friends who referred us clients the last month. We are grateful and honored anytime someone trusts a friend or family member to us.

  • Sylvester Holley

Community Spotlight: Studer Community Institute (“SCI”)

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 Studer Community Institute.

Last year we made a commitment that we would dedicate ourselves to increasing our client satisfaction. We became convinced that the first step is to have happy and productive employees. Chris and Eric felt like Stevenson Klotz is a good work environment with satisfied employees, but wanted to figure out what we could do to improve. To accomplish this we enlisted the help of Rachael Gillette and Nicole Web Bodie at Studer Community Institute (“SCI”).

The Studer Community Institute is committed to improving our community’s quality of life. They do that by focusing on skill building for employees and businesses and creating tools and interventions to help parents understand the power and importance of early brain development in the first three years of life.

Rachael Gillette, Director of Training and Development and Nicole Webb Bodie, Director of Community and Business Outreach have both been with the Institute since the early days and work with tireless energy to fulfill their mission.

Rachael and Nicole worked with us to gauge our employee engagement and to facilitate with us a management by strengths program. The employee engagement process consisted of putting together an employee survey that was completely anonymous. Employees were encouraged to tell us exactly how they feel for good or for bad so that we can have clear input to help us improve. SCI helped compile the results, and Nicole and Rachael met with all the lawyers, managers, and staff at Stevenson Klotz to review. We were pleasantly surprised by the results. We were compared with businesses across the country and were in the 99th percentile for employee engagement!

For management by strengths, each person at Stevenson Klotz took a survey to determine their leadership and personal strengths. The results showed what types of strengths each person had by category. Rachael and Nicole worked with us to learn about how to better communicate with each other now that we know what types of strengths we have. By communicating better, we have found we are more productive and more efficient at helping our clients.

“We have been thrilled to work with Eric and Chris,” said Rachael. “They believe in the value of investing in their team and providing them with skill building training. Their results prove why this is a sound strategy.”

“The team is one hundred percent committed. When we did an employee engagement survey for them recently, the data showed 100% engagement, which is phenomenal” commented Nicole.

We were excited to work with SCI, especially Rachael and Nicole. We could tell they are committed to helping local businesses and institutions improve quality of life for employees. What we learned from them has already helped change the culture of our firm. We highly recommend that any business or institution that wants to improve client satisfaction start with SCI to help determine what your business or firm culture is.

By addressing firm culture and improving employee engagement and morale, employees become ambassadors and their enthusiasm will spill over to client or customer interactions. We believe that happy employees translates to happy clients, and we are grateful to Nicole and Rachael for working with us.

Chris’ Corner

The biggest news at Chris’ house is the addition of a new puppy. Andy is a rescue mutt and has just gotten home to us after being spayed. She is about 4 months old and appears to be a cur/catahoula mix. We were able to adopt her from the Panhandle Welfare Society (PAWS) in Ft. Walton beach. Though we looked at all of the shelters in the area, Andy just happened to be at PAWS and was just the mellow and cute puppy we were looking for. We have all been wanting to have a new dog in our life after Forest, our beloved chow/shepherd mix passed away last year after a very long life and being a great friend. So, the kids and Linda and I will be teaching a new member of the family how to get along in the house and, hopefully, with Whiskers the cat. We will keep you posted.

Keep an Eye out for Eye Safety

Protecting your eyes from eyestrain is an often-overlooked issue in the workplace. Whether you work with heavy equipment, chemicals, or a computer, you have to see well to stay focused on the job. Aside from regular checkups with your doctor, correct use of safety equipment and proper positioning of computers, here are other strategies that can help ease eye strain:

  • Use the right light. Too bright or too dim lighting at your workstation can strain your eyes.
  • Keep work positioned right in front of you. Looking at papers or materials that are farther away or to the side can tire your eyes.
  • Rest your eyes. Every so often, close your eyes and keep them closed for a few seconds. Blink often.
  • Look away. Every 15 minutes, divert your attention from whatever you’ve been focused on. Allow your eyes to focus on a different sight at a different distance.
  • Use eye drops. Get a bottle of hypoallergenic drops that can be found over the counter, and use them to soothe tired eyes.
  • Wear sunglasses all year long. The suns ultraviolet rays are as damaging in the winter as they are in the summer. Protect your eyes by wearing UVA/UVB-blocking glasses.
  • Get enough sleep. Nothing cures or wards off eyestrain better than sufficient sleep (about eight hours).

Practice Area

Serious pedestrian/car accidents are more common than you think. Stevenson Klotz has recently helped two separate families in two different cases with serious injuries which occurred while the person was walking across the street.

Both of the cases were resolved before trial, but not after a considerable amount of fighting over who was at fault.

In each of these cases, the defense lawyers (representing the car drivers who hit our clients) tried to establish that the injured person was responsible for the accident because of the location they chose to cross the street.

We wanted to let you know that in Florida, pedestrians are almost always required to yield to car traffic unless there is a “marked” or “unmarked” crosswalk.

Marked crosswalks are just what it sounds like and are easy to see. It is the “unmarked crosswalk” that is a bit more confusing.

An unmarked crosswalk can be present when two streets intersect. The “unmarked crosswalk” is an imaginary path defined in Florida statues that roughly follows the curb of the intersecting street headed across the intersecting street.

In an “unmarked crosswalk” pedestrians may cross, but many drivers are unaware of this law and a person should always be extra careful.

If you have any questions about what is a “marked” or “unmarked crosswalk”, please give us a call, we would be happy to review it with you.

Good Advice!

“What can I get for you today?” asked the waiter.

“I’ll take the meatloaf dinner and a bit of good advice,” said the man seated in the booth.

Minutes later, the waiter returned with a hot plate of food. “Here you go.”

“Hey, what about the good advice I asked for?”

The waiter leaned down and whispered, “Don’t eat the meatloaf.”

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