Stevenson Klotz Monthly Calendar—January of 2019

New Year’s Day, Jan. 1. Happy 2019! A world of possibility awaits us all if we have the courage to follow our hearts, chase our dreams, and work toward our goals.

National Science Fiction Day, Jan. 2. On what would’ve been the 98th birthday of Isaac Asimov, fans of this genre celebrate all things sci-fi.

Show and Tell Day at Work, Jan. 8. Bring in something interesting—and appropriate—to show off to your co-workers and spark a conversation, and maybe even a few laughs.

Make Your Dream Come True Day, Jan. 13. Create a vision board or a five-year plan; write out a list of affirmations to keep you motivated. Whatever it is, do something today that moves you closer to achieving one of your goals.

Freethinkers Day, Jan. 29. This is the day for celebrating the life and work of Thomas Paine, who was born in 1737. Find a copy of “Common Sense” and see if it still holds true today.

Inspire Your Heart With Art Day, Jan. 31. Take this day to immerse yourself in the world of art. Let beauty guide and nurture your soul.

Also Inside This Issue:

Recipe of the Month

Roasted Sweet Potato Black Bean Salad


  • Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Servings: 4 servings
  • Calories: 285 calories


  1. 2 medium sweet potatoes
  2. ½ cup of dry quinoa
  3. 2 cups of spinach
  4. 15 oz can of black beans
  5. 1 small avocado


  • Preheat the oven to 375°.
  • Wash and cube the sweet potatoes (I like to remove the skin first). Place on a baking sheet and lightly spray with coconut oil. Roast in the oven for about 20–25 minutes.
  • While the sweet potatoes are roasting, make the quinoa according to directions.
  • Chop the spinach (optional) and mix with the black beans and cubed or sliced avocado.
  • Add the cooked quinoa and roasted sweet potatoes.
  • Divide 4 ways, serve, and enjoy!

What’s up at SKLF?

Happy new year everyone! We are super excited for 2019.

We have some new staff members, who we will feature in our upcoming newsletters, and we are going to have our annual firm kickoff party on January 4th.

Every year on the first Friday of the year we have our kickoff party off-site. We bring in breakfast and lunch and celebrate the new year while going over our goals and reviewing last year to see where we did a great job and where we can improve. Usually we are done by early afternoon and we let our staff go for the day.

The celebration helps us start the year focused and also remind the team that one of our core values is to have fun.

We love to help people. Another one of our core values is commitment. To stay committed, sometimes we need to take a break and have a little fun. The new year is a great time to do this.

We hope all of you had a great new year and are ready to make 2019 the best ever!

The Rest is History

This is the time of year we dream big, vow to make changes, create goals, and promise to transform into a new and improved version of ourselves. Then we allow life and other responsibilities, naysayers, doubt, and fear to veer us off course.

As you follow your bliss and explore your passions, draw inspiration from the following individuals who found success in spite of the odds against them:

  • Fred Astaire. He sang and danced his way into our hearts on the silver screen, but his first audition for a major studio was a bomb. The executives were underwhelmed by his performance and offered this critique of Astaire: “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.”
  • Wayne Gretzky. Widely regarded as one of the greatest pro hockey players, Gretzky was considered too slow and too small at the start of his career. The popular opinion was he’d never be a success in the NHL.
  • Sir John Gurdon. He is a pioneer in the fields of nuclear medicine, cloning, and cellular development. Among his many honors are a cancer research facility named in his honor and a Nobel Prize. Yet Gurdon finished last in his prep school biology class because his ideas about science were not aligned with the curriculum of that time.
  • Im Dong-Hyun. This South Korean archer has won medals and set records. He even competed in the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Olympics—despite being legally blind.
  • George Lucas. There wasn’t a single studio in Hollywood interested in Lucas’ script for Star Wars. He endured four years of rejection before an executive at 20th Century Fox decided to give Lucas a chance—not because he liked the script, but because he liked Lucas’s film American Graffiti.

Community Spotlight: NEP Wildcats

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 the NEP Wildcats.

Congratulations to the World Champion 9U NEP Pensacola Wildcats! Pensacola had two teams compete in the World Youth Football Championships in Canton, Ohio this year. The Northeast Pensacola (“NEP”) Wildcats 11-and-under and 9-and-under teams both competed for the World Championship the weekend of December 15, 2018, and both teams made it to the final game. The 9U team won and were crowned World Champions. The 11U team fought mightily and played a great game, but, unfortunately, did not bring back a championship trophy. Both teams should be mighty proud!

The teams rode on an “ultra modern charter bus” with satellite TV, wifi, and other comforts and headed 950 miles from Pensacola to play for the championship at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Both won their regional game in Gulf Shores, Alabama a couple of weeks ago to qualify. Both teams were invited to compete in the regional tournament because they won the Northwest Florida Youth Sports Association (“NFYSA”) championship. Stevenson Klotz is excited for these kids and the season they had.

NEP has a great youth football program. They are a part of the NFYSA which has around a dozen teams in the Escambia Santa Rosa County area. NEP had 8 teams at their park this year. All of them made the playoffs. Four of the teams played for the NYFSA championships, and two won the championship. The NEP organization is supported by great parents and coaches who volunteer a lot of time to make the park such a success. Eric was an assistant coach at NEP for two of the three years Cole played there. Between practice and games, the coaches and players dedicate about 12 hours a week on the field. Between putting together logistical support to make sure equipment is maintained, referees and security are secured, coordinating practice space, and so much more that goes into giving the kids and parents a great experience, some of the NEP leaders put in almost 40 hours a week. All sports teach that hard work and dedication are keys to success in life. The leadership at NEP embodies this. Stevenson Klotz is glad to be a supporter!

Lauren’s Corner

It’s hard to believe we’ve wrapped up 2018 and are already into a new year. December was a wonderful month for me. I had the opportunity to participate in some fun community events.

First, I volunteered at a holiday bike build sponsored by onbikes Pensacola and benefiting local at-risk children and children in foster care. I had never built a bike before, so that was a neat learning experience!

I also partnered up with some awesome members of my gym, Regymen Fitness, and we sponsored Christmas gifts for three foster children, through Families First Network. We had so much fun reading Christmas lists and filling our shopping cart to the brim with toys and warm clothes for the kids.

December was also my first Christmas in my new home. I had the pleasure of hosting two ornament exchange parties, and I was so grateful to have a warm, inviting space of my own to do so. Last, but not least—I placed first in my age group for the Ho Ho Hustle 5K! It was my second time placing in a 5K race, and my first time getting first place.

Now that 2019 is here, it’s time to start thinking about goals for the year ahead. This year, instead of a New Year’s “resolution,” I decided to select a “word” for the new year. The idea came from the EntreCon Pensacola conference I went to recently. My word for 2019 is “positive.” I chose “positive” because last year I noticed I was in a bad habit of identifying and vocalizing negative things before pausing to recognize positive ones. As a lawyer, being critical can sometimes be a helpful tool. It allows me to anticipate obstacles for clients and find ways to work around them or confront them head-on. However, negativity and criticism in my personal life is draining.

That’s why I’m going to will my way into positive thinking in 2019! What is your word for 2019 going to be?

Practice Area: Negligence Law

Did you know that Alabama has a much different negligence law than Florida’s negligence law?

Florida has what is called “comparative negligence.” Comparative negligence means that an injured person’s recovery is reduced based on the injured person’s own negligence, if any.

For example, let’s say a defendant negligently caused a car wreck. The jury awards the plaintiff $100,000 but finds the plaintiff was also negligent and was 10% at fault for the wreck. In Florida, the plaintiff would be entitled to recover $90,000 ($100,000 minus 10%, or $10,000).

In contrast, Alabama has “contributory negligence.” Contributory negligence means an injured party is not entitled to recover anything if he or she was also negligent to any degree. In the example above, the plaintiff would be entitled to zero recovery.

Take These Steps Toward Workplace Safety

A safe work environment is essential for a productive workplace. Employees shouldn’t be afraid of getting hurt at work, nor should they fear being punished if they get hurt.

Here are some ways to prevent such fears and to show you are concerned for your staff’s well-being:

  • Hold regular safety meetings to emphasize the importance of safety and reinforce safe behaviors.
  • Discuss everything from ergonomics and parking lot safety to operating heavy machinery and driving company vehicles.
  • Make sure any safety equipment required for a job, such as goggles or wrist braces, is on site and being used.
  • Don’t overwork your employees. Fatigue makes people more accident-prone.
  • Ensure that maintenance and janitorial services are adequate to guarantee a clean and obstacle-free working environment.
  • If someone is injured on the job, review the guidelines and consider instituting new ones to prevent a similar accident from happening again.
  • Encourage staff members to suggest safety improvements. Create a suggestion program just for this purpose.

Thanks for the Referrals!

A special thank you to the following friends who referred clients to us the last month. A referral is the best compliment you could ever pay us!

  • Gladys Heard
  • Cheley Bradley

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