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Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Today we have our law firm Christmas party. What that really means is breakfast. Years ago, I used to have a dinner. Then it became lunch. For the last several years it has become breakfast. And, it seems that everyone is much happier because they have the rest of the day free. I think you get it!

One of our lawyers told me that after the breakfast he is heading to a funeral. He said it with a smile. Then, he went on to explain that it was his neighbor who had passed away… at 97.

He had attended the man’s 95th birthday. And, it was a reminder of the importance of enjoying life.

A few years ago, I attended a family member’s birthday party celebration of her 90th birthday. We all went to one of my favorite restaurants in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Angus Barn) I leaned over to her and whispered that I was looking forward to coming back right here to celebrate her 95th and she told me she wasn’t sure she “wanted to last that long”.

I have thought back to my conversation that night. A reminder that nothing else matters… unless you have your health.

When presenting damages to a jury, part of it includes a life expectancy table. If a person has a permanent injury, how long does permanent really mean. For instance, a person with a permanent back injury with a life expectancy of 40 years. What is that worth? In context, what would if mean if they could live the next 40 years without that same pain and restriction?

Loss of enjoyment of life is a damage that is listed by the law, to be considered by a jury. It sounds like a general undefined term, unless we show what real loss means.

For Our Blog, I am not going to keep writing about it. But if you and I were sitting down to talk about it, I would ask what you think. This loss can mean different things to different people. I have seen this loss in many of my clients, and then years later, I talk to those same clients, who are still experiencing those losses after the case is over. That is the real meaning of loss!

For pic o’ day, I always try to post something that makes me smile. After a blog that kind of feels heavy to me, it seems even more important for a good pic o’. So, because it is December 1…. this seems like a perfect time to post:



Busy But Thinking?

This is a busy time of year for all of us. So in the spirit of not really blogging but blogging… I am attaching some thoughts that are original… but they make me strive! So, here’s something to think about.


And I thought this was a powerful message from CNBC. It’s what you would have if, 10 years ago, you had invested $1000 in each of these stocks.



How about that! A good reminder to stick with it.

And for pic o’ day, here’s a great Christmas gift idea???



Let’s Talk Holiday

I wanted to start the blog out with wishing you a Merry Christmas, since I feel that advertisers have been doing that since September. When is it fashionable to begin wishing friends a Happy Easter. I say sometime around December 10.

First, a word on shopping, because it feels like a shopping craze is all around me. And as a side note, how did all these stores get my email? Seriously, I cannot read my emails because I have too many shopping emails. What happened?

Anyway, In keeping with my apparent complaining about being bombarded with shopping news, here is some news that I wouldn’t even know how to comment on, if I even did. I guess this qualifies as shopping news?


To make the blog worthwhile, here is an article from USA Today titled 5 security mistakes you’re probably making. I  am posting it as an attachment because I know you will read it… if you have the time.

And by the way… I want to wish you a Merry Christmas. (Yes, I am getting carried away)

And for pic o’ day, now we are getting down to business on the shopping. Right?


Consuming the Consumer?

Coming out of Thanksgiving, did you feel like this? Maybe I am blog confessing!



Of course, this ad tells us it’s that time of year, not to mention that it’s a bit creepy. Right? Hopefully he is just being funny!IMG_1582

Which brings us to the real topic of being a consumer (since we are being bombarded with ads online and on TV that we need to shop)  and whether or not the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is protecting us, or slowing down business. (Is it causing Air Jordans to go up in price?)

The Agency was originally created under the Obama administration. It’s first director touts its accomplishments by stating that nearly 12 billion dollars were returned to consumers who were “cheated or mistreated by banks or other large financial companies“.

President Trump tweeted that the leadership of the CFPB “has been a total disaster as run by the previous Administrations pick. Financial institutions have been devastated and unable to properly serve the public. We will bring it back to life!”.

Here’s the politics as described in USA Today (article) It’s a story about dueling appointments and why.

On Friday, the original Obama-appointed pick stepped down and appointed his own replacement, his chief-of-staff. (Leandra English)  Under the law, the appointment names an acting director until the Senate can confirm a new pick of President Trump.

On Friday, Trump announced that he was appointing his budget director to also serve as the new acting director of the agency. (Mick Mulvaney) Mulvaney once characterized the consumer protection agency as a “sad, sick joke“.  Mulvaney said that he intends to head the agency and continue his current job, until a new agency director is appointed.

So the question for the courts becomes, does President Trump have the right to name a replacement until the Senate confirms a nominee, or does the current appointment by the prior agency director stand, until confirmation of a new appointee.

Why is this appointment so important. Well, if the supporters of the agency are right, then this agency protects consumers. If the Trump administration is correct, then the agency must be changed or dismantled because it creates major obstacles with his burdensome regulations.

Politics! The article details more about the agency. But this story and the upcoming appointment fight?  It makes holiday shopping and crowds seem like a walk in the park!

Finally, I guess I felt that I had license to post our first holiday pic o’ day. Here we go!


A Collection of Tuesday Thoughts

We were sitting in a marketing meeting yesterday and Tabitha leaned over and said that she just cannot believe that Thanksgiving is next week. It really is here. I mean, seriously!

So, I thought I would post a series of events. First, it’s the pie. And I do like pie! (of course, if you eat your pie like this, everyone else will have no giving of thanks)


And then there’s after the pie.


Just saying’.

And finally, if you do want to confirm what you already know about lack of sleep, here’s an article from NPR news titled,

Sleepless Night Leaves Some Brain Cells As Sluggish As You Feel

(NPR link)

No surprise there!

And finally, two things. First, with all that is going on in the world, here’s confirmation from a tweet about what NCAA basketball considers to be an important focus.


And finally, as a nod to the Richmond marathon and half-marathon last weekend, I was sent the nice guys’ marathon.


In the Tweeners!

Right now we are in that in-between time. Maybe there are still piles to put away at the house, but at least the roads are easier to travel in the morning traffic.

And during this time of year, we still don’t have to think about the new year because we have this cushion couple of days. That causes me to reach for some old faithful pic o’s to get us thinking about our resolutions.

First, it’s this time of year that I start to think about the coming year… and whether it will be quite the ride! How to get ready?


Second, I want to make sure that I have good planning for the coming year…. so next year’s resolutions are different from this year!



And finally, in this tweener time of year, I thought I would throw in another snow picture that I took from the house…last year. I just can’t believe what the weather has been. Of course, my resolutions aren’t going to change that. But this pic o’ always makes me feel cooler.

snow 1

Tis The Season

It seems as though every TV ad is about Christmas or the holidays. In fact, I think that someone decided that each commercial should tell me that I need this or put this on, because everyone is wearing it:


The Holidays are here for real! Dave Barry described them as “we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in our own way, by going to the mall of our choice”.

Thomas Munson describes Christmas as “the spirit of giving without the thought of getting. It is happiness because we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for others. It is discarding the meaningless and stressing the true values”.

May this holiday season bring you and your family much joy and happiness. I truly wish you a Merry Christmas!

And for our pic o’ day, I decided to include a few “Christmas Lights” pic o’s!





The Gift of Thanks

“Just what I always wanted” or “this is exactly what I need” are phrases of past and present for Christmas day. Many times, it might be just kindness because the gift recipient isn’t going to look quizzically at the giver and say, “are you serious?”.

We are all faced with buying gifts for different people and personalities. Of course, the more that you know someone, the easier it should be.

A couple of days ago, the front desk buzzed me to say that one of our TV sales representatives was in the lobby and wanted to give me a gift for the office. When I came up, she handed a box containing a dozen cupcakes. All I could say was “awesome” and “thank you”  because these were cupcakes from the cupcake shop, where the icing  was hanging off the edges and the chocolate, coconut or butter icing just made my mouth water when I looked at them. A real gift for the office that everyone “needed”. A great gift.

My last few blogs have probably demonstrated how busy it has been at the office. I know that posting pictures of dogs in antlers or angry snowmen doesn’t really qualify as a blog. This is the time of year when I  basically  get here in the dark and leave in the dark.   I am truly lookng forward to Christmas; the days off during the holidays, and spending time with family.

The cupcakes were just one of the many great gifts that were brought to the office. It’s a far cry from joking about how “we used to be so poor that we would just sit around and exchange glances at Christmas”. The cupcakes were a great gift, like so many others.  However, one particular gift really made an impact.

A couple of days ago, I was just going through my mail at the end of a long day. I was tired and didn’t feel like listening to voicemail messages or even opening up my mail. I decided to reach for some of the envelopes that looked like Christmas cards.

One was a card that had several sentences written in it. I recognized it as one from a client, who has been through a lot of difficulty these last months. She wrote how thankful she was for what we had done for her.  She mentioned her paralegal by name as meaning a great deal to her, and then specifically detailed some things that she was going to do with her settlement money.

I wished that some of my future jurors could read the letter. I wished that I could convey her message to insurance adjusters, to show them humanity. Most of all, I wished that I could just bottle that feeling that her letter gave me. It was a gift of the written words of “thank you”. Simplicity of thoughtfulness.

On to my general thoughts…just because Rudolph wasn’t allowed to play reindeer games didn’t mean that he wanted to play Facebook games!


For pic o’ day, it never hurts to write!!!

A Drive-Thru Blog

A lawyer once told me that the practice of law is “like having five baskets, five snakes and four lids”. What he meant was the same as saying that you have to keep all the plates spinning. It feels real “December-year-end” busy right now.

I suspect that you feel the same way as we head toward the end of month countdown. So, at the risk of seeming like this is just like pulling up to the Drive-Thru blog window, that’s kinda the way it is.  I thought that I would use this introduction as an excuse to just post a picture that I posted last year at the holidays. Yep, this still makes me laugh.

Pic o’ day:

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