The Essential Guide to Treating Injuries Like an Athlete


How is it that professional athletes can recover from injury like they’re being cared for by a magical wizard? Baseball players can miss less than a season after tearing major ligaments, football players bounce back from torn muscles, and Kobe Bryant even recovered from a ruptured Achilles—an injury that would end a normal man’s career—in just a few months.

The Washington Post details the extraordinary level of care athletes get when they’re injured; they are waited on hand and foot by teams of trainers, doctors and specialists, and have access to the world’s best medical technology. When Kobe Bryant injured his Achilles, he was able to use a treadmill that simulates low gravity for less impact while running. Another group of people who use these treadmills? Astronauts from NASA.

This doesn’t mean all hope is lost for mere mortals. So many non-professional athletes are their own worst enemies regarding injury recovery, ignoring the most basic treatment and prolonging the process. Don’t skip these steps to fix your own injury fast and get back on your feet.

1. See a doctor

Unless you went to medical school or at the very least have a bachelors degree in physiology or exercise science, you are in no position for self-diagnosis. If you have an injury that feels serious then it’s crucial to seek professional advice. Don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion. An emergency room or urgent care doctor may not spot or notice injuries the same way a specialist can.

2. Keep training

Just because you’re injured doesn’t mean you should sit on your couch for months until you feel better. This will seriously set the rest of your body back and leave it vulnerable to more injuries in the future. For example, if you have a sprained ankle, you should still complete your upper body workouts and even continue training the legs in a low-impact environment like a pool (swimming or even high knee raises in the pool to get the heart pumping). As counterintuitive as it sounds, continuing to train in a smart matter is what helps injuries heal faster.

3. Don’t rely on pill popping

Pain killers and anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen treat the symptoms of the injury but not the injury itself. They are also hard on the kidneys and, over time, hard on the body as well. Some use is acceptable and even recommended, but don’t use them as a crutch.

4. Do as the Romans do

You might not have an anti-gravity treadmill, but you can still go through the same motions athletes do to treat injuries. Don’t skip out on icing muscles and joints, and even take short ice baths if you have a tub in your house. Rotate ice with a soak in a hot tub, either in your home or at the gym. It doesn’t matter if you’re an amateur or a professional, there’s no substitute for heat and ice. Read more about how to use a hot tub for recuperation and recovery on

5. Don’t let it happen again

Now that you’re healed, stay that way. Kelly Starrett’s “Becoming a Supple Leopard” is a great guide to building and maintaining mobility so that your body performs well and stays healthy. Starrett is an expert on exercise science and mobility.



The Details Behind the Immigration Announcement


For anyone who might be confused by the president’s recent immigration announcement, or for those who just want to learn more details, an excellent explanation is available at the USCIS site.

American Association for Justice Will Fight GOP Efforts to Push Litigation Reform

The National Law Journal reports that the “chances that Tuesday’s elections would produce a split or Republican-controlled Congress inspired optimism among Washington’s top lobbyists, who see opportunities to negotiate tax, health care and budget policy issues.” Republicans, who “won control of the Senate and cemented their hold on Congress,” may “resuscitate fiscal legislation while trying to curtail some of the Obama administration’s achievements, such as the Affordable Care Act and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s enforcement.” Lisa Rickard, “president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform, was optimistic that a Republican-controlled Congress would move on litigation reform built on bills including the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act and the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act, which both passed the House in 2013. She said she is hopeful plaintiffs’ attorneys would face greater scrutiny in Congress,” but American Association for Justice CEO Linda Lipsen responded, “Regardless of which party is in the majority, we will continue to fight to protect access to justice for all Americans and to ensure that the corporations bankrolling the U.S. Chamber’s efforts are legally accountable for any harm they cause.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

What Food Banks Need Most (And What They Get Too Much Of)


Our law firm at Kraft & Associates is doing a food drive in conjunction with the North Texas Food Bank, so an article at caught my eye. A section of the article listed items that food banks need most. If you are helping with our food drive, or if you are having a food drive of your own, please read the article. Here is an excerpt:

Storage space is often in short supply at food banks, so prioritization is key.

  1. Canned meats: Think beyond tuna & soup, which food banks get tons of. Instead go for canned beef, canned ham, canned chicken, canned salmon. Or hearty ready-to-go meals like beef stew and chili with meat.
  2. Canned vegetables: Everyone donates green beans. Instead, give potatoes, carrots, spinach, peas or any other veggies your family likes.
  3. Canned fruit: Not pineapple. This is the most commonly donated fruit. Any other fruit, particularly those in fruit juice without extra sugar, would be great. Dried fruit works too (raisins, etc.)
  4. Boxes of rice (bags can tear)
  5. Low-sugar cereal like plain Cheerios or Raisin Bran
  6. Peanut butter
  7. Instant oatmeal, instant grits
  8. Cans of beans
  9. Pasta, pasta sauce
  10. Biscuit mix, or any mix you only add water to
  11. Cans, cartons or boxes of powered and evaporated milk
  12. Snack items for kids to take to school: juice boxes, applesauce containers, granola bars
  13. Diapers in sizes above newborn, plus wipes
  14. Toiletries: toothbrushes, soap, toothpaste, lotion, shampoo & conditioner, Chapstick (consider someone living outside this time of year)
  15. Feminine hygiene products: unscented pads will be most universally used, not tampons
  16. Spices like cinnamon, oregano, basil, salt, pepper
  17. Sliced bread. It’s got a long shelf life but always goes immediately.
  18. Bags of apples or potatoes. Ditto.
  19. Chocolate. It’s not a necessity but just a pick-me-up that I would sure appreciate, especially when it comes time to fill stockings.
  20. Consider donating reusable shopping bags. It takes a lot of humility for people to come to a food bank and since they’ll likely be walking home or taking public transportation, it’s nice to at least blend in.

Friday Fun

Try not to shed a tear as George Younce sings “Side By Side” a deeply moving love story about an elderly couple’s honeymoon. You’re never too old to fall in love and get married even if you’re not quite as fit as you were when younger. I’m so glad George was able to share his feelings of being side by side with the love of his life.

Takata Airbag Recalls Reach 11 Million Vehicles

The CBS Evening News reported on the recall of “11 million vehicles whose airbags can cause serious injuries.” CBS (Glor) added, “At least two people have died – an 18-year-old in Oklahoma and a mother of three in Virginia – when the airbags didn’t perform as designed.” The bags were made by the Takata Corporation in Japan, and “Documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, shows Honda, the biggest buyer of Takata airbags, first learned about an exploding airbag in 2004.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

Safety Institute Places 2012 Ford Focus on Top of “Watch List”

NBC News reports that The Safety Institute has released its quarterly Watch List which includes the “Top 15 Potential Vehicle Defects.” The list is derived from NHTSA reports of user complaints, primarily that the vehicle’s “electric power steering shuts down randomly and intermittently” and that “delaminating steering wheels” can “lacerate drivers’ hands.” NBC notes that NHTSA is not currently investigating either of the issues. Sean Kane, founder and president of the board of directors of The Safety Institute, says the purpose of the list is for “regulators and manufacturers to examine unusual patterns of claims and resolve them before they become major crises.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

Need Help? What Qualities to Look For in a Good Lawyer

Need Help What Qualities to Look For in a Good Lawyer

When you want to protect yourself in the court of law and make use of your rights, it’s important to look for a good lawyer who is qualified to defend you. For those beginning their search for a good lawyer, there are many different factors to consider when finding the right fit.


Some cases can take several years to complete, making it important to establish clear communication with your attorney. They should be great at returning your phone calls and explaining legal terms or phrases that are unclear. Avoid hiring a firm that seems too busy or important to answer your questions and respond to your emails.


When your lawyer is working on your case, it’s crucial to have someone who is available to answer questions or return your phone calls. According to, you want to work with someone who is flexible around your schedule instead of feeling like you must always work around their availability. It’s important to meet with the lawyer regularly and feel comfortable making requests or asking questions according to Kitchen Simeson Belliveau Llp., a personal injury lawyer in Whitby. You should also be able to easily contact them instead of always having to speak with their secretary.

Reasonable Fees

With lawyers charging $50 to $1,000 an hour for their clients, it’s important to find someone who is clear on their fees and is worth the cost. They should have an honest fee structure that doesn’t cost too much for smaller cases. They should be clear about any additional fees that may be tacked on to your bill, which can often include court filing fees or printing documents that are needed for your case. A fair price depends on each case and should be in writing before they begin to defend you.


Whether you’re hiring an attorney for a DUI case or need someone to defend your visitation rights with a child, it’s important to hire a lawyer who has at least 10 years of experience with the situation that you’re in. Their experience will allow them to think ahead of the game and know what to expect when in court.

When it comes to finding a good lawyer, there are a number of different qualities to look for with the professional that you hire. By finding someone who is qualified that you can trust, it will work in your favor and help you to feel confident with your case.

This article is from Savannah Coulsen, a freelance writer. She lives in Long Beach. Savannah loves to read and write and she hopes to write a novel someday. Savannah also loves learning and is a self-proclaimed health guru.

How Fault is Determined in Car Accidents

Traffic accident and to drivers fighting

Whether there is concern over who will pay for the damage done in a vehicle accident or whose insurance may increase, knowing who is “at fault” for a vehicle accident is vital. Sometimes it is obvious who was negligent or made a mistake, not only to those involved but to outsiders as well. There are other times when it is not so clear, and when there is a dispute on this issue between the parties or with the insurance company. If you have been involved in an accident, Howard Yegendorf & Associate recommends that you prepare yourself for how the legal system may find fault in your incident.
Police Reports

Police reports are a frequent source of evidence in determining fault in an accident, even when the police officer was not present at the accident. In those scenarios, the parties involved in the accident must report the events to police. These reports will typically include the details that led to and followed the accident as well as any citations that the officer may have issued. That is why, if you are involved in an accident and note a mistake in the police report, you should try to have the report amended as soon as possible.

State Law

The statues of your state will also likely play a role in determining fault in your vehicle accident. If you or the other driver should violate a rule of the road, then that violation could be translated to liability for the accident. Some states also have laws that determine how, and whether, the fault may be divided between you and the other driver. The laws may also help you to determine fault in accidents involving more than two vehicles.

Type of Accident

There are certain accidents that will almost always point to a particular driver as the negligent party in an accident. For instance, a driver who causes an accident by crossing traffic in a left turn will likely receive the blame for the incident. Similarly, a driver who rear ends another will likely be assigned fault, since the rules of the road obligate drivers to leave space between vehicles in the event of a sudden stop.

Mounting a Defense (and Offense)

Where there is a debate between the drivers or their insurers as to which driver is to blame and the evidence is not so cut and dried, fault can often be determined based upon which driver made the strongest argument. That is why it is so important that you gather what information you can following the incident and seek out an attorney to help you pursue your disputed claim.

This article is from Karleia Steiner, who works as a freelance blogger and consultant. You can follow her on Google+.

Friday Fun

How to avoid a parking ticket.

One Million Used Cars Are Hiding A Terrible Secret


How do you know whether that used car you want to buy has hidden damage? An article at Huffington Post will definitely make you think twice. Please read the entire article. Here are the opening paragraphs:

Just because a used car is cheap and seems OK during a test drive doesn’t mean it’s safe to buy.

Criminals have devised ways to artfully conceal structural damage on used cars, allowing vehicles to be sold for a profit even though they may have been shoddily rebuilt after an accident or submerged in ocean water during a hurricane.

When insurance companies write off a vehicle as a “total loss” after an accident or other event like a flood or hail storm, the law in most states requires the vehicle’s title of ownership to be given a “brand.” That brand permanently marks the car as damaged goods to all potential future owners, but there are ways for it to be washed away. In the old days, it was done with chemicals. Now, photo editing software and digital scanners are used to print new titles. Or, cars can simply be re-registered in different states until the brand falls away.

Because there is no national titling law, incongruous state laws create opportunities for scammers to “title wash” wrecked cars, making them appear undamaged. Not only are consumers being ripped off, but they’re also putting themselves and others in danger when they unknowingly drive a salvaged car on U.S. highways.

The scam appears to happen on a large scale: According to the vehicle history provider CarFax, 800,000 cars in the U.S. — including at least 500 taxis — have been “title washed” to conceal their troubled histories.

Image courtesy of stockimages at


Why Local Experience Matters In Personal Injury Law Firms


While we all know that we will one day have to settle our parents’ estate or purchase property, most other needs for legal representation comes as a result of an unexpected incident. It could be a case of roadway negligence or a defective product, but whatever the source of our case, we likely did not see it coming. As a result, we may rush into a decision about our legal representation. This can end up haunting us for years to come.

Making a good choice of lawyer means thinking about that decision before we have to make it. No one hopes to suffer a loss due to someone else’s mistake, but we compound our loss if we aren’t prepared to work effectively to recover from it.

Choosing a legal firm to help in these situations is almost always best done with an established local firm. While new practices may tout a successful track record in another city as they try to stake a claim in your area, that may make them the wrong choice for you.

Consider these factors that give the edge to a hometown attorney.

Understanding Local Situations

Just as the work falls into different subject matter areas, it also ends up in different geographic areas. And those differences in location yield differences in case types and circumstances.

For example, Jacoby & Meyers is able to deftly manage cases involving accidents on L.A.’s endless network of freeways because they’ve worked so many similar ones. They understand the city’s traffic patterns, driving trends, and roadway laws.

On the other hand, a Texas firm will understand the ins and outs of workers’ compensation claims in the oil field or liability for escaped livestock.

Knowing the Local Judiciary

Despite the formality of courtroom proceedings, attorneys and judges have a very different relationship after adjournment. They may socialize together, share hobbies, or do pro bono work with a local legal aid group. They may have even gone to law school together.

And while there’s no reason to assume such a connection could yield an advantage in terms of the judge’s discretion on the case, what is clear is that an attorney will understand a judge’s train of thought. Having presented many cases before him or her, a lawyer knows how cases are won and lost there. That can yield priceless dividends for barristers as they formulate strategies for your case, dividends that won’t accrue for a new face.

Local Reputation

Few businesses instill the same type of loyalty that legal practices do. The firm that helped your grandfather get proper compensation for a workplace injury in 1973 will always be held in high regard by your family.

So a successful firm should have hundreds of other such stories. And if that’s the case, why would they relocate? A legal practice that has operated in a town for 50 or 60 years should have no reason to seek a new city. But a less reputable firm can finally create enough ill will among clients and judges that they cannot operate effectively in the same town. As a result, a firm that abruptly pulled up stakes and came to your city–via relocation, not expansion–likely encountered some problems at their old location and needed a fresh start.

This article was written by Jenna Brown. Jenna is a freelance writer who has been blogging on random topics from law to business since her days in college, feel free to e-mail her if you would ever like to have her write for you!

Celebrate Veterans Day


Today we honor our nation’s veterans. Please do something to show your appreciation for the sacrifices these men and women have made for you.

Hand-In-Hand: Video Game and Medical Technology

Male Patient Being Assisted By Nurse

The most common nervous system-related cause of physical disability is stroke. Of those who survive a stroke, half of them will still be coping with some sort of disability six months down the road, having to adapt and strengthen limited speed, perception and judgment. As a rehabilitation mechanism, video games have become a useful, therapeutic tool. With the emergence of motion sensor technology, like the Kinect, an add-on to the Xbox One, post-stroke rehabilitation just advanced to a whole new level.

How It Works

Just as its name points out, motion sensor technology is able to read and compute moving subjects using an invisible light source that illuminates those subjects. That data is fed into a sensor chip that measures the distance light travels to each pixel within the chip. With the use of unique embedded imaging software, this technology can perceive and identify objects in real time and the end-user device reacts appropriately.

Three parts make up Xbox’s motion sensor technology — an RGB color VGA video camera, a multi-array microphone and a depth sensor. The camera picks up red, green and blue color components as well as facial and body-type features. Its pixel resolution of 640 x 480 at a frame rate of 30 fps helps with a subject’s recognition. The depth sensor helps create 3D imagery throughout the room and measures the distance of each point of a player’s shape with the use of near-infrared light that measures its “time of flight” once it reflects off the objects. As for the microphone, there is actually an array of four microphones that pinpoint voices from players and other background noise, which allows a player to use his voice as another control feature.

All of this allows a player to become part of the game without the use of hand controllers. This technology has catapulted beyond just the enjoyment of video games, and has now been incorporated into robotic advancement, exploring dangerous areas on Earth, and recovery and rehabilitation from certain medical issues.

Motion Sensor Games in Rehab

In an effort to help stroke victims to improve hand joint movement faster, the University of Southampton in England, in a collaborative effort with Roke Manor Research, has developed an algorithm that captures data while patients follow exercises on a TV screen, which can help them recover faster. The rehab aid for stroke patients tracks and measures hand joint angles, tracking as finely as the movement of individual fingers, ultimately providing more and better data for therapists to improve the monitoring process of their stroke patients.

Developers say that through the use of Xbox Kinect’s motion sensor system, patients can be stimulated more in rehab versus the often-demotivating and repetitive traditional at-home exercises. The praise of this program is also how inexpensive it is to incorporate into a rehabilitation program for a patient. The university’s goal is to create many video games to continue engaging patients’ interest in rehab in helping them reach their goals. By setting up games with high scores, a patient can aim to beat those high scores as their joint movements improve.

Helping the Disabled

Stroke victims aren’t the only disabled people benefiting from motion sensor technology. Since 2010, developers in China have been working on an ingenious way to help those who are deaf (or hard of hearing) who are unfamiliar with sign language or struggle to communicate. The Kinect Sign Language Translator is a prototype system that can absorb and transmit sign language gestures and convert them into written or spoken language and vice versa.

With the combination of Xbox Kinect’s motion sensor technology and Kinect Sign Language Translator, the gap between the hearing and non-hearing will shrink tremendously, providing many more opportunities for the deaf to be fully independent. It only made sense to take a technology that can record and compute physical motion and convert it to actual, usable data beyond just playing hand-controller-free video games. This combined technology has the potential to open more doors (and jobs) for the deaf.

This article is from Ryan “Scoop” Schlehuber, a features editor for a daily newspaper who strives to avoid being one thing in his life: one-dimensional. Never one to settle, “Scoop,” as he’s known to his friends and followers, always looks to learn or try something new or hone a new skill and always looks forward to meeting new people. He has more than 13 years of writing experience, having started his journalistic career in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and now enjoys working and living in the West Michigan area. Follow him at The Daily News (Greenville, Mich.) at


Friday Fun

Anyone who’s had a son, or grandson, will appreciate this cute video of a boy and his dog.

Thanksgiving Food Drive — Please Help


Kraft & Associates is proud to conduct our Thanksgiving Food Drive in conjunction with the North Texas Food Bank. We want to help those who might otherwise have a bleak Thanksgiving. The food drive will end November 26.

The NTFB is the single largest charity in North Texas and each day it provides access to 170,000 meals for hungry children, seniors, and families through a network of more than 1,000 feeding programs and 262 Partner Agencies. In the spirit of the holiday season, we invite you to help us make a difference in our community through this wonderful organization.

We are asking our friends and colleagues to support our food drive by making a donation of dry goods or non-perishable food items at our office during regular business hours. Our law firm is located at Stemmons and Inwood in Dallas.

The size of the donation is up to you. It can be a single can of vegetables or an entire case. No glass containers please. If you have a larger donation, we will be happy to arrange for a pick up in the DFW metro area. We also need your help in promoting the event, so please ask your friends, family members, co-workers, and acquaintances to donate.

The following items are most needed:

· Soup, Stew or Chili, Low-Sodium

· Canned Vegetables, Low-Sodium

· Beans, Canned or Dried

· Canned Tuna or Chicken

· Fruit, Canned in Juice or Dried

· Peanut or Almond Butter

· Reduced Sugar Pudding Cups

· 100% Whole Fruit Rolls

· Whole Grain Crackers and Granola Bars

· Lightly Salted Trail Mix

· Brown Rice

For more information please visit the NTFB site.

The Future of Driving – The Difference Between Driverless Cars and Automated Cars

The Future of Driving - The Difference between Driverless Cars and Automated Cars

With the frequent news stories about developments in self-driving cars, it’s easy to forget that it’s not an all-or-nothing technology. Automated vehicles already exist and continue to expand in their capabilities. An automated vehicle is one that possesses any automated features related to operating it. By this definition, self-driving cars can be included as a sub-category of automated vehicles, albeit a unique sub-category. Looking closer at the details can help draw a better distinction.

The goal of automated cars is to relieve the driver of handling various driving-related tasks while keeping them in the driver’s seat. Self-driving cars on the other hand are still in the development phase, and they are designed to relieve the driver from driving completely. There are already cars with automated features on the market, while self-driving cars won’t be mainstream, or even available, for years to come.


Currently, some manufacturers already offer sophisticated automation including collision avoidance, lane keeping, adaptive cruise control, and parking assist. Collision avoidance utilizes radar or cameras to detect when the vehicle is about to hit an object and applies the brakes. This technology is already provided by the Mercedes S-Class, Acura, and Volkswagen. Adaptive cruise control builds on this by using braking and accelerating in highway situations to keep the car a safe ways from other traffic. Both parking assist and lane keeping can access the steering and braking while using vision capabilities to inform a computer that handles the operation. The ability of a computerized system to recognize the parking spaces and road lanes is still limited and manufacturers like BMW, Nissan, Ford, GM, Audi, along with companies like Apple, Nokia, LG, and Cisco are working to make this technology more reliable.

Along For the Ride

Unlike the series of discrete functions performed by automated cars, a self-driving car is meant to handle all the work of the driver, leaving only the decision about a destination left to the owner. This type of vehicle needs to understand its surroundings in great detail while tying together individual automated functions. Google has led the way with this type of vehicle and has logged approximately 700,000 miles in test driving. The problem is that self-driving cars would need extremely detailed maps of all possible roads they’d potentially use. They also have yet to overcome poorly marked roads and weather conditions like snow and rain that distort the road’s appearance. These are among a few of the obstacles that are standing in the way of production, which is why there are likely many more years of testing and development to come.

Down the Lane

While automated cars are already on the road, improvements in computer visual recognition will allow them to carry out more complex functions in the future. Of course, these advancements will also make completely self-driving cars more likely. At the current rate of improvement, it’s thought that a truly driver-less vehicle will not be ready until 2020. Not only are there technological glitches to be worked through, but there is the concern of computer hackers, privacy, and gaining public support.

Both automated vehicles and self-driving technology are changing the auto industry at a rapid pace. Daily discoveries and developments are leading to smarter and safer vehicles, and the future promises to bring highly advanced technology to our daily driving trips. No matter how far in the future a driverless car may be, we are already enjoying the fruits of technology on our dashboards—and it can only get better from here. The information for this article was provided by the car experts at Speedy Apollo Auto Service Centres, who specialize in brake repair in Calgary.

AUTHOR BIO: Dixie is a freelance writer who loves to write for business, women’s interests and technology. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.

Lawyer Dreams: What it Really Takes to Work in the Law

Lawyer Dreams What it Really Takes to Work in the Law

A legal career can be professionally and financially rewarding. What is also known is candidates have to consider the many challenges that come with working in the law. It’s going to demand a significant amount of your time, your finances, your energy, and your patience even before you reach a foothold in the profession. Before you get started keep these ideas in mind.

Consider First…
Becoming a lawyer could require an additional three or more years of education. There isn’t only course work. Law students are expected to do mock trials, internships, study law journals outside of regular courses, and more. You need to be dedicated. You also need to be ready to assume the financial burden. The lawyers you see in $5,000 suits are far and few between. Ask yourself if being a lawyer means so much you don’t mind racking up a substantial debt.

Do I Have What It Takes?
There are certain attributes and characteristics that a good lawyer has. If you have these or hope to refine these skills, you are giving yourself a great advantage.

  • Oral and written communication skill
    Being able to convey, advocate, and listen are a lawyer’s most powerful tools.
  • Customer service
    Lawyers need to represent their clients with honesty and integrity. They must operate in every client’s best interest and strive to produce outcomes to that effect every time.
  • Due diligence
    Good lawyers know about the tedium of research and confirming case law, concepts, statutes, and analyzing and interpreting the law.
  • Tech
    It might not seem important in the conference or court room, but lawyers need to master their hardware and software talents. Legal research software, the Internet, word processing, spreadsheets, presentation tools, email, videoconferencing and more. According to an online llm degree student they’ve all become invaluable in a lawyer’s world today.
  • Time Management & Organization
    Staying on top of your game is a priority. Multi-tasking, tight deadlines, managing data and documents, meeting clients, billing, achieving objectives and more are going to be critical to success. If you’re not naturally organized, find a way to get in the habit.

Prepare for the Worst
For every reward in life, there can be a drawback. If you choose to go forward, be prepared for stress with client demands, deadlines, billing pressures, debt, and more. Expect – especially in the beginning – to work long hours doing grunt work. Expect to be viewed poorly by most of the public, and evolving technology that’s minimizing the work performed by new lawyers, a lot of which is getting outsourced. This growing practice threatens to eliminate positions for new lawyers.

Stop watching television about lawyers with their romantic entanglements and stirring summations. Being a real lawyer is a lot more than wearing great suits and talking to the press.

This article is from Brooke Chaplan, a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.


‘Tort Reform’ Savings Called Too Minuscule to Pursue

Michael Hiltzik in his Los Angeles Times (9/20, Hiltzik, 4M) “The Economy Hub” blog writes that the “tort reform law,” which is “usually billed as an answer to frivolous malpractice lawsuits” accounts for about 2.9% of healthcare spending, according to a new study done by Michael B. Rothberg of the Cleveland Clinic and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Aaron Carroll of AcademyHealth blog said that “any tort reform stringent enough to make [savings] go away would likely create other costs” and therefore “there seems little reason to pursue it as a means to dramatically reduce health care spending.” Hiltzik writes that conservative healthcare pundit Avik Roy’s objective of “malpractice reform,” has “no legitimate economic reason for this punitive approach,” as it won’t change the direction of “healthcare costs” or account for any savings.

Biggest Home Insurers’ Hefty Hikes Unchallenged by Texas Commissioner


Again, and again, and again. It’s hardly worth mentioning that Texas consumers are being ripped off constantly by insurance companies and our Insurance Commissioner.

Here are the opening paragraphs from a recent article in the Dallas Morning News:

Texas’ insurance commissioner has allowed the three biggest home insurers to impose hefty rate hikes on two-thirds of their policyholders, despite strong objections from the state consumer advocate for insurance that have been all but ignored.

State Insurance Commissioner Julia Rathgeber’s office said Friday that premium increases for Allstate, Farmers and State Farm are still under review, more than eight months after the state learned of them. The higher rates have been appearing on renewal notices since the start of the year.

It appears unlikely that Rathgeber will take any action. She first learned of the increases in late 2013.

The commissioner can reject any new rates that are deemed excessive and order refunds. But she has shown no signs of considering such action so far. Her predecessor questioned no premium hikes in her two years in office.

State Farm policyholders have seen a 9.8 percent increase this year, on top of a 20 percent hike last year. Farmers raised rates an average 14.9 percent at the beginning of the year, and Allstate boosted its rates 6.5 percent.

The three companies, which dominate the homeowners insurance market in Texas with more than 2 million customers combined, said the higher rates are justified because of destructive weather patterns in the state, including frequent hailstorms in North Texas.

Public Insurance Counsel Deeia Beck objected to all three. She said State Farm’s new rates were excessive and based on projections that “exaggerate future expected losses.” Further, she added, the company is citing unreasonably high expenses to justify its new rates.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at