At about 6:15 on the morning of Tuesday, November 20, I learned that Kevin Laughlin, CFO and Of Counsel to the Locks Law Firm, had passed away suddenly the previous night. The day before I had been teasing Kevin playfully about his beloved Villanova Wildcats losing to Furman. (He took it rather well, reminding me of their two recent national championships). The news was a shock on many levels. Kevin was a key part of the Firm, but more importantly he was a joy to be around.
A Lawyer Gives Thanks on Thanksgiving
At a Thanksgiving dinner years ago when my son was a small boy he asked me, “Dad, what do lawyers give thanks for?” Unsurprised at his question, I responded with the expected categories---family, country, good health and good food. He wasn’t buying it, and a cross-examination followed: “No Dad, I mean what lawyer things are you thankful for?”
Things To Consider When Picking A Nursing Home For Your Loved One
When looking for the right nursing home, here are few things to consider:
- Choose The Nursing Home That Meets Your Needs - The most important part of your search is to find the perfect place for your loved one. Whether that be attentive medical care or the freedom of a shuttle to maintain independence, what your loved one is looking for may be slightly different than what you are looking for. You are going to be visiting a few different locations so keep in mind the needs your searching for when taking things into consideration.
- Cleanliness - Making sure the facility is clean is crucial. This can also include environmental hazards and trip hazards such as dirty conditions, slippery floors or obvious trip hazards.
- Staff - Are the Caregivers giving the residents proper attention and are they friendly? You want to make sure the Caregivers aren’t allowing residents to wander off aimlessly unattended.
- Recreational/Social Activities - Does the home offer any type of group activities for residents to join in on and that your loved one would be interested in. This can vary from social movie nights, religious gatherings, and of course bingo.
- Room - How spacious is your loved ones room? Is there a TV provided? What is the privacy like for them on a day to day basis? These are definitely things to keep in mind when considering a nursing home.
- Food - It be good to look into what the meal service is at the facility to see if it’s daily specified timely meals and if food is available anytime. Maybe take a taste for yourself for a quality test.
- Visitation - Find out what visitation schedule is like. Is it only some days of the week, is it certain hours, or is it open at anytime.
- Follow Up - Make sure to follow up with your loved one and check their status. See if they seem malnutritioned or have any type of bed sores. If able, check and see their thoughts on their Caregiver and how they are feeling emotionally and physically.
Remembering Forgotten Veterans of World War I
My grandfather, Sean MacCabe, was one of more than 200,000 Irishmen who volunteered to serve with the British Army during World War I. He served with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and was stationed in France on December 20, 1917 when he wrote to his great aunt Elizabeth who lived on 116th Street in Manhattan. My family has the original letter complete with censor stamp. In addition to thanking her for the pencils and helmet she had sent him, he told her, "I have seen your Americans under shell fire and they are a credit to their country. I am sure their assistance will be a very valuable asset to our cause in the field." He went on to say, "With this great time that has always been associated with peace and goodwill, it is painful to find Xmas celebrated for the fourth time under conditions which make the most barbarous happenings in history blush at our present conflagration. In the midst of it all, man seems so insignificant and powerless to deal with the situation he has created. It has gone beyond the control of Napoleons, Washingtons, or Wellingtons, only the merciful God whose birth we celebrate so soon can bring us the peace and goodwill we need so much." He was 23 years old at the time and was fortunate enough to live to see the Armistice, come home to later marry and raise a family, unlike so many others who perished. However, the Ireland he returned to was a very changed country after the 1916 Easter Rising. Following the summary execution of the leaders of the Rising in Dublin, national outrage led ultimately to the War of Independence which began in 1919 and ended in a ceasefire in 1921 and the partitioning of Ireland. Accordingly, there was no triumphant welcome home for the Irish soldiers who fought for the British Army. Instead, some were met with hostility and even violence. Their service was virtually forgotten in the decades following Irish independence and it wasn't until the 80th anniversary of the armistice in 1998, almost 50 years after my grandfather's death, that the President or Ireland and the Queen of England dedicated a memorial at Messines, Belgium to the Irish who had fallen in WWI as part of the broader Irish Peace Process. Since that time, the Irishmen who served have received the recognition they deserve for their service and sacrifice. My grandfather's words serve as a reminder on this Veteran's Day and on the centenary of the armistice that soldiers, courageous and selfless as they can be in battle, just want peace. In memory of my grandfather, all those who served, and all who lost their lives in WWI before peace would come.
I was out of town on business last week. This in and of itself it not unusual as my work with the Locks Law Firm over the last 40 years has required an extensive amount of travel. On this particular occasion however, I found myself in Hamilton, Ohio, a small community in Western Ohio, on Friday night. I was unable to get back home due to flight schedules until the following morning. This was not just any Friday night however, this was the first Friday night after the slaughter of congregants in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. There had been a call for Jews throughout the world to attend Sabbath services in a show of solidarity for the victims.
Why Should You Vote?
In case you haven’t heard, Tuesday, November 6th is a big day in the United States – the midterm elections. The 2014 midterm elections saw the lowest voter participation in more than 70 years, but voter turnout in 2018 is expected to reach its highest level in decades. Low voter turnout is often ascribed to indifference, disillusionment, or the sense that one person’s vote won’t make a difference. So why should you vote?
Tomorrow are the midterm elections and it is more important than ever to get out there and vote!. Still curious about where a candidate lands on certain issues or don’t know where your polling place is? We’ve compiled some helpful links to help you stay informed. Make sure your voice is heard tomorrow - Get out and VOTE!
Landmark Case on behalf of deceased Notre Dame football player allowed to proceed
See the link that attaches the recent opinion given by the Ohio Supreme Court that allows the case to move forward on behalf of the deceased Notre Dame football player Steve Schmitz, a running back and kick return specialist. Steve died at age 59, and his autopsy showed CTE and Alzheimer’s Disease. The Locks Law Firm is lead counsel for the Estate of Steve Schmitz and represents his widow Yvette and his two children. We intend to move the case forward to trial.
There’s more than one way to …
... find personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state corporation. We recently posted a blog about general personal jurisdiction: “Pennsylvania is Consensual Quicksand.” Today is specific personal jurisdiction, in which the suit must arise out of or relate to the defendant’s contacts with the forum.
"I'm coming up on the 2nd anniversary of my breast cancer surgery and from that perspective things are looking good."
In September of 2016 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had gone for a routine annual mammogram which turned out to be anything but routine. Accustomed to getting the all-clear, I was quite taken aback when the interpreting radiologist took me to a private room and showed me what was concerning on the film. My gut instinct upon seeing the film was that a biopsy would come back positive for malignancy and indeed it did. The good news was that the cancer wasn’t invasive; the bad news was that I had cancer at all. Because this type of breast cancer has the potential of growing and becoming invasive it had to go. So I underwent surgery, followed by five grueling weeks of radiation. Having to undergo radiation on a daily basis was pretty rough. At Pennsylvania Hospital, where I had the radiation, there’s a bell in the waiting room that patients ring when they’ve completed their course of treatment. After the last treatment I rang the bell and the other patients cheered! And after a six-month follow-up mammogram I was declared cancer-free.
In most cases the key to overcoming breast cancer is early detection, when the cancer is most treatable. My aunt Ann, who never had a mammogram until she was in her eighties, died of breast cancer. So did my cousin Connie, who for a long time was in denial and then spent thousands on holistic healing and quack remedies, eschewing conventional medicine. My mother, on the other hand, was diagnosed with breast cancer in her fifties and lived to be 92. She felt a lump in one breast, knew that something was wrong and sought medical attention without delay. Of course there are exceptions. A friend of a friend was recently diagnosed with a particularly virulent, aggressive form of breast cancer which quickly metastasized to the liver and she is now in hospice, dying of liver cancer.
It has been estimated that women in the USA have a 1 in 8 lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. Those are not good odds. And that's why breast cancer awareness is so crucial. Mammography, self-examination and regular visits to a GYN can save many lives. In my case the cancer was not palpable so the only way it could be detected was by mammography and subsequent biopsy. That’s why I remain a strong advocate of annual mammograms. For the rest of my life I will be worried about a recurrence – as is common in those who’ve had breast cancer once – but at least I’m staying on top of things and getting regular screenings. I'm coming up on the 2nd anniversary of my breast cancer surgery and from that perspective things are looking good.