Who Cares? We do!

This week’s blog post is from our office manager, Andrea.

Pheasant soup, venison, rabbit and much more was on the menu at Saint Matthew’s Men’s Club Wild Game Feed this past Thursday. Adolph Legal attended for the third year in a row and helped to raise funds for the school, the softball team, overall maintenance, and other needs. As a staff, we are incredibly lucky that we show support to such a wide variety of causes. I’m sure our regular blog readers have noticed that in the first two months of 2017 we have attended several charity events. We began this year at the Boys and Girls Club A Taste of Wine and Cheese fundraiser at the KI. Next, our group headed to the Show of Strength event at the Jet Air Hangar. The following day we traveled to Denmark’s Beverly Gardens to partake in the chicken dinner and charity auction for Saint Paul’s School and Church. Our charitable endeavors have ranged from children, to women in need, to various community organizations. And we have others in the calendar already!

As we select events and reach out to our community, it reflects the great diversity of our office. Each employee has found events of personal importance for the office to attend and support. By going to these events our staff contributes to strong foundations in the area and Adolph Legal gains in strength as well. Stepping outside of the office together helps our staff maintain balance and fun in what can be a very emotional and sometimes stressful field. We want to foster a healthy community and office so that we can provide the best legal services possible. As the behind the scenes office manager, I get to observe and interact with this small group of people and see how much they care. Adolph Legal cares about being active in charity, cares about each other and cares about our clients. If you have any recommendations of events that we can be involved with or would like to inquire about our services, please contact us by phone at 920.634.2212 or by e-mail at office@adolphlegal.com

Some Things Shouldn’t be Left to Chance

We got a new item at Adolph Legal, which has inspired me to write this blog post.  It is a prize wheel that secretly allows us to feel like contestants on the Wheel of Fortune.  The Adolph Legal Wheel was originally acquired to decide what rewards staff members would receive for a job well done.  Now, we use this wheel to help us make decisions, such as; where to eat lunch, what flavor of coffee to drink, or even which tie to wear to an event.  While this creates a little fun during the day and encourages office bonding, it brings attention to how overwhelming daily decisions can be.  The wheel gives us the freedom to take a mental break.

Making daily decisions can be hard enough, but selecting the right attorney to assist in your legal needs may be overwhelming.   Simply typing “criminal defense attorney” or “family law attorney” into Google will bring up hundreds of options.  It can be tempting to call the top few options, get a quick quote on the retainer and toss up the options on the wheel, give it a spin, and BAM! the wheel has spoken.  However, there are many factors that go into a good attorney-client relationship that extend beyond the most affordable retainer.

When calling law firms, it’s important to take note of how you’re treated by the support staff as they will be your primary point of contact for scheduling, information, etc.  The top question we receive is “What is the attorney’s retainer?”  Please be aware that a retainer is to be considered a down payment towards your legal fees.  This fee is required up front and is placed into a trust account.  The attorney will then bill from the retainer at their hourly rate.  Many forget to inquire on the hourly rate of the attorney.  If one attorney has a lower retainer but higher hourly rate, your retainer will be exhausted quickly; thus, putting you in jeopardy of a possible disruption in representation or facing an unexpectedly large legal bill.

I want to encourage those seeking an attorney to ask more questions beyond the cost.  How long has the attorney been practicing that area of law?  How long has the attorney been practicing in the county?  What is the protocol for speaking and meeting with the attorney?  How long do you typically have to wait for a reply from the law firm?  Do not hesitate to be clear on what your expectations are for the outcome of your case as it will help determine if you and the attorney will be a good fit.  Most importantly, you need to hire an attorney who you are comfortable with.

At Adolph Legal, our attorneys offer a free 15 minute telephone consultation. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to speak with their potential attorney before making the important decision of retaining Adolph Legal.  The attorney you choose will help shape your future. It is vital that you trust your attorney throughout the process.  By asking the right questions to the attorneys you speak with, you will better understand your case.

While I would recommend spinning the Adolph Legal Wheel to determine where you should eat lunch next week, I would never suggest allowing the wheel to determine your attorney.  It is an important and lasting relationship that directly affects your best interests in life.  It is a decision that must be about more than cost.

We encourage you to call Adolph Legal and ask the tough questions.  We truly want to be the right choice for you.  Please call us at (920) 634-2212.

Adolph Legal Attends Golden House’s Show of Strength Art Show

This past Friday, Adolph Legal attended The Show of Strength art show and reception at the Jet Air Hangar. The event’s purpose was to raise money for the Golden House. If you are not familiar with Golden House, it is an incredible organization that provides resources for victims of domestic abuse. 

Cheese Sculpture

The Show of Strength event is advertised as an art show, which it is, but it is much more than that. Having attended this event the past three years, I have come to the conclusion that Show of Strength is really a celebration of positive relationships. And what better way to celebrate than with good people, eating good food, all the while being inspired by artistic creations of others. At the event there was food from local eateries like; Café Madrid, T. Bacon’s BBQ, and Ski’s Meat Market to name a few. Also, the attendees were treated by a performance from ArtBeat Live, which is a traveling art performance where an artist creates a painting in less than 8 minutes. The crowd was especially impressed with the artist’s Andy Warhol-esque portrait of Vince Lombardi. At the end of the event I am not sure which felt bigger, my stomach or my heart.   

 Adolph Legal is committed to supporting local organizations that enrich our community. Though a considerable amount of money was raised at the event, it is hard to truly measure the positive impact of an event like Show of Strength has on this community.

 

And yes, that is a picture of me about take a bite out of a statuette made of cheese. 

 

A Taste of Wine and Cheese

On February 10, 2017, the Adolph Legal team was able to attend the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Green Bay’s A Taste of Wine & Cheese 2017. Held at the KI Convention Center, the team enjoyed an assortment of hors d’oeuvres from local restaurants, listened to live entertainment, participated in a variety of raffles and took part in the vast silent auction. The event raised funds to benefit the children and programs of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Green Bay. We were able to contribute almost $2,000.00 to this great organization. The Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay provides a protective environment for children to thrive. An average of 750 children a day are provided lifetime opportunities at the Club’s facilities.  Adolph Legal is proud to be a supporter of the Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay.

Attorney Aspenson, Attorney Adolph, Kelsey, and Sovann

 

This year, Adolph Legal is also proud to announce that it has become a Bronze Sponsor of the Gather for Good event supporting the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. The event will a fun night of dueling pianos, an auction supporting the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and moving patient stories. For the past 24 years, the Gather for Good event has raised more than $1.5 million dollars to support the patient care programs that families of northeast Wisconsin use. The Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is a Level I Children’s Surgery Center and the highest rated pediatric surgical center in Wisconsin. Their mission is driven through care, advocacy, research and education or C.A.R.E. It is through C.A.R.E. that they hope to achieve their vision of having Wisconsin kids be the healthiest in the nation. Adolph Legal is honored and delighted to be a sponsor of this event.

In addition to attending various charity events, Adolph Legal is giving back in other ways. On February 11, 2017, Attorney Jake Aspenson judged the 2017 High School Mock Trial Regional Tournament. At mock trial, students are given the opportunity to analyze and prepare a case, present a witness, argue their assigned role and receive input and feedback from attorneys and judges. The material used is produced by Wisconsin attorneys. The tournament also allows students to learn an improved understanding of the court system. Attorney Tara Adolph has previously been a judge of this tournament for the past 3 years.

Our firm will remain committed to supporting and giving back to the community. We plan on attending the Golden House’s Show of Strength, going to the 34th Annual St. Matthew Men’s Club Charity Wild Game Feed dinner, participating in the St. Paul Lutheran Church and School Annual Auction, volunteering with the Green Bay Miracle League and attending Heritage Hill’s Hops on the Hill. The future holds many wonderful opportunities and possibilities. If you or your organization is in need of support, please contact us via e-mail at office@adolphlegal.com. We will sponsor sports teams, events, provide items for charity auctions, and are open to other forms of support. Contact us today!

For more information regarding these events and organizations, check out the following links:

http://www.bgcgb.org/a-taste-of-wine-cheese/

http://www.chw.org/giving-and-volunteers/events-supporting-chw/gather-for-good/

http://www.showofstrengthgb.com/

http://www.stmattsgb.org/

http://www.stpaullux.org/

http://heritagehillgb.org/

http://www.greenbaymiracleleague.com/

Don’t Let Alternative Facts on Social Media Cause Agitation

As a lawyer, I am often asked about my political affiliations, opinions and beliefs. My answer usually stays the same, “I try not get involved in politics.” I, like everyone else, have my opinions and beliefs regarding political issues, but choose to not argue with others regarding the same. That being said, I am of the opinion that it is our duty as Americans to be informed. This informed natures is what is to guide us in our privilege to vote, understand laws and help our country grow through diversity. With all of the recent changes in the American political climate, it is vital that we are an accurately informed population. This is true regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, political affiliation or class.

The problem is that technology has made information widely available and more often than not, the information we receive is inaccurate in some way, shape or form. In fact a recent study (more information here: http://www.middaydaily.com/social-media-can-make-users-small-minded/26861/), found that social media narrows our view of the world and allows people to consume and distribute unverified or unverifiable information. We are all aware of the convenience of searching for information on the internet and finding it with the click of a button, which is a wonderful thing. The downfall is that most people do not go past the first click to delve deeper into the source of the information. Social media has become the most popular way for people to communicate. The hope with social media is that users will keep an open mind and share only facts, but social media has the opposite effect – users actually become more eager to share facts based on personal beliefs rather than verified information. The scientist behind the study, Alessandro Bessi, has concluded that users of social media are under the influence of confirmation bias when making posts, tweets, etc. Confirmation bias is the idea of seeking only those facts that prove your pre-existing beliefs. The end result is that people systematically dismiss any and all information that does not confirm their beliefs, even if the truth is available.

To me, this disconnect has become more and more obvious and relevant. Americans are becoming increasingly divided and hostile towards each other with each passing day. These fissures are not the type that will be fixed overnight or maybe even ever. I encourage everyone to take the extra time to verify the accuracy of the information you are receiving or sharing before allowing it to fuel discontent, animosity or hatred. We spend our entire lives interacting with others and it does not benefit anyone to ostracize people, especially based on false information.

On a separate note, you may have noticed that our blog has been more active recently. If you follow us, you will see a new blog post each week posted by our various staff members. Our posts may contain opinions. These opinions are those of our specific authors and may not necessarily reflect the view of Adolph Legal. Please be assured that we are dedicated to offering our clients thorough and effective representation. If there is a specific topic you would like us to address or would like to read more posts by specific staff members, please let us know via e-mail at office@adolphlegal.com.

Drivers Beware!

Here in Wisconsin, we are deep into winter. We have gone beyond the winter wonderland of December with the sparkling lights, happy music and fluffy white snow, and have been catapulted into late January. Winter is anything but magical at this point. It is cold, slushy, wet and icy outside, making driving an unpleasant chore. It is inevitable that there will be accidents in winter due to the less than desirable driving conditions.

It is important that a driver in Wisconsin understand that they have certain duties when involved in an accident. When involved in an accident, a driver has the duty to investigate what was struck, whether it be an object, person, or vehicle. The driver must remain at the scene of the accident until they have provided their name, address, registration number and driver’s license to the person that was struck. Further, a driver has the duty to render aid to any person injured in an accident. If there was damage caused in the accident, it must be reported to local authorities immediately. It may be tempting to leave the scene of an accident, especially if it appears to be minor, but you could face legal ramifications, including criminal charges, for doing so. In turn, if you are struck by another vehicle who does leave the scene of an accident, you must forgo the urge to follow the fleeing driver. This could put you and others at risk. Stay at the scene of the accident and contact the local authorities to report a hit and run.

 

If you have any traffic related questions, please contact our experienced attorneys at Adolph Legal at 920-634-2212 or by e-mail at office@adolphlegal.com.

Say What?!? Lawyers Should Communicate Like Normal People

Obscure Latin words, marble laden courtrooms, and seemingly elitist attorneys are the reason regular people who must rely on the legal system often feel overwhelmed and intimated. Legal documents can seem as foreign and perplexing as IKEA furniture directions. It is no wonder why the general public has such a jaded perspective about the legal system.

It is important to remember that the American system of legal jurisprudence was actually designed to make people feel more empowered, not less. Unfortunately, too many people who find themselves in a legal conflict end up feeling vulnerable because they have been deprived of their personal power over a situation. This is absolutely contrary to the intent behind our legal system.

So what can be done?

How can we make the legal system less elitist and more egalitarian?

The answer; KEEP IT SIMPLE!

The public must demand legal professionals to be more plain and straightforward with their communication. It is imperative that people understand the legal environment around them. It becomes a near impossibility for non-lawyers to understand their legal environment when everything they hear and see is saturated with legal jargon. Other than a swollen sense of superiority, there is nothing stopping lawyers from speaking and writing more plainly. Christopher Trudeau, a professor at Thomas M. Cooley Law School, conducted a study on legal communication and the results confirm that the legal profession would be more effective and efficient if attorneys used plain language. Trudeau, Christopher R., The Public Speaks: An Empirical Study of Legal Communication (May 20, 2012). 14 Scribes J. Leg. Writing 121 (2011-2012).

In Professor Trudeau’s study, 71% who were surveyed indicated that they had received a legal document that was difficult to read. Yikes, that is a significant majority and shows that attorneys are failing to effectively communicate with their clients. One of the participants in the study wrote that, “It was all in the English language, yet I could not understand the mumbo-jumbo!! This for me feels condescending and corrupt.” I am sure non-lawyers reading this can relate to that. The study also found that 40% of clients stopped reading legal documents if they felt the language was too legalistic. This is troubling because these are documents that have information within them that can have a drastic impact on their life.

What is probably more noteworthy is that Trudeau’s study found that 88% of the participants preferred and understood documents that incorporated plain language methods. This means that clients are not impressed with legalistic communication, what they are impressed with is an attorney who can communicate with them in way that they can understand.

Knowing this, at Adolph Legal, it is our primary goal that we communicate to you in a way that you can understand so that you feel knowledgeable about your case, and as the old adage goes, “knowledge is power.” And every person has a right to feel empowered by the law.

If you are seeking an attorney that will communicate with you, and not at you, call Adolph Legal at 920-634-2212 or email us at office@adolphlegal.com.

Road Construction and Cell Phones

There always seems to be road construction in Wisconsin (even in winter!). As of October 1, 2016, drivers are prohibited from using hand-held mobile devices in work zones across the state. The law was put into place in effort to reduce the nearly 10,000 crashes in Wisconsin work zones that occurred between 2011 and 2015. Of the 10,000 crashes, 47 resulted in a death and 3,600 individuals had injuries. Bluetooth and hands-fee devices will be the exception to this new law and will be allowed to be used in work zones. Similarly, drivers will be allowed to use hand-held devices in work zones if they are calling 911. Penalties of violating this law start with a $40.00 fine and following fines of $100.00. If you find yourself in a situation that involves a law violation, contact Adolph Legal to discuss how to minimize the impact and develop a strategy for your case. We can be reached Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in person at 1545 Sixth Street, Suite 101, Green Bay, Wisconsin, or by phone anytime at (920) 634-2212.

 

You can find more information regarding the work zone law here: http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/crime-and-courts/no-hand-held-phones-in-work-zones-law-starts-saturday/article_947f33b2-02f0-591d-99fa-3d344fc7231e.html

 

Charity and Volunteering

At Adolph Legal, we are dedicated to giving back to our local communities.  In 2016, we had the opportunity to volunteer and give to some wonderful organizations including: the Miracle League of Green Bay, the Boys and Girls Club of Green Bay, St. Matt’s, St. Jude Children’s Research Center, Heritage Hill, and others.   In 2017, we are committed to continue showing our support to our community.  If you or your organization is in need of support, please contact us via e-mail at office@adolphlegal.com.  We will sponsor sports teams, events, provide items for charity auctions, and are open to other forms of support.  Contact us today!

Divorce with Children – Resources

Divorce ChildAt Adolph Legal, we help many clients who have minor children navigate the complicated divorce process.  Divorce can be messy, and all too often children are placed in the middle of the dispute.  The role of a Guardian ad Litem is to advise the Court as to what is in the best interest of the child/children. This is one of the paramount concerns in a divorce with minor children.  There are many free resources for parents who are going through a divorce.  If you are going through a divorce or have marital problems, check out these websites for helpful tips and tools to keep the children as the focus:

http://www.uptoparents.org/default.aspx

http://focusonkids.missouri.edu/resources.html

http://kidsturn.org/kt/

http://divorceandchildren.com

If you are in need of legal assistance with a divorce or custody and placement dispute, you can contact Adolph Legal at (920) 634-2212 and we would be happy to assist you.

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