Monthly Archives: December 2017

How Lawyers Relax and Unwind During the Holidays (Yes, it’s Possible!)

relax and unwind


‘Tis the season for a lot of merriment and a bit of auld lang syne. However, this time of year can also be the most overwhelming as people are forced to juggle family, friends, shopping, parties, and…work deadlines. For lawyers, this can be especially challenging; yet some attorneys have figured out how to successfully unplug and unwind during the holiday season and beyond.

Here, lawyers share their tips:

“During the holiday season, I make sure to block out at least a few days for myself where I commit to not do any work—no emails, no calls, nothing. Also, getting away from my normal environment tends to help with my commitment to unplug. I’m not as prone to want to do work if I’m in a more relaxing, unfamiliar place and I don’t have physical access to work documents and devices. This year, I’ll be heading to a resort destination, surrounding myself with nature, and attempting to decompress and reset for the new year ahead .” —Kimberlee Gee, a lawyer who practices labor and employment law in Washington D.C., and Maryland

“How do I unwind? Simple: Compartmentalization, video games, and working out.” —Matt Kreizer, founder of Kreitzer Law, in Virginia

“During the holidays, I try to leave early in the afternoons, particularly if the family is visiting. Even just an hour or two makes a difference in getting more quality time over the holiday break.” —Alexandre Mestdagh, a real estate attorney in Florida

“As a lawyer that owns her own business unplugging from work is always hard, but it’s especially tricky during the holidays when additional pressures rack up. I know that unplugging and enjoying is a must, and so I do make a conscious effort to do so. Online shopping during down times during the workday helps with the additional holiday pressure; cutting myself a break on many holiday obligations and parties also helps. But, the best thing I find is to force myself to take days off mid-week during the holiday season just to breathe and catch up with friends. I also try to keep in mind that the best gift I can give my family is my attention.” —Jessica Paluch Hoerman, founder of a firm in Illinois that serves as safety advocates, focusing on researching side effects from drugs and complications from devices

“I commit myself to being fully engaged at every moment. When I am working, I work. But I also schedule family time, personal time, and vacation time and commit to that as well. This way I know I am going to get my mind off work every so often and do something just for myself. In fact, I scheduled time in my calendar this week to go see the new Star Wars movie, because those three hours away from the office will recharge me to focus on three hours on work. And I won’t feel guilty doing either one.” —James Ruane, a DUI defense attorney in Connecticut

“With the nature of work I perform on a daily basis, taking a mental break to re-energize myself is essential to living a healthy and balanced life. I’m a firm believer that you must take time off when you are able; not only to benefit your life but to also improve your productiveness and the quality of work you provide to your clients. This holiday season my wife and I will be attending our neighborhood holiday party. We will use this time to catch up with old friends and meet new ones while making homemade ravioli and decorating holiday sugar cookies. For Christmas this year, I’ve planned a road trip from Houston, Texas to Durango, Colorado with my family. In the spirit of Christmas, we’ll all be sipping hot chocolate in our PJ’s on the town railroad’s Polar Express among other festivities such as sleighing, skiing and walking the loveable small-town streets of Durango. As for New Year’s Eve with four little ones, my family and I will likely enjoy grape juice and watching the ball drop in Eastern Time from our Houston home before heading to bed.” —Cody Linn, a personal injury lawyer in Houston

“I calendar personal time just as I would calendar a client meeting. I do not reschedule client meetings I’ve calendared unless a true emergency arises in one of my cases, and I take the same attitude toward personal time that I’ve calendared. The same is true for time that I’ve calendared for general relaxation, for catching up with friends, and—most importantly—for spending time with my wife.” —Chad Ruback,  an appellate lawyer in Dallas

“I have learned the hard way (by suffering serious burnout) that in order to be a sane and effective lawyer, one must do three things: First, impose strict limitations on yourself to only check email during certain hours. For me, that’s normal business hours, and in general, not at all during weekends, holidays, and vacation. Second, notify all clients in advance that you will not be available for a specified period of time and invite clients to call your office to arrange a conference call to be put on your calendar to discuss any pressing matters that they wish to discuss before your time off. And finally, actually adhere to #1 and 2 above. No cheating! Sometimes I actually uninstall my email account from my devices so that I am not tempted to look at them.” —Christina Previte, a family law attorney in New Jersey

Kristin Johnson is an executive and corporate communications professional, and founder of KSJ Communications, a communications and public relations firm. She consults with a diverse roster of clients spanning the technology, professional services, financial services, public sector, consumer, and healthcare industries. In addition to Rocket Matter, Johnson writes for various other publications as well.

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The New Gucci Campaign Is Everything Fashion Dreams Are Made Of

Leave it up to Alessandro Michele to push the boundaries (once again) as Gucci unveils its spectacular new advertising campaign for Spring 2018. Making a disappearing act is photographer Glen Luchford who has captured Michele’s flamboyant aesthetic since day one, as the work of surreal Spanish artist and illustrator Ignasi Monreal takes center stage this season. Monreal produced Gucci’s ‘Gift Giving’ campaign and now cements his relationship with the legendary Italian fashion house with yet another campaign. Titled Utopian Fantasy, the images are based on some of the most iconic fairytales and feature multiple hidden references.

Gucci S/S 2018 by Ignasi Monreal


Members of our forums were in awe. “I’m going to miss Luchford but I have to say that I love the concept of illustrating the campaign,” wrote kokobombon instantly.

“I won’t lie, this is gorgeous,” admitted dodencebt.

“Never thought I’d say this but I’m absolutely loving this. They keep nailing these campaigns,” noted Vitmaine W.

In agreement over how terrific the campaign turned out was anlabe32: “OMG I LOVE IT! Feels like I’m looking at Hieronymus Bosch art, awesome.”

Benn98 couldn’t sing Michele’s praises loud enough, writing, “He did it again, a campaign accompaniment to an equally ornate collection. Alessandro Michele is a genius and single-handedly rejuvenated my interest in Italian fashion. I don’t want to get too cozy without Luchford, but this is spectacular!”

“I love this. Perfect for the new Gucci. They keep on delivering with the creativity of the campaigns,” echoed apple.

“Wow. Love it. I was disappointed when I didn’t see Luchford involved with this campaign, but wow! wow! wow! I’m pleasantly surprised by how beautiful and well executed this campaign turned out! Gucci does it again,” heralded fashionlover2001.

Gucci S/S 2018 by Ignasi Monreal


Gucci S/S 2018 by Ignasi Monreal


See more from Gucci’s spectacular Spring 2018 ad campaign and join the standing ovation here.

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Premium Package: The Best Free Lightroom Presets

Every photographer tries to correct flaws or make a picture unique using retouching in Adobe Lightroom or PhotoShop. It takes a lot of time, and the outcome isn’t always the best it could be. Therefore, we are offering 26 packages with free Lightroom presets for diverse photography genres. Look through these plugins, and download them making […]

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HEN’s 5 Times Raincoats Were Worn Perfectly

To toast the release of her new single ‘Raincoats’, Adelaide indie-pop darling HEN has shared her list of top five times raincoats were worn perfectly!

1. Jessica Chastain

Ok, to be fair Jessica Chastain would love gorgeous in anything. But I LOVE this Raincoat by Terra New York. This whole look is so effortless and elegant. Bonus points because this raincoat is also made from 80% recycled materials and is biodegradable!

2. Lea Michele

How gorgeous and bright is this beautiful number by Ted Baker! I love the vibrant purple and the fact that you could literally wear your pyjamas underneath and no one would know!

3. Veronica Popoiacu

Ok, I am so in love with this look. Yellow is my favourite colour and this match up of yellow summer dress and another gorgeous white Terra New York raincoat is making me very, very happy.

4. Ariana Grande

Apparently Ariana and I share a love of raincoats. It was hard to pick my favourite but I got super nostalgic looking at this 90’s Spice Girl inspired look with awesome transparent raincoat from Nasty Gal. Adorable!

5. Leonard Cohen

I couldn’t write this list without paying homage to the man who inspired my love of raincoats in the first place with his song ‘Famous Blue Raincoat’. The man was a sharp dresser and an amazing poet.

HEN’s new single ‘Raincoats’ is out now.

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Ways to Make Your Ecommerce Store Stand Out for The Holidays

With the holiday shopping season approaching rapidly, now is the time to get your site ready to serve the crowds of joyous gift givers who will be clamoring for your finely curated array of products. To keep them in a gifting frame of mind when they visit your site, here are five ways to make […]

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Legal Freedom Fighter: Daris B. Jackson

Freedom Fighters


We’ve seen it repeatedly throughout our history: When people’s rights are threatened, it’s the lawyers who step up to to the plate. Some are true Freedom Fighters, and they deserve special recognition. That’s why each month, we will feature lawyers who are really making a difference.

Today, we are proud to feature Daris B. Jackson. 

Daris B. Jackson is the principal attorney at The Law Office of Daris B. Jackson, a virtually run solo practice specializing in Criminal Defense, Special Education Litigation, Family Law, and Estate Planning. Daris founded his firm to help provide affordable high-quality legal solutions to communities and families that are facing legal road-blocks.

Daris  has dedicated his professional and educational pursuits to fighting for the rights of marginalized communities. Whether helping victims of sexual assault and child abuse, special education students, or anyone in need, he seeks to find justice for his clients and help them find their voice. He also holds monthly panels at no cost to participants to provide them  information on financial literacy and various educational resources. He is a true Freedom Fighter.

Here’s the interview:

What inspired you to become a lawyer?
The funny thing is, now that I am in solo practice, my clients (mostly my clients who are children) often ask me this question. Honestly, I never planned on becoming a lawyer. I have a BA in Sociology, and a MS in Urban Affairs, both from Hunter College. My background is in activism and helping folks who are marginalized find their voice. I always had a vision of myself as a lawmaker, and when I sat and really thought about the inequities that marginalized people face, I realized a lot of it rests on lawmakers, because many legislators are non-lawyers that have never litigated  and have no idea how things happen at the most micro level. So, I decided that if my calling was to become a lawmaker, I needed to give myself the opportunity to be “at the frontline” as they say, experiencing how policy affects the micro level; and in my mind, the only socially responsible way to do that was to become a lawyer. I love practicing law because I am able to directly help people obtain justice—and I truly believe that justice looks differently for everyone.

What was your most memorable case?
The most memorable case I worked on was when I was a prosecutor in New York. I worked as a special victims prosecutor, handling mostly sexual assault and child sexual abuse cases. One particular victim was a disabled woman that was severely sexually assaulted in a hospital by a hospital staff member while she was recovering from surgery. The experience left her completely devastated, embarrassed, and afraid among other things. Particularly, she developed a significant distrust of men. In fact, at first she outright refused to work with me and asked to have another attorney assigned to handle her case. We met many times, and after a lot of work on both of our parts, we were able to develop a very trusting relationship. This process took months, but it was important to me to allow the process to happen organically. Ultimately, we were unable to secure a conviction in this matter. However, the victim pulled me aside when the verdict was read and thanked me for doing the work to help her regain her voice. It was probably the highest moment in my career as an attorney to date.

From an equal rights and racial justice perspective, where do we stand today?
We are at a very interesting point in history, but I suppose every point in history is interesting at the time. I find that while “rights” as we have come to know them over the past 20 years are quickly diminishing, we find ourselves in a situation where racial justice has heightened mobility. There is a lot of upset, outrage and anger, but there is a large disconnect in how the legal system is addressing these points of view. This extends to gender bias and disproportionality, sexual identity and one’s expression of same, religious freedoms, and how certain organized movements can use legal tactics to repress and reverse many of the gains marginalized people have made over the past two decades. While many “rights” exist, I am not certain that the infrastructure of our legal system is adequately equipped to continue to protect these gains. However, I find hope and encouragement of the resilience of those who continue to organize, teach, lead, and remain vocal and visible in the fight to maintain fairness in the justice system

What challenges do you face today that you never encountered before?
There seems to be a pattern of normalization when encountering episodes of gender bias, sexual identity bias, and bias against those who are affected by substance abuse, and those with a history of mental illness. In my previous practice areas, particularly in Criminal Prosecution, I found there was a more systematic approach to how these communities were engaged, and how legal service providers took a cooperative approach toward addressing the specific needs of these populations. However, now that I represent clients individually, as opposed to representing “the people” at large, I find that many of my colleagues feed in to the very negative tones that have become “normal” when addressing the needs of these clients. As an open LGBTQ attorney of color, that often represents special education students, I strongly lobby against any normalization of this type of conduct and I often find that I spend a lot of time educating my peers, and even members of the Bench, on how to better engage these litigants. I suppose it fits in with my background in activism and my commitment to fighting for the rights of marginalized groups in their push toward access to justice. This is very much a new experience for me, coming from a very diverse and tolerant practice area.

You’ve had so many successes. Which one (or ones) stands out the most for you?
The first would be serving as the class speaker when I graduated from the Rutgers School of Law, in Newark NJ. It is a very humbling experience to be selected by your peers to speak on behalf of a group of new lawyers, at arguably one of the most intimate moments of our collective lives. It was a huge honor, and I took it very seriously; I locked myself away on a prairie in Ontario, Canada, and tried to write a very moving and honest speech, that focused on all the wonderful things I watched my fellow classmates do for each other, and for society, and how I viewed them all as agents of socio-political change. Secondly, as I stated before, one of my goals in life is to affect policy in a socially responsible manner, starting at the margins on the most micro level. One of my most proud successes is being recognized as a community leader, and being appointed by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz to sit on Bronx Community Board 8, where I serve as Vice Chair of the Economic Development Committee, and as a member of the parks and recreation committee.

If you could give one piece of advice to other lawyers across the country, what would you say?
Do EVERYTHING you can to avoid burnout, by living the best, balanced life you can! I give this advice because I find that many of us, in our quest to “save the world,” often forget that we cannot do anything if we are in complete shambles! I try very hard to be as honest as possible with myself when I need to “take a break.” I try to keep myself involved in things that matter to me. I run anywhere between 3-5 full marathons per year, and I play in a competitive curling league in Syosset, NY. It is important to employ the best self-care, so that we can be effective in both our personal lives, and effective in our pursuits on behalf of our clients and other stakeholders we advocate for.

Also, I cannot stress this enough, I think it is extremely important to give back. As I mentioned, I sit on Bronx Community Board 8, but I also remain active in other ways. I have participated in workshops to provide free legal assistance to debtors in Civil Court matters, and I have co-hosted panels on financial literacy and asset protection. I also have been featured on public speaking panels for the Boy Scouts of America, and have written grant proposals for education clinics in Harlem, NY. There are many ways we can give back, but the most important thing is to keep it mission driven. I find that I am able to find a space in my calendar for projects that I truly believe in, and missions that speak to me at my core.

If an attorney wants to get involved in social justice, how can he or she get started? 
There are many  ways to get involved in Social Justice. I think the first step is for attorneys to divorce themselves from the fear of volunteering their time, or expertise. Most people that truly need help, from a social justice point of view, cannot afford to pay for legal services, however, many are extremely receptive to those who are willing to help in whatever little way they can. This can be as simple as notarizing documents or preparing appellate level briefs. There are a myriad of things an attorney can do to provide legal assistance, without taking on the often-overwhelming burdens of full scope representation. With that said, it is important to be involved in micro level community engagement. I encourage attorneys that want to become involved in social justice to attend community board meetings, local hearings, and school board meetings. Attend tenant associations, and find out what issues marginalized community stakeholders are facing. It is not always apparent from a macro standpoint, but at the micro level, you begin to truly appreciate what the issues are, and where you may fit in. Lastly, NETWORK NETWORK NETWORK! There are many of us out here that are involved in many projects, trainings, panels, classes, and so on. Do not be afraid to reach out to a social justice practitioner in your area. Simply ask!

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16 Patterned Pieces to Keep Your Wardrobe in Check

Plaid is everywhere this time of year. After all, nothing feels more Christmasy than a red and green plaid jacket. But we prefer to broaden our horizons a bit. Thankfully, the fall collections agreed, offering up plenty of checks to balance out our winter wardrobes.

Checks and plaids were the pattern du jour for Fall 2017. Balenciaga Fall 2017, Loewe Fall 2017, Off-White Fall 2017

Balenciaga Fall 2017, Loewe Fall 2017, Off-White Fall 2017; Images: Imaxtree

The wider-spaced weave popped up on quite a few runways. At Balenciaga, it helped stabilize one of Demna Gvasalia’s off-center outsize coats that street style stars fawn over. Loewe gave the pattern some edge with leather strappy accents providing a 3-D effect. While Off-White tripled-down on checks, but broke things up with a bright blue hoodie.

Checks appeared on more Fall 2017 runways than we could count. Emporio Armani Fall 2017, Coach 1941 Fall 2017, Mara Hoffman Fall 2017

Emporio Armani Fall 2017, Coach 1941 Fall 2017, Mara Hoffman Fall 2017; Images: Imaxtree

Emporio Armani riffed on the traditional black and white checked pattern by adding in pops of red and variations on width. Coach’s came in earth-tone shades, often covered up by furry outerwear. And Mara Hoffman was all about matching separates with her tops and bottoms coordinating and clashing at the same time.

Checks on the street. The street style set cashing in on the check tren

The street style set cashing in on the check trend; Images: Imaxtree

Out on the street, showgoers for both the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 collections embraced checked pieces. From the classic blazer, slightly oversized to suit the current climate, to grunge-era multicolored button-downs and even a skirt/pant hybrid, they certainly checked all the boxes.

The great thing about checks is they feel fresh no matter the season (so they will still work in your wardrobe come spring). Check out 16 of our favorite checks and plaids in the slideshow below. Wear the dresses with turtlenecks and tights for now; pair the blazers and trousers with crop tops after mid-April.

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Social Enterprise Startups Are Big Business

New and small start-ups are seeing fantastic levels of revenue by focusing on social enterprises. To understand the reason for this, we first need to answer an important question: What is a social enterprise? Loosely speaking, a social enterprise in business can refer to a commercial project that addresses a particularly social need. This could be an effort to improve an environmental issue or…


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Ep 27: The Lean Law Firm with Dave Maxfield

On this week’s episode of the 10 Minute Law Firm Podcast, Larry Port interviews Dave Maxfield. Dave is a South Carolina lawyer and is Larry’s co-author of a soon-to-be published book by the ABA about running a lean law firm. Dave discusses the origins of running a “lean” business and how to run your firm as efficiently and as lean as possible.

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Food Distribution in the Digital Age

In this era where everything can be searched from the comfort of your recliner and at the touch of a screen, we often forget that merchandise still needs to travel from point A to point B in a more traditional fashion. Products are still transported by train or cargo ships and eventually on transports to reach their destination. The difference is that in today’s world, people want things to arrive…


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