Tips for an Amazing B’nai Mitzvah Party

As a child, I remember Bar and Bat Mitzvah parties being the highlight of my weekends during seventh grade. The parties were always the best! At mine and other parties, I remember amazing music, entertainment — even a chocolate fountain!

Of course nowadays, Bar or Bat Mitzvah parties are bigger and better than ever — much more elaborate than when I was a kid. If you’re planning a Bat Mitzvah party, here are some tips to make your child’s party stand out from the rest.

Two Words: Dessert Bar

Everyone loves being to control what they eat — the days of sitting down and waiting for a waiter to bring you your meal at a fancy party are done. Now people love buffets that allow their guests to customize their meal to their own satisfaction. Usually, however, there are limited options for desserts. Incorporating a dessert bar at your bar or bat mitzvah party would be a great way to switch it up.

Luckily, this is a relatively simple thing to incorporate into your party. All you need is a table filled with your favorite desserts — anything from cakes, cookies, and pies — and more. To truly make your party unique, you should try to bring in desserts not commonly served at parties. Think frozen yogurt, ‘pizookies’, and even actual candies like Ring Pops, Gumballs, and M & M’s!

Surprise Venue

An easy way to switch things up would be to hold your event at a unique venue. You might think this sounds crazy, but a yacht is a super cool place to hold your party.

I ran across this company, Anita Dee Yacht Charter, that can hold events on yachts — which would be a super cool thing to do for a B’nai Mitzvah party. Your party would truly be the talk of the town for weeks following. Plus, if your event is in the summertime, you and your friends may be able to take a dip in the water!

Theme, theme, theme!

Choosing a cool theme for your party is another super-easy way to make your special day truly special. Of course, you don’t want to copy anyone else’s theme — that would defeat the purpose. You should pick a theme that is more than just a color scheme — it should be something truly meaningful to you.

Cool ideas for themes could be something based off your favorite movie (mine would totally be a West Side Story theme), a theme based around your favorite singer (mine would be Lady Gaga, of course), or even one based off of one of your favorite books (Harry Potter is an obvious, but amazing choice.)

Picking one of these themes will make your party personal and centered around — which it should be! It’s your special day after all.

I had an amazing Bat Mitzvah party, but if I were to do it again — I would definitely follow these tips! I hope these help you — and Mazel Tov!

What are punitive damages?

You do not have to be a lawyer to understand the basics of personal injury law. In fact, of all the different types of law, I truly think that personal injury is the easiest to understand! The ease of understanding is most likely caused by injury being something to which most people can relate. Compare that to topics like constitutionality or intellectual property!

However, there are still concepts important to personal injury lawyers that are not easily understood without some intense research. One topic, punitive damages, is pretty important to know about as an average citizen because it might affect a potential lawsuit you might pursue after being injured by someone.

Luckily for you, I have done a lot of research on personal injury law, broadly, and punitive damages, more specifically:

The purpose of a personal injury case

Because punitive damages are so closely related to personal injury law, it is best to first understand the general purposes of a personal injury lawsuit. In most situations, people sue others for personal injuries in order to earn compensation to cover medical bills, health costs, or other financial damages incurred as a result of an injury.

Some additional financial damages that many people do not initially think of in these situations is something like lost wages or potentially-lost benefits. If a person is unable to work because they are recovering from an injury — or if they are disabled as a result of an injury — then one purpose of a personal injury lawsuit could be to recoup those losses. A person’s financial status ought to never be dramatically worsened because of the negligence or damages caused by another.

Punitive damages explained

On the other hand, as Portner Bond, PLLC discusses on their website, an additional benefit that a judge or plaintiff might pursue in a personal injury lawsuit is punitive damages. These are meant to disincentivize — a nice way to say punish — the extremely negligent behavior that a person engaged in, that caused the victim’s (or plaintiff’s) injuries.

While this might seem harsh, using the judicial system to persuade the public’s actions not only makes sense but is done every day. The main reason people do not speed is not because of safety concerns, but because of the fear of a speeding ticket. So pursuing punitive damages against someone might make it so that the person does not commit the negligent or reckless actions again.

When punitive damages are used

If you still feel that punitive damages are harsh, the silver lining is that only rarely do judges or plaintiffs seek to pursue this form of restitution. Other forms of incentives (like compensation for medical bills) are more commonly used in personal injury cases. But for particularly egregious or reckless behavior, punitive damages are a good means of motivation.

What is a Personal Injury Case?

A lot of people can pursue personal injury cases but don’t because they are unsure of the qualifications. You may be entitled to compensation and not even know it!  That’s why I’ve crafted a handy list of everything you need to know about personal injury cases.

First, it’s important to understand what qualifies as a “personal injury” in a court of law.  In order to pursue a case, you must be sure that the injury occurred because of someone else’s negligence and that you are not at fault.  Once you have established that you are not responsible, you will have to examine the severity of the injury. Insurance companies will pay out the most money for serious, permanent injuries.  You will likely not receive as much money for a soft tissue injury (whiplash etc.) as a serious injury (a herniated disk or a broken spine). Regardless of the injury, you should still pursue a lawyer, like Ocala Personal Injury attorney, Gordon Glover to discuss the specifics of your case.

There are multiple damages that may be paid out to you as compensation for your injury.  Some of the most common fees that you can be reimbursed for is any medical bills that you incurred for treating your injuries, lost wages due to an inability to work, any mental or emotional suffering that resulted from the accident, a diminished life, or any accommodations from a disability.  There’s no reason that you should have to pay medical bills for something that wasn’t your fault. That’s why you need an attorney like this one I found, Gordon Glover.

Even if you have sustained a larger injury, you will have to convince the court that the injuries you received are indeed from your accident and that they did in fact impact your ability to lead a normal life.  There are multiple avenues you can take in terms of evidence, including keeping pay stubs or getting a letter from your employer vouching for the lost time you could have worked. You might also need police statements about what occurred and receipts from any medical care appointments that you might have needed.  Remember, the more evidence you can obtain, the more likely you are to receive a larger settlement.

After you’ve classified your injury and gathered evidence, you’ll need to determine how you want to go about receiving your financial compensation.  There are two main paths you can choose from: filing a personal injury claim and filing a personal injury lawsuit. A claim is something you file with the insurance company, while a lawsuit is when you take legal action against a civilian.  Choosing between the two often depends on the severity of your injuries and how much compensation you are pursuing. The claims process is less complicated than a lawsuit. All you need to do is notify your insurance company and allow them to walk you through the process. A lawsuit, on the other hand, requires a personal injury attorney and is usually used when you exceed the max compensation provided by your insurance.

How to Beat Law School – Maybe it’s the Snoring!

I have a friend that is in law school. For those who don’t know, law school can be pretty demanding. He would be up all night reading contracts law, criminal law, and civil procedure for the following day. He’d go to class the next day exhausted but still be forced to learn. The strange thing was that he always made sure that he got seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Despite this, he always felt tired throughout the day. He says that his tiredness certainly hindered his ability to learn effectively.

I remember after his first year of law school, I suggested that he try to get some extra sleep, say nine hours. He tried this, but he still felt tired. In fact, not only did he feel tired, but he also felt a little groggy from perhaps getting too much sleep. I encouraged him to eat healthier. My friend was particularly fond of a “study beer” now and then. I told him to replace this with water, and to try to incorporate some more fruits and vegetables into his life. Again, he tried this, but to no avail. I could not possibly figure out what was wrong with him. It seemed like the guy was getting enough sleep, and that he was eating healthy enough, yet he constantly felt exhausted. I did feel bad for him, but after one night, I realized that while my friend was getting “enough” sleep, but he was not getting enough “good” sleep.

My friend was in town one night, and he spent the night on my couch. The morning after he spent the night, I walked into the living area to get some breakfast while my friend was still sleeping. As I approached the living room, I heard a sound grow louder and louder. I walked into the room and noticed that my friend had been snoring loudly. When I say “loudly” I mean that he shook the entire apartment with his snoring.

When my friend finally woke up, I told him about his snoring. He was surprised that he had been snoring that loud, and in fact, he seemed to not believe me at first. After some more convincing, he finally believed me. I told him to go to his doctor to see if there was anything he could do to treat his snoring. I’ll admit, I did not want to hear it again! But besides my selfish reasons, I felt that maybe his snoring related to his daily exhaustion.

Eventually, he found out that he had a condition known as sleep apnea. As this article explains, sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that disrupts an individual’s sleep. Individuals with this condition will unpredictably stop breathing during sleep, which means that the body is not getting enough oxygen. Fortunately, this condition is very treatable, and treatment yields excellent results. My friend is telling me that law school is going better than ever before!

There are Fewer Divorces Each Year

People just aren’t getting divorced like they used to. Believe it or not, the number of divorces has been going down in America for a while now. Despite the long-held semi-truth that about 50% of all marriages end in divorce, the numbers aren’t bearing that out lately.

The reasons are numerous. For a while, experts thought the younger generations just wouldn’t get married. With financial crises and low incomes for young people, it seemed likely they would just continue with the long trend of cohabitation and kiss marriage goodbye.

The numbers for marriages, however, have also been on the rise lately. It seems those millennials finally decided to tie the knot after all. And because they waited longer, their divorce rate is going down steadily.
So everyone is getting married and no one is getting divorced anymore. Are we living in a perfect marriage-friendly society all the sudden? Why didn’t we all get a card in the mail informing us of that fact?

Well, the reason is that, of course, we don’t live in such a society. There are still plenty of divorces taking place around the country (around 800,000 a year, in fact) to keep the divorce lawyers happy. And now, with international business and travel becoming more common, there is a whole new field for potential divorce: international divorce. That comes up when people from different countries want to separate after ill-advisedly saying “I do” in the first place.

International divorce is particularly tricky because the laws aren’t all uniform. There’s been an attempt to make a universal law to cover everyone everywhere who wants to get away from the love of their lives—it’s called the Hague Convention on the Recognition of Divorces and Legal Separations—but the U.S. has never signed on (it was agreed to in 1970), so those rules don’t necessarily apply here. Besides, U.S. divorce laws often come from the state instead of federal level. All the better for the lawyers, of course.

Despite this new glut of potential clients for the hardworking lawyers out there, divorce numbers are still going down all over the place. Since those millennials married later, they married better, and are more likely to stay together. With the economy improving, even with the average income remaining a bit stagnant, the numbers are likely to continue to drop.

Besides, that 50% divorce rate was always something of a fallacy. The truth is, most people stay married. Those who do divorce, however, tend to divorce multiple times, making the rest of us look bad. The problem is, the figures aren’t really that clear anyway. Some states don’t report divorces at all, and it’s not always clear if a divorce is the first or twenty-fifth.

So, it all comes down to this: when it comes to divorce, we were never as bad as we thought we were, and anyway, we’re getting better every year.

Construction Sites Accidents: Fires and Explosions

We can all agree that there are some workplaces that are more dangerous than others, like how construction sites present more hazards compared to, say, an office building. According to the website of the Oklahoma City accident lawyers at the Abel Law Firm, construction site accidents account for about 20% of fatal work injuries and 10% of non-fatal work injuries in the U.S. Considering that there are many hazardous workplaces out there, taking 20% and 10% of the chunk of deaths and injuries is troubling.


Some of the many accidents that can happen in construction sites are fires and explosions. Employers should make sure that their workplaces are safe from these hazards, but employees should also rely on common sense and safety measures to prevent accidents involving fires and explosives. Below are some of the hazards they should look at:

  • Chemicals, other combustible and flammable substances, and their containers
  • Compressed gas cylinders
  • Electrical systems, and the possibility of malfunctions
  • Explosives like dynamites
  • Tools, equipment, heavy machines, and the possibility of malfunctions


There are a lot of possible injuries that can be sustained in a fire or explosion. There is the most obvious one – burns. The website of The Benton Law Firm has classified burns depending on where you have sustained them, from first degree burns and hot metals and fourth degree burns and electric shock – either danger is present in a construction site.

Other injuries include traumatic ones, mostly sustained from the blast of an explosion and victim hitting an object or getting hit by an object. The most dangerous traumatic injuries involve the brain and the spinal cord.


What makes construction site accidents and injuries so devastating is the fact that employers have the responsibility of keeping safety on the workplace, so in a perspective, the hurt workers are merely victims. There may be legal options available for these workers, especially if it has been proven that the employer’s negligence, recklessness, or incompetence, is the reason behind the accident.

Pedestrian Accidents – Often a Result of Negligence

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Traffic Safety Fact Sheet show that, in 2012, there were 4743 pedestrians killed in traffic accidents, while another 76,000 sustained non-fatal injuries.

Anyone, at certain periods of the day, is a pedestrian. It can be a person running or jogging, someone just standing at a street corner, a hiker, or a person who decides to walk to a nearby grocery, to a friend’s house, or to the office.

There are different factors that can put pedestrians’ lives at risk. Though majority of the incidences wherein pedestrians get injured or killed involve motor vehicles, there are also non-vehicular causes, such as poorly-maintained or defective sidewalks and parking lots, faded or lack of crosswalks (especially in rural areas), inadequately lit roads, and debris on walkways.

Most pedestrian accidents occur in rural areas and during the night, when many different factors that compromise pedestrian safety are at work, such as overspeeding drivers (which is common due to the very light traffic), unlit roads, unaccompanied elders, intoxicated drivers, or intoxicated pedestrians.

Both drivers and pedestrians are expected to observe and obey road safety rules as well as exercise reasonable care. While drivers are usually judged as the liable or negligent party in pedestrian accidents, when the case is brought to court, all elements are looked into and there have been instances when it was actually the pedestrian who acted carelessly and caused the accident.

Some of the factors considered by the court in determining acts of negligence include:

a. On the part of the driver:

  • Overspeeding;
  • Failure to yield the right of way to pedestrians, even at crosswalks;
  • Distracted driving;
  • Driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol;
  • Failure to signal, especially when about to make a turn; and,
  • Disregarding traffic or weather conditions

b. On the part of the pedestrian:

  • Ignoring the “don’t walk” signal;
  • Failure to cross at marked crosswalks;
  • Entering and disrupting the flow of traffic; and,
  • Darting in front of vehicles

A pedestrian who gets injured due to the negligent act of a driver or because someone never did a good job in maintaining and keeping roads, sidewalks or parking areas safe, may be able to recover damages for whatever injuries he/she sustains. Being represented by a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer or pedestrian accident lawyer, however, would be a necessity in a civil lawsuit as the liable party will definitely do everything to disprove accountability.

According to The Benton Law Firm, the state of Texas is known for many things, but not necessarily known as pedestrian friendly. Crosswalks and sidewalks serve more as potential “yields” to most drivers, rather than precautionary measures. As a result, many pedestrians are injured and killed each day due to driver negligence throughout the Dallas area. If you have been injured by a motor vehicle in a pedestrian accident, it may be in your best interest to contact a seasoned personal injury lawyer or pedestrian accident lawyer as you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Most Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Nursing homes guarantee provision of the highest level of care; however, beneath the friendly and warm welcome to arriving residents who are accompanied by family members, what is hidden can be painful experiences wrought by abuses and various forms of acts of neglect.

Also called convalescent homes, nursing homes are facilities for people who require extra care, out-of-hospital medical attention and assistance even in the performance of daily activities, such as eating, toileting, bathing and dressing. To address the various needs of residents, nursing homes should have a registered nurse, a licensed nurse and trained nursing aides who are expected to attain and maintain the highest possible level of physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of all residents and patients.

In February 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had on record about 15,700 registered nursing home facilities in the U.S. These housed an estimated 1.4 million elder citizens, usually 65 years old or above, children and young adults who are physically or mentally incapacitated, or needing rehabilitative therapies due to an illness or an accident, and those who need extra care, like patients with Alzheimer or Parkinson’s disease.

The American Association for Justice says that 90% of nursing homes lack the required number of staff needed to assure provision of sufficient, quality care. Being understaffed is a major reason why abuses and neglect are committed in nursing homes and, with 90% of these facilities not having enough personnel, no wonder why many more residents are getting subjected to neglect and maltreatment under the hands of stressed and overworked aides and nurses.

Some of the most common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect include:

  • Bedsores and pressure ulcers
  • Injuries from nursing home slip and falls
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Emotional withdrawal by the elder
  • Unusual changes in behavior
  • Dehydration
  • Malnutrition
  • Changes in personal hygiene
  • Lack of friendly interaction with nursing home staff or residents

Majority of nursing home neglect goes unreported because of residents’ fears of retaliation from staff. Left unaddressed however, then nursing home neglect carries an increased risk of illness, death, injury, and trauma for elders.

As explained in the website of the law firm Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A., “Nursing home negligence or elder neglect is failure on the part of personnel to provide a resident proper medical, physical, or emotional attention. This failure can end up in a dangerous situation, especially if the resident has a serious health condition or is not able to care for himself/herself. With 1/3 of all assisted living facilities and nursing homes in the United States having been cited for some type of abuse or mistreatment, it is time that aggressive legal action against abusive or negligent nursing home facilities be pursued to end this epidemic of mistreatment.

The Kind of Protection the Jones Act Provides Seamen

The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, more commonly known as the Jones Act, is a federal statute that protects seamen who get injured on the job, specifically by giving them the right to sue their employer for personal injury or negligence damages.

For purposes of the Jones Act, some terminologies are assigned their appropriate definitions:

  • Seaman. Refers to a person, who spends a significant amount of time on a vessel or on a specific fleet of vessel (working as a crewmember or a captain on a vessel) that is considered “in navigation.”
  • Vessel In Navigation. This refers to any type of vessel or boat that is afloat, in operation, capable of moving and on navigable waters (does not include: a vessel that is in a drydock or out of the water up on blocks; oil drilling platforms; a newly built vessel that is still undergoing sea trials; and, floating casino barges). By “navigable waters,” this can refer to a river or lake which can be used for interstate or foreign commerce (such as the ocean and landlocked lakes but only if these extend to another state or are connected to a river that flows into another state).
  • Significant Amount of Time. A person should spend at least 30% of his/her employment time on a vessel in order to qualify as a seaman. Thus, a person who works 70% of the time in the office and the remaining 30% on a vessel can be considered a seaman.

The Jones Act strictly requires maritime employers to:

  • Provide seamen with a reasonably safe place to work; and,
  • Use ordinary care, under any circumstances, to keep and maintain the vessel, on which a seaman works, in a reasonably safe condition. Any unsafe condition on a vessel can lead to liability under the Jones Act and, in the event of injury, the injured seaman needs only prove that his/her employer’s negligence was a contributory factor to the events that resulted to his/her injuries in order for him/her to recover damages against his/her Jones Act employer.

As explained by a San Diego Jones Act attorney, numerous men and women are injured or killed each year while out at sea due to negligent or careless employers or co-workers, who make the sea much more dangerous. Injuries resulting to these negligent acts gives the injured the right to pursue legal action which will allow them to seek financial compensation.

The Most Common Roof Problems and How to Avoid Them

It’s safe to assume that most homeowners find roof problems especially cumbersome, particularly because it can be both expensive and time-consuming to solve. This is why it’s important to keep in mind the issues that affect the integrity of the roof of any structure. According to roofers, learning of the most common roof problems can help prevent these issues from occurring in the future.

Moisture and leaks

Leaks in roofs are one of the most common problems experienced by homeowners all over. A leaking roof is usually caused by broken or missing shingles and flashing that wasn’t properly installed or has since been damaged through regular wear and tear. These issues can easily be addressed by a quick repair job. Simply replace the damaged shingles and use sealant or cement to strengthen the flashing. It’s important to resolve these concerns right away because moisture from leaks can affect the integrity of the roofing, requiring a more intense repair by experts.

Shrinkage and blistering

Shrinkage is a common problem for single-ply roofing. The EPDM rubber membrane used in this kind of roofing can shrink without proper maintenance, which can then cause the flashings to pull and become fragile. Meanwhile, roof types called BUR that are made of coal tar, asphalt or cold-applied adhesive can suffer from blistering and surface erosion. All these issues are important to address because they can lead to problems which affect the strength of roofing structure.

Improper installation and repairs

Many of the aforementioned roofing issues can be avoided through proper installation and repairs. Sometimes, when contractors fumble at roofing installation, their mistakes can cause roofing problems that might take a while to notice. A roof, for example, might not immediately show signs of weakening foundations due to extensive damage caused by water or improper tree installation. This happens over a period of time and the only thing that can be done to prevent such problem is to ensure that the contractors hired for roof installation are well-trained and experienced in roofing systems.