Happy 31st Birthday ADA! It’s Fun to Celebrate the Birth of a Great Law!

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H.W. Bush. Today the Law turns 31 years old! Happy Birthday!

The ADA is one of America’s most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life — to enjoy employment opportunities, to purchase goods and services, and to participate in State and local government programs and services.

It’s fun to celebrate the birth of a great law! Bring on the cake and ice cream!

The ADA was modeled after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin – and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. 

To be protected by the ADA, one must have a disability, which is defined by the ADA as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. The ADA does not specifically name all of the impairments that are covered. Source: https://www.ada.gov/

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The ADA is an “equal opportunity” law for people with disabilities!

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Please click here for FAQ about the ADA.

And for your information, this Center is very helpful!

100 Corporate Lake Drive
Columbia, MO  65203
(573) 882-3600
1-800-949-4232
Serving Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska
 

I have many memories of the people I’ve counseled over the years! And I will continue to advocate awareness of persons with disabilities. 

Thank you for the opportunity to serve others.

Here’s a bouquet of gerbera to profess my gratitude for what I learn from my customers, clients, and all the people who have taught me about my career

More cake and ice cream please!

I hope people all over America are celebrating the birthday of the ADA with the treat of their choice! I truly love chocolate cake and ice cream and want you to have another look! 

I thank those who fought hard to bring the ADA to the people. I have experience working on cases involving the ADA and enjoy linking my knowledge with cases regarding employment discrimination in the workplace.

If you have a case involving work and disability, let me know if you’d like my help. I will thoroughly investigate all aspects of vocational rehabilitation and/or life care planning and pay particular attention to health, safety and quality of life! 

Contact me at 515-778-0634 or amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com to discuss your case.               

I’m Here to Help You Help Your Client

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Here to Help The Passionate Attorney Help Your Client ~ Life Care Planning Services

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Along with vocational consulting services, I offer you life care planning services. Life Care Planning Services are valuable to passionate attorneys such as yourself: One who works to your fullest potential for your clients; One who truly cares about your client; and One who strives to maximize the best outcome for your client.

A Life Care Plan will help you help you help your client.

cartoon lawyer  Are You a Passionate Attorney?  Image result for woman attorney cartoon

Comprehensive Life Care Planning Services focus on the individual who sustained a personal or catastrophic injury, has a congenital disease or acquired illness, or suffered a traumatic event that altered his or her life leaving them with a disabling condition. The individual and his or her family is in need of planning how to live with these ongoing life changes.

Image result for passionate attorney cartoon   What About You Mr. Big Finger? Image result for group of attorneys cartoon

A Life Care Plan outlines an individualized holistic program that documents your client’s specific healthcare needs and a projection of what it costs for that care over their lifetime. An economist reviews the plan to determine the present value of the costs.

Even more, a Life Care Plan  helps prevent medical complications, enhances community and society participation, considers quality of life issues, and assists in maintaining emotional and psychological health. 

The person’s life now has important healthcare needs and significant costs are associated with those needs. How can you, the person’s caring and passionate attorney prove this, or show this to others, and why would you need to do so?

A Life Care Plan is helpful in many ways, here are three,

  1. to facilitate decision making relating to the individual’s health care, long-term care, and special needs; and perceive the related costs;
  2. to identify and obtain good care in the individual’s community, whether at home, an assisted living facility, or, if necessary, a nursing home; and perceive the related costs;
  3. to help move the litigation process forward, and ultimately to settle or win a case justifiably at the highest level possible using real data!

A Life Care Plan involves a systematic process (I do that part!) of developing a “road map” of the care, goods and services the person will need to ensure optimal health, safety and life satisfaction. A plan also highlights what it is the person will need to restore or improve their life activities to their maximum potential.

Keep in mind that while most Life Care Plans are developed for people who have suffered a traumatic injury, Life Care Plans are increasingly used for older adults with chronic conditions to anticipate their health and financial needs in later years. Do you have a client in this elite category? If so, be prepared for more future that focuses on healthy living! (Hint: Get a Life Care Plan!)

Image result for quality of life

The standard definition of a Life Care Plan is a “dynamic document based upon published standards of practice, comprehensive assessment, data analysis and research, which provides an organized, concise plan for current and future needs with associated costs for individuals who have experienced catastrophic injury or have chronic health care needs. (IALCP – International Academy of Life Care Planners, 2003. Definition established during the 2000 Life Care Planning Summit.)

Please visit Dr. Deutsch’s webpage for much more information on Life Care Planning. Dr. Deutsch was on my training team!


Above is my most recent CRC Certificate and below is my CLCP Certificate

I need to take another picture of my newest one which expires February 28, 2026!

I am a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) and a Certified Life Care Planner (CLCP).  As a professional in rehabilitation, I am able to develop a plan using  advanced knowledge of specific disabilities, established treatment care resources, and a consistent objective approach toward the practical and functional elements involved in providing the treatment of catastrophic injuries and diseases. 

Communication and negotiation skills are essential (so true) while working with patients, families, caregivers and treatment teams. Keep on perusing my website, which is mainly a relationship building blog, and read my writings. I’d be happy if you would truly consider how Life Care Planning Services will help you help your clients.

Contact me ~ Amy Botkin, MS, CRC, CLCP ~ at 515-778-0634 or by email at amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com  so we can start discussing your case.

I’m here to help you help your client!

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Life Care Planning Helps Attorneys in Ways & in All Phases of Litigation! Really!

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Have you considered a Life Care Plan as part of your litigation strategy to help your client?

Life Care Planning helps attorneys in many ways and in all phases of litigation. The actual plan itself becomes a comprehensive document that provides for the future care and associated costs of a person facing a serious illness or injury.

In earlier phases of litigation, a life care plan helps evaluate the potential value of a case. During settlement negotiations, a life care plan helps identify monetary ranges. And of course during trial a life care planner can be critical to your litigation success!

Life Care Planning Services Help Attorneys in Many Ways,

Image result for overviewHere’s A Few:

  • Project future cost of care ~ When someone has sustained a life altering injury, trying to determine the correct and fair amount for a settlement is a daunting task. It’s difficult to properly analyze all aspects of an injured party’s condition.
  • A professional life care planner (one qualified as I am!!) can help you assess the current needs of a patient and project future complications with a systematic approach to analyzing the injured party’s current and future conditions.Related image
  • After analyzing all injury-related documents, interviewing the injured party and communicating with medical professionals, the life care planner will produce a plan that considers future costs in order to ensure a fair and reasonable quality of life. The plan will consider financial, physical, and psychological factors. In the end, you’ll have a thoroughly researched document that will prove bulletproof at settlement conferences and in the courtroom.

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  • Consider likely complications ~ When it comes to catastrophic injuries and long term illnesses, you have to expect the unexpected. Almost undoubtedly, complications will arise in association with the life-altering events somewhere down the road. With that in mind, an experienced life care planner will identify the most likely future complications, allowing all parties involved to understand and adequately provide for these unforeseen circumstances.

 

  • Expert Testimony * ~ An experienced life care planner provides crystal-clear medical testimony for depositions and trial. Life care planners can accurately and simply describe the injured person’s lifetime of needs and justify the associated costs. 
  • Able to be customized ~ Not all cases require a full-blown life care plan. However, that doesn’t mean a life care planner can’t help you. The injury or illness doesn’t necessarily have to be catastrophic in order to benefit from future care cost projections. Versatile life care planners offer abbreviated plans for these special situations that allow you to evaluate case value and strategize early on.

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  • Establishes a level playing field ~ Regardless of what side of the fence you stand on, you can benefit from hiring a professional for life care planning services. A life care plan helps all parties know what to expect and thus helps settlements be reached more quickly. A life care planner can aid in strategizing to ensure the best possible outcome. It’s not just a time-saver. It’s a tool that gives you the key insight of one with an understanding of medical needs and the associated costs.

If you represent someone who has suffered a serious injury or illness, or a defendant accused of being responsible for an injury, consider obtaining a life care plan. Doing so will allow you to understand the future care needs of the affected party, which will result in a speedy, fair settlement.

Source for above written article (with some creative writing and clip art by me) : http://www.articlesbase.com/health-articles/benefits-of-life-care-planning-in-all-phases-of-litigation-3466273.html  Oct 13, 2010 • By Nancy Fraser

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*As a Vocational Expert, I am also qualified to testify on the injured person’s work life and earning capacity.

Contact me, Amy E. Botkin at amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com or at 515-778-0634 to discuss how a life care plan can help you to help your client. I’m here to help you help your client!

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Bring Me, A Life Care Planner, On Board. The Earlier in Litigation, The Better!

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Do you represent a plaintiff who’s life has been affected from a serious injury or illness? Or do you represent a defendant accused of being responsible for an injury? If so, consider obtaining a life care plan! A life care plan can help an attorney evaluate the potential value of a case in early stages of litigation.

I’m a Certified Life Care Planner who can describe your client’s disability, healthcare needs and rehabilitation plan, and provide the actual costs. Having this information allows for strategic decisions on the case.

Empty Chess BoardYou’re already good at making decisions, let me help you strategize even more! Full Chess Board

Bringing me on board as your life care planner is also useful for non-catastrophic cases. In any legal situation, the earlier the intervention, the greater the likelihood of successful case resolution! Plus more factual information is gathered over the course of the litigation.

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I’d love to help you help your client win!IMG_0109.JPG

On my website you’ll find a sample life care plan. Please know I’m in a unique position to prepare these as I’m also a  Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and earned a certificate as a Forensic Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor.

If your case involves work and disability, keep in mind my background allows me to include specifics on an individual’s world of work. Not all life care planners can do this! And if they do, I’ll bet they don’t enjoy the hard work and time involved for this part of a plan. 

Chess is an excellent board logic game that develops such skills as tactics, strategy, and visual memory.  I understand why the queen is the most valuable player. She can move in any direction and as many spaces as she likes!  When I play, I do everything I can to protect her which is the same as I would with your client and your case. Checkmate! Give me a call at 515-778-0634 to discuss your case. 

Vocational Resources Plus, LLC * lcpresourcesplus.com

515-778-0634  * amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com 

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

How Much Does Wisdom Teeth Removal Cost? How About Shoulder Surgery? Need Cost of Care During Litigation?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

The first part of this blog is about an experience many of us endured in our early-to-mid 20s: have your wisdom teeth removed! If you’ve been through this type of medical procedure, it is something you do not forget. I remember sitting in “the chair” having mine being removed way back when I was young!

wisdom teeth | The Daily Trip

In May of 2019, I took my Arin to have her wisdom teeth removed. I also remember taking my son Nick to get his out too awhile back. I can’t remember the date, but I’m sure he does. I do remember how he reacted to the “laughing gas” it was hilarious!  Jake, are you next? I promise I’ll be there for you, too!

Some quick research found that scholars say (I  personally don’t know who these scholars are), we have wisdom teeth as the evolutionary answer to eating raw meats, vegetables, and roots. (Well now, I did eat meat back then!) These third set of molars grow in some people between the ages of seventeen and twenty-five, or the wisdom years. 

Checkbox Pt. 2 "Check Wisdom" — River Fellowship

Did you feel you had wisdom between the ages of 17 and 25?

I don’t believe during those years in my life I was wise!  In fact, I’m hoping that to this day, every day I become a little closer to being considered wise. Here are ways for me to practice: put things in perspective, balance my world, keep my power, and think before I speak! Like Mr. Rodgers (AKA Tom Hanks) reminds us to always use the acronym: 

WAIT: Why Am I Talking?

However, when teeth aren’t being to kind to their neighbor, and the time to go has come, they need to be pulled out! So, what will this procedure cost and what will rehabilitation look like? 

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From a quick review of costs found online, a simple removal can cost $75–$200 per tooth. Sometimes the teeth are impacted and cannot break into the jaw through the mouth. If impacted, removal can cost $225–$600 per tooth. So the cost range here is (x 4 teeth) $900 – $2,400

Luckily, none of AJ’s were impacted! She was quite pleased the clinical staff saved her pulled out teethers as a gift she could bring home, display, and brag about!   Image result for teeth as gift cartoon

I found out some surgeons will offer a discount for removing all four teeth at once, which can save $1,000 or more on the average cost of wisdom tooth removal surgery.  Now, can you see where and why the costs can vary?

There are a few additional costs associated with wisdom tooth removal, including the initial consultation, which for Arin’s procedure cost $100, and prescription medication for pain, and a special mouthwash for pre-and post procedure care, total cost ~$10, I was surprised in our Rx plan 20 Hydrocodone pills cost less than $2 (specifically the cost was $1.82.)

Out of pocket costs are different alright

Keep in mind when I’m costing out care or prescriptions, I’ve been trained to rely upon what a person would pay out of pocket (which means no health plan insurance, no collateral resources such as Medicare/Medicaid, nope, not even VA benefits). However, I can refer to these resources if it makes sense to do so.

My daughter agrees, and I somewhat recall from way back when I underwent the procedure in my early 20s, the recovery process is “a lot worse” than the actual procedure. Your face will enjoy lots of ice compresses.

Rehabilitation involves time and follows basic self care, including how to de-stress your body when it’s trying to heal itself

I believe rehabilitation is the care that can help an individual get back, keep, or improve abilities needed for daily life.  

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Coloring does relieve stress!

Thankfully, we have a good dental plan through my husband’s employer (and Arin is still on it); and just as importantly, she is really good with making and saving money.  Using her debit card the morning we arrived for the procedure, she paid the $750 that insurance didn’t cover. A few weeks after, the explanation of benefits from Delta Dental arrived in our mail box; and I noted the total for the procedure:  $2,015.  

One reason I’m costing wisdom teeth removal in this post is to let you  know I like doing it (costing out care and writing about it!). I can help you help your client who does not need a full blown life care plan. Perhaps, a  specific cost of care report would serve beneficially during litigation.

Need costs of care during litigation?

Here’s a little bit about a recent case I was involved in:  I was hired by an attorney to help him help his client. His client was a dentist (an oral surgeon) who had (because I’m not a doctor, I’ll describe the diagnosis in lay terms) ended up with: one bad shoulder. To not go into any detail, it was a lawsuit because the bad shoulder was caused by getting broad-sided at an intersection while driving in traffic. 

Keep in mind, I was not asked to help this case vocationally because the bad shoulder didn’t impact the dentist’s vocational earnings. Think about it: dentists need strength in both their arms to perform their job duties.  His income was not negatively affected because several months prior to the traffic incident, he had stopped performing surgical procedures.

To explain, he was referring out or having another dentist in his practice perform surgical procedures. This dentist was more or less a clinic administrator and he was making very good money.

I was asked to help on this case and to find costs of a shoulder surgery and any associated future care. This information was needed for litigation purposes.

Image result for costs of health care testing cartoon

Cost of care adds up quickly!

During my initial research, I found out that leading up to a shoulder replacement procedure involves several steps and communication to determine if the person would be a good candidate for an outpatient program, considering the person goes home the same day.

The treating doctor prospected the dentist would require a left shoulder reverse total replacement surgery (within 10 years) and more than likely it would be outpatient.  Here’s where I came in, to cost out what this surgery and the rehabilitation. I’m not going to give you all I found because I was paid to do that work. I will give you a you a bit of my report and what I found, for free here on my blog!

There is a pre-assessment teaching appointment with a joint coordinator included in the $18,000 outpatient procedure cost. A simple online health admit walks the patient through their medical history (for anesthesia purposes).

The pre-operative physical exam is usually with the PCP and could include a standard physical with a CBC, BMP  and EKG. X-rays at pre-op and post-op may not be necessary, and an MRI may or may not be. 

All testing and recommendation depends on the patient’s needs, and is dictated by the surgeon. Follow up would likely involve physical therapy and home-based exercises. 

What did I do next after gathering this information? Did I cost it all out!? Yes, you are correct! And I also included research on the surgical procedure and expected rehabilitation goals.

Want more examples of cases? Let me know!  Want my help in helping your client with a case involving work and disability? Again, let me know!

Contact me at 515-778-0634 to discuss your case. I’d love to help you help your client. That’s what my job is all about! Thank you for reading.                 amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Did Your Grandfather’s Father Do for a Living? Need Evidence on An Occupation?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

My mother Ann Dodge Prochnow, researched a book titled “Genealogy of the Dodge Family of Essex County, Massachusetts 1629-1894” authored by John Thompson Dodge Ph.D. Dr. Dodge was born in 1850 in Vermont. Dr. Dodge was a railway civil engineer. And he’s directly related to my mom!

My mom read the book (Ann’s brother Gerry Dodge accessed it for her online). It clearly took a lot of work, but my mom, with great speed, skill and accuracy of course!, typed several pages summarizing her research; and gave me a copy as a Christmas gift! I read it with fascination! While reading my mom’s paper, I heard myself saying hum, wow; and really?…and laughing a time or two!

Genealogy of Dodge Family Book Cover

The Book Cover, authored by John Thompson Dodge Ph.D.

Here’s my synopsis of my mom’s synopsis:

The Dodge’s are all direct descendants from Richard Dodge who was born in 1602.  My mom’s great-grandfather is Vilas Luther Dodge, born October 28, 1847 in Vermont. Vilas worked as a farmer and stock raiser in Jersey County, Illinois. He was County Supervisor and School board member, and also Director of Jersey County Agriculture and Mechanical Association. He was 5’9’ and 200 pounds! (sounds shaped kindly like someone I know…)

Vilas married Laura Dannel on February 21, 1871. Vilas and Laura had children born in Kemper, Illinois: Mary born in 1871, infant son born and died in 1872, George Dannell (my mother’s grandfather) born July 21, 1876, Ann Charlott born 1878, Fred Leroy (my mom’s Uncle Fred) born 1881 and Harriet (my mom’s Aunt Hattie) born 1886.

Genealogy Book Cover Tree

It can be exciting to learn about a family’s genealogy!

George Dannell Dodge married my mom’s grandma Helen Porter in Jerseyville, Illinois in 1907 and moved to Chicago. There they had William, John Vilas (my grandpa), Helen and Laura. Later they moved to Evanston, Illinois. All their children attended Northwestern University. George died in Jerseyville in 1960s and Helen in her 90s in New York.

My grandpa Jack married Jean. They had Ann (my #1 Mom), John, Gerald and Kathleen.  By the way, Mom and Gerald (my Uncle Gerry who lives in San Francisco) are planning to get to the Plate side of Jean’s family in the future.

Throughout these years in history, the men of the Dodge name held many jobs with professions spanning many fields (read on below please).

My grandpa John (“Jack”) Vilas Dodge was an incredible man and had an amazing career that took him all over the world! He worked in writing, as a publishing executive. I am very proud to be one of his grand-daughters! Mom tells me that her dad’s father had an insurance agency and his father’s father did too! For this blog post, I focus on colleges the Dodge family graduated from; and occupations employed by the Dodge family throughout the generations.

Relatives of the Dodge family graduated from the following colleges:  Harvard, Williams, Yale, Middleburg, Dartmouth, Colby, Vermont, Wisconsin, Amherst, Bowdoin, Brown, Columbia, Anion, Andover and Emory. Graduates included a few Dodge women!

Austin Hall, Harvard Law School Picture

Austin Hall, Harvard Law School

Relatives of the Dodge family held occupations of:  Farmer, carpenter, teacher, physician, lawyer, tailor, tanner, minister, legislator, shoemaker, shipping business, cooper, factory owner, cabinetmaker, blacksmith, mason, currier, leather dealer, stone cutter, stock breeder, clothier, editor, military service, insurance agent, constable, cotton manufacturer, banker, merchant, bookkeeper, newspaper business, lumber business, land surveyor, steamboat captain, harness maker, musician, and civil engineer. Pretty incredible careers  during this time period, wouldn’t you agree?!

Do for A Living

Lawyer, Teacher, Physical Therapist, Registered Nurse, Doctor, Accountant, Social Worker, Paralegal, Psychologist, Dentist, Engineer, Police Officer…..Chef! All Incredible Careers! 

I had to look up one job (not found  in O*NET but guess what, it is in the DOT!). A cooper* is someone in the trade of making utensils, casks, drums and barrels and other accessories, usually out of wood, but sometimes using other materials.

In other words, the cooper used many tools to do his work, he had craftsman skills with a keen eye for detail and a focus on quality control! I could consult with Living History Farms for a job analysis!

Plus, I looked up the difference between work as a currier (a specialist in the leather processing industry) and  that of a tanner (a person whose occupation is to tan hides, or convert them into leather by the use of tan).

In the past for my job, I’ve toured a tanning facility with my eyes bugging out at the strength needed by the tanners to throw the hides! In this case to analyze the job, I could interview with a person who actually does the heavy work to get first hand information!

Heart

I love assessing  worker skills, researching workplace environments, analyzing jobs, and interviewing workers!

As far as the numerous other occupations held by the Dodges, they range greatly. The Dodges used brain power, brawn power and the power to influence others (for example: attorney, banker, musician, steamboat captain, physician, engineer, insurance agent, legislator minister and … clothier!)

A Clothier

A clothier was popular, yes dapper indeed!

They used all types of machinery, hand tools, and up-to-date-for-that-time technology. The tools of any trade are tremendous! The talent from performing daily work and the credibility in a community becomes tantamount to a successful career. Boy would I have loved to interview any one of these talented individuals in their day and write their story!

I am completely fascinated by what people do for a living! Take some precious time and check into your parent’s parents’ work background. You well have well spent your time and you may be quite surprised! I was with the Dodge family that helped to form part of who I am! (Guess which part and win a prize!)

I believe work involves so much more than we think it does or see what happens when it’s performed! Think about your work and how it can evolve and change each day with your skill set!

Are you tapping into skills related to Counseling? Science? Art? Empathy? Or are you ready for a vacation where your paid work takes a break? I’m not so sure your grandfather’s father received vacation pay (and I don’t as a self employed individual).

Bonus blog: Why Do You Do Your Work? You May Be In Love!

Contact me, Amy (Prochnow) Botkin for vocational guidance or evidence on any occupation or career!  BTW, you wouldn’t find a forensic rehabilitation counselor back in the “olden days” which always brings to my mind the mystery of the working world.

If I can help you with your litigated cases, please let me know.  My specialty is consulting on cases involving work. Thank you for reading!

Vocational Resources Plus LLC        515-778-0634    amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com 

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

 

Rights of the Expert Witness ~ I’ll Take a Veggie Slice, Please

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Rights of the Expert Witness

expert

I continually assess and evaluate (there I go again!) my rights, values, professionalism, and of course ethics (which I really enjoy!?!) and am hopeful to write more on these topics and my career in the field of forensic rehabilitation consulting.

As far as rights, I found this great listing online (website is referred to below), and yes I added the graphics! I agree with the following essential considerations for taking on the role of expert witness:

  1. I have the right to be paid for my work.  Dream of Getting Paid
  2. I have the right to be prepped in advance of my testimony.
  3. I have the right to ask questions about the case.
  4. I have the right to work for either side, without fear of retribution.
  5. I have the right to change my opinion from previous testimony, as long as my opinion is evolving (based on new information, science and/or experience) rather than revolving (based on which side I’m working for). 
  6. I have the right to say “I don’t know”, if in fact, I don’t know. Just because I’m the expert doesn’t mean I have all the answers. I am clearly okay to say “I’m sorry, that’s outside my scope of practice”.
  7. I have the right to solicit objective feedback about my testimony from  the attorney who has called (and of course, they have the right to  decline to give it).
  8. I have the right to set limits with counsel about the scope of my testimony. 
  9. I have the right to disagree with another expert’s practices or  conclusions, even when I perceive that expert to be: a.) more educated;  b.) more famous; or c.) more experienced. 
  10. I have the right to disregard the initial instinct to view opposing counsel’s expert as the enemy, but instead recognize everyone’s role in the process and share pizza and a bottle of wine with that expert after trial is over.

Pizza

I’ll take a veggie slice and a glass of Chardonnay please. You?

I am glad my career continually evolves! I accept responsibility when providing forensic services to be clear, truthful and comprehensive in my evaluation and report products, and in my role as an expert witness. Thank you for reading!

 Truly, it’s all good work!

Please contact me Amy Botkin for more information ~ 515-778-0634 or amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com

Source for Rights: http://www.forensichealth.com/2011/07/13/10-things-the-fho-expert-witness-bill-of-rights/

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Cross Examination is Like Playing Ms. Pac-Man & I Like it!

Reading Time: 4 minutes

I know that a good attorney who excels at cross examining an expert witness is thoroughly knowledgeable of their case. There’s volumes of information and data that needs to be absorbed and analyzed before going to court! 

You my attorney reader, use intuition and instinct to discover weak points in the witness’ presentation, and in a fair and calm manner, formulate and ask clear questions to elicit precise information. This requires patience and self-control, especially when you’re working on the spot! Job well done!

I’ve been a vocational expert witness during workers’ compensation court proceedings about 12 times over the last 16 years. I have served in courtrooms (mostly conference rooms with a workers’ compensation deputy commissioner presiding) with up to eight people present. 

Recently, I’ve also testified in divorce court proceedings, personal injury and medical malpractice cases. For a copy of my most recent litigation history, please inquire and I’ll be happy to provide it to you.

From my side of the stand, I better be familiar with rough courtroom conditions!

I’ve experienced verbal assaults on my work, my credentials, my vocation, and even my personality (I’m too nice, huh? hahaha!!) by the opposing attorney. I learned a lot from prior mistakes but I learn even more from recent successes.

I remember my first court appearance many moons ago. I was the primary job placement specialist on a case when the opposing attorney stabbed my body language in an erroneous and made up way.  Because there was nothing to see because human bodies speak for themselves, he undermined his credibility not mine. And I remember that well.

Image result for old fart cartoonI have no idea what the old fart was trying to do, but the judge didn’t care for it either!

I remember another court case (this was in Council Bluffs) that involved typical cross examination, starting out with repeating basic questions to get different responses from me…then the pressure was applied! I used first-hand knowledge and communication skills to respond to his questions, remaining true to my convictions while expressing strong belief in my work.

Hopefully I revealed to everyone in the room that being confident, calm and polite is a respectful way to answer difficult questions (even personal attacks). The judge on this case was newly appointed at that time. I don’t know the decision nor have I reviewed the transcripts on that case. I suppose decisions and transcripts could help me to some degree, but I don’t ever have direct access to them plus to me it’s likely they are not pertinent to any future case other than learning from miscue or miscommunication errors.

My goal as an expert witness is to win over the people in the courtroom.

To prepare for cross, I think of all the factors that may arise on a case and pay close to attention to what I want to say about 5 to 7 main issues or circumstances most likely at the meat of the matter, commonly being extent of loss of earnings. I realize the cross examiner will try very hard to prove his or her theory of the case, while devaluing mine. The opposing attorney wants to discredit me, and will eat away at any potential weakness in what I said or reported.Ms Pac-Man

I’m  pretty good at Ms. Pac-Man! Wanna play?

I rely on my expertise, research on disability and rehabilitation, objective evidence, direct placement experiences, the principles of ergonomics along with the provision of reasonable accommodation to help determine an individual’s work potential.

I understand how worker profile changes may impact access to the labor market and wage earning capacity. I can respond creatively by highlighting the constructive and favorable strengths of how my work brings successful results and focus on the positive nature of change, motivation, and choice.

I educate everyone in the courtroom about the scope of my practice and how it works when the individual agrees with my approach. Most importantly, I match people within their own world of work which takes time, attention and a great appreciation for the jobs people do everyday.

Image result for jobs cartoon

Need help with your litigated case involving work and disability? Let me know what you see as the most important aspects of the case and I’ll let you know if I believe I’m the right person to help you help your client.  

I’ll view my  interests, do a conflict of interest check and consider whether or not the case is in my area of expertise. And keep in mind I work on both sides of the fence

Need an expert?  Contact me, Amy E. Botkin at 515-778-0634 or      amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com

Thank you for reading!

___________________

 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Like Mother, Like Daughter, One Tough Cookie! Want One in the Courtroom?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Friday May 28th was my daughter’s 25th birthday. I admire her character and am proud of her roles and goals in every way! She’s into gardening, is a proud pet owner and recently started a second job as a book seller. And quite importantly, she’s engaged to be married!

My daughter is physically and emotionally strong, independent, and One Tough Cookie!  Off the top of my head, here’s a few memories of my daughter and her “toughness” over the years. 

One Tough Cookie!

Before she was born, let alone named, her birth cord was wrapped around her neck while she was being delivered. As I was pushing down as one is to do during natural child birth, the doctor told me to STOP!

What? Stop? So I did and, (not knowing what was going on) he very quickly cut the cord from around her neck, and blood shot above me onto the ceiling. Nice, huh, and yuck! My new baby girl scared her parents alright! She was just fine though and had a good APGAR. Rather quickly, the housekeeper came in the room and cleaned the blood off the ceiling with a mop as I was still lying in the bed. Yuck again! She was doing her job and it was much appreciated!

Pin on blouse mtrl

Arin was a calm baby!

I remember the first day of her life, Arin seemed to care more about how the nurses felt when holding her than actually being the new baby in the room. And her eyes were (and still are) so huge, she kinda looked like an alien with eyes on both sides of her head! 

Later in her babyhood, heck, I cut her toenails too short and they bled. I felt horrible, and this was my 3rd child, but she didn’t cry.

Around age 3,  Arin fell from a chair at the babysitter’s kitchen table while she was eating lunch. Upon facial impact with the floor, her  front tooth was knocked out, and said tooth landed down in the heater vent, where it potentially could have trace elements today.  She was whisked to the ER by her sitter, but there isn’t much one could do for this injury, other than wait! 

Baby With One Tooth ClipartIt took years for her new tooth to come in.

Last year around this time, she had four wisdom teeth removed. She was tough with that surgery and the healing time involved…and her poor face was so swollen. This link takes you to a blog for a bit on costs of the procedure!

When she was a little older, around 8ish, we were working in the basement and somehow the iron got knocked off its board and landed on her foot. Her big toe sure bled a lot and a deep bruise definitely developed and stuck around. Luckily the toe wasn’t broken and the iron wasn’t hot! Yikes!

Here’s another story of my dauther’s toughness: As were in the process of remodeling our house (in 2009), Arin would’ve been age 13, she was cleaning our new windows (with water and an ecloth!) and the larger kitchen window suddenly fell down (the type of windows that fold into your house), whacking her head.  Her head broke the glass, and the glass shattered on to the floor. Arin immediately felt a headache, but there was no blood involved and we didn’t take her to the doctor, but I certainly cared for her closely and watched like a hawk for any concussive symptoms! I informed the salesperson who sold us the windows of this mishap, and he showered her with gifts. He was probably pretty darn grateful that we didn’t, gasp: sue! But no we did not, and her strong head was fine. 

With New Nordic Emojis, Give Your Texts That Finnishing Touch ...

Moving on into her middle school years, from what I was told by said daughter, she went snow shoeing on recess. Somehow her tongue landed on a metal pole, got stuck and she had to pull away from the pole. Yep, her tongue ripped and yep it bled and yep it hurt like he double toothpicks. 

She said this was a dare; the sticking her tongue out purposely onto a cold pole in the middle of winter. But in reality, I believe she fell into the pole because she wasn’t very good at snow shoeing. Again, nothing really you can do for this injury but give the tongue time to heal!Image result for tongue pierced cartoonA while later she got her tongue pierced anyway! She also pierced her septum and eyebrow too. Don’t forget thee belly button piercing! (I actually did that once, but let it grow back because it bothered me when I did a yoga pose or exercised on my stomach).

And speaking of, both her ears have pretty good sized gauge holes! I’m not including the numerous tattoos Arin has received.  To me, getting a tat seems a little too drawn out painful.
Colorful AJ

Colorful AJ

One last story off the top of my head at this time, and I’m not happy at all with how this happened. In early March 2019, Arin was at a birthday party held at a hotel for her friend Taylor. Arin was picked up and thrown (grrrr) into the pool. Kassidy, who she landed on, hurt not only her head, but bit down and injured her tongue; and Arin ended up breaking two ribs.

Image result for xray ribs cartoonHowever, Arin didn’t find out her ribs were broken until almost a week later when she was in much pain and having problems at work. On a Sunday she had to be taken to the ER which included x-rays and a pain prescription.  Again, this involved a long rehabilitation / healing period.

Okay, enough writing for now. Like mother, like daughter!  Yep, considering I was able to live through hitting a train headfirst!  I believe this “toughness” is heredity, and comes from my mom.

In 2019, my mom was experiencing an acute medical condition while visiting us from her home in Florida. As we were waiting at the airport for her and her new husband’s flight home departure, she took a dive (right in front of the drinking fountains by the rest rooms on the main level) on to her face, breaking her glasses. She ended up in the ER for numerous stitches rather than on the flight home. Mom didn’t cry or wince, or even complain a bit.

The bottom line of this post is to let you, my Attorney Reader, know that I am a strong “tough-minded” resilient person who has the capacity to face difficult facts and long odds with resolute optimism.

I define a tough-mind as having the resources, mental skills, and physical capabilities to confront difficulties of all kinds. And then afterwards, the resiliency to slow down and relax.

I know if I succeed, I caused it and if I failed, yep, I caused that too. (Don’t worry, I won’t say yep during testimony.) I will be tough for you and I will be tough for your client.

I won’t be so tough you may choke, but I will be tough enough with your case where it counts: in my reports and in the courtroom and in my resolve to never give up. I got this strong “tough minded” trait from my mom and have passed it on to my daughter and I am proud of it!

Thank you for reading my post. Let me know about a case I can help you with that involves disability and rehabilitation. I believe rehabilitation is the care that can help an individual get back, keep, or improve abilities needed for daily life. I’m a rehabilitation counselor who cares.

Contact me, Amy Botkin at 515-778-0634 or amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com 

___________________

 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Here’s a Dum-Dum Post! Want an Expert too?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

In February 2020, at the beginning of the awareness of Covid-19, I attended a large conference with well over 200 people in attendance. During lunch, I sat at a table next to an intelligent man and we had a conversation about our jobs and serving as an expert “in the field”. His field is neuropsychology and mine is forensic rehabilitation.

Both interesting jobs involving brainwork, don’t you agree?

During our conversation, I explained how I want my courtroom testimony to be communicated to the jury in plain language so it is understand the first time they hear it.

The audience I’m communicating with is in no way, shape or form dum-dum, they simply don’t have “forensic expertise”. They do have good listening skills! I deliver my opinion using a matter of fact strategy that makes sense. This is rather easy for me, because I am a simple, basic person who has studied the case indepth.

I’m no dum-dum either

We continued to discuss how some experts use complicated language in court. It seems that expert wants the jury to believe the expert has incredible intelligence and cryptic knowledge of a complicated subject matter. I see this as a misguided attempt to manipulate the audience about how to view the facts. And I’m pretty sure each juror can see through the muck too! My lunch mate seemed to know the type of expert I was referring to. 

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I love it when Perry Mason eviscerates a pompous, stuffy “expert” on the witness stand!

My belief is that jurors deserve to hear the facts in a truthful, clear and simple manner. Yes, my lunch mate agreed. He summed it up by saying “jurors know the difference between corn and soybeans.” In other words, give us the facts and let us decide which is which because that’s our job in this case.

For fun, I did a little research on Dum Dums

The spherical lollipops originated from Akron Candy Company in Bellevue, Ohio, in 1924. The sales manager of the company, named them, thinking “Dum Dums” was a phrase any child could say.

Initially, there were 7 flavors: lemon, lime, orange, coconut-pineapple, cherry, grape, and butterscotch. Dum Dums are now made in 16 flavors, with new flavors rotating into the mix every so often.

Ewzzy — Once in generation a Mystery Flavor Dum Dum will...The “Mystery Flavor”

The “Mystery Flavor” is the result of the end of one batch mixing with the next batch, rather than stopping production to clean machines in between flavors.  Source:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dum_Dums_(lollipop)

You can tell this decision saved time, and allowed the company to be creative with their product which likely increased interest and ultimately sales! Talk about not being a dum-dum!

Also, just FYI; if you have any Dum-Dums wrappers left, send them in ASAP because (after nearly 70 years), Dum Dums lollipops will be ending its program to exchange wrappers for toys and prizes. The company’s mail in program, which began in 1953, will come to an end on May 31, 2020!  (Sorry, that was yesterday, missed the timeline, but you could try!)

No more regulation-size rubber baseball and metal wastebasket that could be acquired for 15 cents and 15 wrappers…the “Dum Dums Wastebasket Deal”. I’m sure you’ve seen, or even had one similar, to play basketball in your office space.

Dum Dums Garden

Any legal decision is all about: what can be done to answer questions, solve problems, use time wisely, and make or save $$$ in a lawsuit. Because I work on the plaintiff or the defense side, my forensic work helps in any court case. Contact me and we can discuss your case. I’m here to help attorneys help their clients.
 
Special Order* Hot Pink/ Watermelon Dum Dums | All Distributed ...
If you want a dum dum, I’ll be happy to provide one to you on a stick. Do you agree watermelon flavor is tasty?! If you want an expert, I’ll be happy to send you information on retaining me as an expert. Either way, let me know about your case and I’ll let you know how I might be able to help you help your client on the case!
 
Thank you for reading my dum dum post!  Here’s another post titled Don’t be a Dumb Bunny! In this post, I write about using your soft skills…another valuable skill to use in a court room!
 
5/25/2021 update. Last Friday I received my 2nd Covid vaccination. I turned down the pharmacist’s post prick offering of a dum dum! Can you believe it?!? It’s true!
 

Vocational Resources Plus, LLC * 515-778-0634  * amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com

___________________

 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.