What happens during a divorce when abuse is present? How do you safeguard yourself and those you love during those tough times? Divorce can be an incredibly difficult experience, and it gets even more complicated when abuse is involved. With the help of Susan and Tracy in this episode, you’ll learn how to safeguard yourself or your loved ones during these tough times. Knowing the signs of various forms of abuse could prove vital for protecting both yourself and those around you from further harm.
Meeting Tosha Heavican
Meet Tosha Heavican. Mom of 2, avid baker, and die hard Husker fan. Find out how Tosha’s passions drive her and her legal career when it comes to estate planning and much more!
Tracy Hightower-Henne: On today’s podcast, we’ll be talking with one of our other attorneys at Hightower-Reff Law Tosha Heavican. Welcome, Tosha.
Tosha Heavican: Thank you. Thank you. It’s my first time on a podcast, so I’m pretty excited to to get my feet wet here.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: First time with a huge microphone in front of your face?
Tosha Heavican: Yes. You know, I I was a journalism major in college. I went to Doanh College and but I was emphasized print media. So they made me do a semester with the radio and a semester with the TV. But I always hold the sound boom because that seemed like the least threatening.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: But then I sound, boom, it’s
Tosha Heavican: Like you hold this big stick and it has a microphone on the end of it and you’re supposed to hold it over the people that are giving the newscast. But I’m so short that the sound boom was always in the frame. So then they had to make me stand on a box.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Oh, is that like the big furry thing that is in the middle of the room?
Tosha Heavican: Sometimes, yes, and I think that’s a sound boom. Clearly, I didn’t pay enough attention in TV class.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: You’re just holding it. I was also fun fact. Both Tosha and I went to Doane College for undergrad, so we were tigers. I didn’t play any sports, did you? No, no sports. I feel like the mascot only really matters if you play sports.
Tosha Heavican: Yeah. And and it’s on the T-shirts, right?
Tracy Hightower-Henne: I had a lot of T-shirts. I had a T-shirt quilt made with my orange and black, so it looks like Halloween.
Tosha Heavican: I still have one of my favorite sweatshirts is a dome sweatshirt, and I’m hoping one day I can fit into it again.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Oh, remember the don’t sweatshirt I have? We made it into a pillow? Yes. And the lady left the arms on it. So it looks like it’s like hugging itself. It’s great. We left it here at the office.
Tosha Heavican: I lay on it frequently. When I have to read long documents, I use it for great comfort.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Do you do you take the arms and like, put it around you?
Tosha Heavican: You know, I’ll try.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Loose arms on the pillow. I will.
Tosha Heavican: I will try that sometime.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: We’ll take a picture and share it with our listeners.
Tosha Heavican: Maybe they’ll put me on the Doanh website.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Do you want to be on the Doanh website? No announcement, Doan. We would like to be on the Doanh website. Awesome. Well, that’s what we want to talk about is like, tell us about Tosha and I want to know what was it like growing up as Tosha?
Tosha Heavican: So I grew up in Council Bluffs. I went to Abraham Lincoln High School. I have five siblings, but they’re his hers and they’re so fun fact about me. I was adopted by my stepdad when I was in sixth grade, so I gained three siblings and then my parents had one together. So there’s six kids.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: And like The Brady Bunch,
Tosha Heavican: We are like The Brady Bunch. We are exactly like The Brady Bunch, except for we didn’t have a cleaning lady growing up, much to my mom’s chagrin.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Did you know that you wanted to be an adoption lawyer when you were adopted? No, not part of your story.
Tosha Heavican: Well, it’s I actually was just talking to my mom the other day about this because so adoption records are sealed once. Once an adoption happens, then the records are sealed, and the only way to get to them is a judge has to give you permission. And so I was talking to my mom the other day to tell her, you know, now that I do adoptions as part of my practice, it would be kind of interesting to go and get the documents that were filed in my own case, just to see kind of what it was like. I do remember going to the judge’s chambers when the adoption happened. So I remember talking to the judge and my mom and dad were there and my brother to I have a brother who was adopted at the same time. So it’s kind of, you know, it’s come full circle a little bit, which is kind of cool. So whenever I have adoption clients, you know, I always share that story with them, so they understand and know that I’ve been through it.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: So that’s awesome. What a good story. And also, like your little 6th grade self probably had no idea that you would go and do this for other people. Yeah. So on that note, what do you practice at high tariff law? What areas of law?
Tosha Heavican: So I do a ton of adoption work, which is very near and dear to my heart. I also do a lot of estate planning for families that usually includes things like wills and trusts and powers of attorney. I also help families when they are in need of a guardianship or a conservatorship. And I also help clients who have contract or business needs. Usually, I kind of equate that to killing a lot of trees, you know, when we’re looking at contracts and and formation type. Problems for clients. So it kind of runs the gamut, I do quite a bit of different, different things for the firm.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: That’s all transactional law, right? Yes. So Tosha doesn’t go to court very often, and when she does, it’s a big thing. Yes. Do you feel about being in court, Tosha? Tell us the truth.
Tosha Heavican: It is a necessary evil in my practice. Most of the stuff that I do is in county court, and a lot of my practice is in Douglas County, Nebraska. So I know all the judges and have been practicing in front of them for a long time. So that’s good. So going to court is is is a necessary evil and it’s it’s part of what I do and when I have to go, I just probably tend to over prepare. But we’re always ready and and things go the way they’re supposed to go.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: I don’t think it ever hurt anyone to over prepare, right?
Tosha Heavican: I wouldn’t think so.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: We’re most of us in this office are perfectionists. So over preparing is kind of the name of the game, right?
Tosha Heavican: Sometimes when I have court, like twice in one week, I’m I’m like, What do I wear? Because I don’t have very many suits?
Tracy Hightower-Henne: So you’re over preparing your outfits too.
Tosha Heavican: I am. I am.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: No one ever complained that Tosha doesn’t look great in court, so it’s working. Tosha, good doing it. Good, but sometimes you get to do some unique things, right?
Tosha Heavican: Yes. So most recently, I got to go to the civil side of county court. So most of the time my practice is in what we call probate court. But last week, I was able to go to the civil side and do an eviction. So I how
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Is that related to estate planning?
Tosha Heavican: I have a case right now where someone has passed away. And so as part of the estate, there’s a house, and the House had some occupants that wouldn’t leave when they were supposed to leave. And so after trying to, you know, make an agreement about that, we weren’t able to come to an agreement. So then the only option that the owner has is to file for an eviction action. So I did that on behalf of the estate.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: And what do you get to do today? I heard the story.
Tosha Heavican: I get to go and serve the writ. So what that means is that a representative of the plaintiff. So in this case, it’s the estate has to go and meet the constable and a person who can change locks. And then you
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Also known as a locksmith. Yes. So you’re going to meet the locksmith, the constable probably also a sheriff, right?
Tosha Heavican: Yes. And we go to the property and we change the locks and we take everybody out and and then we have to set up physically.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Not like with guns, correct? Taking everyone out sounds like
Tosha Heavican: No, there’s no plan for guns to be used.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Oh, good. Excellent. So we should like send you there with an Instagram Story doing this. I feel like either something super exciting is going to happen or it’s going to be super boring.
Tosha Heavican: I am hoping for the latter.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yes, you would. Because you can’t over prepare that way. Correct. I have a funny story. My parents do a lot of rental property, and so my parents have had to evict a few people and one person I remember I wasn’t there, but my dad did the same thing. He met the constable there to serve the writ. I didn’t quite understand why he needed to, but maybe just to secure the property afterwards, right? The locks get changed and then he can go in and put a new lock in. And I remember he described this house and he had it was an apartment, sorry, an apartment, and he had no idea. You don’t know what you’re walking into, and especially at this point, the tenant has notice, right? So they’re maybe upset now. What have they done to the place? And he walked in and there were birds everywhere, some in cages, some not in cages, and then the amount of like feces at the bottom of the bird cage. And so then you have to take the next step to call the Humane Society and then these birds are flying around the house and then you got to clean out the cages. So I remember thinking, I’m glad I, you know, didn’t have to be there or have to do anything like that, but ultimately got cleaned up and the birds. I don’t know what happened to the birds, but I think they all lived. None of them died.
Tosha Heavican: I think in our story, we can decide that they all lived.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Sure. Yes. So tell us about like the whole big question that everyone loves to hear what made you want to go to law school?
Tosha Heavican: As I mentioned, I I was a journalism major in undergrad, and as part of the program, we had to take a capstone class or what they call a capstone class. And I took a law and journalism, and I ended up doing a ton of research and writing a paper on copyright law, which was super interesting to me. And so, you know, towards the end of. My undergrad career, I was thinking that I would try to potentially work for the like the SPLC, which is the Student Press Law Center. And so in order to do that, you would need to get a law degree, and that particular organization helps young journalists fight First Amendment challenges. So for example, if there is a college newspaper that is printing stuff and is being censored by the university, then the students can potentially bring a claim that their First Amendment rights are being violated.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Similar to you heard the recent United States Supreme Court decision about the cheerleader who made a Snapchat.
Tosha Heavican: I don’t think I heard about this.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: I haven’t heard about this. She made a Snapchat off school grounds. It went all the way up to the Supreme Court because ultimately she wasn’t picked for the cheerleading team. And so she said some not so nice words about the school and the school brought an action against her or they suspended her right. And so her parents were like, Screw this. Watch me. And they went all the way up to the United States Supreme Court, and they made a finding that her speech was protected, mostly because it was off school grounds, which was really one of the first cases that really talked about social media use and First Amendment and and how it relates to students. So maybe the SPLC was involved in that.
Tosha Heavican: Potentially, yes. Super interesting area of the law. And then once I got into law school, I you realize or at least I did at the time how much bigger the law is. When you think about the law, I think in the beginning it feels like, oh, it only would apply in these certain areas of life. And then you start taking all these classes first ones that are required and then you get to pick some on your own as well. And you start to realize how big the law is and how many facets there are. And there are so many ways that you can participate in, you know, within the law.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: And now as a lawyer, you look at everything and you’re like, Oh, I hope they have liability insurance and don’t fall because you’re able to sue Wal-Mart, then
Tosha Heavican: I am constantly straightening drugs,
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Right? We have a rug at our front door at our office, and I look at it and I’m like, There’s a wrinkle. Someone’s going to fall, fix it. Everyone fix it.
Tosha Heavican: Exactly.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yeah, our brains are skewed.
Tosha Heavican: And every, every TV show that you watch, you know, my husband’s constantly pausing and asking, Can they do that? Is that really what how that works?
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Oh, he pauses. Yeah. So like, every one hour show is an hour and a half in your house, at least. Oh, I would just. Put the captions on keep watching and then be like, yeah, yeah, no, that’s not how it works, but yeah, every show goes to jury within like two days, right?
Tosha Heavican: That’s right. Every crime is solved in an hour.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yes, it goes all the way to the Supreme Court within two and a half days. That doesn’t happen to the listeners. That doesn’t happen.
Tosha Heavican: Right. That is not real.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: So what do you like to do in your free time? Tell us about Tosha as a non-lawyer. Are we ever non-lawyers? I don’t think we are. We’re straightening rugs. We’re not.
Tosha Heavican: Right, right. I don’t think our brains ever quite shut that part off, but I do enjoy. I love to watch true crime documentaries, and I’m a law and order SVU junkie for life. I’ve seen every episode probably twice. I love to watch movies. I think I’ve only maybe walked out on one movie ever in my life.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: I’ve never walked out on a movie like in a theater.
Tosha Heavican: Yeah, I I could not finish Punch-Drunk Love with Adam Sandler. I just couldn’t do it. I could not
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Do. At what point in the theater did you walk out in the middle?
Tosha Heavican: The beginning when the music got so loud that you couldn’t hear the people talking? And I don’t know. I just maybe I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed that day, but
Tracy Hightower-Henne: I could you ever finish the movie? I did not. So you don’t even know
Tosha Heavican: I do not.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Wow. So you like to go to the movie theater?
Tosha Heavican: I love to go to the movie theater. And even when so after undergrad, before I went to law school, I worked for a couple of years and I moved to Sioux City, Iowa, to work for the Sioux City Journal. And I didn’t know anybody in the town, really, so I and my days off for Tuesdays and Wednesdays. And there was a little video DVD store by my apartment, and you could rent movies on Tuesdays for a dollar. And so I would rent like six or eight movies at a time, and I would just binge watch them over my my two day weekend because,
Tracy Hightower-Henne: You know, VHS,
Tosha Heavican: Correct? And so at that time in my life, I’d seen every single movie that I’d ever come out except for apparently Punch-Drunk Love. I never, never went back to that one. But so, yeah, I love love movies and love hanging out with my husband and my my two kids, and we fill up our time with, you know, kid stuff.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Your kids are like, I look at them and when I see, especially your son, because your daughter is so much younger. But when I see her son, I’m like, Oh my gosh, that is like one of the smartest kids I’ve ever met.
Tosha Heavican: He is very smart, and I’d like to say it’s all from me, but my husband is pretty smart, too. So I have to give him a little credit.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: But wow, just a little bit of credit.
Tosha Heavican: He I always ask him, you know, in school, what did you learn today? Nothing, mom. I already knew everything they told me.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: And you’re like, Yeah, that’s because he’s already really smart.
Tosha Heavican: Yes, he’s very smart and very personable. He’s super outgoing. He loves to make friends and really has a heart of gold. So I don’t know how he got so lucky, but he’s he’s pretty great.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: So tell us about like your first job or some of your jobs when you were younger. I always think that’s really it says a lot about someone.
Tosha Heavican: Sure. So I did babysitting, of course. You know, as a young person, just kind of, you know, for cash, for family, friends. But then my first real job was working for Hy-Vee in Council Bluffs, where there’s a helpful smile.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Was that the song then too?
Tosha Heavican: I believe. So we didn’t ever have to sing it, though, thank goodness.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Tracy always sings ditties.
Tosha Heavican: And actually, my older sister, my brother, who’s the same age as me and my brother, who’s younger than me, actually, both my brothers are younger than me. We all worked at Hy-Vee, so it was kind of a family thing. And I started out as a cart pusher. I had to clean out the cart corrals. And then when I got
Tracy Hightower-Henne: That like they do today, there wasn’t COVID
Tosha Heavican: Then. Right, right? Nope. It was just run out there. Rain or shine.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: All the germs stayed on the carts.
Tosha Heavican: That’s right. And then when I got a little older, I was able to do the checker so I would check people out with their groceries and take money. And then I graduated to the video department. So that’s how old I am. We had VHS tapes that you could rent at Hy-Vee. And behind that counter, they also had dry cleaning, so I would take people’s dry cleaning and we had a tick master. So I got to learn how to sell tickets. And I’ll never forget every time Garth Brooks was in town, the line was out the door and you had to try to get as many tickets as you could super fast. And also, the cigarettes were back there, so I had to and I don’t smoke. So I had to learn all the different kinds and where they were and
Tracy Hightower-Henne: They let you sell the cigarettes.
Tosha Heavican: I could sell them. Yes, not smoke them.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: But like once they let you touch the money in the cigarettes, it’s serious.
Tosha Heavican: That’s right.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: So do you feel like, you know, when you walk into a hive now like, Oh, I know where everything is?
Tosha Heavican: Well, the hive that I worked at, they actually tore down and moved. It’s in the same parking lot, but they shifted it in Council Bluffs. And so a super nice store. Now what’s interesting is whenever I shop there because I live in Council Bluffs now, still some of the people that I worked with still work there. And so that’s kind of interesting to see. I do still remember. So the fruit and vegetables, they have codes on them right to check out like bananas is four zero one one, right? I’ll never forget that.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: I think so. Now, when you self check out, you’re like, Watch me. I already have this memorized.
Tosha Heavican: Like, they’re looking at the numbers and I’m like, It’s four zero one one.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: They never changed it. No. Is there? Is there some sort of coating between the first letter or I’m sorry, the first number. So like four is always a yellow fruit. You know,
Tosha Heavican: I think it’s like a national thing because like, it’s the same at every grocery store. It’s not just tiny, so like it’s the stickers that if you ever look on your fruit or vegetables, there’s like a sticker and it has like the logo of the company or whatever. And then there’ll be a four digit number. That’s the number they type in to charge you for national.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: My mind is blown right now. So like even when you go to bakers, you can put in four zero one one. And it’s except for what if it’s organic?
Tosha Heavican: They have a different number. Oh, that’s a screwed up. I don’t buy.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: They didn’t. Did they have organic when you worked there?
Tosha Heavican: I have no idea.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Probably not. That’s like the new thing.
Tosha Heavican: My my 14 year old self was not worried about organic food.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: All right. Four zero one one is the banana code. So that’s the takeaway. So, yeah, tell us. Tell us why you like practicing law now?
Tosha Heavican: I love practicing law because it’s different every day, and I really enjoy working with people and my clients, I really tried to do the best that I can for them, you know, and and meet them where they are, whatever problem they’re having or issue they need to solve. I feel fortunate that I have tools and knowledge to be able to help them. And I really enjoy the firm that I work out to because I feel like we do a good job of trying to have fun and also do business and and help people in the best way that we can.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yeah. And I think what happens in our office is really great in the sense that we have so many different areas of the law covered by other attorneys in our office. And so when one client finishes a divorce, we may say now it’s really important for you to have a will done. So you’re going to meet with Tosha. You can decide what you want to do with that. Or oftentimes we have clients who, you know, either because of the divorce or because of the criminal charge have an overlap between a DUI and a divorce. And so we’re able to help them in-house with kind of the same level of representation. And so I think that’s what’s great. I had a recent client who is in the middle of a divorce and says I got a DUI, who can I go talk to? And I said, no one else. But here, right? You can stay here at our firm and feel that same level of comfort too.
Tosha Heavican: We have I have a case right now that’s overlapping between guardianship, conservatorship, adoption and immigration. So it’s it really is true that we can help in so many areas and it’s nice to be able to keep it in one place. You know, for clients a lot of times when they’re going through hard stuff, it’s already overwhelming. And so then to try to have to meet more people and figure out more offices and different attorneys and how they do their stuff, it’s, I think, helpful and comforting to clients to be able to say, you know, I know high tariff law, I know they do a good job and I know they’re going to take care of me.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: So yeah, and you’re mostly going to get over preparation when you come here, especially from Tosha,
Tosha Heavican: Especially for me. That’s right.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Awesome. Well, thanks for joining us today on today’s podcast, and it’s awesome to hear about you. I’m going to remember the banana code is four zero one one. And yeah, I learned a lot about you too. So this is great. So SVU quizzes, you’re going to win every time, every time. I’m watched every episode twice and
Tosha Heavican: I cannot tell you how ecstatic I am that Elliot Stabler is back on law and order is. I think it’s called true crime or something or organized crime. I watched that one, too. I just can’t, couldn’t remember the name. But and then there’s like all these crossovers and it’s so great, and me and the Collective Law and Order SVU world are just waiting for Olivia and Elliot to finally be in love. It’s only been like twenty five seasons,
Tracy Hightower-Henne: So I have no idea what you’re talking about, but that sounds really exciting because your face is so excited about it.
Tosha Heavican: I love Letter S for you, and it’s probably the show that my husband hates the most, so I can only watch it when he’s not around. But I love it. Love me some Law and Order SVU.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Awesome. Well, thanks, Tosha, and we’ll talk with you later.
Tosha Heavican: Thanks for having me.
Announcer: Thank you for listening to the lady lawyer League Podcast. Be sure to like and subscribe anywhere you get your podcasts, if you would like to learn more about our firm, Hightower-Reff Law, please visit our website at H r Law Omaha.com. We’ll see you next week.
Ever wonder what happens to your stuff after you die? Well, it turns out that the court has a say. Enter Tosha Heavican: Death Esquire – she’s here to give us an inside look at Probate and Estate Law. In this episode, we’ll be discussing all things related to probating an estate. From understanding how the process works to figuring out who gets what when all is said and done. So listen up – Tosha is about to drop some knowledge! Let’s get started!
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