We are closed for President's Day, February 18th 2019 and will reopen for business on Tuesday the 19th. Enjoy the holiday!
"When our hands are busy serving others, we aren't thinking about what we don't have."
- Kristen Welch from Chapter 9 of her book,
Raising Grateful Kids In An Entitled World
Our office is closed today, Monday, January 21st 2019, in memory of Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his dream of a society in which people's worth would be based on the content of their character, not the color of their skin.
Perhaps one day we will live in a society in which the governments (national, state, and local), school districts, colleges and universities, employers, private corporations, and everyone else will stop asking people their race, ethnicity, religion, and sex.
Are we making progress toward Dr. King's dream? Or are we becoming more divided by class, sex, ethnicity, and religion? Today is a good day to consider questions such as these.
It's been awhile since our last post and even longer since the last round of Who Said It. But we're back for round 8 of Who Said It. As always, if you think you know the answer let us know in the comments!
Read more for the answer.
Last night, President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court, but who is Judge Kavanaugh? He is married with two daughters. He is Catholic and went to a D.C. area Jesuit high school, Georgetown Prep, which is the same Jesuit high school as two other Trump appointees, Neil Gorsuch and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. He earned his undergraduate and law degree at Yale and teaches at Yale, Harvard, and Georgetown. Kavanaugh clerked for Justice Kennedy, the same Justice for whom Gorsuch clerked. And he's been serving on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals for over a decade. Glean from this what you will, if anything.
For an in-depth look at Judge Kavanaugh's adjudicative history, head over to the SCOTUS Blog. Liberty Fund also has an article discussing Judge Kavanaugh.
Happy Independence Day! Late last week, the Texas Supreme Court issued a number of opinions relating to family law. We'll give a brief summary of the outcomes below.
In the first case, In re Marriage of I.C., a woman blew her chance at a $5,000,000 lump-sum payout upon entry of divorce. She and her husband had signed a premarital agreement providing that she would receive $5,000,000 if the two of them were to divorce.
Law and Liberty, part of Liberty Fund, Inc., posted an interesting article today discussing the Contracts Clause of the U.S. Constitution and its treatment in modern jurisprudence.
The Contracts Clause is found in Article I of the Constitution which states,
"No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility."
Or, "No State shall ... pass any ... Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts ..."
In the early history of our nation, this clause of the Constitution was respected and enforced. Unfortunately, as is the case with much of the Constitution, the trend of modern jurisprudence has been away from strict adherence and respect for the law toward a more subjective, personal, results-based approach. Observers of the judicial branch from all along the political spectrum, have accused judges and justices of ignoring the clear and plain language of the Constitution, or even intentionally misinterpreting that language, in order to reach their own desired outcome. That is, their own subjective idea of "justice". This is a movement away from justice under the law and the rule of law toward the capricious rule of men, but I am veering off topic.
You can read John O. McGinnis' article here.
This round of Who Said It includes two quotes for your consideration.
Think you know the answer? If you're not sure, what does your gut tell you? Answer in the comments, and read more for the correct answer.
If you think you already know, then answer in the comments! Read more for the answer.
A Summary has been submitted for Senator Mike Lee's 2017 Silencers Help Us Save Hearing Act, or SHUSH Act.
This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to: (1) remove silencers from the list of firearms subject to regulation under the National Firearms Act (NFA), and (2) specify that a person who lawfully acquires or possesses a silencer under provisions of the federal criminal code meets the registration and licensing requirements of the NFA.
In a case similar to In The Interest Of M.M., A Child, the Supreme Court of Texas again addressed this situation in In The Interest of K.S.L., A Child.
In this case, both parents were involved. And there was already an open case involving an older daughter when the Department of Family Protective Services filed suit on behalf of K.S.L., an infant. The Department named several incidents including possessing, using, and selling illegal drugs and a high-speed police chase with the children in the car. Both parents were represented by counsel and signed affidavits of voluntary relinquishment of parental rights. The caseworker testified that termination was in the best interest of the child and that arrangements were made for the uncle to adopt the child. The trial court found that termination was in the best interest of the child and that both parents had signed irrevocable affidavits relinquishing parental rights. Final judgment was entered terminating parental rights.
Days later, both parents changed their minds. They appealed arguing the evidence was insufficient to prove child's best interest. Read more to find out what happened.
The Supreme Court of Texas addressed a situation like this on December 22 issuing it's opinion for In the Interest of M.M., a Child.
In the trial court, it was revealed that the mother had a history of drug use, had been incarcerated for heroin use, was recently seen using heroin, and that a cigarette burn was found on the 2 year old child's arm. The Department of Family Protective Services filed a petition with respect to the child and expressed doubts regarding the mother's mental stability. The mother voluntarily signed an affidavit of relinquishment of parental rights under section 161.103 of the Family Code and testified that she believed doing so was in the best interest of her child. The caseworker also testified that relinquishment was in the best interest of the child who was in a safe and secure home with the grandmother. The trial court rendered final judgment terminating parental rights.
The mother changed her mind and appealed. Read more to see what happened.
Our last update was late September and can be found here.
H.R. 3139, a House version of The Hearing Protection Act of 2017, now has 20 cosponsors, but is still in the Ways and Means and Judiciary Committees being referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations where it has been since July.
S. 1505, the Senate version of The SHUSH Act, is up to 9 cosponsors, but remains in the Finance Committee where it has been since June.
Unless there is a significant event such as a bill being referred out of committee, we will no longer be providing updates related to the various versions of the HPA and SHUSH Act.
I had to move out of my apartment after only a few months, and the apartment complex is telling me I owe them rent and a reletting fee for not providing enough notice. Since moving in there was a water leak. We had to turn off the water at the wall and the toilet and had a leaky moldy toilet for a couple days before the landlord fixed it. We had other problems such as the electricity going out, trouble with the locks, and bugs. This is why I moved out. Do I still have to pay considering it's their fault I moved out?
Selling my house, buyer backed out after his option period and wants his earnest money back. Do I have to give it back?
I'm selling my house, and I had a buyer. We signed the contract, did the inspections and all the usual stuff, and made it through the option period. I thought this was a done deal, but he just backed out and is demanding his earnest money back. Do I (or the escrow agent) have to give it back or not? Keep reading for the answer.
This might sound unlikely, but it does come up. What can a couple do if they have already finalized their divorce, and they decide they made a mistake? Can they remain married? Can they annul the divorce? Keep reading to find out.
Drunk driver, Heyden, got a loaner car from Defendant, Allways Auto Group. Heyden testified he was drunk when he went in to get the loaner car. Defendant testified that Heyden showed no signs of being drunk.
18 days after receiving the loaner car, Heyden got drunk (again) on whiskey, got into the loaner car, and crashed into Plaintiff, Walters. Walters sued Defendant Allways for negligent entrustment. The basic argument being that Allways was negligent in giving Heyden a vehicle to drive when he was obviously drunk. That is, giving a drunk man a car and putting him on the road is negligent (i.e. stupid), and the Defendant is responsible for the damage resulting from Heyden's driving. Defendant should have known that the drunk they were giving a car might crash the car damaging property or causing injury or death. This is similar in reasoning to dram shop and other theories of liability.
Defendant filed a motion for summary judgement against Plaintiff Heyden which the trial court granted. Heyden appealed and won with the appellate court determining there were fact issues regarding proximate cause. Defendant appealed to SCOTUS. To find out what happened at SCOTUS keep reading.
My child's dad hasn't been around for years and he's behind on child support. The State is taking him to court to enforce the support arrearage, but how do I report to the court that he hasn't even visited his child for years?
After a somewhat quiet August on Capital Hill, there's been recent activity related to the old 2017 HPA and the more recent SHUSH Act.
First, the SHUSH Act has more cosponsors in the House and Senate with H.R. 3179 coming in at 18 cosponsors and S. 1505 at 8. The Senate version appears stuck in the Finance Committee while the House version has been in the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations since July 24th.
Although the SHUSH Act is thought by many to have supplanted the 2017 HPA, the Hearing Protection Act has gained a few new supporters expanding from 158 cosponsors in July to 165 today. As mentioned before, the 2017 HPA is languishing in the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations where it has been since February.
H.R. 367 now has 158 cosponsors, up from 127 in March. Among those cosponsors, the number of Democrat cosponsors has doubled. That's right. There are now FOUR Democrat cosponsors. Talk about bipartisan support, right? Other than this, the Bill is still languishing in committee, and there's been no action on the Senate version, S. 59.
However, a new Bill known as the SHUSH Act is moving through the House and Senate. This Bill would go even further than the Hearing Protection Act. You can read more about the SHUSH Act here.
NOT LEGAL ADVICE.
Nothing on this website is legal advice. The information on this site is general in nature and might not apply to your individual situation.