More information from Dallas Morning News.
We've just learned that President Trump's political strategist, Steve Bannon, is out, and apparently, former Texas Governor Rick Perry will be taking his place on the President's National Security Council. Yehaw?
More information from Dallas Morning News.
Generally, defamation occurs when a person's reputation or good name is damaged in some way by another person's false statement. This statement can be printed in some manner (libel) or made orally (slander). Slander of title and business disparagement are two similar offenses that would typically occur in a different context related to property or business interests.
Current defamation law is the result of old common-law rules and more recent statutory provisions and First Amendment protections. The elements, or requirements, for a defamation claim depend on variables such as whether the parties are private persons or public entities, members of the press, whether the statement was written or oral, or whether the statement relates to something the public would have a need or a right to know.
Generally, in a defamation case we would look for a defendant who made a defamatory and false statement of fact about the plaintiff that caused the plaintiff a pecuniary injury. In other words, defamation typically occurred if 1) a person made a statement of fact, 2) about the plaintiff, that 3) was defamatory, and 4) false, and 5) caused the plaintiff injury. Regarding the false statement, it can be necessary to consider whether the defendant knew the statement was false or should have known the statement was false. In some instances, it might not matter whether the defendant knew or should have known the statement was false. Injury may also be presumed depending on the circumstances.
There is much more to consider: every defamation lawsuit is different. If you think you may be a victim of defamation, this can be a starting point. It is important to act quickly, however. In Texas, any lawsuit for defamation must be made within one year of the offense. If a victim waits too long, he or she will be barred, or prevented, from ever bringing the lawsuit. The good news for the potential plaintiff is that, according to current case law, each time a defamatory statement is brought to the attention of a third person, a new publication has occurred, and each publication becomes a separate action. Renfro Drug Co. v. Lawson, 160 S.W.2d 246, 251 (Tex.1942). This means, even if the original defamatory statement was made more than a year ago, while it's too late to sue for that publication, any republication of that statement is a new offense that can be grounds for a defamation lawsuit.
Since the last post, H.R. 367 has gained 19 additional cosponsors bringing the current total to 127. Of those 127, only 2 are Democrats (and both are from Texas) the most recent being Rep. Henry Cuellar. The Bill is still stuck in the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations, and there's been no action on the companion Senate Bill S. 59.
For previous posts and information, click here.
Those interested in supporting the HPA of 2017 can do so here.
The Texas Senate has just voted to adopt Senate Joint Resolution (SJR 2) calling for an Article V Convention of States to consider certain amendments to the United States Constitution. Shortly before the vote on SJR 2, the Texas Senate voted to adopt Senate Bill 21 (SB 21) which provides for the qualifications of Texas delegates and other guidelines in the event of an Article V Convention.
Texas is calling for an Article V Convention to impose fiscal restraints on the national government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the national government, and limit the terms of office of national officials and members of Congress. Another Article V Convention calling for a balanced budget amendment has already been passed by 28 states, 6 states away from the number needed to require the U.S. Congress to call an Article V Convention.
The texts of SB 21 and SJR 2, without amendments, are provided below. More information can be found on the Texas Legislature's website.
UPDATE: THE ENGROSSED VERSIONS (with amendments) OF SB 21 AND SJR 2 ARE INCLUDED BELOW.
Tomorrow, the Texas Senate is expected to vote on Senate Joint Resolution 2 (SJR 2) calling for a convention of states under Article V of the U.S. Constitution. The purpose of the Article V Convention would be to impose fiscal restraints on the national government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the national government, and limit the terms of office of national officials and members of Congress.
It's interesting to note that while the national government continues to spend beyond its means, 45 states have balanced budget requirements. States balance their budgets. We're expected to balance our budgets. Why should the national government, with all its power and responsibility, be free to act so irresponsibly?
The identical companion Bill, HJR 39, has gone nowhere since it was filed December, 06, 2016.
My wife made criminal accusations against me and filed for a divorce and TRO. The TRO affidavits were based on those criminal charges. Two years later, those criminal charges have been dismissed. How do I get the TRO dropped? Keep reading for more.
We were purchasing a home from a friend with owner financing. We were working on a contract, and the seller gave us all these details about the contract for purchasing this home. We have a few receipts with our names, date, amount, and saying, for purchase of house on [#### xxxx Rd., TX,] and the seller's signature. Now, the seller is trying to back out and deny the sale ever happened. If we took this to civil court, would the receipts help us? Keep reading for the answer.
I'm unmarried, and we have no contact with the child's father or his family. Is it necessary to terminate his parental rights? Read more for the answer.
There is now a Senate version of the Hearing Protection Act of 2017, S. 59. Anyone who has ever watched Schoolhouse Rock understands this is an important step in the process. S. 59 currently has 7 cosponsors and has been sitting in the Finance Committee since its introduction. Second, the House version, H.R. 367, has gained 23 more cosponsors with a current total of 97 and has been referred to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.
In related news, Ronald B. Turk, associate deputy director and chief operating officer of the ATF, recently called for removing restrictions on the sale of gun silencers and for initiating a study on lifting the ban on imported assault weapons. Source.
Since the last post, The Hearing Protection Act of 2017, H.R. 367, has gained 6 additional cosponsors, bringing the total to 74. Text of H.R. 367 is available below. There is still no Senate version of the Bill.
The Hearing Protection Act is dead? Long live the Hearing Protection Act?
A new Hearing Protection Act has been introduced in the United States House of Representatives. 9 days after its introduction, H.R. 367 has 68 cosponsors and has been referred to the Judiciary and the Ways and Means committees. The purpose of H.R. 367 is "to provide that silencers be treated the same as long guns". Text of the H.R. 367 is not available at the time of this posting. There is no Senate version of the Bill.
The Hearing Protection act of 2015, H.R. 3799 of the 114th Congress, has 82 cosponsors and has been languishing in the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations since November 23 of 2015.
We will keep you updated.
Q: I lent a friend money because he was behind on his rent and needed help. Now, months later, he still hasn't paid me back, and he's cut off all communication and contact with me. I posted a demand letter on his front door and garage door which I know he received. It gave him 10 days to pay up or I would sue. Should I represent myself or hire an attorney? Keep reading for the answer.
Q: I paid for a car, and now I can't get the seller to sign the title and transfer ownership. What do I do?
Q: Not long after my girlfriend and I broke up she married another man, and they had a daughter. His name is on the birth certificate. Problem is my ex girlfriend was pregnant before the marriage, and based on the timing, I think I'm the father. What can I do to prove she's my daughter and get my parental rights? Keep reading for more.
Since the last update in August 2016, the House version of the bill has four new cosponsors, Harold Rogers of Kentucky, Rob Bishop of Utah, Evan H. Jenkins of West Virginia, and putting Nebraska on the map is Adrian Smith.
How does adding your spouse's name to the deed for your separate property affect the characterization of that property? Does putting your spouse's name on the deed make the property community property?
Since the last update in early June, there hasn't been much activity. The House version of the bill has two additional cosponsors, Steve Russell of Oklahoma and Mo Brooks of Alabama. This puts Oklahoma on the map and brings to 3 the number of cosponsors from Alabama. There is nothing to report on the Senate version of the bill.
Readers may recall from our first post on the Hearing Protection Act of 2015 that this bill would make it easier to purchase and possess "silencers" or suppressors. Although this proposed legislation appears to have some support in the House, it's unlikely this bill will ever become law.
Recently, our office building was purchased by Richardson Independent School District. Richardson I.S.D. did not renew any of the tenants' leases and has required all tenants, our law office included, to vacate.
We are looking for a cost-effective alternative that provides a convenient location while allowing us to keep the cost of our legal services low for our clients. In the current real estate market, this is not easily done. Until we find an office location that meets our requirements, we have a temporary office location available in the Park Cities area.
Stay tuned for updates.
Since the last update in mid April, the House version of the Hearing Protection Act of 2015 has 15 additional cosponsors.
From Texas, Randy Weber, Louie Gohmert, Pete Olson, Gene Green, and Sam Johnson.
From Ohio, Brad Wenstrup and Jim Jordan.
From Virginia, Robert Wittman and H. Morgan Griffith.
From North Carolina, Mark Meadows.
From South Carolina, Mick Mulvaney.
From Colorado, Doug Lamborn.
From Alabama, Gary Palmer.
From Michigan, Tim Walberg.
And from Washington, Cathy McMorris Rogers.
There has been no additional action on the Senate version of the bill.
Since the last update, The Hearing Protection Act of 2015 has seven new cosponsors.
H.R.3799 has six new cosponsors, Republican Representatives Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania, Lynn Jenkins of Kansas, Luke Messer of Indiana, Dave Brat of Virginia, and David Young and Steve King of Iowa. The House version of The Hearing Protection Act of 2015 now has 58 cosponsors from 31 states. The bill is still in the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.
In the Senate, S.2236 has a new cosponsor, Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas. This brings to 3 the number of cosponsors in the Senate, the other cosponsors being Senator Mike Lee of Utah and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. The bill is still sitting in the Finance Committee.
Q: I've been told that once I become married, everything will become community property. Is this right? I have a house I've already paid off. My fiance also has her own house, and she's almost paid off the mortgage. Is it true that these houses will become community property once we're married? What will my fiance's house be if I make some of the mortgage payments after we're married?
H.R.3799 has two new cosponsors, Republican Representative Mike Pompeo of Kansas, and Republican Representative John Ratcliffe of Texas. The House version of The Hearing Protection Act of 2015 currently has 52 cosponsors from 26 states.
In the Senate, S.2236 has a new cosponsor, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. This brings to 2 the number of cosponsors in the Senate, the other cosponsor being Senator Mike Lee of Utah.
I had an oral agreement to buy a house, but now the seller is trying to take it back. What can I do?
In Texas, agreements for the sale of real property fall under the statute of frauds. This means they must be in a written agreement signed by the person against whom enforcement is sought. This can be found in Texas Business and Commerce Code sections 26.01(a), 26.01(b)(4).
... (a) A promise or agreement described in Subsection (b) of this section is not enforceable unless the promise or agreement, or a memorandum of it, is
Under Texas case law, the agreement must contain the essential elements of the agreement so that the court can determine what exactly the agreement was without resorting to oral testimony.
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.