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Texas Homestead Law Requires Spouses to Join Together

If not for the specter of drunken and worthless husbands in Texas bringing their wives to want and poverty, we would not have constitutional homestead protection. That’s the backstory to the Texas Constitutional section that makes Texas homestead protections among the broadest in the country. Let’s focus on one protection that consistently catches people by surprise: joinder.    What is Joinder? Under the law of joinder, one spouse cannot sell, convey, or encumber...

Reflections on 30 Years at Hammerle Finley Law Firm

I have now been at Hammerle Finley for 30 years. In that time, technology has changed but people have remained the same. Technological change has been dramatic. When I started, all legal business was conducted on paper. Today it is done electronically. Email, electronic filing, zoom hearings: all have taken over the practice of law. We have, to the greatest extent possible, gone paperless. Even faxing has become an outdated...

Playing Games with the Texas Durable Power of Attorney

One of the many charming points about the Texas Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) statutes is that they give third parties pointed instructions on how to refuse the document. This column will give a bit of insight into the games that banks, title companies, investment companies, and you – yes, you! - can play to avoid accepting DPOAs. What is a Durable Power of Attorney?  A DPOA is a written document...