Legal Talk

Texas Open Carry – Everything You Need To Know in 2020

If you’re in need of an attorney, we want you to know that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, our firm is open during regular business hours. We are meeting clients in our office while practicing social distancing, keeping everyone six feet apart and, for the time being, foregoing all handshakes and hugs. If you prefer, we can schedule telephone or video conferences, and we also make off-site appointments. Whatever your preference,...

A Horrible End to a Beautiful Beginning – Cohabitation Nightmare

So you want to live with someone to whom you are not married?  We call that “cohabitating” or “inviting a lawsuit.” Whatever. Cohabitation is legal, but that does not mean it is a relationship you should leap into lightly.  Before you make the move, you should consider the cautionary tale of Stephen Carl Smith and Mary Deneve. Smith and Deneve began living together in 1991. They neither married nor signed a cohabitation...

Idiots and Lunatics – State Law Controls Voter Qualification

For well over a century, idiots and lunatics were prohibited from voting in Texas. There had been some discussion about also prohibiting drunkards, but that was dropped when the legislators realized it would disqualify most of them. Texas has not been alone in its thinking. Eleven states still have laws banning “insane persons” or those who are “non compos mentis” from voting. More than 25 states ban people who have...

Employer Retirement Plans – Where Wishes Do Not Count

In 1974 an undoubtedly very nice man by the name of William Kennedy worked for DuPont. He, like company employees are wont to do, participated in his employer’s retirement savings plan. William dutifully filled out the plan’s beneficiary form and designated his wife Liv as the sole beneficiary. Twenty years later William and Liv divorced. The divorce decree recited that Liv gave up all of her interest in William’s retirement...

Adviser Certifications – Buyer Beware

Talk about alphabet soup. There are at least 200 different kinds of financial certifications used in the marketplace, and it seems like more are being added every day. As you would suspect, some certifications are more meaningful than others. Here are a few of the more popular ones. A CFP (Certified Financial Planner) works with clients to evaluate their options and make financial decisions.  The certification is awarded through the...

Differences Between Express vs. Implied Warranties

It’s possible that when you were in school, history was not necessarily your favorite subject. But to understand express versus implied warranties, a brief history lesson is in order. Before delving in, however, you’ll be happy to know that Hammerle Finley has practiced business law since 1984. We have an extensive online library for your reference purposes, as well as a staff of highly qualified and experienced business law attorneys. The Uniform Law Commission and the Uniform Commercial Code In 1892, as the American economy grew...

Insurtech – An Innovation for Insurance

Insurance is just a legal contract between the insurer, who promises to pay for a covered loss, and the insured, who promises to pay premiums. As if. Pull out one of your insurance policies and read the definition of “covered loss.” Copy the definition into a Word document. Now look at the capitalized, italicized or bolded words within the sentences. Those words are defined terms. The definitions will be found within the policy itself...

Granny Get Your Gun – Disaster Carry for Handgun Owners

Do you ever feel like you are in an unending Ad Lib game? “Today the  issued a disaster declaration  regarding and advised everyone to immediately.  Reaction was .“ Regardless of the crisis du jour, it would be wise for all of us to brush up on the Disaster Carry law in Texas. When Hurricane Harvey hit, it became evident that the handgun law in Texas had a gaping...

Beware the MERP – Texas offers Huge Loophole to Recovery Program

MERP is the Texas Medicaid Estate Recovery Program. Its sole purpose is to seize money from the estates of deceased Medicaid recipients and then plop the recovered funds back into the state’s coffers. The government, acting through a contractor called Health Management Systems, Inc. (HMS), does this by filing a claim in probate.       Why is this a prudent financial maneuver by the government? Because although Medicaid is a needs-based program,...

The Cruise Conundrum – Suing is not Easy Sailing

There have always been murmurs, interrupted by occasional shouts, about the dark side of traveling on a cruise ship. Some of the stories – of passengers falling overboard and drowning, burning to death in an on-board fire, being sexually assaulted, smashing onto a deck after a cord broke on an onboard bungee jump – are horrific. If any of these incidents had occurred in a hotel or recreational park on...

Shedding the Unwanted Houseguest – A Road Map to Deal with Squatters

“Friends, Relatives, In-laws, lend me your ears.  I have come to bury our relationship, not to praise it.  You need to leave my house now.” Feel free to tweak the foregoing to fit your situation.  Shakespeare most assuredly will not mind. There are few situations more fraught with anxiety than dealing with a houseguest turned squatter.  You might be dealing with an adult child who moves back home for “just a...

Amateur Hour – Loans to Family Members Can Be Complicated

During the Years of Plenty, when you could simply throw money into the air and have it return three-fold, intra-family loans were a rarity.   Ah, but that was before the dawning of the year of Coronavirus.  Nowadays family loans are depressingly common, often being the only buffer between economic survival and pandemic- inspired bankruptcy.    If you find yourself lending money to a family member, there are some points to keep in...
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