Legal Talk

Permitless Carry – Handguns In Texas

On June 17, 2021, Governor Greg Abbott signed into law a bill affirming what every Texan, deep-down, has always believed: law-abiding citizens over 21 have a right to carry handguns in public. No license, permit or test required. Before you grab your handgun, however, you should know some details of this “permitless carry” law. You can carry the handgun openly or concealed, but it must be in a holster. Only qualified Texas...

Love and Affection: As Seen Through the Eyes of Justice

As we prepare to celebrate Valentine’s Day, let’s take a moment to ruminate on how judges through the ages have addressed love and affection. We’ll start with Justice Jackson of the US Supreme Court, who authored a dissenting opinion for a 1942 case involving two people who had left their homes and respective spouses and set up housekeeping as husband and wife. Jackson first lamented that the case involved three...

Practice Makes Perfect: The First Forty Years 

This year will mark the beginning of my 5th decade of practicing law. Lawyers traditionally commemorate such a major milestone by reflecting on how the practice of law has changed over the years. I won’t be doing that. The truth is that the practice of law has not changed in the last 40 years. Lawyers act today like lawyers acted 40 years ago. Judges still act like judges and clients still...

Court Rules on Scary Costume Contribution

The time was Halloween night. The year was 1921. The setting was a public streetcar located in Fort Worth, Texas. Two boys, dressed in clown costumes, boarded the streetcar for purposes unknown. Once the streetcar resumed its journey, the boys began walking down the aisle toward the front. Suddenly, the streetcar stopped. One of the boys fell to the floor and skidded forward until he hit an upright iron rod in...

The Dirty Dozen Scams, 2021 Style

Every year the IRS publishes a “Dirty Dozen” list of scams. The 2021 list is must-read. Pandemic Scams We start our count-down with the pandemic-related scams. Top is the stimulus payment theft, which comes in the form of text messages, phone calls and emails asking about bank account information or requesting recipients to click on a link or verify personal data to receive the payment. These should be deleted without opening....

The Rule Against Perpetuities Fades Away

If you are the grantor, beneficiary, creditor, trust protector, CPA, financial advisor, attorney or trustee of a trust, or if you just generally think trusts are a nifty idea and want to learn more, then you will find this of interest. The Rule Against Perpetuities for trusts in Texas is going on life support as of September 1, 2021 and Texas dynasty trusts are now a real thing. No fooling;...

Looking For the Storybook Ending – Plan Before the Crisis

The storybook picture of aging looks something like this: grandfather sitting comfortably in his cozy chair in his tidy home, beverage of choice at hand, his multi-generational family gathered ‘round as he relates yet another folksy, but morally instructive, story garnered from his long and fulfilling life. The alternative picture of aging looks something like this: grandfather, thirsty and alone, sitting in a worn chair in his dirty home surrounded...

Wellness Checks and the Fourth Amendment: A Safety Net for the Elderly

It isn’t often that the folks on the United States Supreme Court talk about the elderly falling at home, but that is exactly what happened in a recent opinion.  What is a Wellness Check?  A wellness, or welfare, check is when police go by a person’s home to check that person’s well-being. To define the issue, we turn to the example given by Justice Kavanaugh: “Suppose that an elderly man is...

Epitaph Examples – Having The Last Word

What Is An Epitaph? Epitaph n. An inscription on a tomb, showing that virtues acquired by death have a retroactive effect. Following is a touching example: Here lie the bones of Parson Platt,/ Wise, pious, humble and all that,/ Who showed us life as all should live it;/ Let that be said — and God forgive it! Short Epitaph Examples Your epitaph may be your last and best chance to rewrite your history. Do...

What Is An Inventory Sheet In A Texas Divorce?

By Jennifer Lynn Alcock, Paralegal Your petition for divorce has been filed. You are in the throes of Texas Family Law and Texas Civil Procedure. Your head is spinning and your to do list is growing. A good law firm will guide you through the divorce process but be aware that your participation will be required. One of the many possible participation opportunities for you will be creating an Inventory Sheet....

You Can Now Be Sued Through Your Social Media Account

You are sitting at home scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed, and you see that you have a new message. When you click on it, you see the words “You have been sued.” This is a joke, right? Unfortunately, no. Your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts became toxic on December 31, 2020. If you blinked, then you might have missed it. That is the day the new rules for serving legal documents...

Religious Freedom Restoration Act – How It Works

A new year and a new cause of action – life doesn’t get any better than that. Unless, of course, you are a government official. That is because the new cause of action makes you, the government official, personally liable for your wrongdoing. What Is The Religious Freedom Restoration Act? It all centers on a federal law known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which generally prohibits the government from placing a...
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