Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Will There Be A Statewide Ban On Texting While Driving?

Originally published by Liggett Law Group.

Using a cell phone while driving is incredibly dangerous. Each year, thousands of drivers using their cell phone while driving cause car accidents resulting in serious and sometimes fatal injuries. Although most people know texting while driving is unsafe, many Texas drivers engage in this risky behavior anyway. However, Texas legislators are doing everything in their power to bring an end to car accidents caused by texting drivers.

The Texas House of Representatives tentatively voted 113-32 to approve a statewide ban on texting while driving. With no current statewide ban in place, some cities like Austin and San Antonio passed their own citywide bans. Unfortunately this does nothing for drivers outside of these cities, and millions of Texans remain at risk on the roadways.

The legislation will require a final vote in the House before being introduced into the Texas Senate. If passed, the legislation would classify texting while driving as a misdemeanor and drivers would be fined between $25 and $99 for the first offense, and between $100 and $200 for repeated offenses.

This is not the first time legislation banning texting while driving has passed in the Texas House. In 2011, 2013, and 2015, similar legislation was proposed and even passed in the Texas House. Unfortunately, in 2013 and 2015 the legislation died in the Texas Senate, and in 2011 the Texas governor vetoed the legislation.

However, this time around, the legislation has a lot more firepower. The number of accidents caused by texting drivers has continued to increase since 2011 and drivers are fed up with the risk.

According to the United States Department of Transportation, cell phones cause 1.6 million car crashes each year resulting in nearly half a million injuries and over 6,000 deaths.

Lubbock Texting and Driving Accident Lawyers

Reckless drivers need to be held responsible when they cause motor vehicle accidents. If a texting driver in Lubbock hit you or someone you love, the Lubbock texting and driving accident lawyers at Liggett Law Group can help. We can help you recover compensation to pay for medical bills, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.

The post Will There Be A Statewide Ban On Texting While Driving? appeared first on Liggett Law Group.

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Monday, March 27, 2017

Houston Legal Links

Originally published by Mary Flood.

Top legal news: In Closing Argument, Harris County Says Almost No Poor People Are Stuck in Jail; Stockman says he’ll be vindicated as lawyers brush off “deep state blame; Texas legal rates soar as national firms rush in (Chron subsc); Online Arbitration Policy Needs Explicit Notice: Texas Court (Law360); Austin mayor to meet with DHS secretary amid “sanctuary” debate; Sheriff: ICE arrests 26 parolees during community service; Baylor scandal sparks effort to end sexual assault statewide; Hackers increase attacks on energy sector computers (Chron subsc); ‘Lawyers Behaving Badly’: Firm Sues Former Lawyer, Alleging He Stole Client Information and Operated His Own Firm on the Side; Possible Discrimination Against White Straight Christian Raised in A&M Election Fiasco; First trial in 2015 Texas biker shootout delayed by judge; Chief Judge Stewart Appointed to Judicial Conference Executive Committee (Texas Lawbook); Retired HPD officer shoots neighbor to stop machete attack; At feisty town hall, Culberson stays course on Obamacare repeal; U.S. Rep. Ted Poe resigns from Freedom Caucus; Texas Jury Hits Motorola For $9M In HD Voice Patent Trial (Law360); Liquor regulators acknowledge Rangers haven’t cleared them; 18 Texas sheriffs step up to replace Harris County in Trump’s deportation push (Chron subsc); Texas ‘Small Tobacco’ Tax Beats Constitutional Challenge (Law360); How to make sure your voice gets heard at the Texas Capitol; Suspect arrested in Houston-area hit-and-run, 2 cyclists die; FAA resisted efforts to strengthen oversight of balloon industry (Chron susbc); Two teens charged in death of man found in burning dumpster& Falkenberg: At some public bathrooms there’s no debate, no signs (Chron subsc).

For the water cooler: Oregon judge allows video game designer to change sex to ‘agender’; Chicago officers faulted for misconduct went unpunished after their cases got lost in the system; The Law Schools With The Highest LSAT Scores; Utah adopts country’s toughest drunken driving standard; Supreme Court Says You Can Copyright Elements Of ‘Useful Articles’ — Which May Spell Disaster For 3D Printing & More; Corporate law prof is accused of stealing more than $4M from investors; Reinventing Professionals: From BigLaw partner to ethical hacker; Lawyer is among four killed in shootings at Wisconsin law office and bank; Biglaw Lawyers Behaving Badly: The Elite 8 (Part 2); Could Biglaw See Another Associate Pay Raise — Followed By A Recession? & Social workers charged with felony child abuse in boy’s death at the hands of his mother.

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Does Your Small Space Lease Have an Appropriate “Dark Space” Provision?

Originally published by Axel Lindholm.

Real Estate Attorneys Help Commercial Tenants in Sugar Land, Texas Negotiate “Go Dark” Provisions

The profitability of many small retailers and service providers is not only dependent upon factors over which the business owners have some measure of control, it is most likely also strategically linked to the existence of a nearby “anchor” or flagship tenant that brings traffic – and dollars – to the commercial property. Each time a large tenant customer drives by, he or she gets at least a glimpse of the small retailer or service provider.

Many Large Tenants Negotiate “Go Dark” Provisions in Leases

Many small businesses recognize that with size comes leverage. They often fail to understand that large tenants often use that leverage to gain some significant advantages in their leasehold terms – advantages that can work against the business interests of the smaller tenants. For example, while a small space lease will likely contain a provision requiring the owner to remain open for business during the term of the lease, many large lessees get the benefit of “go dark” clauses.

With a typical “go dark” clause, the large tenant can do just that – go dark and close its business – and not be in default, as long as it continues to pay its rent. While the landlord, of course, would prefer to have an active tenant, as long as its cash flow is protected, it can often afford to look the other way. Not so, however, for the small space tenant that needs the traffic from the anchor.

Experienced Small Space Tenants Shoot for “Dark Space” Clauses of Their Own

When negotiating a commercial lease for space that is dependent upon anchor tenant traffic, many experienced small space tenants hold out for “dark space” provisions of their own. Sometimes called “co-tenancy requirements,” these lease provisions provide for various alterations in the small tenant’s obligations should the anchor tenant vacate the premises. Typically, the rent may be reduced to some specified level – or even eliminated – during the period that the large space remains “dark.”

Care should be given to the wording of these small space dark space clauses, however. If poorly drafted, they can sometimes be defeated by the landlord’s showing that the large tenant hasn’t actually abandoned the anchor space. For example, a small security force may still be present. Security guards don’t generate traffic for the small tenant, of course. The dark space clause should provide protection for the small space tenant in any situation in which the large tenant is less than fully open and operating in a manner that is reasonable for tenants of that type.

Romano & Sumner: Experienced, Skilled Commercial Real Estate Attorneys

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Is your business contemplating a new commercial property lease of any type? Is your current commercial lease up for renewal? Is your business dependent – at least in part – on a nearby anchor tenant or other business? If so, consider retaining a solid, strong, legal partner to help you with the intricacies and headaches involved. Running a business is stressful enough; let the experienced attorneys at Romano & Sumner handle your business law matters.

At Romano & Sumner, we pride ourselves not only on our professionalism, but also upon our client service. We know that each situation is unique. We return phone calls within one business day. We keep our clients well informed as to the status of their case. We complete the work within the allotted time frame. Call us at 281-242-0995 or complete our online contact form.

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Much blame, but lame claim.

Originally published by David Coale.

An architecture firm held a large judgment against a bankruptcy debtor, and contended that the failure of the debtor’s insurer to object to that claim barred further dispute about the insurer’s liability. The Fifth Circuit disagreed, concluding that “in this no asset bankruptcy case, nothing in the court proceedings required claims allowance, no notice was provided to parties in interest to object to claims, and no bankruptcy purpose would have been served by the bankruptcy court’s adjudicating [the firm’s claim.” Kipp Flores Architects v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co., No. 16-20255 (March 24, 2017).

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Top 10 from Texas Bar Today: Apps, Copycats, and Stalkers

Originally published by Joanna Herzik.


10. Agree on These Litigation Rules to Level the Playing FieldZach Wolfe @zachwolfelaw of Fleckman & McGlynn, PLLC in The Woodlands

9. Texas Regional Haze: Fifth Circuit Grants EPA’s Motion to Remand the Texas Regional Haze FIPRichard Alonso and Whit Swift of Bracewell LLP @BracewellEnergy in DC

8. Pass the App: What Consumers Want in a Restaurant –  Darin Klemchuk of Klemchuk LLP @K_LLP in Dallas

7. What’s in a name?David Coale @600camp of Lynn Pinker Cox & Hurst, LLP in Dallas

6. Why I would not put Kodi on an Amazon Fire TV Stick (or any Streaming Device). – Robert Z. Cashman of Cashman Law Firm, PLLC @HoustonLawy3r in Houston

5. Is a Non-Compete Agreement Without Geographical Restriction Enforceable in Texas?Leiza Dolghih @TexasNonCompete of Godwin Lewis PC in Dallas

4. Can You File a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against a Stalker?Roberts & Roberts @robertslawfirm in Tyler

3. Man Charged with Cyberstalking After Strobe Tweet is Sent to Dallas Reporter –  Broden & Mickelsen, LLP @BrodenLaw in Dallas

2. Supreme Court to Fashion Copycats: Hands-Off Cheerleader Uniform’s Distinctive StripesAndrovett Legal Media & Marketing @AndrovettLegal

1. Willful Blindness or Deliberate Ignorance – Either One Can Get You in TroubleWalter James of James PLLC in Colleyville

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Texas Regional Haze: Fifth Circuit Grants EPA’s Motion to Remand the Texas Regional Haze FIP

Originally published by Energy Legal Blog ®.

On March 22, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit allowed EPA to revise and change the Texas Regional Haze Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) when it granted EPA’s motion to remand the plan to EPA for revision. FIPs are issued when EPA does not agree with the measures taken by States in their State Implementation Plan (SIP) and when EPA second-guesses a State’s regulatory decision making. The Obama Administration issued FIPs and overruled State judgment more than any other previous Administration.

Environmental Strategies
Richard Alonso, Whit Swift

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Separation Anxiety: How a Lawyer Can Smooth Out a Divorce

Originally published by Bob Kraft.

Divorce is almost always hard on couples, and in most cases it results in animosity between the ex-partners. There is need for divorce to be settled peacefully, not only because of the children, but also because of the high cost involved in court trials. The following are some of the strategies used by lawyers to smooth out divorce proceedings.


In most states, mediation is used to settle divorces peacefully. However, mediation does not work in cases where there has been domestic violence. During mediation talks, the lawyers from both sides sit with their clients and discuss the pertinent issues with the aim of arriving at unanimous solutions. In cases where this type of mediation fails, many advocates hire a designated professional mediator to preside over the main disputes in a divorce.


Lawyers will in some cases submit a case to arbitration. During arbitration, lawyers from both sides submit their cases to a law expert who upon listening to the evidence, looks into the legal solutions to the case before declaring their verdict. The decision made during formal arbitration is final; therefore, there can be no more court hearings. In informal arbitration, both lawyers seek advice from a family law expert. The legal expert will give a non-binding advisory ruling. In essence, an informal arbitration is the same as a court ruling. It gives both parties an idea of how the case would end up in a trial.


In most divorce cases, lawyers keep urging their clients to settle. Lawyers shed light on the facts of a divorce case, and when their clients are likely to get a raw deal in court, they usually advise them to settle. Many divorce attorneys continue pushing for a settlement up until the scheduled date for trial.

Narrowing Issues

When lawyers cannot fully agree to a settlement, they usually attempt to narrow down the issues that will be presented during trial. This prompts clients to agree to a partial settlement, and leave the pertinent issues to a trial. For example, if one spouse wants sole custody of the child and the other side agrees to it, there will be no need to pursue this issue during trial.

Motion Practice

When clients cannot agree on pertinent issues, like custody, or mortgage payments, the divorce attorneys will file motions. Motions will help the clients predict what the judge is likely to decide, and provokes them to reach an amicable solution.

In many cases, divorce matters take a long time to be finalized. Divorce lawyers use many approaches to ensure a divorce ends quickly and peacefully. Some of these strategies include mediation, arbitration, settlement, narrowing down issues, and filing of motions.

This article is from Brooke Chaplan, a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

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