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The Seat Belt Defense In Texas., Brian T. Bagley Jan 2004

The Seat Belt Defense In Texas., Brian T. Bagley

St. Mary's Law Journal

This Comment calls upon Texas courts to recognize the seat belt defense as a form of comparative responsibility. It has become standard procedure for Americans riding in motor vehicles to “buckle up.” Seat belt usage has risen since 1994, steadily increasing to seventy-five percent in 2002, with an increase of two percent in the last year alone. Many American jurisdictions, however, still refuse to allow evidence of seat belt use or nonuse to be considered in civil suits. Courts do not allow the failure to wear a safety belt in violation of the mandatory seat belt usage statute to be …


Legal Malpractice: When The Legal System Turns On The Lawyer Third Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice & Professional Responsibility: Essay., Jennifer Knauth Jan 2004

Legal Malpractice: When The Legal System Turns On The Lawyer Third Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice & Professional Responsibility: Essay., Jennifer Knauth

St. Mary's Law Journal

What happens when a lawyer becomes a defendant in a legal malpractice case? Much has been written about the shortcomings of the adversary system as measured against its theoretical goals and assumptions. One significant assumption underlying the adversary system is that there is an equal playing field among litigants. The reality of a legal malpractice case is at odds with this ideal. The prevailing cultural bias against lawyers as gatekeepers and beneficiaries of the legal system permeates every aspect of a legal malpractice case. One effect of this cultural bias is the lawyer-defendant's very personal and disproportionate experience with the …


What Attorneys Should Know: A Comprehensive Analysis Of Proposed Rule 8a Third Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice & Professional Responsibility: Recent Development., Kellie E. Billings Jan 2004

What Attorneys Should Know: A Comprehensive Analysis Of Proposed Rule 8a Third Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice & Professional Responsibility: Recent Development., Kellie E. Billings

St. Mary's Law Journal

Abstract Forthcoming.


Legal Malpractice In Texas: Examining Selected Cases And Forecasting Future Trrends Third Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice & Professional Responsibility: Symposium Presentations., Wallace B. Jefferson Jan 2004

Legal Malpractice In Texas: Examining Selected Cases And Forecasting Future Trrends Third Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice & Professional Responsibility: Symposium Presentations., Wallace B. Jefferson

St. Mary's Law Journal

Little hard data exists concerning legal malpractice in Texas. What’s more, few legal law malpractice rulings are published. To date, there are only fifty written opinions on legal malpractice from Texas intermediate appellate courts. The activity that most often gave rise to a claim of legal malpractice involved the preparation, filing, and transmittal of documents, accounting for about a quarter of all claims. In San Antonio, Chief Justice Alma Lopez of the Fourth District Court of Appeals discussed common issues she sees in her courtroom. The issues ranged from failures to follow simple court rules to more substantial failures of …


Aboilishing The Texas Jury Shuffle., Michael M. Gallgher Jan 2004

Aboilishing The Texas Jury Shuffle., Michael M. Gallgher

St. Mary's Law Journal

This Article argues that the Texas Legislature should abolish the jury shuffle and join the other forty-nine states who have already done so. The jury shuffle, when requested, is a procedure which results in a random shuffling of the names of the jury pool members. Texas attorneys currently possess an entirely cost and risk free procedure through which they can discriminate against potential jurors on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, or anything else that suits their fancy. An attorney can request a jury shuffle without stating a reason and a judge cannot ask why a shuffle was requested or …


Playing The Probate Card: A Plaintiff's Guide To Transfer To Statutory Probate Court., Joseph R. Marrs Jan 2004

Playing The Probate Card: A Plaintiff's Guide To Transfer To Statutory Probate Court., Joseph R. Marrs

St. Mary's Law Journal

Plaintiffs and defendants in tort litigation by or against a probate estate can be better-litigated in statutory probate court. Since the 1970s, Texas probate courts have steadily risen to power. The Texas Supreme Court attempted to curtail this practice in Seay v. Hall. The Texas legislature overruled Seay and continued to expanded the jurisdiction of statutory probate courts. Despite the continuing “merry dance” between the legislation and judicial review, the legitimate purpose of expanding lawsuits to probate court remains that of efficiently resolving lawsuits linked to guardianship or decedents’ estates while preserving all parties’ interests. The author uses an example …


The Texas Courts' Adventures In Locating Texas Coastal Boundaries: Redrawing A Line In The Sand: Kenedy Memorial Foundation V. Dewhurst Defining An Exception To Luttes V. State., Thomas M. Murray Jan 2004

The Texas Courts' Adventures In Locating Texas Coastal Boundaries: Redrawing A Line In The Sand: Kenedy Memorial Foundation V. Dewhurst Defining An Exception To Luttes V. State., Thomas M. Murray

St. Mary's Law Journal

Kenedy Memorial Foundation v. Dewhurst determined the boundary of the Laguna Madre by narrowing the scope of the exception found in Luttes v. State. Luttes established the “mean high tide” test (MHHT), which governs lands controlled by civil law. The MHHT determines a boundary by the mean of the high tide without regard to a summer or winter tide. The exception, however, does not require the application of the MHHT in areas in which tidal gauges could not be used accurately. The Laguna Madre is a shallow strip of water, ranging between three and five miles in width, running between …


United States V. Bean: Shoveling After The Elephant., Pannal Alan Sanders Jan 2004

United States V. Bean: Shoveling After The Elephant., Pannal Alan Sanders

St. Mary's Law Journal

Over the years Congress has enacted and amended several versions of the United States Code (U.S.C) § 925(c). Several reported cases illustrate the courts’ early efforts to develop a coherent body of jurisprudence with respect to the procedural and substantive aspects of U.S.C. § 925(c) judicial review. Specifically, the § 925(c) denials of relief by the Director before the congressional appropriations ban commenced in 1993. Although the methodology and reasoning behind these decisions differ in their details, several themes are discernable. First, even without the express provisions for judicial review added by the Firearms Owners Protection Act (FOPA), courts consistently …


Stranded In The Wastelands Of Unregulated Roadway Police Powers: Can Reasonable Officers Ever Rescue Us., Keith S. Hampton Jan 2004

Stranded In The Wastelands Of Unregulated Roadway Police Powers: Can Reasonable Officers Ever Rescue Us., Keith S. Hampton

St. Mary's Law Journal

This Article describes the present state of roadway police power and explores the vulnerability of drivers and occupants to police abuse, specifically using pretextual stops. Today, state and federal courts have made many police power accommodations to the constitutional reasonableness requirement. Current Fourth Amendment jurisprudence justifies almost all conceivable police seizures of people in vehicles. If the police officer can point out any traffic law violation, he can arrest. And if he can arrest under those circumstances, then the already blurred line between detentions and arrest becomes inconsequential, constitutionally speaking. This Article proposes that the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals …


Punishment Evidence: Grunsfeld Ten Years Later., Edward L. Wilkinson Jan 2004

Punishment Evidence: Grunsfeld Ten Years Later., Edward L. Wilkinson

St. Mary's Law Journal

This Article deals with the admissible evidence during the punishment phase of a non-capital trial in Texas. In 1989, the Texas Legislature amended Article 37.07, Section 3(a) of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure to widen the scope of evidence admissible during the punishment phase of a non-capital trial. Grunsfel v. State, the leading case, the Court of Criminal Appeals interpreted the statute so narrowly as to render the changes meaningless. In 1993, the legislature amended the statute a second time; it provided for a more expansive range of evidence to be introduced, but deleted a critical definition of what …


A National Tax Bar: An End To The Attorney-Accountant Tax Turf War., Katherine D. Black, Stephen T. Black Jan 2004

A National Tax Bar: An End To The Attorney-Accountant Tax Turf War., Katherine D. Black, Stephen T. Black

St. Mary's Law Journal

Abstract Forthcoming.


For Any Reason Or No Reason At All: Reconciling Employment-At-Will With The Rights Of Texas Workers After Mission Petroleum Carriers Inc. V. Solomon., Jason P. Lemons Jan 2004

For Any Reason Or No Reason At All: Reconciling Employment-At-Will With The Rights Of Texas Workers After Mission Petroleum Carriers Inc. V. Solomon., Jason P. Lemons

St. Mary's Law Journal

Since its inception, Texas has been a favored destination for both up-start entrepreneurs and established corporations. One of the less heralded, but nonetheless significant factors that makes Texas so attractive to businesses is its long-standing devotion to the doctrine of at-will employment. The doctrine generally states that any employment relationship not governed by contract or a statutory provision is terminable at any time by either the employer or the employee for any reason or no reason at all. At-will employment has been praised by courts and commentators for the flexibility it offers both parties in decision making. Nevertheless, the at-will …


New Texas Ad Litem Statute: Is It Really Protecting The Best Interests Of Minor Children Third Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice & Professional Responsibility: Comment., Mary E. Hazlewood Jan 2004

New Texas Ad Litem Statute: Is It Really Protecting The Best Interests Of Minor Children Third Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice & Professional Responsibility: Comment., Mary E. Hazlewood

St. Mary's Law Journal

Abstract Forthcoming.


The Charity Oversight Authority Of The Texas Attorney General., John W. Vinson Jan 2004

The Charity Oversight Authority Of The Texas Attorney General., John W. Vinson

St. Mary's Law Journal

The Attorney General of Texas is the only elected official charged with regulating the state’s charitable interest. This duty and authority over charitable assets and entities are comprehensive and unique in themselves. Although the broader state representation role of American attorneys general has evolved considerably and been substantively codified in the statutory law, the area of charity regulations has remained remarkably true to its common law root. This Article will briefly examine the early roots of charity regulation and then discuss the authority and duties of the Attorney General of Texas in the modern context of charity regulation. In Texas, …


School Voucher Programs: Has The Supreme Court Pulled Up The Gangplank To Establishment Clause Challenges., Cecil C. Kuhne Iii Jan 2004

School Voucher Programs: Has The Supreme Court Pulled Up The Gangplank To Establishment Clause Challenges., Cecil C. Kuhne Iii

St. Mary's Law Journal

The Establishment Clause is not violated when a program is neutral toward religion and provides assistance directly to a broad class of citizens, who in turn voluntarily direct the aid to religious schools. A program containing these features permits government aid to reach religious institutions only thru the deliberate choices of individuals. Any incidental advancement or endorsement of religion is attributable to the individual recipient—not the government, which simply acts as a disburser. In Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, the Supreme Court reiterated this rationale from a twenty-year line of cases. Zelman is a death knell for Establishment Clause challenges to carefully …


Predatory Paternity Establishment: A Critical Analysis Of The Acknowledgment Of Paternity Process In Texas., Anne Greenwood Jan 2004

Predatory Paternity Establishment: A Critical Analysis Of The Acknowledgment Of Paternity Process In Texas., Anne Greenwood

St. Mary's Law Journal

Child support programs across the nation are struggling to achieve even meager recovery of the financial support children need from their parents. Obtaining child support payments from men who are not fathers and who unknowingly signed their rights away is not a sound long-term policy. States must ensure that children are supported and their custodial mothers receive assistance from non-custodial fathers. Logically, the law should only compel a man to support a child he fathered. If a man chooses to assume not only the financial obligation but also the relationship which belongs to the biological father; then such agreement must …


Hines 57: The Catchall Case To The Texas Kidnapping Statute., Karen Bartlett Jan 2004

Hines 57: The Catchall Case To The Texas Kidnapping Statute., Karen Bartlett

St. Mary's Law Journal

This Recent Development asserts that the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals’ refusal to define “substantial interference” in relation to the kidnapping statute, opens the floodgates for every act of confinement or movement committed in the course of a substantive offense constituting kidnapping. The Court maintains it is up to the jury to define the term. If the Texas Legislature does not narrowly define the kidnapping statute, virtually every assault, robbery, sexual assault, and some murders will constitute both the substantive offense plus kidnapping. Furthermore, such logic would in effect bootstrap murder into capital murder, which happened in Herrin v. State. …


Is Sue And Be Sued Language A Clear And Unambiguous Waiver Of Immunity., A. Craig Carter Jan 2004

Is Sue And Be Sued Language A Clear And Unambiguous Waiver Of Immunity., A. Craig Carter

St. Mary's Law Journal

Because “sue and be sued” language is ambiguous at best, courts should not find that this language is a waiver of immunity. Under Texas law, governmental entities—including the state, its agencies, and political subdivisions—are entitled to sovereign immunity from both suit and liability. For sovereign immunity to be applicable to governmental entities, sovereign immunity applies unless the legislature has clearly and unambiguously waived it. Although numerous Texas appellate courts have held that “sue and be sued” language is a waiver of sovereign immunity, the Texas Supreme Court has squarely addressed the issue only once, in Missouri Pacific Railroad Co. v. …


A Continuing Whimsical Search For The True Meaning Of The Term Products Liability Litigation., Charles E. Cantu Jan 2004

A Continuing Whimsical Search For The True Meaning Of The Term Products Liability Litigation., Charles E. Cantu

St. Mary's Law Journal

Abstract Forthcoming.


Decriminalizing Sexual Conduct: The Supreme Court Ruling In Lawrence V. Texas., Jessica A. Gonzalez Jan 2004

Decriminalizing Sexual Conduct: The Supreme Court Ruling In Lawrence V. Texas., Jessica A. Gonzalez

St. Mary's Law Journal

Throughout America, homosexual men and women have fought for the protection of their constitutional rights; gay men, lesbian women, and bisexual persons have petitioned the government for marital rights, adoption privileges, and recognition in the armed forces. While American culture has changed to include homosexuals in its daily life, the judicial branch has been hesitant in accepting gay culture within the legal system. While American courts remained reluctant to invalidate anti-sodomy statutes, Lawrence v. Texas pushed homosexual issues to the forefront. Gay activists demanded that the courts recognize homosexual individuals as persons deserving of constitutional protections. In doing so, Lawrence …


Family Violence Protective Orders In Texas And Appelate Review: Are They Meant For Each Other., Manuel C. Maltos Jan 2004

Family Violence Protective Orders In Texas And Appelate Review: Are They Meant For Each Other., Manuel C. Maltos

St. Mary's Law Journal

Historically, protective orders have been viewed as an effective civil legal recourse for those affected by family violence. Title Four of the Texas Family Code governs these protective orders and sets forth the requirements for obtaining such an order. With consistent improvements to Title Four, the legislature has responded to society's decreasing tolerance of family violence. As a result, now the Family Code mandates the issuance of a protective order as provided by Title Four, regardless of whether a divorce is pending. Further legislative efforts also lengthened the maximum duration of a protective order from one year to two years. …


Hipaa Implications For Attorney-Client Privilege Third Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice & (And) Professional Responsibility., Alex L. Bednar Jan 2004

Hipaa Implications For Attorney-Client Privilege Third Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice & (And) Professional Responsibility., Alex L. Bednar

St. Mary's Law Journal

Abstract Forthcoming.


Ethical Issues In Judicial Campaigns Third Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice & Professional Responsibility: Symposium Presentations., Micahel E. Keasler Jan 2004

Ethical Issues In Judicial Campaigns Third Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice & Professional Responsibility: Symposium Presentations., Micahel E. Keasler

St. Mary's Law Journal

Abstract Forthcoming.


Confidentiality, Corporate Counsel, And Competition Law: Representing Multi-National Corporations In The European Union Third Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice & Professional Responsibility: Symposium Presentations., Sue Bentch Jan 2004

Confidentiality, Corporate Counsel, And Competition Law: Representing Multi-National Corporations In The European Union Third Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice & Professional Responsibility: Symposium Presentations., Sue Bentch

St. Mary's Law Journal

Professional ethics for corporate counsel in the European Union (EU) differs from the standards required in the United States. Consequently, conflicts may arise when US corporations deal with EU countries. For instance, if an issue regarding confidentiality emerges, the company bears the burden to prove to the European Commission that a particular document is protected from disclosure. Under EU’s Regulation 17, the European Commissioner has broad powers to investigate and adjudicate suspected violations of EU competition law. The Commissioner is the equivalent of an investigator, prosecutor, judge, and jury, all rolled into one. If a communication from a company was …


Civillity In The Legal Profession: A Survey Of The Texas Judiciary., Catherine M. Stone, Kimberlyl S. Keller, Shane J. Stolarczyk Jan 2004

Civillity In The Legal Profession: A Survey Of The Texas Judiciary., Catherine M. Stone, Kimberlyl S. Keller, Shane J. Stolarczyk

St. Mary's Law Journal

Abstract Forthcoming.


The Texas Cave Bug And The California Arroyo Toad Take On The Constitution's Commerce Clause., Daniel J. Lowenberg Jan 2004

The Texas Cave Bug And The California Arroyo Toad Take On The Constitution's Commerce Clause., Daniel J. Lowenberg

St. Mary's Law Journal

Abstract Forthcoming.


Texas's Statutory Exclusionary Rule: Analyzing The Inadequacies Of The Current Application Of Other Person(S) Pursuant To Article 38.23(A) Of The Texas Code Of Criminal Procedure., Nathan L. Mechler Jan 2004

Texas's Statutory Exclusionary Rule: Analyzing The Inadequacies Of The Current Application Of Other Person(S) Pursuant To Article 38.23(A) Of The Texas Code Of Criminal Procedure., Nathan L. Mechler

St. Mary's Law Journal

Abstract Forthcoming.


A Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose - Or Is It - Fiduciary And Dtpa Claims Against Attorneys Third Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice & (And) Professional Responsibility., James M. Parker Jr., Thomas H. Watkins, Rachel L. Noffke Jan 2004

A Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose - Or Is It - Fiduciary And Dtpa Claims Against Attorneys Third Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice & (And) Professional Responsibility., James M. Parker Jr., Thomas H. Watkins, Rachel L. Noffke

St. Mary's Law Journal

Abstract Forthcoming.