Friday, April 21, 2017

Rental



Offices for rent in my building.  Trying to talk my lawyer friend into opening a branch of his law  offices to  Sealy so we can just fight and compete day and night.




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Federal judge steps down and denounces mandatory minimum sentences

Apr 17, 2017, 5:10 pm CDT


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Two Maryland Women Charged With Hate Crime For Burning Trump Sign

by jonathanturley
The two teenage girls in Maryland have been charged with hate crimes after they lit a Trump sign on fire.  The novel charge is based on the prosecutors treating Trump supporters as the protected group. It is quite a stretch from the conventional hate crime. The very notion of a hate crime has been criticized by civil libertarians as raising free speech and double jeopardy concerns.













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Princess Cruises Hit With Record $40 Million Fine After Knowing Effort To Pollute Waters And Later Cover Up

by jonathanturley
Princess Cruises, owned by parent company Carnival Corp., has been sentenced to a record $40 million penalty after a truly astonishing level of knowing criminal conduct in illegally dumping oily water overboard and the falsifying official logs.  What is astonishing is the failure to hit company officials with individual charges in long conspiracy to pollute U.S. waters.


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House Criminal Jurisprudence
On Monday, April 17, the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee considered a full agenda of bills. The following bills were among those voted favorably from the committee: 

  • HB 34 by Smithee (R-Amarillo) relating to measures to prevent wrongful convictions,
  • HB 72 by Keough (R-Woodlands) relating to the establishment, operation, and funding of victim-offender mediation programs, and
  • HB 2286 by Landgraf (R-Odessa) relating to the qualifications for service as a grand juror and to the selection of grand jurors.
Click here to listen to the archived committee broadcast.
The next committee meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 24. Among the bills to be considered are: 
  • HB 2200 by Hinojosa (D-Austin) relating to the medical use of marihuana,
  • HB 2315 by Landgraf (R-Odessa) relating to establishing a protective order registry and the duties of courts in regard to the registry,
  • HB 2450 by Koop (R-Dallas) relating to a warrant authorizing the search of a cellular telephone or other wireless communications device, and
  • HB 2586 by Thompson (D-Houston) relating to the electronic filing of bail bonds.
 Click here for the complete list of scheduled bills.
House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence
The House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee heard a variety of bills on Tuesday, April 18. Among the bills considered and left pending were:

  • HB 2457 by Meyer (R-Dallas) relating to recovery of attorney’s fees in certain civil cases, and
  • HB 3627 by Shaheen (R-Plano) relating to compliance with ethical and statutory requirements by out-of-state attorneys providing legal services in this state. 
Several previously considered bills were voted favorably from the committee, including: 
  • HB 45 by Flynn (R-Van) relating to the application of foreign laws and foreign forum selection in this state,
  • HB 214 by Canales (D-Edinburg) relating to a recording of certain proceedings of the Texas Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals and the publication of the recordings,
  • HB 1753 by Farrar (D-Houston) relating to authorizing a beneficiary designation that transfers a motor vehicle at the owner’s death, and
  • HB 3739 by Murr (R-Junction) relating to the distribution of the consolidated court cost.
Click here to listen to an archived committee broadcast.
The next meeting of the committee is scheduled for Tuesday, April 25. Click here to view the agenda. Among the bills to be considered are:
  • HB 1951 by Shaheen (R-Plano) relating to firm names used by licensed attorneys,
  • HB 2221 by Schofield (R-Katy) relating to a limitation on the amount of attorney’s fees awarded in a case assigned to a special three-judge district court, and
  • HB 3785 by Capriglione (R-Southlake) relating to associate judges and court reporters for certain family law cases and proceedings.
House Juvenile Justice & Family Issues
The House Juvenile Justice & Family Issues Committee met on Wednesday, April 19, and considered a variety of bills, all of which were left pending. Click here for the archived committee broadcast.
The committee agenda for next week was not posted in time for inclusion in the Friday Update. Current information on upcoming meetings for this committee can be found here.
Senate Criminal Justice
The Senate Committee on Criminal Justice met on Tuesday, April 18. Click here to view the agenda. Among the bills considered and voted favorably were: 

  • SB 1338 by Whitmire (D-Houston) relating to the pretrial release of a defendant and to funding for judicial continuing legal education, and
  • SB 1913 by Zaffirini (D-Laredo) relating to the administrative, civil, and criminal consequences, including fines, fees, and costs, imposed on persons arrested for, charged with, or convicted of certain criminal offenses.
The committee agenda for next week was not posted in time for inclusion in the Friday Update. Current information on upcoming meetings for this committee can be found here.
Senate State Affairs
The Senate Committee on State Affairs met on Thursday, April 20. Among the bills considered were four bills that are included in the State Bar Legislative package and described below.
Click here to listen to the archived broadcast. The committee recessed until Monday morning at 9 a.m. Current information on upcoming meetings for this committee can be found here.
Of Interest

  • HB 122 by Dutton (D-Houston), relating to the age of criminal responsibility and to certain substantive and procedural matters related to that age, was passed out of the House on Thursday, April 20.
  • SB 416 by Watson (D-Austin), relating to the composition of the board of directors of the State Bar of Texas, was passed out of the Senate on Wednesday, April 19.
State Bar Legislative Program
The following bills, included in the State Bar’s 2017 legislative program, changed status this week:
Construction Law:

  • HB 1844 by Workman (R-Austin), relating to choice of law and venue for certain construction contracts is scheduled to be heard in the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee on Tuesday, April 25.
  • SB 807 by Creighton (R-Conroe), relating to choice of law and venue for certain construction contracts was considered and left pending in the Senate State Affairs Committee on Thursday, April 20.
Family Law:
  • HB 1480 by Thompson (D-Houston), relating to a writ of mandamus by a court of appeals against an associate judge in certain cases, was considered and left pending in the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee on Tuesday, April 18.
  • HB 3806 by Dutton (D-Houston), relating to a suit for possession of or access to a child by a grandparent, was considered and left pending in the House Juvenile Justice and Family Issues Committee on Wednesday, April 19.
  • SB 1233 by Rodriguez (D-El Paso), relating to a writ of mandamus by a court of appeals against an associate judge in certain cases, was passed out of the Senate on Wednesday, April 19. 
LGBT Law:
  • HB 1848 by Coleman (D-Houston), relating to the repeal of the offense of homosexual conduct, was voted favorably from the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee on Monday, April 17. 
Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law:
  • HB 1022 by Wray (R-Waxahachie), relating to written declaration to designate a guardian before the need for a guardian arises, passed out of the House on Thursday, April 20.
  • HB 2158 by Parker (R-Flower Mound), relating to the adoption of the Texas Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, is scheduled to be heard in the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee on Tuesday, April 25.
  • SB 511 by Rodriguez (D-El Paso), relating to a written declaration to designate a guardian before the need for a guardian arises, was passed out of the Senate on Wednesday, April 19.
  • SB 513 by Rodriguez (D-El Paso), relating to the disposition of remains and anatomical gifts, was considered and left pending in the Senate State Affairs Committee on Thursday, April 20.
  • SB 926 by Rodriguez (D-El Paso), relating to durable powers of attorney, was considered and left pending in the Senate State Affairs Committee on Thursday, April 20.
  • SB 1017 by Rodriguez (D-El Paso), relating to decedents’ estates and certain posthumous gifts, was considered and left pending in the Senate State Affairs Committee on Thursday, April 20.
  • SB 1193 by Van Taylor (R-Plano), relating to the adoption of the Texas Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, was passed out of the Senate on Wednesday, April 19.
Subscribe to the Friday Update
If this edition of the Friday Update was forwarded to you, click here to become a new subscriber. If you would like to forward this Update to others, follow the link at the bottom of this page.
Calendar

  • The Senate adjourned until 2 p.m. on Monday, April 24.
  • The House of Representatives adjourned until 2 p.m. Monday, April 24.

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Free Speech Victory: Berkeley Reverses Decision On Coulter Speech

by jonathanturley
220px-Ann_Coulter_by_Gage_Skidmore_4Seal_of_University_of_California,_Berkeley.svg
The officials at the University of California at Berkeley have had a change of heart and agreed to the planned speech by conservative Ann Coulter.  The decision to cancel the speech was criticized on this blog and in other forums as the latest example of mob rule on our campuses.  The decision is a welcomed change.  Berkeley will now have to protect Coulter and those who want to hear her from the type of violent mob actions seen previously on that and other campuses.  This is by no means easy but it is a definitional test for an academic institution. We cannot be dictated to by the mob
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Tribune today

• Texas has 18 doses of lethal injection drugs in stock. Starting today, we're keeping track of movement in the state’s supply.

FDA officially bans Texas' attempted import of execution drugs



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TRIALS & LITIGATION

Don’t even think about protesting at hearings for Chicago cop charged with murder, judge says


judge gavel
After complaints that murder defendant and Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was being harassed by protesters at the criminal courts building, a Cook County Circuit Court judge said Thursday that individuals who continue such behavior would be held in contempt.
Judge Vincent M. Gaughan’s warning extends to anyone who brings a sign to the courthouse “and starts waving it around,” the Chicago Tribune reports.
“That’s not going to be allowed in this courtroom or outside of my courtroom,” Gaughan reportedly said at a Thursday status hearing for the case. “No matter what anybody’s charged with, no matter what anybody’s done, they should not be compelled to go through some type of harassment.”
Laquan McDonald was 17 when Van Dyke shot him 16 times, and protesters centered on Van Dyke’s case often refer to that number. He was charged with murder after a police dashboard camera video was released, and the footage led to a Department of Justice report that found that officers frequently use excessive force against people of color but are rarely disciplined. Since the indictment, Van Dyke has been suspended without pay.
The officer’s lawyer has asked the court to let his client stay home from hearings or use a courthouse entrance that allows him to avoid protesters, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The judge has not ruled on that motion.
A woman identified as Carolyn Ruff held a small, handwritten sign that read “Sixteen shots and a cover-up” toward Van Dyke as he exited the courtroom Thursday, both the Tribune and the Sun-Times report. She claims to have missed Gaughan’s warning about court protests and was let off with a warning from the judge.
Van Dyke’s family members also think they’ve been unfairly targeted following the police camera footage release. His wife, Tiffany Van Dyke, told the Tribune in March that her 16-year-old daughter had been harassed at school with the “16 shots” wording. Van Dyke also said she recently lost an opportunity to train as a Cook County sheriff’s deputy because of her husband’s murder charges.
A top aide to Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart told the Tribune that Tiffany Van Dyke’s tentative start date to enter the training program was delayed because of safety concerns about her working in the jail.
Jason Van Dyke now works part time as a janitor for the Fraternal Order of Police, earning $12 per hour, the Tribune reported.
Marvin Hunter, McDonald’s great-uncle, told the newspaper that he identifies with the officer’s family.
“I feel sorry for his children; I feel sorry for his wife,” Hunter said. “They’re feeling what we feel. We’ve all been dragged into something—a terrible tragedy that happened—that had nothing to do with us.”

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nicolete


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Indiana State University Professor Arrested For False Reports Of Anti-Islamic Assault

by jonathanturley
imgresAzhar Hussain, an assistant professor at Indiana State University, has been arrested for allegedly making false reports of anti-Islamic threats and an attack. Hussain, 56, teaches aviation technology.

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President Trump signed an executive order on tax reform at the Treasury Department on Friday.
Trump Vows to Unveil Tax-Cut Plan Next Week, Surprising Staff

By ALAN RAPPEPORT and MICHAEL D. SHEAR

Eager to roll back Dodd-Frank legislation and overhaul the tax code, President Trump directed the Treasury Department to review measures that would curtail corporate tax evasion.

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Technology
Investigators seized evidence from Roman Seleznev's computers of his hacking schemes and photographs of him with flashy sports cars.
Russian Hacker Sentenced to 27 Years in Credit Card Case

By NICOLE PERLROTH

The schemes of Roman Seleznev led to the theft and resale of more than two million credit card numbers, resulting in losses of at least $170 million.
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