Category Archives: Political and/or Judicial

Does Boehner Have a Case? Six Key Points to the Obama-House of Representative Lawsuit


Recently the U.S. House of Representatives voted 225 to 201 to sue President Obama over allegations that he overreached his Constitutional authority when he made changes to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) without congressional approval. Here are six key points to consider about this historic lawsuit: Goes Further Than Previous Lawsuits According to Polifact.com, individual members […]

Confidentiality Agreements in Suit Over Texas Explosion Raise Safety Concerns


The Dallas Morning News reports that a lawsuit over the 2013 explosion of a fertilizer plant in West, TX contains “secrets” that “could keep valuable health and safety information hidden from the public forever.” The News notes that a judge “has approved confidentiality agreements requested by attorneys” that could mean that “even people who live in West […]

Skip Jury Duty and You’ll Pay, if Judges in Dallas County Get Their Way


I’ve been complaining for years about the pitifully small turnout for jury service in Dallas County and about the almost complete lack of enforcement. Now, maybe, the County is going to take action. Here are excerpts from an article in the Dallas Morning News: Dallas County residents who fail to show up for jury duty may […]

Watchdog’s Look at Charges of Favoritism in UT Law Admissions


This recent guest opinion piece in the Dallas Morning News wasn’t exactly surprising, but certainly was disappointing. The gist is that who you know or who you are can play an important role in whether you get admitted to the University of Texas School of Law. It’s terribly unfair to the applicants who would have been […]

Texas Attorney General Abbott Pushes to Block Disabled Texans’ Lawsuits Against State


The Dallas Morning News reports that while Attorney General Greg Abbott “has said he supports the Americans with Disabilities Act,” he “has tenaciously battled to block the courthouse door to disabled Texans who sue the state.” The piece notes that Abbott, who is wheelchair-bound after an accident nearly 30 years ago, “benefits from the ADA mandates that […]

Federal Judges Received Salary Increase on January 1


Bloomberg News reports that Federal judges “got five-figure raises” on January 1 “because of a court ruling that erased pay freezes going back to 1995.” Judicial salaries rose by 14 percent “as years of catch-up cost-of-living adjustments were added to their paychecks. ‘The law had promised them they would get these adjustments in the years all […]

Ninth Circuit: Army Not Liable for Death of Baby Born to Soldier Prematurely


This guest post is courtesy of Robert Reeves, a founding partner of The Reeves Law Group. Robert practices personal injury law in California, and has years of experience representing victims of negligence. A recent opinion from the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit calls into question the validity of a Supreme Court doctrine […]

Supreme Court’s Favorable Rating Slipping


USA Today reports that a USA Today poll of 1,003 adults by Princeton Survey Research Associates (+ / – 3.6%) found that “the country divides 43%-44% in approval-disapproval over the way the Supreme Court is doing its job,” the lowest favorable rating in eight years. While “a record majority of Americans approve of same-sex marriage,” with […]

U.S. Supreme Court Moving to the Right


USA Today reports that the Supreme Court’s recent rulings on college affirmative action programs and the Voting Rights Act “illustrate the increasingly clear pattern” that the Court’s conservative majority is slowing moving the law to the right and “doesn’t mind uprooting a few precedents or statutes along the way.” Chief Justice John Roberts has “kept the […]

Analyses: High Court Continues “Pro-Business Tilt” With Three New Rulings


USA Today reports that “a sharply divided Supreme Court sided with corporations against individuals in three cases last week,” which, taken together, “amplified the pro-business tilt of the court’s conservative majority.” All three cases, including two involving workplace discrimination that “prompted Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to call on Congress to intervene” and one that reversed a […]

U.S. Supreme Court Backs Use of Arbitration Over Class Actions


The New York Times reports that the Supreme Court on Thursday “reinforced the ability of corporations to impose arbitration on their customers” by ruling that “merchants could not bring a class-action suit against American Express, even if the cost of arbitrating individual claims is prohibitive.” Arbitration is usually seen by businesses as a cheaper and more efficient […]

Justice Alito Discusses Supreme Court Workings With Texas Lawyers


I was one of the many lawyers at the luncheon presentation by Justice Alito. I disagree with almost all his written case opinions, but I have to admit he gave an interesting and entertaining speech. The AP  reports from Dallas that Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito “came to the Supreme Court with two ideas about how […]

Number of Texas Civil Jury Trials Continues to Decline


Consumer lawyers have been trying to warn Texans for years now that our legal rights as residents of this state are slowly being taken away by the Legislature and the Texas Supreme Court. Sadly, most people either don’t believe us or don’t care. It’s just the classic situation of everyone thinking they’ll never need to […]

Texas Insurance Commissioner Kitzman May Have Withheld Annual Profit Numbers


I am so tempted to sing the song from The Wizard of Oz — “Ding Dong! The Witch is dead. Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch! Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch is dead.” But that would be just plain mean. So instead I’ll simply post some excerpts from an article in the Dallas Morning News that […]

Texas Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman Stepping Down?


I’ve written at least eight blog posts complaining, in one way or the other, about Texas Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman. I am especially unhappy with her refusal to question the continual rate increases instituted by Texas homeowner insurance companies. I know this should not be surprising coming from a Republican former insurance executive, but Ms. Kitzman […]

American Bar Association Warns Judges About Social Media Use


The National Law Journal reports, “Judges had best be careful with the tweeting and the friending, the American Bar Association has warned in issuing guidelines for jurists’ use of social media.” The Journal continues, “The ABA released its ethics opinion on February 21, following moves by a variety of states to address judges’ use of sites like […]

Texas Insurance Official Urges Judges to Roll Back State Farm Homeowner Rates


I’ve written repeatedly about the ridiculous system we have in Texas for homeowners insurance. The insurance companies raise their rates and the Department of Insurance may or may not comment on the raise. If the State objects to the raise, the raise still goes into effect, but the State can argue about it. Usually though […]

An Open Letter From Former Commissioners of SSA, Rebutting National Public Radio


There was an uncharacteristically incorrect story recently on National Public Radio. The subject was Social Security disability claims, and the conclusion was that money was being paid to undeserving claimants. Anyone who represents Social Security disability claimants can tell you this is an absolute joke. Ten times as many valid claims are rejected than invalid […]

Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Generic Drug Deals


The AP reports Supreme Court justices “appeared troubled Monday over whether to stop deals between pharmaceutical corporations and their generic drug competitors that the government says could keep cheaper forms of medicine from American consumers for longer periods of time.” The Justices heard arguments from the DOJ “against what the government calls ‘pay-for-delay’ deals or ‘reverse settlements.’” […]

Shocking News from the U.S. Supreme Court


Thomas breaks his silence during oral arguments. The New York Times reports, “Around 11:45 on Monday morning, Justice Clarence Thomas broke almost seven years of silence during Supreme Court arguments,” although his exact words could not be heard clearly. According to the Times’ account, “the justices were considering the qualifications of a death penalty defense lawyer in […]