In an ongoing lawsuit by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against a Texas man it has accused of defrauding investors in a Ponzi scheme involving the popular "virtual currency" Bitcoin, Federal Magistrate Judge Amos Mazzant of the Eastern District of Texas re-affirmed in August his earlier denial of the defendants' motion to dismiss. In his ruling, Judge Mazzant held that Bitcoin is "money" and that contracts involving the investment of Bitcoin rather than traditional currency are nonetheless subject to federal securities law. In an ironic twist, the ruling lends credibility to Bitcoin as a currency while simultaneously allowing the government to proceed in a case highlighting Bitcoin's risks and to potentially subject it to closer regulation-certainly an uncomfortable situation for a currency whose entire point is to serve as an alternative to government-sponsored legal tender.
Takata, a Japanese parts supplier company, has recalled more than 14 million cars that are equipped with their faulty airbags. These airbags have the potential to explode, injure, and even kill vehicle occupants. Takata has supplied these defective airbags to a number of American, Japanese, and German automakers over several years. Last year, Takata's automaker clients ordered the largest airbag-related recall in history.
A recent review by the Dallas Morning News discovered that Texas was the deadliest state for construction workers in the country. Within a nine year period from 2002-2012, Texas had 4,593 reported deaths. Many of these fatalities were related to electrical contracting, roofing, and framing jobs. The leading cause of death among construction workers are falls on the worksite.
Possibly as early as October, 2014, the City of Houston will install a two-way protected bike lane. The projected bike lane will be installed along Lamar Street in downtown Houston. It should help connect the Downtown are to both the Buffalo Bayou and Columbia Tap Trails. Initial plans call for the bike lane to be distinguished from the existing black-top road by being painted green. The bike trial will further be separated form vehicle traffic by what is called an armadillo. An armadillo is a hard plastic round hump which extends a few inches from the road. It is often used to designate a specific lane for certain types of traffic. In this case it will be used to designate a bicycle-only lane.
Yesterday, I was called upon to address "dram shop" claims, and it reminded me again about the substantial protections the Legislature and courts have attempted to provide to bar owners to reduce their liability.
Late last night, two men were killed and a child injured when two pickup trucks collided nearly head-on on North Main in Baytown. The 3-year-old child was rushed to Hermann Hospital in critical condition. There is no word yet as to the cause of the collision, as police are still investigating.
Shortly after an Afghan-born surgeon named Aria Sabit arrived in Ventura, Calif., local hospital staffers noticed he developed a preference for an obscure brand of spinal implants for many of his surgeries. The Wall Street Journal recently reported about the story of Dr. Sabit and others like him.
On March 22, 2013, a large flight information sign at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Birmingham, Alabama fell on a family returning home from a Florida vacation. The flight information sign, which was made of metal and glass and weighed as much as 400 pounds, was part of a $200 million airport renovation. The falling sign severely injured a mother, three children and killed 10-year-old Luke Bresette.
By now it should be common knowledge that truck and automobile drivers who are not well rested pose a danger on the roadways. Although awareness about driving safety has been at its all-time high, and even with steady initiative to implement stricter regulations on truck drivers, there has been an 18% increase in fatal truck accidents since 2009.
As many lawyers know, law school can be not only demanding of one's time and energy, but also on one's bank account. Fortunately, the Mexican-American Bar Association of Texas Foundation (MABATx Foundation) hosted its Ninth Annual Scholarship Luncheon benefitting Hispanic scholarships for law students. The scholarships are awarded to outstanding law students who best exemplify leadership, commitment, justice and equality within the Hispanic community and beyond. Scholarships are awarded to law students from each of the three Houston-based law schools.