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August 2008 Archives

White Collar Practice for the Business Lawyer and In-House Counsel

I attended the South Texas College of Law Houston Seminar on July 31, 2008 to listen to various speakers on the program entitled "White Collar Practice for the Business Lawyer and In-House Counsel". It was a well attended seminar with various district attorneys, U.S. attorneys, criminal defense lawyers and lawyers who participated as speakers in this program. This program had an excellent turnout at South Texas College of Law Houston for a two day period and the information was extremely important to those in attendance, especially in light of the recent Enron litigation and other corporate white collar crimes and lawsuits.

The Hispanic National Bar Association Publishes its Inaugural Edition of the Journal of Law & Policy

The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) has published its inaugural edition of the Journal of Law & Policy, co-edited by bagosto@abrahamwatkins.com, Jr. and Jimmie Reyna. This publication is the culmination of the dedication and hard work of many over the span of three HNBA administrations.

3rd Annual MABATx Foundation Luncheon

As many lawyers know, law school can be not only demanding of one's time, but also on one's bank account. Fortunately, the Mexican-American Bar Association of Texas Foundation (MABATx Foundation) will host their Third Annual Luncheon benefiting Hispanic law student scholarships this Thursday, August 21, 2008 at the Downtown Doubletree Hotel in Houston. Scholarships are awarded to outstanding law students who best exemplify leadership, commitment, justice and equality within the Hispanic community and beyond. "It is important that we encourage a new generation of lawyers to have the courage and strength to be committed to their clients but also committed to their communities," said attorney bagosto@abrahamwatkins.com, Jr., founder of MABATx Foundation and partner at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels & Friend in Houston. A scholarship is awarded to one law student from each of the three Houston-based law schools. The MABATx Foundation is a non-profit organization founded to encourage justice and leadership within the Hispanic community.

Another Bus Operator Put Out Of Service

The Federal Motor Carrier Administration put a Dallas-area based bus operator, Autobuses Rio Verde, out of service on August 22, 2008. A bus operating under the USDOT number and Motor Carrier number of Autobuses Rio Verde was involved in a fatal bus crash accident on July 3, 2008, just south of the U.S. / Mexico border. Since the accident occurred in Mexico, it escaped investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. However, Texas residents were on the bus and several passengers had purchased round-trip tickets from a location on Telephone Road in Houston, Texas.

Sherman Bus Crash - Operator Error Or Product Defect? Or Both?

As most of you already know, last Friday a fully occupied motor coach went off the road near Sherman, Texas and fell into a creek. When our team arrived at the scene, the National Transportation Safety Board had secured the bus. The scene showed ample evidence of death and destruction that had ensued the night before. Skid and gouge marks showed where the bus, carrying 54 passengers and 1 driver, had left the roadway and fell into a creek. Seventeen passengers were killed and everyone else on the bus was injured. One of the survivors later recounted the events during a press conference and stated she remembered bodies flying during the crash. The question that arises is, could the massive scale of casualties been avoided?

What Qualifications Should I Look For In a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Claimants do not know in advance they are going to be victims of an accident, and their first contact with a lawyer is often after their accident. An examination of the qualifications of the lawyer you are considering is crucial. There are many tools available to help you - the internet, firm websites and legal publications. So what do you look for?

It's All About Where You Land

I'm that woman, the one who was let go from a prominent Houston law firm while on bed rest. I went into pre-term labor with my second child at just 22 weeks of pregnancy. At that point, my son was not viable outside the womb. I was let go from my unpaid leave three months later. I am very happy to report that my son was born healthy and is still growing strong today. However, it is with much regret that I report that my termination is not surprising, nor am I alone.

Settlement of Death Case Seeks Social Change

The firm's recent settlement of the wrongful death claim brought by the family of 18 year old Jack Phoummarath has resulted not only in a monetary recovery, but also has an added educational program and scholarship opportunity seeking to save the lives of teenagers and young adults. Jack Phoummarath was a freshman at the University of Texas when he died as the result of alcohol poisoning following a fraternity initiation party. Survived by his parents, brothers and sisters, the family filed suit against the fraternity, its members and others who attended the party.

C.P.R.C. Section 18.091(a) Does Not Apply to Personal Injury Cases

I recently wrote this paper on Section 18.091(a) of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code because defense attorneys kept trying to force plaintiffs to bring an accountant to trial to testify regarding how much their lost wages would be after taxes. It has been a long standing principle that those injured by another party's negligence should be fully compensated. In recent years, tort feasors have tried to limit their responsibility for their negligent actions. One attempt was to enact Section 18.091(a). However, the defense bar's interpretation of this section clearly conflicts with federal law.

Preparing Your Nervous Client For Trial

The most important element of any case is your client - she is exhibit A. The jury will be highly influenced by how well your client tells her facts at trial and whether she appears sincere. In most situations, your client has not previously been involved in a lawsuit and is consequently nervous about testifying at trial. I had one client in particular who was extremely nervous. I knew I had to calm her nerves so she would be comfortable in front of the jury. I scheduled three pre-trial meetings with her.

Court of Appeals Reverses Prior Ruling

The firm is pleased to announce the 14th Court of Appeals has recently reversed a prior ruling on an automobile accident case. The court now holds in favor of the firm's clients that Christopher Green, a Pasadena fireman, must bear responsibility for the serious injuries he caused a local boy and his parents when Green recklessly ran a red light en route to a false alarm. In a ruling issued on July 15, 2008, nine justices overruled a 2-1 opinion previously issued by a panel of the same court.

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