Legal blog

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Why Limit Jurisprudence?

    Almost 40 years, I’ve been practicing law in Texas. A natural right, if not inclination, to pontificate follows. Eldering does that. Before I digress into subjects as fascinating as the wisdom obtained by school crossing guards who have been escorting children and parents across ambiguous intersections, honing skills for years, let me turn […]

Why Can’t I See My Grandchildren?

    I have represented grandparents seeking rights to see their grandchildren for many years. It was not until I became a grandparent, however, that I began to appreciate the effect of our current laws and how: they marginalize grandparents completely out of the family photo album, they negatively impact grandchildren by depriving them of […]

Does everyone need a Will?

Most of us do. The law divides the universe of assets into “probate assets” and “non-probate assets.” Probate assets typically have titles. Cars, real estate, some bank accounts, ownership in closely held businesses, all represent probate assets. Passing probate property to your heirs usually means a probate proceeding after death. That’s why we call it […]

Book Recommendation: How To Sweet-Talk a Shark

Written by Governor Bill Richardson, this is a master class for negotiators (and we are all negotiators). Chock full of unbelievable anecdotes, Richardson shares his persuasive methods with a healthy dose of humor and some good gossip about his relationship with the Clintons. Who else held hostage negotiations with the likes of Fidel Castro, Saddam […]

What is a Will and how does it differ from a Testament?

Simply put, a will is a legal document intended to state how your property will pass upon your death. It’s “revocable,” which means that you can revoke or change it anytime you want (until you lose your mind or die). The phrase “last will and testament” exemplifies how legalese grows legs and then walks on […]

Estate Planning for the Middle Class

Am I really “middle class”? I am. This is for my friends, neighbors, and clients who are fellow members of the middle class. I don’t aspire to be in the billionaire’s club, sounds too complicated, a “how to not smell the roses” lifestyle, and I have too little time for roses already just managing my […]

Camp David – Day 9

Kissinger’s opinion of Sadat: “His negotiating tactic was to never haggle over detail but to create an atmosphere that made disagreement psychologically difficult.” Carter begins Day 9 with a meeting of the lawyers: Baz, representing Egypt, and Barak, representing Israel, both legal wiz kids. I have yet to find evidence that Carter checked to see […]

Crisis Negotiation – Case Analysis

“My First Siege”[1] ______________________________________________ Problem: In 1982, a violent drug dealer takes his sister and her two small children (ages 4 and 9 months) hostage on a train.  The State Police intervene and call in the FBI who send in negotiators. The negotiations go on for 72 hours. Here is an outline of action steps, […]

Camp David – Day 8

Day 8 exemplifies how time impacts negotiations and what overconfidence bias looks like in real time. Carter believed that if he just had Sadat and Begin to Camp David for 3-4 days, they would work out all of the conflict that has plagued the Middle East since at least the days of Moses. Wow! All […]

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