Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • Since Texas has screwed up the label of "sex offender" in our system to include folks who are no danger at all, that label hardly moves the needle with me. But that guy on the run in Fort Worth should cause us concern. He was one of those guys who was "civilly committed" after he finished his prison term. You can learn about his background here in a court opinion affirming the civil commitment. 
  • I've had a conversation with two different people in the last week on the subject of what the economic effect would be if everyone had a driverless car (which will happen some day).  We've come up with the following which would take a huge or even fatal economic impact or would at least have no need to employ the number of people they currently do: DWI lawyers (that job is eliminated), body shops (basically no more car wrecks), car insurance companies, city governments (which use traffic tickets as a big part of their revenue), police departments (no speeding tickets to write and almost no wrecks to respond to), ignition interlock companies (no DWI so no need for them to be mandated).  
  • I've see a flaw in Fit Bit.  When I jog, I get credit for one step for every step. Makes sense. But those are hard steps.  If I go and use my pitchback net, I get a step with every pitch and every time I casually walk to get an errantly thrown ball (very rare, by the way -- I'm very Yu Darvish like).  But those steps should not count the same.  (I only rant because the Family Unit is in a weekly competition and they pick up casual steps all the time.) 
  • It took less than a week for a lawsuit to be filed in connection with that wreck in Fort Worth last weekend that killed five. But I've got a question for for you civil lawyers. I don't understand this sentence: "Relatives of a woman injured early Sunday in a fiery crash on Interstate 30 filed suit Thursday against a trucking company and the driver of a truck involved in the collision." You'll see family members sue for wrongful death but is it common for a lawsuit to be filed by  relatives of someone injured? (The only thing I can think of is the old "bystander" claim which allows for a relative to recover when he witnesses another relative get injured. It appears those suing were at the scene.) But does the lawyer not even represent the injured person?
  • Yesterday I learned some DA offices in Texas keep  a list of officers that they consider to be so untrustworthy because of the officers' past that the prosecutors feel constitutionally obligated to reveal that information to defense lawyers if one of those officers is involved in a pending case. I had no idea.  
  • The Dallas County DA's office has such a list. And, get this, the Austin-American Statesman had asked for the list in the past and former DA Craig Watkins handed it over despite the document not being subject to any open records law. When the Dallas Observer asked the new DA Susan Hawk for an updated list, she wouldn't do it. So, at the request of the Dallas Observer, the Statesman went ahead and published the old list yesterday (it hadn't done so before.)
  • Oh, great. Here's a quote from a juror in the Aaron Hernandez trial: "If he had something else to say, he should have testified in that trial." He obviously didn't understood the judge's instruction that if the defendant doesn't testify, a juror cannot hold that against him or consider it as evidence of guilt. 
  • Melody McDonald (now Lanier) was a great Star-Telegram reporter and then the PR person for the Tarrant County DA's office. Like so many others, she quit shortly after the new DA took office. But now she is joining the "marketing team" of a Fort Worth (seven person?) law firm.  That reminds me, I haven't checked on my marketing team in a while. Where you guys at?
  • The President of UNT was on The Ticket this morning. What the heck was he wearing? (By the way, he was pretty funny. He was probably just dressed up to do a bit.)