Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • Apparently there was a Starbucks coffee cup which inadvertently made it into a scene from Game of Thrones last night, and everyone is already doing bits.
  • Texas Tech School of Law has a "therapy room" which "features comfortable chairs and aromatherapy, if for law student use only and be reserved for 30-minute blocks by one person for an hour maximum per day." (At least that's what the new issue of the State Bar Journal told me -- after I got past a spare article about the  "skateboarding lawyer".)  The profession is in such good shape, right? 
  • I saw someone online whose right wing friends did not appreciate this quality humor yesterday: 
  • Tex Rep. Drew Springer thought it was a good idea to post a picture of himself with nutcase and banned-by-Facebook Alex Jones of InfoWars on Friday, but then wisely deleted it. (Trump coincidentally posted an Infowars video over the weekend and left it up.)
  • Legal nerd stuff: It has bugged me for years that someone out on bond can have that bond revoked and an arrest warrant issued by the mere allegation by the State without a hearing that he has committed an act to justify that bond violation/inadequacy claim. Finally, at least one DA has asked the Attorney General whether due process requires a hearing be held before a warrant is issued. 
  • Someone just anonymously gave Baylor $100 million - the largest gift in school history. 
  • This is brutal newspaper news. 161 were laid off. 
  • I road the Trinity Metro TEXRail in Fort Worth all the way from Fort Worth into Grapevine and into Terminal B of DFW airport. Big thumbs up. (The only complaint if there is absolutely no way to tell which platform you should be on at any given station to catch an eastbound or westbound train.)  That thing is perfect for downtown Grapevine which should boom beyond imagination because of it. 
  • This is beyond ignorant. The government is "monitoring and watching" what a private company chooses to publish and is implicitly threatening to take action if it doesn't like its content. Yep, there is Freedom of Speech in the country, but that ain't the way it works. He knows less about it than a fifth grader. (If you are an "anti-big government conservative" then this is the exactly the opposite of what you want.)
  • I didn't watch the Kentucky Derby but this is a great photo of the disqualified winner immediately after the race. (And, yes, I know Trump got mad about the race, called it the result of "political correctness" and misspelled Kentucky.)
  • But let's not forgot about the greatest Kentucky Derby post of all time by the whatever-happened-to-Sheriff.
  • More legal nerd stuff: I saw lots of excitement about the Texas House passing a bill to kill the "surcharge fees" driving law.  Yes, that's a good thing but let's tap the brakes. 
    • It still has to get through the Senate.
    • For you DWI practitioners, there is a huge problem in that it kept the $3,000 surcharge for DWI (and an insane amount of $6,000 if there is a blood alcohol concentration of 0.16 or more.). Oddly and significantly, it now just causes it to be imposed as a "fine" instead of an "administrative fee". (See section 709.001 addition to the Transportation Code in the bill.)  That's a big deal because . . . 
    • This is a legal war which will immediately take place: (1) If the fine is not a part of and specifically imposed in the sentence and judgment (which the current surcharge "fee" is not - DPS just collects it after the fact), there's a double jeopardy issue. The only way the surcharge survived the "double penalty" challenge last time was because it was held to be  "administrative fee" and not a fine. (2) If it is part of the judgment and is legally a "fine", can all are part of that fine be "probated" and not imposed? The bill says "shall" be fined but every single penal code provision which has a mandatory minimum fine can have that fine probated -- something that isn't done that often in practice but is absolutely available. 
  • I've got to admit, the economic numbers from Friday are incredible. Still, something still seems a little wrong out there.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold.