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New opinion memo from DOJ concludes FDA lacks jurisdiction to regulate execution drugs

As long-time readers know, state execution efforts have sometimes been thwarted in recent years because of an inability to access needed drugs for lethal injections. This new Washington Post article, headlined "Justice Department says FDA ‘lacks jurisdiction’ over death-penalty drugs," reports on the possible start to a new chapter in this long-running saga. Here are the details: The Justice Department says in a new legal opinion that the Food and Drug Administration does not have authority ove...
Tags: Texas, Law, Obama, Washington Post, Senate, China, India, United States, Arizona, Food And Drug Administration, Madonna, Fda, Houston, Doj, Justice Department, Trump


Onit Aims to Conquer the Corporate Market with Acquisition of SimpleLegal

Four months after receiving a $200 million strategic investment, Onit, a Houston company that provides enterprise workflow products for large corporations and legal departments, is putting that money to good use — acquiring SimpleLegal, a six-year-old Silicon Valley company that provides legal spend, matter and vendor management software to the mid-sized corporate legal market. The deal will extend Onit’s ability to serve a broader range of corporations and legal departments, Eric M. Elfman, Oni...
Tags: Law, Uncategorized, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Houston, Eric Smith, Bob Ambrogi, Elfman, Nathan Wenzel, SimpleLegal, K1 Investment Management, Mitratech, Onit, Eric Elfman, Eric M Elfman Onit, Wolters Kluwer SimpleLegal


Morning Docket: 05.10.19

* With numerous contempt of Congress charges swirling thanks to the inaction of Trump administration officials, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has declared that the nation is in the midst of a constitutional crisis. It was only a matter of time before this happened. [New York Times] * Meanwhile, in the wake of Speaker Pelosi’s comments, President Trump now says that he’ll leave it up to AG Bill Barr to determine whether special counsel Robert Mueller will be permitted to testify before Congress. Fr...
Tags: Law, Congress, Copyright, House, New York Times, Rape, Nancy Pelosi, Houston, Donald Trump, Biglaw, Constitutional Law, Wells Fargo, Trump, Conan O'brien, Pelosi, AG


$100,000 Defense Innovation Investment Challenge

Capital Factory is pleased to announce the $100,000 Defense Innovation Challenge focused on identifying solutions to two of the U.S. Army’s modernization priorities. This will be the finale of the J.P. Morgan Texas Startups Roadshow, a unique gathering of the country’s top tech investors and innovators who are investing in Texas. On June 6, the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, five technology startup finalists will be judged by a panel of successful entrepreneurs, defense industry leaders, and ventu...
Tags: Startups, Texas, Entrepreneur, Training, Investment, Military, Army, Houston, Booz Allen Hamilton, U S Army, Austin Dallas, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, Capital Factory, Austin Startups, Amazon Google Microsoft, Virtual-reality


Spotlighting how reduced support for the death penalty is now a bipartisan reality

Alan Greenblatt has this notable lengthy new piece at Governing under the headline "Why the Death Penalty Has Lost Support From Both Parties."  I recommend the piece in full and here are excerpts: Twenty years ago, most politicians in both parties supported the death penalty.  But today, opposition to it has become increasingly bipartisan.  Democrats have always been more wary, but now more conservatives have also become convinced that capital punishment is another failed government program.  I...
Tags: Florida, Law, Colorado, California, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Gop, United States, New Hampshire, Nebraska, Philadelphia, Nevada, Houston, Death Penalty Information Center, Trump, HARRIS


'Thousands of Sandra Blands': Just Liberty analyzes new arrest data from Texas traffic stops

As the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee today prepares to hear HB 2754 (White), the committee substitute to which would limit most Class C misdemeanor arrests (with certain public safety exceptions), Just Liberty put out a new analysis of data titled, "Thousands of Sandra Blands: Analyzing Class-C-misdemeanor arrests and use-of-force at Texas traffic stops."  The analysis relies on the new racial profiling reports which came out March 1st, analyzing information for Texas police departme...
Tags: Texas, Law, Houston, Texas Department of Public Safety, Sandra, Appleseed, Gritsforbreakfast, Sandra Blands, House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee


Dr. Carla Rydholm on the Value of Legal Data Analytics

Not many people can make the transition from Ph.D. in Genetics and Genomics, and then to the legal analytics field, but Dr. Carla Rydholm is someone who did just that. For nearly the past decade, Dr. Rydholm has been leading the charge of data analytics at Lex Machina. She is charged with not only acquiring the data large amounts of data but also maintaining that data as it is updated. Dr. Rydholm stopped by Greg’s Houston office, along with episode 10’s guest, Kyle Doviken to tell us about tran...
Tags: Podcast, Law, Time, Uncategorized, US, Ikea, Houston, Thomson Reuters, Fastcase, Data Analytics, Greg, Jerry, American Association of Law Libraries AALL, Marlene, Lex Machina, Ed Walter


Comm Manager - What to Do if I Found What Appear to Be an Illegal Game Room

My question involves real estate located in the State of: Texas, Harris County, City of Houston I just took over the management of a commercial property; during one of the inspection of the space I found what appear to be an illegal game room (slot machines) How should I proceed? How do I confirm the operation is illegal or not? What are the liabilities for me (property Manager) and the owner? I just find out there is no lease in place for this space The operation of the business was not disc...
Tags: Law, Houston, Buying, Selling and Conveying Real Estate, Texas Harris County City


"'Overwhelmed by pain and loneliness, [Barbara Bush] contemplated suicide. She would pull over to the side of the road until the impulse..."

"... to plow into a tree or drive into the path of an oncoming car had passed. 'I felt terrible. I would pull over and park so I wouldn't go hit a tree... I really wasn't brave enough to do that, but that's why I pulled over, so I wouldn't do that, or I wouldn't run into another car... I almost wonder why he didn't leave me.'...""The Matriarch Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty," quoted in The Daily Mail, "'I would pull over and park so I wouldn't go hit a tree.' Barbara Bush rev...
Tags: New York, Law, Washington, Suicide, White House, Adultery, State Department, Houston, Baker, Bush, Barbara Bush, George, Jennifer, Barbara, Fitzgerald, James Baker


SCOTUS stays Texas execution because condemned was denied Buddhist spiritual advisor in execution chamber

As reported in this local article, "hours after he was to be executed for his role in a notorious 19-year-old crime, Texas death row prisoner Patrick Murphy won a rare stay from the U.S. Supreme Court based on his request to have a Buddhist spiritual adviser next to him in the death chamber."  Here is more: The condemned man, one of the last surviving members of the so-called 'Texas 7' crew of prison escapees, lobbed a long-shot bid for reprieve earlier this week when his attorneys raised relig...
Tags: Texas, Supreme Court, Law, Christian, Houston, State, Buddhist, U S Supreme Court, Murphy, Alito, Clarence Thomas, Patrick Murphy, Kavanaugh, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Douglas A Berman, David Dow


Excess Has No Duty To Indemnify Based Upon Primary Policy's Exclusions

    Based upon the primary policy's exclusion, the following form excess policy had no duty to indemnify after the insured reached a settlement in the underlying case.  Houston Cas. Co. v. Strata Corp. , 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 3936 (8th Cir. Feb. 6, 2019).     An employee of Strata fell to his death at a Montana mine. The estate sued, alleging that Strata's intentional failure to maintain a safe workplace triggered an exception to the Workers' Compensation Act, giving the estate a cause of action ...
Tags: Montana, Insurance, Houston, Liberty Mutual, Eighth Circuit, Strata, Tred Eyerly, Excess Coverage, Duty to Indemnify, Houston Cas Co, Strata Corp, Strata Strata, Houston Casualty Company, Strata Houston Casualty, Houston Casualty


Why Police Should Be Required to Get a Warrant to Use Cell-Site-Simulators (aka, "stingrays")

Legislation heard this week in the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee, HB 352 (Blanco) would require warrants for Texas law enforcement to use so-called “stingrays” or “cell-site simulators” to track people's cell phones, and provide more transparency surrounding use of these devices.So-called “Stingrays” or cell-site simulators are examples of relatively new surveillance techniques hovering at the bleeding edge of both cell-phone technology and Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. Because ...
Tags: Texas, Supreme Court, Law, Navy, California, US, Houston, US supreme court, Blanco, US Department of Homeland Security, Sims, Carpenter, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Court of Criminal Appeals, Cesar Blanco, Gritsforbreakfast


Encouraging new reports about encouraging new compassionate release realities thanks to FIRST STEP Act

In this post last month, which was titled "Compassionate release after FIRST STEP: Should many thousands of ill and elderly federal inmates now be seeking reduced imprisonment in court?," I speculated about the possible impact of a key change of the FIRST STEP Act allowing federal courts to directly reduce sentenced under compassionate release statutory provisions.  Excitingly, in recent days I have seen two article reporting on encouraging action in this arena: From the Houston Chronicle, "‘Pil...
Tags: Facebook, Law, Npr, Houston, Price, Doj, Mary Price, Bureau of Prisons, Douglas A Berman, FAMM, US Bureau of Prisons, NPR Instead


A look at how the number of women in the military has steadily grown

Coast Guard Lt. Ronaqua Russell, 28, was awarded the Coast Guard Air Medal for operations. (Screenshot from U.S. Coast Guard video) Last month, Coast Guard Lt. Ronaqua Russell, 28, was one of eight pilots to be awarded the prestigious Coast Guard Air Medal for operations after the deadly hurricane that hit Houston in 2017. She is the first African-American woman in the branch to receive the Air Medal. The Women in Aviation International Conference ends Saturday, March 16 in Long Beach. Nine C...
Tags: News, Navy, Washington, Iraq, Defense, Infographic, Sport, Nasa, Soccer, Military, International Space Station, Army, Marine Corps, Va, Pentagon, Houston


New reports show Austin police use force at traffic stops much more often than other agencies

Austin police are more likely to use injury-causing force against drivers they pull over than any other large Texas jurisdiction, according to new "racial profiling" data reports out this month from law-enforcement agencies around the state. Go here to look up reports from various departments, which agencies were required to submit to the state by March 1st.These are called "racial profiling" reports because documenting racial discrimination was their original purpose when they were mandated in ...
Tags: Texas, Law, Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Odessa, Denton, Beaumont, Midland, Arlington, Waco, Corpus Christi, Lewisville, Gritsforbreakfast, John Whitmire, Garnet Coleman


A tale of two approaches to Texas property-theft thresholds

A pair of bills heard in two Texas House committees this week demonstrate opposing philosophies when it comes to incarcerating people for low-end property theft.At Monday's Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee hearing, state Rep. Gene Wu, a Houston Democrat, proposed HB 760 making theft of packages delivered to someone's front porch an automatic state-jail felony, even if the value of the stolen items were just a few dollars. Wu said this was justified because going onto someone's porch ...
Tags: Texas, Law, Houston, Don, Plano, Wu, Shaheen, Texas House, Texas Public Policy Foundation, Gritsforbreakfast, Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee, Matt Shaheen, Konni Burton, Andrew Murr, Gene Wu, Sen Konni Burton


Houston-Area Suburbs Now Suffering From Feral Hogs

Houston Chronicle: If you have noticed more feral hogs in your Houston-area neighborhood recently, you are not alone. Neighbors across the Greater Houston report the wild animals are more frequently making their way into their subdivisions and streets, leaving properties destroyed in their wake. The Houston area is not unfamiliar with the battle between feral hogs and residents; last year the Chronicle reported hogs were disrupting neighbors in Liberty and San Jacinto counties; taking over  Spr...
Tags: Texas, Animals, Military, Alaska, Houston, Moose, South, State, Houston Chronicle, San Jacinto, Chronicle, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Feral Hogs, Greater Houston, Spring Tomball, Texas A M Natural Resources Institute


Reasonably Suspicious podcast: Harris commissioners nixed DA hiring request, and other stories

The Harris County District Attorney can't hire more prosecutors, the Houston PD can't find the informant behind a botched SWAT-style narcotics raid, and the chairman of the House Corrections Committee can't understand why local government spends so much money jailing people. My co-host Mandy "Tiger" Marzullo and I discussed all this and more in the better-late-than-never February episode of the Reasonably Suspicious podcast:Here's what we discussed on the show this month: Top Stories Harris Co...
Tags: Law, Houston, Chris Harris, HARRIS, DPS, Harris County, James White, Gritsforbreakfast, House Corrections Committee, Houston PD, Mandy Tiger Marzullo, Interview House Corrections Committee


Thursday round-up

Amy Howe covers yesterday’s oral argument in The American Legion v. American Humanist Association, an establishment clause challenge to a World War I memorial shaped like a cross on public property, for this blog, in a post that first appeared at Howe on the Court. For The New York Times, Adam Liptak reports that the court “seemed ready … to allow a 40-foot cross honoring soldiers who died in World War I to remain in place on public land in Maryland.” For , Jess Bravin reports that the “justice...
Tags: Usa, Maryland, Supreme Court, Law, Washington Post, Washington, India, Alabama, America, Bloomberg, Cnn, Atlantic, United States, Idaho, New York Times, Houston


Establishing Paternity: How to Petition for a Delayed Birth Certificate for Deceased Grandparent or Ancestor

My question involves paternity law for the State of: Texas Humblest of apologies if I've posted in the incorrect thread. I'm looking to establish my lineage for dual citizenship purposes. Both my grandmother and her father were born in Houston. Thus far I've dealt with the city of Houston as well as the state via Austin in regards to the department of health services. In both cases there were no records and I can't say I got much further as I'm not sure how to proceed. The surname for both pe...
Tags: Law, Austin, Houston, Paternity Law, Tony, Antonino, Ciulla, Cuilla


Establishing Paternity: Petition for Delayed Birth Certificate Grandmother and Great-Grandfather (Deceased)

My question involves paternity law for the State of: Texas Humblest of apologies if I've posted in the incorrect thread. I'm looking to establish my lineage for dual citizenship purposes. Both my grandmother and her father were born in Houston. Thus far I've dealt with the city of Houston as well as the state via Austin in regards to the department of health services. In both cases there were no records and I can't say I got much further as I'm not sure how to proceed. The surname for both pe...
Tags: Law, Austin, Houston, Paternity Law, Tony, Antonino, Ciulla, Cuilla


Houston PD will end most no-knock warrants after botched drug raid

"The no-knock warrants are going to go away like leaded gasoline in this city," declared Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo at a town hall meeting after police killed two people (along with two dogs) and four officers were shot while serving a search warrant, reported the Houston Chronicle.The chief said he no longer "sees the value" in such raids, which were criticized earlier this month in a Texas Monthly story. In the future, said Acevedo, HPD won't use the tactic in most instances, and in the ...
Tags: Law, Houston, Houston Chronicle, Texas Monthly, Texas Legislature, Acevedo, Gritsforbreakfast


Travis judges reject public defender, DA discretion the solution to budget constraints, crime deterrent from traffic stops minimal, and other stories

Here are a few browser clearing odds and ends that merit Grits readers' attention: Travis County judges refuse state money for public defender office Travis County's bid to create a public-defender office isn't officially dead yet, but it may as well be after Presiding Judge Brenda Kennedy authored a letter saying local judges unanimously opposed the idea. Kennedy has urged judges not to speak for themselves and has thrown their support solidly behind the local criminal defense bar, which habitu...
Tags: Texas, Law, California, Virginia, Va, Nashville, Houston, Kennedy, Houston Chronicle, Harris County, Travis, George Powell, Texas Tribune, Texas Legislature, Acevedo, Travis County


Art Acevedo: Officer Lied In Affidavit Before Deadly Houston Raid

News from Texas: A lead investigator lied in an affidavit justifying a drug raid on a Houston home in which two residents were killed and four undercover officers were shot and wounded during a gun battle, the city’s police chief said Friday. In the search warrant that was used to justify entering the home, officers with the Houston Police Department’s narcotics unit had alleged that a confidential informant had bought heroin at the house the day before the Jan. 28 raid. The informant had also a...
Tags: Texas, Police, Military, Houston, Don, Houston Police Department, Acevedo, Goines, Art Acevedo, Dennis Tuttle, Rhogena Nicholas, Gerald Goines


"Paul Manafort should not be sentenced to 20 years in prison"

The title of this post is the headline of this new Hill commentary authored by David Oscar Markus. Here are excerpts: A jury has spoken on Paul Manafort. He was found guilty, and he should be punished. But his reported sentencing guideline range of 19.5-24.5 years is a good example of how our criminal justice system has lost its way. Once, when trials were common, our system was the envy of the world. Now, trials almost never occur. (In the 1980s, over 20 percent of cases went to trial while le...
Tags: Law, Dc, Houston, Olis, Douglas A Berman, Prez Trump, Manafort, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, David Oscar Markus Here, James Olis, Dynegy Corporation in Houston Texas Olis, David Gerger


Why we know so little about the bad cop at the center of the botched Houston drug raid

A couple of weeks ago, Grits raised numerous questions about a drug-raid-gone-bad in Houston that left four officers shot and two homeowners and two of their dogs dead. Police-union leadership blamed police-accountability activists for the episode, and the mayor and city council members backed them up.Now, it turns out the informant identified in the search warrant may not exist, and the narcotics officer in question has a lengthy disciplinary history, though much of it only documented in closed...
Tags: Texas, Maryland, Law, Dallas, Houston, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Houston Chronicle, Brady, Legislature, Bryant, Sheriff s Office, Harris County, Texas Legislature, Bexar County, Court of Criminal Appeals


Austin's Chief Manley blames victims for misunderstanding his victim-blaming comments

Austin Police Chief Bryan Manley apologized if rape victims felt he had blamed them in his department's coverup surrounding inflated sexual-assault clearance rates, but insisted he had never done so. Here's what he said."If my comments made survivors of sexual assault in my community feel like we were victim-blaming, then I absolutely apologize," Manley said in the interview. "Sitting here today, absolutely, if there are survivors in my community that felt like we were in any way victim-blaming ...
Tags: Law, Austin, Houston, Apd, DPS, Manley, Austin Police, Texas DPS, Gritsforbreakfast, Austin PD, Art Acevedo, Bryan Manley


Blind amputee robbed bank to get healthcare, Austin DNA lab may have caused false convictions, reconsidering extreme sentences, and other stories

Here are a few odds and ends that merit Grits readers' attention while mine is focused elsewhere: DNA-mixture errors may have resulted in false convictions Travis County has identified eleven possible false convictions in which people were convicted based on DNA evidence that later was corrected to make an earlier match "inconclusive." The cases will move forward as habeas corpus writs challenging old convictions. Twelve more cases where at least one evidence-match was changed to "inconclusive" ...
Tags: Law, Colorado, California, Austin, Houston, Vox, American Bar Association, Aba, Texas Rangers, Harris County, Lopez, Lubbock, Travis County, Murray Newman, Gritsforbreakfast, Kim Ogg


Mid- to Senior Level Corporate Associate Attorney [Sponsored]

Is needed by a global law firm for its Houston office.
Tags: Asia, Texas, Law, Job, Houston, Sponsored Content, Job Posting, Kinney Recruiting, Asia Chronicles


Austin Police Chief is the last person who should be giving other chiefs advice on rape-clearance rate data!

Bizarrely, Austin Police Chief Bryan Manley is scheduled to speak to the Major Cities Police Chiefs' Association in Washington D.C. this week to share "hard lessons he's learned" about how police categorize sexual assault cases.He's not ready. Manley hasn't yet taken responsibility for what happened or been held accountable for his cynical strategy to blame rape victims for APD-management malfeasance. Until he does, he shouldn't be lecturing anybody on this topic. In fact, this might be a good w...
Tags: Law, Washington, Austin, Houston, Apd, Texas Department of Public Safety, DPS, Manley, Austin Police, Gritsforbreakfast, Austin PD, Art Acevedo, Donegan, Bryan Manley, Major Cities Police Chiefs Association, Liz Donegan



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