March 2015 Dallas and Fort Worth Legal News Roundup in Texas (updated 2021)

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As an employment attorney and divorce lawyer in Texas it is important to stay on top of developing legal issues in our area. Here is some north Texas legal news from the past couple weeks:

Texas Attorney General bleats “legal chaos” if same-sex marriage is not deemed void.

Last month an Austin state judge declared the Texas same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional and ordered the Travis County clerk to issue a marriage permit to two women. Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton insists the destruction of law will follow by allowing same-sex marriages in Texas. Yeah, just like how eliminating bans on interracial marriages in the 1960s destroyed the nation. Read more

Arlington’s I-30 and Highway 360 intersection will finally become drivable.

The interchange in Arlington at Interstate 30 and Highway 360 has been a sore spot for traffic in the mid-cities. The intersection is a cloverleaf design dating back to Interstate 30’s days as a toll road. The tolls disappeared decades ago and traffic on both freeways has grown exponentially. The intersection is a mess to deal with and the expansion of I-30 has not helped. With the adoption of Proposition 1 in the last election the state can tap oil and gas taxes for state highway programs and this Arlington interchange will benefit with the construction of an interchange that does not require exiting the freeways and waiting around in stop lights with Six Flags and stadium traffic. Read more

Time will tell whether new Governor Abbott will show compassion for other disabled Texans.

Governor Abbott became wheelchair-bound after an incident while he was in law school (that paid a sizable amount of money). Since his entry into politics he has used his disability as a political talking point for his own career. However, now as governor he will have a role to play in how the state interacts with its disabled citizens. If his time as governor is anything like his time as Attorney General then probably not. Read More

Grapevine police resists requests for disclosure of dash cam video in fatal shooting.

Last month a brief car chase from Grapevine to Euless resulted in a Grapevine police officer fatally shooting the suspect. Grapevine police is resisting release of the dash cam video, allegedly capturing the shooting, in spite of protests demanding release. Read more

The Texas miracle starts going the wrong direction as Texas unemployment rises.

Overall employment numbers are on the rise around the country but here in Texas, where jobs are supposedly in unlimited supply, unemployment applications are on the rise. Perhaps the economy built up around the oil and gas industry hasn’t created the success predicted. Read more

Major businesses move to oppose legal defense for unlawful conduct for alleged freedom of religion.

Texas lawmakers introduced bills to give businesses and HOAs a legal defense for conduct motivated by a sincere religious belief. Apparently, according to these lawmakers the constitution is not the highest law of the land. Such a legal defense would put religious freedoms at odds with each other. An employer who insists on making employees pray to the employer’s religious deity at work could insist it did so out of a sincere religious belief while trampling the sincere religious belief of the employee not to pray to other deities. Read More

Eleven years of legal disputes between the Department of Insurance and State Farm results in a refund of $325 million to policyholders.

In 2003 the Texas Department of Insurance told State Farm its rates were not reasonable. Eleven years later State Farm decides its tired of fighting and without admitting fault has agreed to a settlement. Policyholders from 2003 to 2008 may receive a refund on premiums as part of the settlement. Read More

Update in 2021

Although this post is now an aging six years old (as of 2021) these issues haven’t gone away. Many of the same employment law and family law issues raised here remain constant issues in Texas. Certainly traffic hasn’t improved.

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