Weblog Renewal Tips

People sometimes email me with technical issues renewing a subscription, and most are to the effect that either they get a “PayPal not working” message or that they did not want to use PayPal to renew, and thought they had to. Actually PayPal is not the vehicle for renewing – the site accepts credit cards (and we can do direct payment as well). I haven’t been able to identify the source of the error referring to PayPal (which is involved, but not on the subscriber side) but the remedy is a simple one. Just go to the Register page (top right corner of blog home page) at https://edtexweblog.com/signup.php and input your information there. Everyone I’ve sent to that page has had no trouble completing their renewal. If the same user ID and password are used it links to the existing account, but if not, no worries – it just creates a new one. If you still have problems, email me at michaelsmith@siebman.com and I’ll straighten it out.

“Sweet, crazy and little” – Marshall Justice of the Peace Named 2019 Judge of the Year

We actually do have state court judges in Marshall as well, and one, Harrison County Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Nancy George, was recently named Texas Judge of the Year for 2019 by the Texas Justice Court Judges Association (JCJ).

Judge George has worked in the justice court in Harrison County since 1987, serving as a court clerk until 2000, when she took the position vacated by her mother, longtime JP Pearl Schnorbus.

“This year’s judge of the year is sweet, crazy and little,” said Misty Beaty, chairperson of the JCJ scholarship and awards committee. “She is always willing to help. No matter where the help is needed or who may need the help, Nancy is ready.” JCJ president David Pareya agreed. “She may be small in stature, but her heart and enthusiasm are as big as Texas.”

So when have have your hearing for that traffic ticket you got speeding so you weren’t late for a hearing in Judge Gilstrap’s court in Marshall, this is the nice lady you’ll be dealing with. Be sure to tell her congratulations, and that Michael and Jamie said that they got two out of three right.

From Waco to Austin

I-35 from Waco to Austin will teach you patience. A graduate of both UT Austin and Baylor in Waco, I have done it many times, most recently last Thursday and Saturday. It appears the plaintiff in this case will be doing it over the next year after Judge Albright transferred this patent case from the banks of the Brazos to those of the Colorado.

Trial (Including Experts)

It was a family event at Baylor Law Sunday morning in Waco when I brought a full herd straight from our annual Kleypas family reunion campout to Baylor’s annual Top Gun mock trial competition. I was one of the judges for the semifinal round and Grayson James, fresh from two years of electrical and computer engineering classes, served as an expert witness (engineering expert on bicycles). Collin and Parker just hung out in the student lounge enjoying the wifi after two days roughing it playing … cards and dominos. In commemoration of Grayson’s second stint as a mock engineering expert (last summer he was an expert metallurgist in a Baylor mock trial about the sinking of the Titanic), I’m going through this recent order with pretrial rulings in an upcoming patent trial, which has more than a few rulings on expert testimony. The limines are pretty good as well.

To Infinity (But Not Beyond)

Got a kick out of the attached order, which identified the defendant in the caption as “ALLEN M. ALBRIGHT”. Actually it’s Allen M. “Lambright”. Can’t imagine how that happened.

The order is also notable for the inclusion of “John/Jane Does one to infinity” and for its being removed from my favorite of all state courts, the 429th in Collin County, which is presided over by my successor as Judge Hall’s law clerk lo these many years ago, the Hon. Jill Renfro Willis.

I’m honored – she’s Honorable.

86th Texas Legislature – Actions of Interest to Federal Practitioners

The regular session of the 86th Legislature ended on Monday on this week. It saw 7,324 bills introduced, of which 1,429 bills were passed and sent to Governor Abbott. The Governor has until Sunday, June 16, 2019, to sign, veto, or allow to become law (without his signature) any of the legislation that was passed during the regular session. Of all the bills that did (or did not) become law, I selected a few – all on the same topic – that I thought might be of interest to practitioners in federal court.

“Trial Procedure” – Federal Court Practice seminar

I’m headed to Austin Thursday afternoon to present on trial procedure in federal court at TexasBarCLE’s Federal Court Practice seminar on May 31, 2019, at the Texas Law Center (that’s the State Bar building for non-Bar types). I have attached the brochure below, and you can attend live both in person or via the webcast. For more information go here, and subscribers click on through for the paper itself. As noted, it was originally co-written by Magistrate Judge Roy Payne, also of Marshall, so any errors have surely crept in since then.

On the way down I have a bit of a pit stop in Dallas to participate in the planning meeting for the 57th annual session of the CAIL IP Conference in Plano. I co-chaired the event in 2016 and 2017, and always enjoy the planning process – mainly because they let me put the topics on the whiteboard. I enjoy that and there’s a limit to how much trouble you can get into holding a dry-erase marker.

An Indefinite Smile

I challenge you to find a happier 16 year old than this one, who spent the first day of his summer vacation getting some stick time in a World War II trainer, as reported by the local paper. He was, in fact, smiling as broadly as I expect the defendants were when they got Judge Kernodle’s 122 page claim construction order in this 11 patent case raising over 30 terms, which addressed their indefiniteness arguments. They did pretty well.

Marshall Main Street Program Features Hub Offices

Marshall’s Main Street Program‘s Mornings on Main with Debbie Parker featured our law offices in the historic Hub building on their If These Walls Could Talk video series on Facebook this morning. It’s an entertaining four-minute introduction to our somewhat idiosyncratic offices (including the “tree house” and hobbit door) in an 1870’s building that served our community as a shoe store for over a century before we repurposed it as a law office.

I think it’s also the first time I’ve talked to Debbie that I didn’t hand her my credit card – she owns a women’s clothing boutique a couple of blocks up North Washington, and I’m married to one of her regular customers.