Will Argue Case For Really Cool Yeti Mug

I thoroughly enjoyed last week’s Tex-ABOTA meeting where I got my tail thoroughly kicked by incoming ABOTA president Steve Quattlebaum of East Oklahoma in the “Masters in Trial” program at Texas A&M- Texarkana.

We put on a toxic tort case and I drew closing for the defense team opposite Steve, who actually wrote the case problem several years ago. Kinda like arguing theology against Pope Francis. He knows the problem just “slightly” better than I do! But very happy to join the East Texas – ABOTA team for the trial.

Our audience was comprised of East Texas and Arkansas ABOTA chapter members, as well as a large contingent of local high school students, who stayed after to deliberate, along with the designated jury of local luminaries. The “real” jury didn’t complete deliberations, but its 6-3 initial vote on the warnings question echoed the 7-4 vote by the students, who then voted unanimously for the defense on question #2 – the causation question. (Both teams claimed victory at dinner). It was great seeing the interest in the high school students.

And also great for me to see the spectacular campus A&M – Texarkana has become. I first saw it in 1984 when it was East Texas State University’s satellite campus in Texarkana, and I was the student representative on the ETSU’s honorary doctorates committee. We voted Malcolm Forbes an honorary doctorate to be awarded when he was visiting Texarkana and I borrowed my history professor’s car to drive over to Texarkana for the ceremony. All I knew about Forbes at that time was a quote in an article “How to Write A Business Letter” he’d written to the effect that “words are like inflated money – the more you use, the less each one is worth.” That’s always stuck with me. Which (in a world of page and word limits) is fortunate.

I also got one of the highly sought-after Yeti mugs for my efforts, and isn’t that what it’s really all about?

Texarkana ABOTA “Masters in Trial” Program

Come see the East Texas and Arkansas ABOTA chapters battling it out in Texarkana Friday morning. (You can root for me as I’m on the East Texas – ABOTA team).

The competition is part of our East Texas – ABOTA meeting in Texarkana this weekend. It starts at at 8 am Friday morning on the campus of Texas A&M University – Texarkana, and includes a lunch judicial panel on civility and ethics. EDTX Judge Robert W. Schroeder III will be presiding, and there will be 7.75 hours of ethics credit, one hour of which will be ethics (assuming we behave ourselves).

Battleship Texas Move Underway

By the time you read this Wednesday morning, the state’s most prominent federal facility, the 1914 battleship U.S.S. Texas (BB-35) will hopefully be underway from her home at the San Jacinto Battleground outside Houston to a drydock in nearby Galveston. Live updates, including streaming video, will be posted at battleshiptexas.org/departure , which also has a marine map showing the ship’s progress, as well as on social media (Facebook and YouTube), but here is the current plan:

Work started at 3 am this morning to prepare the ship for leaving its berth, and the ship should get underway between 6-7:30 am. At a speed not to exceed 6 knots, Texas will work its way down the Houston Ship Channel and into Galveston Bay. She will have a little help since her propellers were removed in 1948, which, aside from 1988-1989, was her last drydocking. Texas is scheduled to enter Galveston Ship Channel between 3 and 4 pm and arrive at Gulf Copper Galveston between 4 and 5 pm. The ship will wait for the appropriate tidal window to enter the drydock sometime Wednesday evening, after which it will be slowly lifted out of the water. Again, all this will be live streamed – just go to battleshiptexas.org/departure . There will be a lot of watchers on the shore watching her, likely waving flags and yelling the ship’s more than century old motto, “Come on, Texas!”

I will be posting updates throughout the day and – you know me – I’ll probably be tying them to posts about current orders using bad puns. Sue me.

Everyone keep your fingers crossed. The last time she did this she nearly sank in the ship channel before they could get her into the drydock, and she was a youthful 74 years old back then. She’s now 108. Maybe 6 knots is a little ambitious.

Come on, Texas