Seeing the Signs: How We Spot Possible Dram Shop Accidents

Drunk driving appears to be a blind spot in our national consciousness. I cannot think of a single person, no matter how contrarian, who could compellingly argue that this practice has positive benefits. It’s dangerous, it’s illegal, and it flies in the face of common sense. I doubt I need to be worried about some […]

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Are Wet Road Conditions Grounds for an Act of God Defense?

While crashes due to inclement weather are not uncommon across the United States, I recently learned of an incident here in Texas, which prompted me to write a little more in-depth about the phenomenon. In wet, foggy conditions, a tractor-trailer hydroplaned just outside of Midland. It entered oncoming traffic and collided with a passenger vehicle, […]

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Intoxicated Driving Study: Harris County, TX and DUI Crashes

The first reported drunk driving accident in the United States happened in 1904. Automobiles were still very new technology when these matters started to arise, and yet similar incidents started to be published with increasing frequency. Further evidence that people love to drink in exotic situations and locales, as though we needed any more confirmation. […]

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Regulations for Stopped Commercial Vehicles

A Look at Commercial Truck Emergency Signal Regulations

Just before sunrise, January 9, 2017, Alex A. Ortega was killed in a collision with an 18-wheeler, which was reportedly blocking the intersection of County Road 1160 and Business 20 near Midland, Texas. According to news accounts, the truck stalled, while crossing through the intersection, before being struck by Mr. Ortega’s vehicle. Without knowing more […]

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A Quick Refresher on Texas Dram Shop Law

Texas dram shop cases are seldom cut and dried. It’s an important element of tort law; after all, bars and restaurants that over-serve their customers deserve to be held accountable for putting profits before safety. While the intoxicated individual most certainly owns a significant share of the responsibility–failing to observe his or her own limits, […]

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Ice Storms and the Act of God Defense

Is the 2017 Plains Ice Storm an Act of God, Legally Speaking?

This past weekend, an ice storm coated parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri with up to an inch of ice. As a result hundreds of thousands of people lost power, there were massive disruptions, and most tragically, 6 people are known to have lost their lives in storm-related traffic accidents. There is no word […]

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The Case of Caden Nieneker: How Do Texas Dram Shop Laws Relate to House Parties?

On the surface, house parties tend to seem like a great idea. However, they can have downsides: With less room it’s harder to escape a boring conversation, the bathroom line can be ridiculous, some people don’t know when to stop drinking (often with disastrous results), and depending on your guest list there’s a risk of […]

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Stopping the Buck: Rose City Tragedy and Truck Accident Liability

President Harry Truman famously had a placard on his desk that read “The Buck Stops Here.” The phrase ultimately means that one must take responsibility for his decisions and actions, and can’t “pass the buck” to dodge any consequences. That idealism is laudable, of course, but ducking blame has been practiced for millennia and shows […]

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How Trucking Company Lawyers Shift Blame Following an Accident

Defense Attorneys Say The Darndest Things About a year ago, one of our firm’s attorneys, Keith Purdue, was taking the deposition of a trucking company’s “safety manager.” This deposition was a fairly heated affair, wherein we were essentially accusing the man being deposed of having a largely ceremonious title and/or a job that merely existed […]

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