Skip to main content


Showing posts from July, 2018

Texas Criminal Pattern Jury Charges: General, Evidentiary & Ancillary Instructions

The State Bar of Texas recently published an update to its Criminal Pattern Jury Charges with a new volume of General, Evidentiary, and Ancillary Instructions. Updated for the first time in five years, it includes new commentary and case references along with its sample charges. Specifically, the 2018 edition has added instruction on slow pleas (submissions not tantamount to guilty pleas), the corpus deliciti rule (requiring proof beyond a confession for conviction), and sample Allen instructions (instructing a deadlocked jury to continue deliberations).

The purpose of the Pattern Jury Charges is to assist the bench and bar in preparing the court’s charge in jury cases. They are general in nature, requiring an analysis of the specific case at and hand, and may be used as the starting point for drafting the instructions for trial court. The volume provides an outline that explicitly states the relevant statutes and legal definitions and then applies the law to the facts in plain langua…

Intellectual Property and the University

Intellectual Property (IP) has become a major revenue source for colleges and universities. Trademarks, patents, and even trade secrets and copyrights are increasingly used as a money making opportunities for institutes of higher learning. In his book, The Branding of the American Mind, Jacob Rooksby argues that developing this new revenue source creates a tension between the university’s promotion of the public good and the private rights that intellectual property is designed to protect. The first chapter explores the tension starting with the Harvard OncoMouse. A mouse that Harvard sought to patent because it was unusually susceptible to cancers, making it ideal for medical testing. The second chapter is a broad overview of IP law as a whole. The remainder of the book explores the central thesis of the book, the tension between advancing the public good and protecting intellectual property rights, through each of the main areas of intellectual property (trademarks, copyright, pat…

Electronic Evidence for Family Law Attorneys

The ABA's Section of Family Law has recently published Electronic Evidence for Family Law Attorneysby Timothy J. Conlon and Anthony Hughes. This book, now available in the law library, begins with an introduction that discusses, among other things, what distinguishes family law from other areas of law with respect to electronic evidence. The chapter that covers integrating electronic evidence into one's practice focuses on several matters related to the attorney client relationship such as data security, e-mails, social media habits, and conducting a preliminary inventory of data assets. Deletion of electronic records, and gathering open source intelligence are also discussed. The authors also examine the preservation of webpages, text messages, e-mails, and social media and cloud services. The selection and the use of experts and obtaining access to electronic records are among the other topics explored.