Houston Matters

How Are Police Trained to Use Deadly Force?

Posted on · In a week when two police shootings involving African-American men sparked outrage and debate across the nation — and an apparently retaliatory attack against police in Dallas — we wanted to get a law enforcement perspective on the week’s events. Former police officer and law enforcement expert Dr. Melissa Hamilton of the University of Houston […]

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Attack on Dallas Police and Police Shootings: Friday’s Show (July 8, 2016)

Posted on · At least five Dallas police officers are dead and seven others injured, along with two civilians, after an attack on law enforcement Thursday night (July 7, 2016) at a downtown protest over fatal police shootings of black men this week in Louisiana and Minnesota. NPR reports police say at least four people were involved in […]

Good, Bad and Ugly

Abortion Ruling and Law Schools to Face Off in Court: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Houston News

Posted on · A lot can happen in a week. Some of it good. Some of it bad. Some of it downright ugly. When faced with intriguing developments in the week's news, we turn to our rotating panel of "non-experts" to parse The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of it all. This week, our panel debates: the […]

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Traffic Laws, Parenting, and Oysters: Friday’s Show (July 1, 2016)

Posted on · According to AAA,  the upcoming three-day Independence Day weekend will see the highest Fourth of July traffic volume on record. Some 43 million Americans are expected to take to the roads. We want all Houstonians to be safe while traveling this weekend. In that spirit, we welcome your questions for Trooper Richard Standifer from […]

Houston Matters

What Protects Whistleblowers From Retaliation?

Posted on · Back in April, the Houston Independent School District suspended chief executive auditor Richard Patton. According to the Houston Chronicle, in a complaint he filed with HISD just a couple of weeks ago, Patton says the school board suspended him for being a whistleblower, questioning potential illegal activity. The complaint opens up the possibility for Patton […]

Houston Matters

Judge Orders Revamp of Texas Foster Care System to Continue

Posted on · Last week (March 21, 2016), the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals denied an attempt by the State of Texas to pause a revamp of its foster care system. That ruling leaves intact a December 2015 ruling by Judge Janis Graham Jack, who declared the system "broken" and unconstitutional. In ordering the overhaul, Judge Jack […]

Houston Matters

Would Banning Guns in Dorms Violate the New Campus Carry Law?

Posted on · Texas’ many publicly funded colleges and universities are in the midst of forming their policies for how the state’s new campus carry law will be implemented at their respective campuses (private schools have the ability to opt out of the law). While universities are not allowed to come up with a plan that would "generally […]

Houston Matters

The Complications of a Sharing Economy

Posted on · The success of companies like app-based paid ride service Uber and web-based private lodging provider Airbnb have raised the profile of what’s characterized as a “sharing economy” model. But as much as these companies may represent a developing economic trend, it’s one that brings with it some complicated legal questions, as we learn from University […]

Houston Matters

Six Years Later, Police Shooting of Robbie Tolan Reaches a Settlement

Posted on · On Tuesday (Sept. 15, 2015), a settlement was reached in a years-long legal dispute stemming from the 2008 shooting in Bellaire of aspiring minor league ballplayer Robbie Tolan by Bellaire police officer Jeffrey Cotton. Tolan was wounded in the incident, which occurred after a traffic stop in front of Tolan’s home. Cotton was ultimately acquitted […]

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Blue Bell and Texas Mutual Investigations: Wednesday’s Show (September 16, 2015)

Posted on · Over the weekend, the Houston Chronicle ran an investigative report examining long-term safety and sanitation issues at Blue Bell ice cream’s flagship Brehnam plant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says tainted Blue Bell products have sickened at least 13 people since 2010. Among them, three died after being hospitalized with other illnesses. Chronicle […]

Houston Matters

Why Did Humana Drop Baylor Doctors From Its Network?

Posted on · Health insurer Humana dropped Houston's Baylor College of Medicine from its network back on Aug. 1. Baylor's administrators had been notified in May. Still, they were surprised it wasn't just a negotiating ploy. It also caught some doctors and patients off guard. The move terminated HMO, PPO and point of service plans. As the Houston […]

Houston Matters

Is Increasing Diversity Good Policy, or a Survival Strategy for Law Schools?

Posted on · This time last year, UH Law School Dean Leonard Baynes channeled the lingo of the oil and gas industry when he said he planned "to launch a pipeline to create more opportunities for minorities, economically challenged and other underserved students to attend law school." The University of Houston is not alone in this thinking. But […]

Houston Matters

Sandra Bland’s Sister Discusses Lawsuit; Law Enforcement Expert Weighs In

Posted on · On Tuesday, the family of Sandra Bland filed a federal lawsuit against the Texas Department of Public Safety, a state trooper, two jailers and the Waller County Jail in connection with Bland's death while in jail custody following her July 10 arrest. Bland's family say they still haven't received enough answers about her death and […]

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Sandra Bland Lawsuit and The Full Menu: Wednesday’s Show (Aug. 5, 2015)

Posted on · On Tuesday, the family of Sandra Bland filed a federal lawsuit against the Texas Department of Public Safety, a state trooper, two jailers and the Waller County Jail in connection with Bland’s death while in jail custody following her July 10 arrest. Bland’s family say they still haven’t received enough answers about her death and […]

Houston Matters

How Will Recent Supreme Court Rulings Affect Texas?

Posted on · The U.S. Supreme Court issued the last of its opinions for this term on Monday. Many of the High Court’s decisions this term carry big implications for the nation — and for the state of Texas in particular. Among the highlights: the court determined bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, that health care subsidies acquired […]