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Marshall Davis Brown Jr: May 2013

Monday, May 13, 2013

About the South Texas College of Law

The South Texas College of Law is a private law school located in downtown Houston, Texas. It's the city's oldest law school, as it was founded in 1923, and the third oldest in the entire state. A very prestigious school, it has been accredited by the American Bar Association, or ABA, and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools, or AALS.

STCL is a school that takes its status very seriously. Thus, it is frequently ranked by the US News as one of the top ten schools for the South Texas trial advocacy program. In fact, it ranked third in the US for Trial Advocacy just a few years back, and it was ranked number one in 2005. In addition, it holds more than 110 National and International Advocacy Championships, which is more than any other American law school.

The school has a high rate of post-graduation employment. In 2009, almost half the graduating students were employed at private law firms within nine months of graduating. Thus, the school has numerous well-known alumni. For example, former US Congressman Chris Bell is a STCL graduate, and so are Texas Supreme Court Justices Eva Guzman and John P. Devine. Alumni also include several members of the Texas House of Representatives, such as Gene Wu and Robert Talton. Marshall Davis Brown, TX lawyer who worked on the Neil Bush trial, is a graduate of the South Texas College of Law as well, and still practices today.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Five Ways to Prepare for a Divorce

It sort of goes without saying that one should never rush into a divorce, but surprisingly, many people do. In a moment of anger and frustration, it's easy to get overwhelmed, but a divorce is a major life decision. Make sure to prepare yourself beforehand by doing the following:

Talking to a Marriage Counselor.
Are you absolutely certain your issues are unfixable? And if you are, are you sure you're well enough to cope? Both marriage and divorce counseling exist, and they're extremely helpful. They can help you to forgive your spouse (or yourself) and reduce the emotional toll on the situation. You may end up deciding not to get a divorce after all, or you may simply benefit by being more emotionally prepared.

Talking to an Attorney.
There are plenty of knowledgeable attorneys such as Marshall Davis Brown who have been through the process many times. They have seen what divorcees have done wrong to make their situation worse, and they've seen divorcees who have regrets. They can provide you with all the information to ensure that you're prepared for the next step, then let you know how to proceed wisely.

Deciding Whether to Move.
Never pack up and go without talking to an attorney first. It could result in you having to pay more alimony than necessary, or make you unable to collect alimony. It also may be illegal for you to return, even if you decide you wish to. Wait it out in separate rooms until you know the legal implications.

Handle the Heavy Stuff.
If you've been involved with extramarital affairs and are certain you're ready for a divorce, you may want to discuss it with a lawyer before breaking the news to your spouse. Admitting to an affair can greatly affect the legal consequences of your situation – not to mention, in some states, it's illegal.

Safeguard your Assets.
In some cases, one day you could be driving down the street, and the next, your car is taken from you. Have a lawyer help you protect your assets so you're not left with nothing until the divorce is finalized.HHand

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Texas Commonlaw Marriage and Your Estate

Commonlaw marriage is something that you need to take into consideration when working your estate plan if you live in Texas. There are only a few states that acknowledge this form of informal marriage, but Texas just so happens to be one of them. Matrimony has a huge effect on the future of an estate plans, whether it's a formal marriage or an informal one, so it's important to know the implications.

If you haven’t written a will, succession laws will dictate what will happen to your assets should you pass away. Therefore, if you were part of a commonlaw marriage, and it can be proven, this will heavily affect your assets. Proof of the marriage will determine whether the living spouse will receive none or half of the deceased's estate. Thus, if you consent to being in a marriage with your cohabitating partner, it's a good idea to register it with the state so that proof is easy to find. Otherwise, your partner could end up with nothing. Similarly, if you don't consider yourself in a commonlaw marriage with the person you cohabitate with, try to ensure that you leave evidence as such so that your estate goes to your family.

Formalizing a marriage, or formalizing that you're not married, even, could require the assistance of a lawyer like Marshall Davis Brown. Planning your estate and even writing a will, as reluctant as some people are to do this, is never a bad idea. It takes it out of the court's hands to decide who gets what, and you can ensure that your loved ones receive what they deserve.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Collaborative Law and Texas Divorces

Before entering any divorce case in Texas, you should know about collaborative law: a process in which both parties agree to engage in honest and fair communication in order to avoid going to trial for their divorce.

Of course, in the more hostile divorce cases this is a lot easier said than done. It's sometimes difficult to put your feelings aside in order to reach an agreement that is truly fair – we've all heard of divorce cases in which one spouse or the other is attempting to acquire as much monetary gain as possible out of spite. If your case is antagonistic in nature, it's better to hire a sound Texas divorce lawyer, like Marshall Davis Brown, Jr.

If you can put your feelings aside, though, and agree to think of the interests of both parties and any involved children, it cuts out a lot of middle men and saves a lot of time. You'll be able to save a lot on legal fees and avoid a lot of court dates. You can still get lawyers to make sure that settlements are fair, such as the division of property, but it's a much more cooperative and communicative process than doing the entire thing through trials.

The benefits of taking advantage of collaborative law are manifold – you save time and money, and you can work out any emotional kinks to make sharing custody of children less painful. Plus, if both parties are considering the interests of the other, as well as their own, one person is less likely to take advantage of the divorce and end up with more property and money than is necessary or fair.

It's definitely an option to consider if you feel it's one you can handle – but if there is any doubt, hiring a lawyer and taking the case to court is by all means necessary. Remember, lawyers care about their clients and want things to work out the best for them, despite any stereotypes about the profession.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Profession of the Divorce Lawyer

 In the United States, over 40% of marriages end in divorce. The more prevalent it becomes – and it is very prevalent in states like Texas – the more people grow accustomed to the idea or have heard many other experiences and think they can brave the process without a lawyer. Unless you're on crystal-clear terms with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, you probably shouldn't go the DIY route. That's why divorce lawyers in Texas, like Marshall Davis Brown Jr, are so successful. At some point, most couples realize the Texas laws have many stipulations and that it's difficult to come to an agreement without a legal mediator.

Most advisors would agree that if a couple has the money to spare, then hiring a divorce lawyer is the way to go. Though Texas law is finely-tuned to ensure a fair bargain for both parties, many couples don't realize just how difficult it is to make an agreement with the person whom they are divorcing. Divorce lawyers are seasoned in the consultations that make the divorce process easier.

However, despite the fact that there never seems to be a shortage of divorce cases for family lawyers to mediate, it's no easy job. Any case of separation is an emotional one to deal with, but these professionals see incidents of domestic abuse and children traumatized by the separation on a day-to-day basis. For that reason, it's not a profession for the faint of heart. These lawyers have to be willing to fight and fight hard for who is truly the better parent or the victim in abuse – it's not about taking on a client and helping them win, it's also a moral conflict.

Pavlas, Brown & York L.L.P.

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Houston, TX 77056

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Pavlas, Brown & York acts for clients throughout Houston, Texas and its counties, including but not limited to Harris County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County and Liberty County. Our Staff is expert in navigating divorce and family law proceedings, and the rules of each of the county courthouses.

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