Month: October 2014

Crowdfunding in Three Sentences

real estate investment crowdfundingCrowdfunding is the process of raising capital from a large number of people to fund something. There are different types of crowdfunding — including reward, debt, and equity-based — classified according to the purpose of the fundraising and/or what those providing the funds receive in exchange. Both federal and state laws regulate crowdfunding.

 In our Just for Fun posts, we underscore certain construction and real estate topics just for the fun of it.

What happens if you terminate your lease without legal justification?

A tenant who terminates a lease without legal excuse may have to pay the remaining rental payments due under the lease. Such a tenant may also be responsible for other items set out in the lease agreement, like property damage, cleaning, utilities, insurance, etc. However, the financial responsibility imposed on a tenant who terminates early may be reduced or offset by obligations that are imposed on the landlord by law or by the lease agreement itself. It’s wise for both the landlord and tenant to visit about early lease termination before it takes place in order to minimize the likelihood of any disagreements.texas lease termination landlord tenant

Our Tips & Resources posts are intended to provide general educational information. Like all other material on this blog, it is not a substitute for legal advice.

Overview of Texas Statutory Property Liens

texas statutory property liensIn this post we defined a lien as a legal right or interest that a creditor has in another’s property, lasting usually until a debt that it secures is satisfied. Did you know that Texas has more than twenty different types of statutory property liens? These include:

  1. Judgment Liens
  2. Mechanic’s, Contractor’s, or Materialman’s Liens
  3. Landlord’s and Tenant’s Liens
  4. Hospital and Emergency Medical Services Liens
  5. Mineral Property Liens
  6. Railroad Laborer’s Liens
  7. Farm, Factory, and Store Worker’s Liens
  8. Self-Service Storage Facility Liens
  9. Newspaper Employee’s Liens
  10. Motor Vehicle Mortgagee’s Liens
  11. Broker’s and Appraiser’s Commercial Real Estate Liens
  12. Manufactured Home Liens
  13. Tailor’s and Dry Cleaner’s Liens
  14. Vehicle, Motorboat, and Vessel Worker’s Liens
  15. Stock Breeder’s Liens
  16. Stable Keeper’s, Garageman’s, Pasturer’s, and Cotton Ginner’s Liens
  17. Agricultural Liens
  18. Veterinary Care Liens
  19. Plastic Fabricator Liens
  20. Aircraft Repair and Maintenance Liens
  21. Damaged Fence Liens

In our Law 101 posts, we define terms, phrases, or concepts with the goal of conveying core information in order to set the stage for more complex discussions.

Power to Quarantine Those Exposed to Ebola

dallas texas ebola quarantineEbola is in Dallas. Well, one case of the virus is here. The first one in the United States. The speed and effectiveness of the response have been placed under the microscope. The media was quick to report that some of the people who may have been exposed to the virus did not voluntarily quarantine themselves. According to this article, Texas’s State Health Commissioner signed an order legally compelling “four close family members of the Ebola patient in Dallas to stay in their home.” Can he do that? What are the consequences if the order isn’t obeyed?

Yes, the commissioner can do that. The Texas Health and Safety Code contains the Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Act. The Act empowers the appropriate health authority to adopt and implement control measures including detention, restriction, quarantine, and preventive therapy over individuals, animals, places, or objects, as appropriate. The Act also puts into place a process whereby an order from the judicial branch may be obtained in certain circumstances. The idea, of course, is to prevent the spread of disease and protect the public health.

Failure to comply with the commissioner’s order may constitute a felony, punishable by jail time and/or a fine.

My undergraduate degree is in microbiology. I worked as a microbiologist before law school. The Ebola virus is a serious matter. But with a swift and effective response, education, and reasonable safety measures, it shouldn’t be the end of the world. Still, I hope this lamentable event evokes some positive response to counter this disease and help those who may suffer from it and their loved ones. It’s amazing what we can accomplish when we work together.

In our In the News series, we use an article or topic that has been featured recently in the news as a potential learning opportunity.