Legal issues

Texas judge upholds shield law in criminal case

A state judge in Texas earlier this week quashed a subpoena ordering a journalist to testify in a murder trial, in a rare test of the reporter's privilege in criminal courts since Texas enacted its Free Flow of Information Act in 2009.

Defense attorneys argued that, as shown by her articles, Donna Fielder, a staff writer for the Denton Record-Chronicle, was privy to essential information that would refute investigators' testimonies concerning the defendant.

But District Judge Bruce McFarling said that Fielder was protected from testifying under the state shield law. The law says that a party trying to compel a journalist to testify must first exhaust all efforts to find the information elsewhere, show that the information is material and relevant to the case, and show that the information is essential to the claim.

Click here for the complete story (Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press)

By Avi S. Adelman under Public safety , Legal issues
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Lost Society v BarkingDogs - read all the filings here

On Saturday evening, BD was notified by the Armando Miranda, attorney for Fernando Rosales, owner of Lost Society, that a lawsuit had been filed Friday against BD et al seeking damages for the publication of allegedly defamatory and / or untrue stories and photographs about Lost Society and Rosales since June 2010.

They are seeking the permanent removal of all content posted on this website referencing Fernando Rosales or Lost Society.

By Avi S. Adelman under Neighborhoods , Legal issues
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PatCarrGate: Open mouth, insert foot, repeat, repeat

Update 5/21/2010 - Watch the newest BD Production clip - EVICTED! The Movie - click here! Are you ready for the LGNA St. Patrick's Day Party Taliban Patrol? - click here

Like the elusive triple play in baseball, rarely does an investigative-style writer manage to score three outs on one story. But when that elusive moment arrives, we get down on our knees, place our heads reverently upon the keyboard, and quietly say, Ohmigod thank you for this great chance to rip someone a new butthole using their own words.

I want to say thank you to Lower Greenville NA's president Patricia Carr for giving me such an opportunity. In less than 24 hours, she has managed to dish out enough lies and disinformation to make up for all the pain and anguish that goes with being a community activist so worth the struggle. And thank you to modern technology for digital recording devices so small you have no idea anyone is even recording your conversation (just lean closer to my fountain pen, please).

By Avi S. Adelman under Neighborhoods , Legal issues
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Owner of Longhorn Towing arrested for DWI, driving with suspended license after Saturday morning accident

The Dallas Observer has weighed in with more information about this incident and Longhorn Towing's liabilities - click here

The owner of Longhorn Towing was arrested for Driving While Intoxicated on early Saturday morning after crashing into another vehicle parked on the street. According to the police report, Anna Maria Polanco blew a .131 and a .128 on the breathalyzer at 842 am, nearly an hour after being arrested for DWI and driving with a suspended license on the 10400 block of Marsh Lane at 730am.

Correction: After spending two days trying to confirm what my sources first reported, and what another source familiar with the towing licensing initially told Unfair Park, Lone Star and Longhorn are not affiliated. The story lede has been amended to reflect that new information.

By Avi S. Adelman under Public safety , Legal issues
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Wortham PD fires officer for unauthorized off-duty work on Lowest Greenville

Wortham Texas Police Chief Scott S. Peters notified BD by email on Sunday evening that the unnamed officer working for Club 180 on Saturday evening is a former Reserve Officer from his department. Chief Peters previously served as a police officer in Carrollton TX and a Sergeant in Coppell TX until being hired as Chief in Wortham in early 2009. He told BD he was way too familiar with the issues and problems on Lowest Greenville and did not want his officers working this area in any way whatsoever.

The operative word here is former.

By Avi S. Adelman under Public safety , Legal issues
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