xtitsx: (Default)
( 5 Jun 2017 06:32 pm)
last week was my second week of Summer Term Law School.
there was no Law School on Monday last week because it was Memorial Day.
which meant i got a full week off from school between Wednesday and Wednesday.
that was nice. i was able to get a lot of stuff done. [see posts later this week.]
we had a make-up class last Friday instead.

in Wednesday's Children and the Law class we began talked about the Uniform Parentage Act, which is model legislation that has been adopted by the majority of States [Texas being the first, back in the 1990s] to determine who is somebody's parents.
the law used to be that a child's mother is whoever's vagina the kid tumbles out of and the child's father is whoever the mother happened to be married to, irrespective of any genetic relation, with some exceptions.
there was a reason for that dating back to Medieval England that had to do with the law disfavoring pronouncing children to be bastards if they could avoid it, but then in the 1990s genetic testing became a thing and the community of people who think about Family Law had to get together and think about a new way to do things, hence, the Uniform Parentage Act.
but, before we got into the process of how to determine who a child's parents are and what the default presumptions the State makes are, our Professor Judge Old Coot spent a while talking about the public policies underlying the Uniform Parentage Act.

the Uniform Parentage Act exists to assure children will have frequent and continuing contact with parents who have shown the ability to act in the interests of the child.
that is an important distinction.
a lot of times a parent will confront a custody hearing or some other Family Law business from the vantage point that what they want is what matters.
Judge Old Coot made it clear that, as future lawyers, we are to disabuse our adult clients of the notion that what they want is worth much of anything.
Family Law always comes down to the Best Interests of the Child.
somehow, it took the first hour of class, from 6:30 to 7:30 for the Judge to make the point.
then we had a break.

in the Faculty and Staff Break Room across form our classroom i found a table laid out with treats.
if this was the middle of the day and the Law School was busy with students and staff i would have walked on past, but since the building was largely empty and i assumed there weren't much faculty and/or staff around, i ducked into the room to nick myself a free sandwich.
i stole a half of what i told myself was a chicken salad sandwich from Jason's Deli, but, after working my way through it, i am fairly certain it was tuna.
i don't eat tuna because i am not a larger fish.
i kept trying to tell myself that it was chicken salad with every bite i took, but it wasn't, and i was grossed out the whole time.
but yet i kept eating.
after walking around outside the Law School for ten minutes i headed back towards my classroom for the second half of class.
i wanted to poke my head back into the Faculty and Staff Break Room and see if there was something else i could nab myself, they had some muffins, i think, but this time, there was a lady janitor sitting at the table, grazing what there was to be had, so i kept on walking back to my classroom.
in the few minutes before Professor Judge Old Coot resumed class, some Third Year who looks like Mars from The Hills Have Eyes broke out in song.
i don't know what the guy's deal was, but he made some kind of general announcement to the room and then started singing Green Day's Good Riddance.
not quietly, not to himself, but loudly, to command the attention of the entire classroom.
i assumed he would stop, but he jut kept on going, verse, chorus, verse, until the Professor decided it was time to start class again.

for the second half of Monday's class, Professor Judge Old Coot talked about the rights and duties delineated to parents under the Texas Family Code.
things like the right to physical possession, the right to designate residence and the right to direct moral or religious training.
the responsibility to provide clothing, food, shelter, education, medical and dental care.
the right to manage the affairs of the child, the right to inherit by and through the child and the right to the “services and earnings” of the child.
which means parents can put their children to work and collect all of their wages.
which doesn't seem right at all, but apparently that's a thing.
of course, in certain situations a child can go to court and have that right taken away from their parents and Professor Judge Old Coot went on for a while about Leanne Rhymes doing just that some time ago.
and then, somehow, it was 8:30 and the Professor Judge Old Coot decided he was done for the day.
we didn't even actually get around to the Uniform Parentage Act.

before we left class, the Professor Judge Old Coot told us to read two cases.
this was the first time we'd been given homework outside of our regular reading.
the first was a Supreme Court case about a girl in California who had two daddies because her mother was a bit of a trollop.
she was married to one fellow, got pregnant by another and bounced back and forth between the two men, living with both and her daughter treating both like her father.
eventually, the biological-father decided he wanted to sue to assert his parental rights but the State of California wouldn't let him because the mother's husband was considered the father of record.
the biological-father decided that the State was denying his his 14th Amendment right to Due Process by allowing a statute to determine that he didn't have standing to sue for his parental rights but the Supreme Court shut him down.
they said that the State of California has a protected interest in having legislation to preserve and protect the integrity of married families from having the presumption of marital fatherhood attacked from a third-party.
the next case we read was a Texas Supreme Court case on basically the same subject.
though the Texas case came after the Federal Supreme Court case, the Texas Supreme Court was not bound by the Federal decision because of reasons and ended up going the other way.
they found that it was a violation of a biological parent's constitutional rights to be bared from asserting his parentage just because he was an adulterer and the baby's mother was married.
that makes more sense.
way to be more progressive then California and the Federal Government, Texas!

on Friday we had a make-up class scheduled for the one we missed on Memorial Day Monday.
when i got to class at 6:25 there were only two other people in the room and by the time Professor Judge Old Coot started class, only two others showed up.
there was a rain storm outside and the Professor surmised that maybe some of our classmates were having a hard time getting to School but also it was Friday and we weren't supposed to be there.
the Professor Judge Old Coot decided that since there were only five of us there that he wouldn't bother holding class.
instead, we sat around and talked shit with him for what turned out to be a half hour because once you get an old person talking, it is hard to get them to stop.
Professor Judge Old Coot went on for some time about his time in the Texas Legislature back in the 1970s and about how they called a Constitutional Convention to try to re-write the 1876 Constitution but they couldn't.
then he meandered on to talking about the project he's been working on since the 1990s, trying to bring the rule of law to Mongolia after they finally decided to do away with Communism.
Professor Judge Old Coot might be the most interesting person i have ever met and i could sit around, picking his bald, liver-spotted old vulture brain for a while, but i could tell that my fellow classmates were just waiting for him to stop talking and dismiss us, so i restrained my enthusiasm.
at 7:00pm the Professor Judge Old Coot called it, and that was the end of class for the week.

//[ab irato ad astra]

September 2017

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