on Monday i drove my motorcycle to Law School, arriving a few minutes before 6:30pm.
our old coot of a Professor came in and started talking at the eight or ten people assembled in the classroom.
the topic for the day was the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, which is a law that you use when parents of a child live in two different states.
normally you want to get Personal Jurisdiction over both parents in one state, that makes things easier.
Personal Jurisdiction is the basic concept that a court has jurisdiction over people, which isn't always a given.
a Court only has authority over people that live in that state and if one party lives outside of state lines, courts can't touch them.
there are ways you can get a court to extend Personal Jurisdiction to somebody who lives out of state, often they involved trickery in some way, but, if for whatever reason you can't get them with Personal Jurisdiction, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act kicks in.
the Professor read us all the different sections of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act out of the Texas Family Code book, then, like he does, he went off on frequent detours.
he told us a story about a guy who kidnapped his kids from California an went on the run for seven years before being caught and brought before his courtroom.
then he detoured a bit more and talked for a while about the 1954 attack on Congress by Puerto Rican Nationalists.
which might have been timely on Wednesday when we all woke up to find that some asshole shot up Republican baseball practice, but this detour was before that even took place.
this was just the Old Coot thinking of something interesting and telling us about it, like he does.

my buddy, the only other First Year in class who i used to sit next to in Contracts never turned up.
the Wednesday previous the guy showed up after 8:00pm, drunk.
the Monday before that we got our Spring Semester grades and apparently he didn't do so well.
he got a B [i think] in Contracts, the class we took together, and a C- in Legal Writing and a D+ in Property.
the guy is in his late-forties, has a daughter in high school [that doesn't live with him, but still] and runs some kind of a construction business.
the guy's got a lot on his plate, obviously, but goddamn, those grades are rough.
when the attendance roster was passed around after we came back from a fifteen-minute break in the middle of class i noticed the guy's name was no longer on the list.
i don't know if he dropped out or failed out.
i sent him a text message because we're in the same Group Me chat group to ask if he was alright.
it took him two days to reply.
is sucks that my buddy isn't doing so hot with school but, from a purely selfish standpoint, it sucks for me for him to have dropped out.
Law School is graded on the curve an the more people in a class that are dumber then i am, then better.

class let out around 8:45pm.
class is supposed to get out at 9:15pm but we have never got past 9:00 on any day, either because the Professor doesn't really know when class is supposed to get out or because he is so old, has been teaching for so long and is so venerated at the institution that he just doesn't give a shit.
either way, it's nice.
on Tuesday i had to spend a little more then an hour reading a Texas Supreme Court case called In Re: Lee about Mediated Settlement Agreements and whether or not a court is bound to accept them.
a Mediate Settlement Agreement is, like it sounds, an agreement between two divorced parents about how to manage their children.
a divorced set of parents came up with one but then it turned out the mother of the child in question decided to marry a sex offender and the Court decided maybe she shouldn't have as much access as the MSA alloted her.
the lady appealed up to the Texas Supreme Court who said that the lady's right to contract were greater then the Court's duty to act in the best interests of the child and that a Court can only intervene when two parents are in dispute about how to raise a child.
a Mediated Settlement Agreement is, by definition, an agreement between the kid's two parents and the court has no choice but to adopt it.
which seems dicked up.
it was a mild pain in the ass to have to read a twenty page legal decision and the dissent but this was only the second time the Professor assigned us any cases to read and it's not like we have to write up formal briefs.
the Professor doesn't really even ask us about them, he certainly doesn't call on us to stand up and report on them, so that's nice.

on Wednesday i drove the TITSwagon to Law School.
i didn't want the old girl to feel ignored.
the subject for the day's class was different kinds of custody schemes that divorced parents can have.
here in Teas 'custody' is called 'conservatorship' but it's the same deal.
parents cane be wither Sole Conservators which is self-explanatory, or Joint Managing Conservators, which is not.
despite being called 'Joint Managing' really, only one parent gets to do the primary managing and the other one just gets to have visitation and has to pay child support.
the Joint Managing Conservator who is not the one in charge is also called the 'Posessory Conservator' which is also a totally-misleading name because they are not actually in possession of the kid most of the time.
the Texas Legislature really needs to work on more accurate descriptions of what to call these people.

at 7:45, we took a fifteen minute break.
i peeked into the faculty break-room across the hall to see if there was any free food to scavange before heading upstairs to the student break-room where i found a bounty.
on a table, leftover from some function the school was hosting, was a pile of cookies and brownies, and the fixin's for baked potatoes.
i was torn between picking up some cookies or some bacon bits because it didn't seem right to combine the two.
i decided to go for the bacon bits first.
not artificial bacon-flavored chemical clumps, but actual pieces of bacon, torn up.
there were no plates to be found, so i grabbed a big handful, then a second and ate them like M&Ms out of my greasy hand.
as i ate, i made chit-chat there in the break-room with some girl in my class about her sad life.
she is in her fifth year of Law School in the part-time program.
she is a mother of four children and is raising two other kids from her methhead sister.
as if that isn't bad enough, her youngest, a fifteen-month old, has a rare genetic condition that makes him a floppy vegetable.
“you didn't get a genetic test when you were pregnant?” i asked her, judgmentally.
she said apparently most women don't get prenatal genetic tests, but why the fuck wouldn't they?
as the woman went on describing her brain-dead microcephalic burden i couldn't help but ask her “how do you feel about your life?”
i mean, it might be a shitty question but, goddamn, if i was this woman i would have so much contempt for god or the universe or whoever i could blame.
she said that her husband gets pretty pissy about his lot in life sometimes, but that she can handle it better.
fortunately after a while our fifteen minute break time was up. talking to this woman was depressing.
i washed my hands, grabbed some brownies and cookies for the road and returned to our classroom.

during the second part of class or Professor talked about the procedures for a divorce, about how they used to have the children go on the witness stand and give testimony about which parent they want to live with, but they don't do that anymore.
now the Judge will interview the kids in chambers but really, it's not all that much of a variable in his decision most of the time.
then we talked about the default visitation schedule that was set by the Texas Legislature. Thursdays after school through Sunday at 8:00pm during the school year and 30 days during the Summers.
it used to be weekends and Wednesday evenings, but it turns out that that is impractical.
it seems weird that the Legislature down in Austin would have nothing better to do then micromanage the times when parents would alternate custody but i suppose it's not a bad idea to have a default in place, in situations where parents can't work this shit out on their own.
we were out of class by 8:40pm.

//[ab irato ad astra]
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September 2017

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