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Tessmer Tips / 08.10.2015

A license is required to own many animals Texas considers to be dangerous. This includes coyotes, cougars, chimps, lions, tigers and bears. There are no laws regarding monkeys, wolves and other animals.   Equine professionals are protected from liability for property and personal injury damages resulting from the regular dangers of being around horses.  The statute requires the display of “clearly readable” warning signs to alert participants about the liability limitation.  These limits do not include all accidents involving horses, so be sure to consult an attorney to explore any options for recovery.   Have you ever been driving and come upon a cow...

Tessmer Tips / 06.10.2015

Do you allow your dog to run loose?  If your dog runs out into the street, causing a car to swerve and crash … you might be liable for the damages to that vehicle and any personal injuries to the passengers in that vehicle.   Have you noticed that more and more people bring their dogs everywhere?  Most cities prohibit animals (other than service animals) from entering restaurants and grocery stores, but local ordinances should be consulted.  Pet stores are known for allowing shoppers to bring their pets.  But, who is responsible if you slip and injure yourself on a pile of...

Tessmer Tips / 04.10.2015

This week, Tessmer Tips will bring you information about Animal Law. Did you know that dogs bite over 4.7 million Americans every year? But only 15,000 to 16,000 victims are compensated.  Dog owners are responsible for their dogs and for the damage they cause.  Often, home owners insurance will cover the damage, but compensation is rarely offered without the assistance of an attorney.   Do you have a “dangerous” dog?  A dangerous dog is one that has attacked someone or acted like it was going to attack someone while not in the dog’s own enclosure.  If your dog is labeled “dangerous,” the...

Tessmer Tips / 18.09.2015

Texas law requires that division of property must be equitable under the circumstances.  There are many things the court considers in determining what is “equitable”, including fault in the breakup of the marriage, the difference in earning potential between the spouses, which spouse has custody of the children, and more.  An equitable split does not mean that the division of property will be 50/50, and a court is never allowed to award one spouse’s separate property to the other spouse.   A couple can name specific property as “community” or “separate” themselves in two ways.  First, before marrying, they can execute a...

Tessmer Tips / 17.09.2015

In the case of splitting debts in a divorce, the key principle to remember is that any agreement reached involving the assignment of a debt is binding between the spouses, but generally does not extend to creditors. A proper divorce settlement will take several factors into account, such as when the debt was acquired, the names on the debt account and how ownership of the asset associated with the debt – for example, a vehicle – is structured. In general, if the credit of both spouses was used to acquire the debt, or both spouses are named on the credit...

Tessmer Tips / 16.09.2015

A business or professional practice can also be community property and must also be considered in the division of property. Probably the most difficult aspect of determining the value of a business or professional practice is the valuing of “goodwill”.  Goodwill is the intangible value that most businesses have based on their name or reputation.  Even a business that cannot be sold has a goodwill value, which must be ascertained when the couple divorces.  Again, having a qualified Family Law attorney on your side in a case like this is crucial, because he will bring in a CPA or business...