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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 7, 1991, New Braunfels, Texas Herald-Zeltung, New Braunfels, Texas Tuesday, May 7, 1991 Page 7 BARRY D. MOORE GENERAL PRACTICE BOARD CERTIFIED RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE LAW Texas Board Of Legal Specialization 245 S. Seguin 625-7751CORNELIUS & POWELL ATTORNEYS625-6933 391 UNDA STREET NEW BRAUNFELS, TEXASKENNETH D. BRAZLE ATTORNEY AT LAW 395 LANDA NEW BRAUNFELS, TEXAS 78130(512)629-8008 FAX (512)629-2161TROY D. BURCH, JR. BEVIL & CHUNN ATTORNEY AT LAW 389 S. SEGUIN (Across from the Civic Center) TEL (512)625*9117 WADE ARLEDGELAWYER 245 S. SEGUIN NEW BRAUNFELS, TX. 78130 (512)629-8145Ronald D. Zipp ATTORNEY ANO COUNSELOR AT LAW 384 LANDA NEW BRAUNFELS. TEXAS 78130 24 HOUR NUMBER (512) 629-5600 OFFICE HOURS: M0N.-FRI. 8:30 am. * 5:00 P.M. EVENINGS, WEEKENDS & HOLIDAYS BY APPOINTMENTFAMILY LAW QI I am paying child support to my ex-wife and she is spending it u.i things other than my children. Can I put it in trust or make her account for her expenditures? A ! Generally you can do neither. If, in fact she is not properly taking care of the children you can ask the Court, on proper motion, to remove her as the custodial parent.PROBATE: Q• Should I give away my property in trust while I am alive to avoid the cost of probate? AI That is not a very good reason. The cost of creating such a trust will often exceed the cost of probate and creating the trust will, in one way or another, restrict your ability to do as you wish with your property during your life.CRIMINAL LAW: Q • How can an attorney in good conscience represent a criminal defendant who he knows to be guilty? A. I Initially, it should be noted that the attorney cannot possibly “know” that the Defendant is guilty unless the attorney was a witness to the crime. Au attorney who witnessed a crime cannot represent someone accused of that particular offense, as the attorney would be subject to being called to testify in the trial. For a variety of reasons, witnesses may be mistaken and/or untruthful. Even if the Defendant himself admits to the offense, there arc numerous documented cases wherein people have admitted to the commission of crimes that they did not commit. In short, an attorney cannot possibly “know" for certain that the client is guilty, although he may have an opinion. Under the law all persons sccuscd of criminal offenses are entitled to a fair trial as well as representation by competent legal counsel. Even if that counsel held the opinion that the client was guilty it remains counsel’s sworn obligation to provide the client with /jealous, competent, and diligent professional representation. Any attorney who would allow his opinion as lo the guilt or innocence of the client to affect his ability to provide zealous, competent, and diligent professional representation should withdraw from the case. It is the defense lawyer’s solemn duty to ensure that his client receives a fair trial and is afforded all rights due the client under our law.PERSONAL INJURY-DAMAGES Q • I was recently injured in an auto accident which was the other driver’s fault. His insurance company has offered to pay my medical bills only. Am I entitled to any other damages? A* In most cases, yes. In addition to medical bills, past and future, you can also recover compensation for the following elements of damages that resulted (past) or will result (future) from your injuries: 1. Physical pain and mental anguish; 2. Loss of earning capacity; 3. Disfigurement; and/or 4. Physical impairment.BANKRUPTCY: Ql If a homeowner files a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, may that homeowner exempt the Homestead? A • Under both the Federal and Texas Statues creating cxccmptions, a homeowner, so long as he makes payments according to their agreement with with mortgage company, may exempt their homestead from bankruptcy. Homestead means the resi- WILLS: dcnce in which homeowner intends to ■■■■■■■■ live. A. Members of the armed forces and support personnel assigned to Operation Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf combat zone will have until at least 180 days after they depart from the * crsiaii Gulf to file their 1990 Federal income tax returns. This relief is also available to their spouses. Military pay received by enlisted personnel while serving in the combat zone is exempt from income tax. For commissioned officers, up to $500 a month can be excluded from income. All returns and correspondence sent to the IRS should indicate “Desert Storm” at the top to alert the IRS. Call the IRS at 1-800-TAX-1040 for more information. Q. As die owner of an S corporation, can I avoid social security tax and other payroll taxes by not paying myself a salary? A* An owner of an S corporation that works for his company must pay himself a reasonable salary for the services he performs for the corporation and the usual payroll taxes on that salary mast be paid. If he receives distributions from the S corporation and has not paid himself a reasonable salary, the IRS will treat the distributions as salary and slap on FICA and other payroll taxes. The IRS now has a nationwide program for identifying S corporation owners who fail to pay themselves a reasonable salary. property. If the tenant docs not vacate the property, the landlord may then file an eviction action (sometimes called forcible entry and detainer) in the Justice of the Peace Court. The complaint will then be served on the tenant by a deputy sheriff or process server and a hearing will be scheduled in approximately ten (IO) days, lf the Judge rules in favor of the landlord, the Judge will sign a judgment ordering the tenant from the property, lf the tenant has not moved within five (5) days from the date of the judgment, then the landlord may obtain a “writ of restitution” which will authorize the County Sheriffs office to physically remove the tenant. Attorneys can provide additional information and assist in the legal procedure.LITIGATION QFAMILY LAW: Ql Am I liable for the conduct of my child? At A parent in Texas has the duty of control and reasonable discipline of a child. The parent is liable for any property damage that the negligent conduct of a child has caused, and if it can be proved that the parent was negligent in his or her failure to control and discipline the child. A parent can be held liable for any properly damage in which a child who is al least twelve (12) years of age, but, under age eighteen (18) has caused a due lo willful and malicious conduct, lf a child has willfully or malicioasly acted and caused damage, the recovery for that damage is limited to actual cost, but, not to exceed Fifteen-Thousand Dollars ($15,000.00) plus court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.TAX LAW: Q. What relief is available to taxpayers serving in Operation Desert Storm? \J• lf a person prepares his own "/ii! is it valid? A. Texas Law (Section 59 of the Texas Probate Code) recognizes the validity of a handwritten Will. This type of the Will is sometimes called a “holographic” Will. To be valid, a holographic Will must be wholly in die handwriting of die Testator (person making the Will) and must contain the Testator’s signature. For most people, a more formal Will is advisable. By seeking competent legal assistance, you can be sure that essential terms and provisions of the Will are not omitted. LANDLORD AND TENANT: Q • What is involved in evicting a non paying tenant? A* Before fding a formal eviciton complaint in the Justice of the Peace Court, the landlord must give the nonpaying tenant a written “demand for possession” which gives the tenant at least three (3) days to move from the I bought a lot from my brother and don’t have any title insurance. My neighbor now claims that he owns the back of this lot and has threatened to cut down some trees that have been there for years and years. By the time I file a lawsuit and try the case the trees will be gone. Is there anything I can do to stop my neighbor from cutting down the trees while any lawsuit is pending? A* Yes. There is a type of restraining ordcr/injunction that can be obtained almost immediately without notice to your neighbor. It is called an ex parte or one party hearing. You should contact your attorney immediately and have him prepare a legal pleading which must be sworn to and then presented directly to a judge, and, presuming the facts arc sufficient to support your claims, the Judge will issue a temporary restraining order which will then be served upon your neighbor restraining him from the cutting of the trees. If he then goes forward and cuts the trees he will be in contempt of court and could be jailed or fined, or both. The temporary restraining order served on your neighbor will notify him of the date of a hearing in which he can present his side of the story. The lawsuit regarding the property can then proceed as a normal suit. In Texas all parties are normally allowed an opportunity to be heard. However, the Courts recognize that circumstances may come before the Court which must be dealt with immediately and do not allow lime for full notice to all parties. That is when the temporary restraining order should be used. It can be obtained upon a sworn statement of one party to the lawsuit. A temporary restraining order stays in effect for a short time unless extended by the Court or by agreement of the parties. Once the temporary restraining order has been put in place the matters which are the subject of the lawsuit are to remain at status quo until full notice and hearing opportunities arc given to all parties. DBADUNK FOR SUBMITTING LETTERS MAY 22, 1991Carter Casteel Attorney and Counselor at Law . OFFICE: (512)625-7751 245 S. SEGUIN RESIDENCE: (512)625-8621 285 RIO DRIVE NEW BRAUNFELS, TEXAS 71130Gary D. Mathis, JD, CPA Board Certified -Tax Law Texas Board of Legal Specialization R. BRUCE BOVER Attorney at Law 376-A Landa Street New Braunfels, Texas 78130 512-625-6511 512-625-7117 512-620-6000 FAX Board Certified Residential Real Estate Law Texas Board of Legal SpecializationGARY L. STEEL ATTORNEY AT LAW 297 W. SAN ANTONIO NEW BRAUNFEL, TEXAS 78130(512)620-1699JOHN J. CURTIS Attorney at Law Executive Banc, Suite 180 NEW BRAUNFELS, TX 78131-1998 (512)620-7509 Law Office Of Kimbel L. Brown Attorney At Law (Former Assistant County Attorney) Civil and Criminal Practice Snot 1081 625-3455 260 N CASTELL NEW BRAUNFELS. TX FULLY ICFNSC0 Iv TEXAS SuPflfcUf COURT. UNITfO STATES OISTOCT COURT FOR SOU!HERN I WtS'tRN WSTWCTS (MOT (JOARO Cf RT (FICO SY THC TEXAS BOARD OF lf GAL Sf’CCkAUZATIOMS)JOHN BEVIL BEVIL & CHUNN ATTORNEY AT LAW 389 S. SEGUIN TEL. (512)625-9117 THE ATTORNEYS SPEAK IS FEATURED EVERY FIRST TUESDAY IN THE NEW BRAUNFELS HERALD-ZEITUNG QUO you have a legal question you would like featured * in The Attorneys Speak? A Ask the experts. The Attorneys Speak will be published every first Tuesday. Please include return address. Mail your questions to: The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung do The Attorneys Speak P.O. Box 311328 New Braunfels, Tx. 78130 The purpose of thii page 11 to inform the public of the law r.rvi generally addn*ii it! application Specific queitioni regarding the law ihouid be directed to your penonal attorney. No legal dec)nom ihouid be bated on information in thii column without coniuiting your own attorney For anilla nee or further information regal ding The Attorney! Speak call.Corbie 625-9144JOHN C. CHUNN BEVIL & CHUNN ATTORNEY AT LAW 389 S. SEGUIN TEL. (512)625-9117JACK ROBISON ATTORNEY AT LAW391 LANDA ST. NEW BRAUNFELS, TX. 78130512/620-4916 FAX 512/620-6247BEVIL & CHUNN Attorneys At Law 389 S. Seguin St. New Braunfels (Across from the Civic Center) Not Certified By Texas Board of Legal SpecializationWilliam Schroeder Attorney at Law 267 West Mill St. 625-7381SANDRA D. SARRAN Attorney at Law MEMBER STATE BAR OF TEXAS NOT BOARD CERTIFIED IN ANY AREA OF SPECIALIZED PRACTICE (NO CHARGE FOR INITIAL CONSULTATION) 899-4585 Hwy 2673 STARKVILLE...89*46*5 ;