Shareholder Ken Raggio competed at the Texas Senior Olympics in San Antonio this month. He and lifelong friend Dr. Paul Ellis were featured in a Park Cities News blog entry. Ken won the 400 meter dash in his age group, placed second in the 800 meter race, and was third in the 1,500. He will compete at the National Senior Olympics in Minnesota in 2015.
This blog usually highlights legal developments or interesting articles. This post is different--it's personal, I'm going to brag about my dad.
He's a runner, a stair-climber, a cyclist, a family lawyer, and a licensed (inactive) master plumber. My dad has been participating in the National and Texas Senior Games for years. He's won medals in the 400, 800, and 1500 meter races at the National Senior Games. He finished first in his age group climbing up the Empire State Building in 2012. Now, he's been recognized for his fitness accomplishments--and his callout for all of us to try to be more fit-- in the Texas Bar Journal's In Recess section. I'm proud of his accomplishments, in and out of the courtroom.
He's still at it. He won Gold, Silver and Bronze medals at the Texas Senior Olympics this past weekend in the 400M, 800M, and 1500M races
The article appears below, and here's a pdf download link to the whole In Recess on the State Bar's website.
Ken Raggio and Melissa Brown made a presentation to the Family Law Section of the New Mexico Bar Association on Pleasures and Problems of Social Media and other Issues of ESI (Electronically Stored Information) as it relates to Family Law. More than one party in a divorce or custody case has been "done in" by their OWN postings to social media sites. Their two hour presentation opened the eys of the Judges and lawyers present at the live presentation in Albuquerque as well as those watching on the simulcast elsewhere in the state.
It's hard to imagine life without text messaging, e-mail, and social media. They help to make the world a smaller place. But they can also carry significant risks, especially when you find yourself in the middle of a legal proceeding such as a divorce. Firing off an angry e-mail, text, or tweet could have potential consequences in your case. With social media and electronic communications, the name of the game is think before you text.
Communication between spouses can be important evidence in a divorce case. E-mails and text messages can help show a judge or jury the real dynamics of a relationship, and potentially impeach a witness who is on their best behavior because they're in court. These are just a few examples of electronic evidence, which is an emerging area in Texas Family Law.
Once you send text, e-mail, or social media post, it is out of your control. Before sending something, answer a couple questions.
1) What might a judge or jury think of this text/e-mail/post?
2) Do I want to have to explain this to a judge or jury?
3) Do I want this published in the newspaper?
4) Would I want my children to see this?
It's in no one's interest that a message like the one below gets sent and then entered into evidence at trial:
The above comic is from a webcomic called Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. It seems absurd, but it serves as an example: you don't want to be that guy.
There are a lot of parts of a divorce case that are out of a client's control, like court schedules, but e-mails, text messages, and social media posts are definitely within a client's control. Don't commit an unforced error. Think before you text.