John G. Browning News

Best of 'Legally Speaking': Festivus for the rest of us?

By John G. Browning | Dec 9, 2014

This "Legally Speaking" column was first published in the Southeast Texas Record on Dec. 18, 2012

Legally Speaking: Judges you'd like to read

By John G. Browning | Nov 4, 2014

Let’s face it—when we usually think of judges, we think of them as little more than stern, humorless authority figures, perpetual bearers of a dour expression as if to remind all onlookers of the immense gravity of court proceedings.

Legally Speaking: Did that really just happen?

By John G. Browning | Oct 27, 2014

The bizarre twists and turns that the legal world takes would make a great Formula One race course. If you don’t believe me, then just consider the following strange offerings from the justice system.

Legally Speaking: Awards we'd like to see

By John G. Browning | Sep 30, 2014

Readers of “Legally Speaking” know that I delight in finding some of the most bizarre, did-that-really-happen moments in actual court cases in the civil and criminal justice systems.

Legally Speaking: Did they really say that?

By John G. Browning | Aug 25, 2014

I thought I’d seen just about everything in my 25 years of practicing law.  Motions challenging the other side to a fistfight, personal insults hurled during depositions, judicial orders imposing a “time out” on misbehaving lawyers—you name it.

Legally Speaking: Is that really a contract?

By John G. Browning | Aug 19, 2014

From time to time, I’ve had an opposing party claim that he was going to “wipe his backside” with a legal document like a contract.  Rude, yes, but what if a contract was actually written on toilet paper?  Would it still be enforceable?  If a contract is required to be reduced to writing (and not all of them are), does it matter what it’s written on?

Legally Speaking: More wacky warning labels and other legal weirdness

By John G. Browning | Aug 11, 2014

It’s that time of year again when the Center for America releases the winners of its Wacky Warning Label contest.

Legally Speaking: Can't we all just get along?

By John G. Browning | Aug 5, 2014

The courtroom is not supposed to be a violent place. After all, our modern system of justice where parties resolve their disputes before an impartial third party (the judge) and/or a jury of their peers was intended to replace trial by combat-in which parties settled their differences by fighting it out (usually to the death).  For most of us, the closest we’ve come to seeing trial by combat is our

Legally Speaking: You say Grenada, I say Granada and other true tales of legal weirdness

By John G. Browning | Jul 22, 2014

Have you ever had the fear while boarding a plane of being on the wrong flight and winding up at a completely different destination?

Legally Speaking-Lawyers Doing Good (Part II)

By John G. Browning | Jun 29, 2014

Some of the ways in which lawyers do good for the community are geared toward hope for a better future — such as raising money for charity, men

Legally Speaking: Lawyers doing good (Part I)

By John G. Browning | Jun 23, 2014

The legal profession, to the surprise of no one, gets more than its fair share of bad publicity.

Legally Speaking: Real life law — even stranger than fiction

By John G. Browning | Jun 16, 2014

No matter what kind of plot twists, turns, and unexpected, you-didn’t-see-this-one-coming moments that you may see on television legal dramas like “The Good Wife,” they will never compare to the shocking moments that you can see on a regular basis in the legal world.

Legally Speaking: Even stranger than fiction

By John G. Browning | May 18, 2014

There is a lot of weirdness in the legal system, with strange-but-true figures and events that even a fiction writer would be prone to dismiss as too outlandish. If you don’t believe me, just check out the following examples.

Legally Speaking: Watch what you say, and when you say it

By John G. Browning | May 12, 2014

Lawyers have gotten the nickname “mouthpieces” for a very good reason — people can get themselves into a lot of trouble for what they say.  This is especially true in criminal cases, where there is a right to remain silent for a reason, but also in civil cases.

Legally Speaking: The rapping lawyer and other true tales

By John G. Browning | Apr 8, 2014

Readers often ask if some of the more bizarre cases, litigants, and lawyers featured in “Legally Speaking” are made up.  They’re not. 

Legally Speaking: The lighter side of the law, Part II

By John G. Browning | Mar 18, 2014

Just before the start of Lent and all the Mardi Gras revelry, I saw a reminder of the amusing absurdities that characterize the legal system. 

Legally Speaking: The lighter side of the law-Part I

By John G. Browning | Mar 11, 2014

As I make my way through the day to day drudgery that usually characterizes the legal system, it is easy to overlook the humorous moments that happen—and believe me, they do happen.  Just consider the following incidents: 

Legally Speaking: The element of surprise

By John G. Browning | Feb 25, 2014

In many aspects of life, there’s something to be said for the element of surprise, whether it’s catching your spouse off guard with an unexpected gift for no reason, or simply changing up your usual dinner order at a favorite restaurant. 

Legally Speaking: What I love about Texas

By John G. Browning | Feb 18, 2014

Texas troubadours like Pat Green and Lyle Lovett have expressed their love of Texas in song, with lyrics waxing nostalgic over everything from honky-tonks to tubing down the Guadalupe River.  

Legally Speaking: The power of belief

By John G. Browning | Feb 3, 2014

Belief can be a powerful thing.  Sometimes, the law will, under certain circumstances, show deference to that belief, such as the individual who recently persuaded the Department of Motor Vehicles to allow him to have his driver’s license photo taken while wearing a spaghetti strainer on his head (he claimed to be a practicing “Pastafarian”).

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