Need help with political science: Essay - Texas Judiciary

Dec 31st, 2015
Political Science
Price: $20 USD

Question description

Texas has an unusual appeals process for judicial cases. District courts, where trials on matters of fact are held, are separated into different types according to the kind of cases they hear. You may notice when you vote in county elections, there are civil courts, criminal courts, probate courts, family courts, etc.

All these cases are appealed to a court that has jurisdiction in all of those areas. The First and Fourteenth Courts of Appeals, which meet in Houston, hear all kinds of criminal and civil cases.

After that, however, the process splits again. Criminal cases go to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Civil cases go to the Texas Supreme Court.

Go the Texas Supreme Court website:

Use the "case search" feature to find a case called "Del Lago Partners, Inc. and Del Lago Partners, L.P., d/b/a Del Lago Golf Resort & Conference Center, and BMC-The Benchmark Management Co. v. Bradley Smith, No. 06-1022.:"(or - a really easy way to get directly to the case is with this link: )

This case involves a wedding party and the second night of a three-day college fraternity reunion that were held at the same time in the same bar. As you can imagine, this didn't end well for anybody except the lawyers. Read the majority opinion, and the three dissenting opinions by judges who disagreed with this 6-3 decision.

How much responsibility does a restaurant or bar have to prevent fights? The owner has some duty to customers and a somewhat greater duty than other business owners because he holds a license to serve alcoholic beverages. On the other hand, shouldn't we blame the fighters, rather than the owner of the establishment where the fight occurred?

Write a 3-5 pages essay explaining the basic facts of the case and who was suing whom. Explain who won (the court case, not the bar fight) and why the majority decided that way. Explain why three judges disagreed. Finally, if you were a Texas Supreme Court justice, how would you rule in this case?

Other Resources

The Supreme Court of Texas blog has a great article about the Del Lago case:

Bar owners are concerned about the decision:

Note on state court websites

The last few semesters, both websites you need for the Texas Judiciary assignment seem to have a lot of problems. If the websites are down, which they always seem to be about the time this assignment is due, here are some alternative ways to get the information you need.

Use "FindLaw," an online resource for lawyers. They charge for certain things, but this information is available for free.

Go to Findlaw's Texas page:

Scroll down to the "State" section and click on "Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals Opinions."

When you get there, you'll see that Supreme Court opinions are listed chronologically near the top of the page, CCA opinions below. Use the dates listed in the assignment for each case to find the court opinion and proceeds with the assignment.

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Dec 31st, 2015
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