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The Common Law
Common law divorce?
Columns  February 17, 2006, by Luke Ellis
"...I am in a common law marriage, but we are having major problems and I want a divorce. Is there such a thing as common law divorce? How is the process of getting a divorce from a common law marriage any different from a traditional marriage?..."

Common Purpose
Insights from Common House arts space
Arts Story  February 7, 2014, by Seth Orion Schwaiger
"...Just down 49th Street from Airport Boulevard sits a very uncommon house. Full-time studio, part-time gallery, and temporary home for numerous visiting artists over the past three years, this humble bungalow has provided Austin with a continuous stream of contemporary art peppered with unorthodox exhibitions and events..."

The Common Law
Effects of common-law marriage in Texas
Columns  October 22, 2004, by Luke Ellis
"...How can a couple validate a common-law marriage so that it is legally recognized?..."

The Common Law
Common-law marriage in Texas
Columns  October 15, 2004, by Luke Ellis
"...I have lived with my boyfriend for the last three years. Does that mean that we are common-law married?..."

The Common Law
Common Questions About Deferred Adjudication
Columns  April 28, 2006, by Luke Ellis
"...As last week's column discussed, deferred adjudication is a plea bargain agreement between a defendant and the court, in which a formal judgment of guilt is withheld or "deferred" pending the outcome of the probation period. Here are a few more common questions I've received on deferred adjudication:..."

Sense Not So Common
News Story  March 15, 2002, by Jordan Smith
"...That's what the state's star witness, Steen's ex-girlfriend Kelly McGary, told them -- after being granted immunity. Travis County prosecutor Todd Ward told the jurors it was a case about "common sense" -- yet there were more than a few problems with the state's brand of that particular logical commodity..."

Public Notice: Common Ground?
It's always darkest before the dawn
News Column  February 4, 2016, by Nick Barbaro
"...29), and indeed, things did not get any better at last Thurs­day's meeting, or in its aftermath. But hey, it's always darkest before the dawn, right? Out of the chaos and acrimony of last week – due to some astounding arrogance from what I would have to call enemies of the city – some of that may be forgotten for now, as Council pulls together to guide the ship through some very rough waters to a couple of common goals: a reasonable, fair, regulatory policy regarding transportation network companies, and a firm rejection of the idea of crafting government policy by corporate-sponsored referendum...."

Todd Phelps: 'Creativity and Common Sense'
News Story  May 29, 2014
"...In the bureaucracy of what gets approved and what doesn't get approved, it comes down to common sense. With the new water treatment plant, the numbers how that's going to pay for itself are astronomical, and they're daunting..."

The Common Law: The People's Law School – Learn the Law for Free
People's Law School
Columns  February 8, 2013, by Luke Ellis
"...Anyone who enjoys "The Common Law" should attend the People's Law School ("PLS") on Saturday, Feb. 23..."

The Common Law
Should I Take the Breathalyzer?
Columns  May 15, 2009, by Stephen Toland
"...It is scientifically proven that Breathalyzers are often inaccurate and commonly unreliable, and therefore I do not ever recommend providing a breath sample unless required by court order. Below are just a few of the many reasons for the inaccuracies...."

The Common Law
Class-action lawsuit – what is it?
Columns  June 29, 2007, by Luke Ellis
"...In short, a class action is a lawsuit filed by one or more people on behalf of themselves and a larger group of people who are facing the same issues. A class-action lawsuit is the procedural device used in litigation for determining the rights and remedies for large numbers of people whose cases involve common questions of fact and law...."

The Common Law
Getting married – what about a prenup?
Columns  March 30, 2007, by Meghan Griffiths
"...Not all prenups are presumed valid. Though Texas recognizes common-law marriage, no one knows for sure whether a prenup between common-law spouses would be recognized..."

The Common Law
Landlord's perspective on tenant disputes
Columns  March 16, 2007, by Luke Ellis
"...The Common Law regularly addresses landlord/tenant issues from the tenant's perspective. Over the next two weeks, the Common Law will address some basic rental dispute issues as raised by landlords...."

The Common Law
People's law school
Columns  February 16, 2007, by Luke Ellis
"...Anyone who enjoys "The Common Law" should attend the People's Law School on Saturday, Feb. 24, on the UT Law School campus..."

The Common Law
Avoid new consumer scams and identity theft tactics
Columns  September 16, 2005, by Luke Ellis
"...With so many people getting taken advantage of by consumer scam artists and identity thieves, it feels like identity theft is one of the fastest growing industries in the country. In an effort to keep its readers one step ahead of the bad guys, "The Common Law" likes to periodically highlight cutting edge scam tactics..."

The Common Law
People's Law School
Columns  February 18, 2005, by Luke Ellis
"...Anyone who enjoys "The Common Law" should attend the People's Law School on Saturday, Feb. 26, on the UT law school campus..."

Art for the "Common Audience" Journal of the Heart
Arts Story  June 16, 1995
"...Small, framed, typeset entries accompany each installation to give the viewer a place to begin. And if that is not enough, she includes in this exhibition, "Monument to the Common Audience." This particular sculpture is Blayton's visual response to the comment of a particular art critic..."

The Common Law: The People's Law School – Learn the Law at No Cost
People's Law School
Columns  February 7, 2014, by Luke Ellis
"...Anyone who enjoys the "Common Law" should attend the People's Law School (PLS) on Saturday, February 22. PLS is a free event designed to provide basic legal information to the community, demystify the law, and educate people about their legal rights..."

Common-Sense Gun Safety
Postmarks  July 16, 2013
"...It is similar to the term gun safety. To be against gun control of any kind is to be for what? That is the question that has to be answered. As a responsible person, I have to be for some gun control because it reflects common sense..."

Point Austin: A Movement for Common Sense
Saturday rally highlights public support for gun regulation
News Column  April 5, 2013, by Michael King
"...The moderately sounded theme reflects not only an intention to call together people from all sides of the political spectrum, but the understanding that the reforms most advocates are seeking – universal background checks for gun sales, keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill, maintaining gun-free zones in schools and other public institutions – are not remotely radical, and indeed enjoy widespread public support. "We're going to stand up for common sense," says Scruggs...."

The Common Law: The People's Law School – Learn the Law for Free
People's Law School
Columns  February 3, 2012, by Luke Ellis
"...Anyone who enjoys "The Common Law" should attend the People's Law School on Saturday, Feb. 25, at the UT Law School..."

The Daily Deck at the Common House
Josh Row illustrates 365 skateboards everyday for one year.
DAILY Chron Events  February 1, 2012, by Brittany Campbell
"...Last week I attended The Daily Deck at Common House, a local artist collective gallery featuring works from local artist and cooperatives...."

The Common Law
People's Law School
Columns  February 4, 2011, by Luke Ellis
"...Anyone who enjoys "The Common Law" should attend the People's Law School on Saturday, Feb. 26, at the University of Texas School of Law..."

The Common Law
Does the Setback Ordinance Apply to My Garden Shed?
Columns  July 31, 2009, by Evan Johns and Luke Ellis
"...I live in Austin, and I started to build a small garden shed alongside the common fence that I share with my neighbor. Halfway through building it, my neighbor stopped me and said that I couldn't build a structure within a certain distance of the fence..."

Use Common Sense With Springs
Postmarks  May 5, 2009
"...Therefore, given the logic being applied to the trees, it only makes sense to close the pool. Life is full of risks. By planning to wipe out the old trees around Barton Springs, the city is leaving common sense on the tarmac..."

The Common Law
People's Law School
Columns  February 20, 2009, by Luke Ellis
"...Anyone who enjoys "The Common Law" should attend the People's Law School on Saturday, Feb. 28, on the University of Texas Law School campus..."

The Common Law
How Do I Start My LLC?
Columns  January 30, 2009, by Luke Ellis
"...It sounds like you have researched the different options for the structure of your new business – if not, read the "Common Law" columns from the previous two weeks for discussions on the basic differences between a general partnership, corporation, and limited liability company – and decided on an LLC. There are several basic steps to forming an LLC in Texas...."

The Common Law
Modify child-support payments?
Columns  December 12, 2008, by Luke Ellis
"...As addressed in recent "Common Law" columns, Texas has created guidelines to be used by courts when calculating the amount a noncustodial parent (i.e., the parent who does not have primary custody) should pay for child support. The guidelines work on a sliding scale, depending heavily on the number of children that the noncustodial parent needs to support..."

The Common Law
2008 Election Questions
Columns  October 31, 2008, by Luke Ellis
"...But before voters can cast their ballots, they often have last-minute logistical questions about the voting process. Here are a few of the common issues that come up when folks get ready to head to the polls...."

The Common Law
What's the deal with my security deposit?
Columns  August 1, 2008, by Luke Ellis
"...Summer is the time of the year when most Austinites change rental units and issues concerning return of security deposits are common disputes between landlords and tenants. This week's column addresses common disputes over security deposits...."

The Common Law
Fifi Becomes Cujo – Responsibility to Render Aid or Stop Attack?
Columns  May 2, 2008, by Luke Ellis
"...A fairly developed body of law exists in Texas to address an owner's liability for a dog attack. Texas law generally follows the "every dog gets one bite" rule, which states that an owner will not be responsible for damages the dog causes unless the dog is dangerous and the owner knows of the dog's dangerous tendencies (see previous "Common Law" columns)..."

The Common Law
Every dog gets one bite?
Columns  April 18, 2008, by Luke Ellis
"...Texas law defines "dangerous dogs" as those that commit unprovoked acts outside of their normal enclosure that would cause a reasonable person to believe that the dog could attack and cause bodily injury again. Previous bites, attacks, or other displays of vicious tendencies are the most common ways that an owner should know their dog is dangerous..."

The Common Touch Leaving Crawford
Bush family to give up on small town living
DAILY News  April 15, 2008, by Richard Whittaker
"...There's nothing like watching a candidate trying the "I'm just like you, the common voting hoi poloi" schtick when pandering for votes...."

The Common Law
Nuts and Bolts of Filing Your Tax Return
Columns  April 11, 2008, by Luke Ellis
"...So you still haven't filed your tax return even though the deadline is only days away? You may want to read last week's "Common Law" column, which discussed the basics of filing a request for an automatic extension to file an individual tax return (Form 4868). For the rest of the procrastinators out there, here are short answers to common questions related to filing a tax return...."

The Common Law
Alternative Options for Legal Help
Columns  March 28, 2008, by Luke Ellis
"...This problem is all too common. As last week's "Common Law" column discussed, when many low-income individuals look to options for free legal aid, they are often disappointed to find out that they may not qualify for assistance..."

The Common Law
Foreclosure – Contact the Lender?
Columns  February 8, 2008, by Luke Ellis
"...The further behind in payments you become, the more difficult it will be to reinstate the loan and the more likely it will be that the lender will initiate formal foreclosure proceedings. As last week's "Common Law" discussed, foreclosure is a serious problem – it can cause you to lose your home, owe the lender additional money (if there is a deficiency judgment), and will damage your credit score...."

The Common Law
Visa to Travel – When and Why (Part 2)?
Columns  November 2, 2007, by Luke Ellis
"...Last week's column highlighted the importance of looking into visa requirements when planning international travel. This week's column addresses some of the common nuts-and-bolts issues related to getting a visa...."

The Common Law
Visa to travel – when & why?
Columns  October 26, 2007, by Luke Ellis
"...Overlooking visa requirements is a common mistake for American travelers who are accustomed to traveling to destinations that don't require visas. The mistake happens more frequently than you might think..."

The Common Law
Filing a complaint against a doctor (part 2)
Columns  November 10, 2006, by Luke Ellis
"...All complaints undergo an initial 30-day evaluation to determine whether they fall within the TMB's jurisdiction and whether a violation of the Medical Practice Act is indicated in the information submitted. Some of the most common violations of the Texas Medical Practice Act include practice inconsistent with public health and welfare, unprofessional conduct, violations of board rules, and impairment on the part of the physician..."

The Common Law
Are Texas Drunk Driving Laws Tough Enough?
Columns  December 30, 2005, by Luke Ellis
"...Are Texas Drunk Driving Laws Tough Enough? The Common Law receives lots of questions relating to drunk driving. As we near New Year's Eve – which for many means a long night of revelry and drinking alcohol – it seems like the ideal time to evaluate how tough the Texas Drunk Driving laws really are...."

The Common Law
Copyright 101 – the basics
Columns  May 20, 2005, by Luke Ellis
"...Alternatively, several examples of things that are generally not protected by copyright include most ideas and discoveries, works that have not been fixed in a tangible form of expression (i.e., an improvisational music performance that is not written or recorded) or works that consist entirely of information that is common property and contains no original authorship (standard calendars, tape measures, lists taken from public documents, etc.)...."

The Common Law
How do I choose a lawyer?
Columns  May 21, 2004, by Luke Ellis
"...Second, pick a lawyer that is accessible and will give sufficient attention to your questions and concerns. A common complaint about lawyers is that they are unavailable for regular contact once they have taken on the case..."

The Common Law
What happens when you have problems with the repair shop?
Columns  February 20, 2004, by Luke Ellis
"...28, on the UT Law School campus. Volunteer expert lawyers from the Travis County Bar Association will educate the community about a wide variety of common legal issues..."

The Common Law
Can the debt collection agency call me at work? Can the debt collector talk with other people besides me regarding my debt? What types of things would be considered harassment or abuse? Can I prevent the debt collector from calling me in the future?
Columns  February 13, 2004, by Luke Ellis
"...Here are the answers to other common questions related to debt collection:..."

The Common Law
Can the debt collection agency call me at work? Can the debt collector talk with other people besides me regarding my debt? What types of things would be considered harassment or abuse?
Columns  February 6, 2004, by Luke Ellis
"...Here are the answers to other common questions related to debt collection:..."

The Common Law
Some common issues that can arise with your bank
Columns  January 2, 2004, by Luke Ellis
"...The new year often brings about a renewed commitment to organizing our financial affairs. So during the month of January, The Common Law will focus on issues that affect your finances..."

Common Ground on the Colorado
The new Eastside Colorado River Park begins to take shape.
News Story  April 26, 2002, by Dan Oko
"..."Common ground creates community," says Ted Siff of the Austin Parks Foundation, who has been helping marshal the latest efforts to develop the Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Park, 363 verdant acres of Austin parkland just east of Longhorn Dam..."

Common Foodborne Illnesses
Food Story  June 3, 1999
"...With all the different microbes that can infect the human body, standards for good hygiene and food temperature become of the utmost importance. The following chart lists the most common of these microbes..."

The Common Law
Statewide ban on driving and texting
Columns  October 5, 2017, by Luke Ellis and Caroline Young
"...Music and navigation systems are viewed as exemptions and still legal, but common sense suggests that drivers refrain from using these features while driving their vehicle...."

The Common Law
Hurricane Harvey – common legal questions
Columns  September 7, 2017, by Luke Ellis
"...As the flood waters recede, folks from Corpus Christi to Houston to Beaumont are left with the daunting task of finding answers in the aftermath. Whether you seek information for yourself or others, the information below addresses commonly asked questions...."

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