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If you or someone you know is in need of continuing legal education credits, consider our CLE program, "Ways to Ensure That Investigations Add Value to Your Case," approved by the State Bar of Texas. We will accommodate your schedule to provide this complimentary presentation in the convenience of your office.
Next Edition Topics:

Blood from a Turnip : Searching for assets of "bankrupt" debtors

Giambotta : Italian stew recipe to help chase away the last of winter
The purpose of this publication is to provide you with information about investigations or security that can be used.
In the month's edition of VantagePoints we present some food for thought regarding the discovery, during background investigations, of criminal offenses that have been expunged or in which adjudication of guilt was deferred. Such scenarios are becoming increasingly common, and mishandling can lead to fines and/or lawsuits.
We also provide some valuable tips on selecting a firearm for the purpose of civilian concealed carry. The right gun for the right job is essential.  
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Strike That: Dealing with expunged or non-adjudicated criminal records in employment investigations
Criminal background checks, long a means of screening potential employees for patterns of illegal behavior, are increasingly coming under restriction by governing bodies. This particularly applies to crimes that do not constitute moral turpitude. This is especially true when a criminal complaint does not result in an adjudication of guilt. Improperly firing or refusing to hire based on a nonviolent criminal offense can subject a company to litigation, fines, or both.
To decrease jail populations, courts are more disposed to allow first-time offenders to enter into a plea bargain whereby probation is ruled, and the adjudication of guilt is deferred. In such instances, if the accused successfully completes the terms of probation, the matter is disposed and usually is subject to an order of nondisclosure, or an expungement. An order of nondisclosure shields the case from release to the general public, but still enables law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies to access the restricted record. An expungement is intended to remove the record altogether.
Many defendants do not comprehend, however, that a plea agreement... Read More

Big Iron: Choosing the right firearm for civilian concealed carry purposes
The classic Marty Robbins ballad "Big Iron" tells of a lawman's pursuit and conquest of a ruthless murderer using the "big iron on his hip." Americans have long romanticized large pistols in film and literature. Clint Eastwood's "Dirty Harry" famously relied upon his "hand cannon," a long-barreled Smith & Wesson Model .44-Magnum, "the most powerful handgun in the world," to mete out justice to criminals. The .44-Magnum is impressive. It fires a supersonic round with enough energy to take down a charging elephant.
However, when it comes to civilian concealed-carry purposes, bigger is not necessarily better. The practicality of a pistol with a giant barrel is virtually nil, especially to someone who is not an expert marksman, or in need of downing large wildlife. On the contrary, such a gun would not fit the criteria for an effective selection for civilian use. The primary criteria in selecting your firearm are:
  • Competence
  • Capability
  • Concealability
  • Comfort 
The most fundamental consideration is the competence of the person carrying the weapon. Taking and passing a course is by no means the sole determinant. If you are at all lacking in the ability to effectively extract the weapon, place it on target, and regularly hit it with accuracy, rectify this before even contemplating carrying a firearm. Also, learn proper handling, storage, and cleaning techniques. Don't hesitate to undergo individual sessions with a qualified firearms instructor.
Next is to determine
.. Read More