Monthly Archives: March 2015

Sniper by Choice, Legend by Nature

By | Current Events | No Comments

Early Life

Chris Kyle, the son of a church deacon and Sunday school teacher was born in Odessa, Texas on April 8, 1974. Growing up a southern boy with the determination the size of his home state itself, he spent much of his time defending his loved ones against bullies in the halls of Midlothian High School. After his high school years he went to Tarleton State for two years where he found that his days would be better spent in the military, doing what he was ultimately born to do.

Shortly after finishing Basic Underwater Demolition/Seal training he met the love of his life, Taya Studebaker in a San Diego bar where they immediately hit it off. Taya found it hard to resist the 6’2, sarcastic man with claims such as driving an ice cream truck for a living. Chris and she tied the knot in 2002 before his first deploy in Iraq in 2003. For the next several years he would be miles away from his newly-formed family, protecting his country in combat. He served four tours of duty in Iraq, was deployed to Fallujah in 2004 and Ramadi in 2006, and Baghad and Sadr City in 2008. It wasn’t until strains in his marriage were occurring that Chris finally decided to give up his career as a sniper in 2009. For the next several years, the Kyle family spent time reuniting and creating memories that were long overdue.

Chris’s Death

Following years of family fishing trips, football games, and days at local theme parks, on February 2, 2013 Chris asked his close friend, Chad Littlefield, to accompany him in helping a distressed young man cut loose for a day. Eddie Ray Routh was a slender, 25 year old former marine who had found himself in distress after four years of being in battle himself. Unable to cope with the harsh realities he once faced, his family and loved ones often worried he was suicidal. An afternoon with a local veteran was what they all thought would be best for him.

The three men arrived at Rough Creek Lodge, a place that Kyle had grown to love. It was a tranquil place where he took those who wanted to learn how to shoot because it had a similar countryside to where he spent of his time – protecting his country in Iraq. These peaceful hills and cliffs would soon then be a crime scene where both Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield were brutally murdered. Eddie Ray Routh, who claimed in an attempt to save his own life, fatally shot both men multiple times. He then returned to Lancaster after admitting to his sister of what had happen, only to lead police offers on a high-speed chase until Kyle’s stolen vehicle, which he had taken, died.

The Trial

Two years later, on February 11, 2015 opening statements were made by prosecutors. Although the defense focused on his belief that it was either his life or theirs, Routh admitted to being aware of his wrong-doings at the time, as well as drinking and smoking marijuana the morning of the shootings. On Day 2 of the trial, the crime scene was described and evidence was provided that both victims had never returned fire. Routh’s decision to flee from police gave additional reasoning to argue his sanity at the time. Both the Texas Ranger who searched the defendant’s home after the shooting and Routh’s uncle testified on Day 3. Routh’s uncle stated that his nephew, “knew right from wrong”. Call logs and voice mail messages were delivered on the fourth day of the trial, and finally the report from the officer who first transported Routh for questioning was released on Day 5.

After nine days, the trial came to an end and a verdict was reached. Six out of twelve jurors found Eddie Ray Routh guilty. Although he may have suffered from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Texas law allows a mentally ill defendant to be imprisoned so long as they were aware of their behavior at the time. There has since, however, been some implications to the prosecutors’ defense due to DNA testing. The Texas Jury, after just 3 hours of deliberations, found Routh guilty of murder, essentially deciding that Routh was aware of what he was doing when he shot and killed Chris Kyle.

“Chris Kyle is not gone. Chris Kyle is everywhere. He is the fabric of the freedom that blessed the people of this great nation. He is forever embodied in the strength and tenacity of the SEAL teams, where his courageous path will be followed and his memory is enshrined as SEALs continue to ruthlessly hunt down and destroy America’s enemies.” –Former Commander of Chris Kyle

 

The above article was written by Ashley Hill 

So you have a great idea for business, but now what?

By | Business | No Comments

First off, congratulations! Starting a new business is extremely exciting; although, the excitement of starting a new business is often coupled with feelings of fear and instability. Don’t worry, that is completely normal. In most cases, by the time a potential business client contacts our firm they already have a pretty solid idea as to how they want their business to operate and what their goals are for their business. At this juncture, there are many factors, both non-legal and legal, that we discuss with our client to determine the best course of action for them and their new business venture. What are some of those factors?

General Considerations

As described above, when a new business client contacts our office they generally have a pretty firm grip on what their business plan is, but sometimes they need guidance as to how to properly, and effectively, achieve their goals.  As many business clients know the first, and often the most important, consideration is financial. How much money will it cost to get the business up and running? Does the business have investors, or are they getting a business loan? Do the owners have enough saved to pay their living expenses in the event the business takes time to generate income?

In my opinion, it is usually better for a business to start with a lean budget. Well, what does that mean? Often times new business think big; which is great in terms of ideas and goals, but not in terms of first-year budgets. New business clients are, usually, excited and want nothing but the best for their new company. I agree that you want the best, but do so within your budget. Remember the more overhead a business has; the more difficult it will be for you to begin generating income from your new business. Please keep in mind that there are just general principles and can vary from client to client.

Basic Legal Considerations

Although the details of the conversation vary depending on the type of business that our client is starting, the most common legal issues that we discuss with new business clients include:

1). How properly form the business and what entity works best for their business; i.e. should they form a LLC, S-Crop, or another entity;

2). If there are several partners involved, what are each of their roles and responsibilities, what percentage of the business does each partner own, etc.;

3). What other legal documents will the business require? For example, do they need employment agreements, non-disclosures or non-competes? Does the business need Service Agreements? and;

4). Will the business have an ongoing need for legal counsel?

Again, the above legal considerations are just a basic overview and legal services should be tailored to the individual client’s situation.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are a lot of factors to consider when starting a new business, but starting off on the right foot is imperative to your success. Do your homework, work hard, and your business can be successful!