Medlin Law Firm - September 2019

The Medl in News


In both law and football, preparation is everything. It’s not enough to be a good debater or a fast cornerback. You need to study your opponents, learn their strategies, and come up with a plan of attack. Being able to anticipate the opposition’s arguments and defend your own is as important in a court of law as being able to read a defensive line is on the gridiron. Most importantly, this painstaking preparation is what makes the big plays possible. For instance, my team and I recently went through over an hour and a half of police video footage. The vast majority of it was completely unremarkable: just the officer and our client waiting for a tow truck. But, had we not gone over everyminute of footage, we would have missed a critical detail. Buried within the recording was a clear moment when the officer mocked our client — not because of something they said or the situation they were in but simply because they are Hispanic. After playing that segment of video to the courtroom, I asked the officer, “What do you call someone who makes fun of people’s ethnicities?” Touchdown. One segment of video, one key question, or one long pass can be the difference between victory and defeat. In law, as in football, putting in the time to make these moments happen takes hard work and preparation. I’m grateful to have an amazing team that makes the most of every play.


It’s been a long wait, but football season is finally kicking off. Naturally, I’ve been a Cowboys fan for as long as I can remember. Growing up near the old Norbuck field, I used to be able to walk from my house to watch them practice. Late one summer, I actually grabbed a pen and paper and headed out to see if I could get an autograph. Being 9 years old, I can’t remember which player ended up giving me his signature. At that age, I was more aware of the general star power of the Cowboys than the stats or exploits of any given team member. This brief brush with NFL stardom aside, I have to admit that I’ve become more of a college football fan. Having gotten both my bachelor’s and law degrees from Texas Tech, I don’t need to split my loyalty between schools. With Matt Wells coming on board as head coach, this is shaping up to be a rebuilding year for the Red Raiders. I’m looking forward to seeing how the team shapes up by the end of the season. I think the reason I find myself more fixated on college games is because I love big plays. As a sport, football seems prone to bombastic, game-defining moments. They don’t happen every game, but when they do, the excitement is unparalleled. I vividly remember Tony Dorsett’s 99-yard touchdown run against the Vikings from all the way back in 1983. Because defenses tend to be a little more relaxed in college football at the moment, these sorts of long bombs, miracle runs, and Cinderella comebacks are a little more common than they are in the NFL, so I go where the action is. I also appreciate what it takes to make these winning plays happen. I may be pretty far from being a football player, but the underlying skills they use actually have a lot in common with being a lawyer. Hear me out.

Go Red Raiders,

– Gary L. Medlin, Esq. | Pg. 1


The Strange History of ‘Happy Birthday’

By the 1930s, “Happy Birthday” appeared all over in films and on the radio, prompting Mildred and Patty’s sister, Jessica, to secure the copyright to “Happy Birthday” due to its similarity to “Good Morning to You.” In 1988, Warner Music acquired the copyright, and the song’s ingrained popularity ensured a profit. They reportedly made $2 million a year on royalty charges. The Walt Disney Company paid $5,000 to use the song in a parade, and many documentaries were also impacted by the copyright. The civil rights documentary “Eyes on the Prize” never made it to DVD because the royalties charge on a scene of Martin Luther King celebrating his birthday was so high. Due to its age and popularity, many people have insisted “Happy Birthday” is, or at least should be, in the public domain. When Warner Music tried to charge filmmaker Jennifer Nelson royalties to make a film about the song, she filed a lawsuit. Her attorneys uncovered a 1922 songbook featuring “Happy Birthday” without any copyright notice. They even suggested Warner Music knowingly hid the songbook because it proved “Happy Birthday” had been in the public domain for decades. In 2015, a U.S. judge ruled that “Happy Birthday” is not under copyright. So, the next time you record guests singing “Happy Birthday” at a birthday party, you don’t have to worry about paying royalties if you upload it online.

Is your calendar full of birthday parties this month? You’re not alone. In the United States, more people are born in September than in any other month, meaning Americans will sing many choruses of “Happy Birthday” this month. This popular tune has a surprisingly controversial history. First composed by sisters Mildred and Patty Hill in 1893, the familiar melody originally belonged to a song called “Good Morning to All,” a song the sisters sang to their students every morning. Over time, the word “birthday” entered variations of the song and became a popular party tune.

A Simple Mistake Can Cost a College Education STAY IN SCHOOL, NOT THE COURTROOM

This fall, young adults across Texas took their first steps onto college campuses and toward their futures. It’s an understandably exciting time for these students, but a lot can go wrong during their first semester. Easy access to drugs and alcohol paired with a sudden lack of parental supervision can lead normally well-behaved students to make mistakes that can cost them their futures. Set parent-student boundaries. If you have a college freshman or sophomore in the family, it’s important to maintain a healthy line of communication. You shouldn’t overdo it. Calling every day or showing up on campus unannounced can lead students to feel like their privacy is being invaded, making them less likely to reach out when something goes wrong. Try video chatting every other week and don’t ask too many prying questions. Showing your child that you trust them is often the best way to help them open up to you when they need help. Ensure they knowwhat’s at stake. While avoiding being a “helicopter parent” is important, you should still have a talk with your student to

emphasize that they’re an adult now and that their mistakes will have adult consequences. Remind them that choosing to drink and drive or being found in possession of a controlled substance could take them out of the classroom and into prison. Beyond the law, violating their school’s code of conduct through acts like plagiarizing can cost them scholarships, credits, or even get them suspended or expelled. Help them find a lawyer you trust. If mistakes are made, finding a student defense lawyer near your child’s college town is critical to protecting their future. These professionals can represent your student in court and negotiate with college officials over alleged conduct violations. Experienced attorneys like the Medlin Law Firm attorneys can help your child seek alternative sentencing programs that will protect their record and keep them on the path to earning their degree. As a firm, we’re proud to represent so many bright minds across the Dallas Fort-Worth area. | Pg. 2

Prolonged headache

Memory loss


Vision disturbances

Ringing ears


Difficulty concentrating

Signs of Traumatic Brain Injury

Nausea or vomiting

Sensitivity to light

To echo Gary on the cover, we have some pretty big football fans here at the firm. However, we also recognize the toll the sport can have on athletes when proper precautions aren’t taken, especially when head injuries are concerned. As an increasing number of studies have shown, football players of all age groups are at a far higher risk of sustaining brain trauma with life-altering consequences. Concussions Concussions are the most well-known example of a brain injury. While symptoms and severity can vary, all concussed people experience a temporary loss in brain function. While this injury is common in football players, any hard blow to the head can result in one. You could have a concussion after a car accident or a bad fall, for example. In any situation, it’s important that you know the signs of this condition. Symptoms Being able to identify a concussion is vital, especially if you have a young athlete in the family. Here are some signs the American Association of Neurological Surgeons says to watch out for:

Impaired balance

Loss of smell or taste


The Dangers of CTE Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is perhaps the most severe long-term risk for football players. Unlike concussions, CTE is far less common outside the world of sports, although military veterans and those who have experienced domestic abuse may also develop it. CTE is caused by repeated head injuries over many years. The results are extremely debilitating and include mood swings and memory problems that don’t fade over time. Because of the permanent nature of CTE, it is critical that athletes receive proper treatment after a head injury and that precautions are taken to prevent them in the future. Sports programs that fail to notice concussions or give concussed athletes adequate time to recover can be found liable for negligence.

Classic Apple Crisp

Brain Buster


Topping: •

Filling: •

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

5 lbs Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

3 tbsp all-purpose flour

6 tbsp chilled butter, cut into pieces 1/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp lemon juice


1. Heat oven to 350 F. 2. In a mixing bowl, mix all filling ingredients together. Transfer to individual serving ramekins. 3. In a different mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt for the topping. Mix in butter until it forms lumps roughly the size of a pea, then stir in pecans. Sprinkle topping over filling. 4. Bake for 35–40 minutes, let stand for 10 minutes, and serve.

Inspired by Food Network | Pg. 3

1300 South University Drive Suite 318 Fort Worth, TX 76107





A Lawyer’s Guide to Football

2. Who Can Sing ‘Happy Birthday’?

A Simple Mistake Can Cost a College Education

3. Signs of Traumatic Brain Injury

Classic Apple Crisp

4. Origins of Oktoberfest and Popular Events

ROOTS OF OKTOBERFEST With Oktoberfest right around the corner, you may start hearing some of these fun sayings: “I don’t give a Schnitzel,” “Keep calm, and Prost on,” or “You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy beer.” But what exactly is Oktoberfest, and why do so many people celebrate it? Here are some fun facts about it.

alike dress in old-fashioned garb and march through the streets in honor of Ludwig and Therese’s marriage. The rest you could say is history, or geschichte ! Oktoberfest in … Canada? While Oktoberfest in Munich traditionally starts on Sept. 22, the Canadians celebrate during the

Royal Beginnings Oktoberfest is deeply rooted in Munich culture. It all started with the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen on Oct. 12, 1810, and the citizens of Munich were invited to attend the celebration just outside the gates of the city. The celebration’s main attraction was horse racing, which was also a staple event for the next year but has since been removed from the current celebrations.

week of Oct. 6–14. The twin cities Kitchener- Waterloo host the largest Oktoberfest outside of Munich, boasting more than 700,000 people in attendance each year. The event has a musical concert dubbed “Rocktober” and a dog parade known as “Dogtober.” Even though the Ontario area is becoming more and more popular, you can still enjoy Oktoberfest on a budget. You can find hotels in the area and surrounding cities for well under $100 per night.

Not everyone can make their way to Munich or even Canada to celebrate the fantastical event, but most areas will have something going on. If you love German culture, do a little bit of digging, and you’re sure to find an Oktoberfest event near you!

In 1811, a large agricultural fair was mixed into the event, and in 1817, beer pubs and performers were added. Perhaps one of the most famous events during Oktoberfest is the costume parade, where men and women | Pg. 4

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