Texas Law Shield Seminar Review Part I

Posted: July 3, 2013 in Vendor Reviews
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I’ve been asked to do a review of Texas Law Shield (of which I am a member), but that is one request that I will be happy never to oblige.  Performing a complete review of their service can only happen if I’m involved in an actual shooting incident.  I personally pride myself on escape and evasion and the application of circle of force in which a resort to firearms is an absolute last resort.  So, other than the Zombie Apocalypse, I’ll be quite happy to use my firearms only against non-living targets and in competitions.

I am, however, very glad to review the seminars that TLS offers on a regular basis.  Seminars are $10 for non-members and $5 for members.  They generally run for about four hours in the evening and are broken into four topics with Q&A sessions after each talk.  Over the course of two posts, I’ll outline the recent June 13 Garland seminar.  My goal is to provide a high-level overview of each talk with some summary points so that you can decide if you wish to attend a future seminar.

This is the second TLS seminar I’ve attended and I’ll begin with the final summary.  The seminar is well worth the money, even at the nonmember price.  While such seminars are often back-door sales pitches and TLS does make points about their service during the talks, there was never any organized attempt to sign up new members in either seminar I attended.

Schedule

The advertised schedule for the June 13 seminar was as follows:

6:30p.m. – 6:45p.m.: Registration & Welcoming Remarks

6:45p.m. – 7:15p.m.: What Power Does a Police Officer Have to Search, Detain or Arrest You in Your Car or Home?

7:15p.m. – 7:30p.m.: Question and Answer

7:30p.m. – 8:00p.m.: It’s All About the Benjamins, Civil Liability: I Was Sued For What!?

8:00p.m. – 8:15p.m.: Question and Answer

8:15p.m. – 8:30p.m.: Break

8:30pm – 9:00p.m.: Explanation of the National Firearms Act and the Law of Owning a Suppressor, Short-Barreled Rifle, etc.

9:00p.m. – 9:15p.m.: Question and Answer

9:15p.m. – 9:45p.m.: Overview of Choices in Ammunition/Does It Legally Matter What I Carry?

9:45p.m. – 10:00p.m.: Question and Answer

10:00p.m.: Adjourn

—–

All attendees received a full-color copy of the TLS document, “When Can I Legally Shoot?  Knowing the Law of Deadly Force In Texas.”    The document distills all the legalese and complexity of the Texas Legal system into clearly written summary phrases along with flow diagrams to illustrate processes.  It’s worth the price of admission just for this one handout.

TLS also handed out a one-page ‘Comparison of Some Popular Defensive Rounds’ and a small document titled ‘The Basics of Warrantless Detainments, Arrests, and Searches.’

You also got a keychain flashlight.

Welcoming Remarks

“Every bullet potentially has a lawyer attached to it.”  Wow.  You generally don’t get that advice at a CHL class.  Go ask George Zimmerman if you think it’s not true.  It’s the best quote from the entire seminar and if you only take away one point from attending, this should be the one.

The speaker harped that any time you use a firearm, regardless of intent, circumstances, or the final outcome, you become part of a legal process and that process is designed around one and only one goal.  The goal is to obtain convictions.  The speaker gave a brief summary of that process from a prosecutor’s point of view along with some interesting actual case studies.  Very eye opening.

The other chilling observation in this opening was the attitude of jurors.  The speaker told of a case where a person went to trial because of a complaint filed nearly a month after a purported incident.  The person was forced to go through a full trial and jurors were interviewed by TLS after the acquittal.  Six of the twelve did not understand the presumption of innocence.  They actually believed that if a person went this far in the system, that he must be guilty in some way.  That’s the ‘jury of your peers’, folks.

What Power Does A Police Officer Have to Search, Detain or Arrest You in Your Car or Home (Darren Rice)

This talk began with some role playing to illustrate how officers sometimes interact with people.  Then, he discussed your suggested response and legal limits as to what can and can not be done by the officer.  The tone and presentation were not anti-law enforcement.  The speaker discussed ‘three encounters of the police kind,’ voluntary, temporary detention, and arrest.  I’m not going to go into detail since I prefer that TLS speak for themselves on legal matters.  I did think the breakdown and complete discussion of legal parameters of each encounter was well done and highly informative.

It’s All About the Benjamins, Civil Liability: I Was Sued For What? (Kirk Evans)

This was another eye-opener for some people.  In terms of criminal liability, the best outcome from a self-defense scenario is to be quickly no-billed.  Your legal journey does not necessarily stop there.  Anyone can be sued by anyone else for pretty much any reason imaginable.  And, judges are under NO legal responsibility to filter out frivolous or ridiculous suits.  Take the case of a 90-year old man whose home was broken into by a 30-year old male high on crystal meth.  The attacker was armed and opened fire on the older man, who returned fire in self-defense.  The attacker took the old man’s gun and tried to commit suicide, but both men were out of ammo.  The old man was sued and I won’t indicate why or for how much, and the ridiculous nature of the claim was irrelevant.

In criminal matters, it’s state vs. individual and the stakes are time in the slammer.  In civil cases, it’s individual vs. individual and it’s all about $$$.  The bar for a criminal conviction is beyond reasonable doubt.  The bar for civil convictions, however, is set much lower to ‘preponderance of evidence.’  Imagine a seesaw.  In a criminal case, the seesaw must be titled pretty much entirely in one direction.  In a civil case, it need only tilt slightly off the horizontal in one direction or the other.  I like the speaker’s term, ‘better half of the evidence.’  Again, it was shocking to hear about how jurors can be swayed during a trial in the process of presenting that ‘better half.’

The speaker discussed the specifics of how a claimant must allege a claim, and the most popular claims in civil actions.  The path through the legal system was also discussed.  I’ll close by reiterating the speaker’s admonition to understand that judges are under no obligation to dismiss at any point during the process.  Some of the ‘war stories’ presented by the speaker were pretty shocking to anyone who believes in fairness and equity in the justice system.

Remember: “Every bullet potentially has a lawyer attached to it.”

—–

In the next post, I’ll summarize the final two topics in the seminar.

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  1. […] in a review of the Texas Law Shield Seminar held in Garland on July 13, 2013.  The link to the first part of the review is here, which includes the seminar […]