Monthly Feature: Summertime and the Law

During the month of July, Harris County Law Library is celebrating summer! Our exhibit, Summertime and the Law, will be on display all month long. On your next visit, pause for a moment in the Law Library lobby to view the exhibit and take a whimsical look at law and some of the hallmarks of summer -- sunshine, swimming, theme parks, barbecue, swimming, and more.

Featured items in the exhibit, along with a few additional sources, are listed here:


Gabriel Gomez v. The State of Texas, Unpublished

Gabriel Gomez appealed his conviction for aggravated assault asserting that he was denied a fair trial. In his complaint, Gomez described the State’s closing remarks as childish, improper, and prejudicial, and “an embarrassment to the legal dignity of the Court.” A portion of the prosecutor’s closing statement, which referenced various Disney characters, including Mickey Mouse, Peter Pan, Snow White, and the Seven Dwarves, is quoted in the opinion. See pages 6 and 7.

Animal Legal Defense Fund v. U.S. Department of Agriculture, 789 F. 3d 1206 (2015)

Living in captivity at a Florida theme park called Seaquarium, an orca named Lolita was exposed to persistent ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Seaquarium tried to combat the harmful UV rays by applying a black-colored zinc oxide to Lolita’s skin, the physiological effects of which were untested and unknown. Plaintiffs argued that the park should be denied renewal of its operating license for violating the Animal Welfare Act. 

Kingsford Products Company v. Kingsfords, Inc., 715 F. Supp. 1013 (1989)

The plaintiff, a manufacturer of charcoal briquettes, brought action against the similarly named Kingsfords, Inc. seeking to enjoin the defendant’s further use of the Kingsford mark on their barbecue sauce product. The District Court held that, despite the plaintiff’s aspirations to one day produce and sell a barbecue sauce under the Kingsford name, they were not entitled to trademark protection. The defendant had already established its product, developed from a family recipe, and the associated brand, so the plaintiff’s arguments went up in proverbial smoke.

Federal Regulations

Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21 - Food and Drugs, Part 135 - Frozen Desserts, Subpart B, Section 135.110

Code of Federal Regulations, Title 7 - Agriculture, Part 58 - Grading and Inspection, Subpart B, Section 58.649

State Statutes

Amusement Ride Safety and Inspection and Insurance Act, Vernon's Texas Code Annotated, Occupations Code, Chapter 2151. Regulation of Amusement Rides


Water Wings (1918), Patent No. 1,262,296

Water Wings (1928), Patent No. 1,677,083