Volume 10, Issue 3
City of Dallas: Request for Amicus Support
The Texas Supreme Court denied review of City of Dallas v. Arredondo, 415 S.W.3d 327 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2013), a case that presents important issues to all Texas cities. Of particular significance is the holding of the Dallas Court of Appeals that random excerpts from unrelated city documents such as the charter and personnel manual that were created years and decades apart for different purposes can be cobbled together to form a single written agreement giving contract rights to city employees. The city’s brief on the merits to the Texas Supreme Court is available here. Dallas is requesting support from cities for their motion for rehearing, which will be filed on or about April 13. Supporting amicus briefs should be filed shortly after that date. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, also available at 214-670-3519.
2015 TCAA Summer Conference Registration Open!
The Texas City Attorneys Association (TCAA) is proud to announce the 2015 Summer Conference at the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort and Spa on June 17-19, 2015. The TCAA Summer Conference is the best CLE program created specifically for municipal lawyers.
Earn your entire year’s participatory CLE requirement with 2015’s expanded 13 hour (including 2 ethics hours) program! Bring the family to experience everything the lost pines have to offer and join us at our new location as we continue the TCAA tradition of excellence.
For more information, including housing, and to register for this conference, please go to: www.tcaasummerconference.org.
Hotel Information: The TCAA room block at the Hyatt Lost Pines is now open. The online hotel reservation portal is under the “General Information” tab.
Conference Topics Include:
- Federal Environmental Update
- Environmental Enforcement
- Service Animals and City Facilities
- Recent Cases
- Neighborhood Empowerment Zones
- Legislative Update
- Contractor Default
- Police Officer F5 Reports
- Utilities Update
- Substandard Structures
- Employment Law
- Officer Involved Shootings
- Regulation of Wireless Towers
- And More!
- Wednesday, June 17 reception and dinner hosted by Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta, LLP. and McCreary, Veselka, Bragg & Allen, P.C.
- Thursday, June 19 reception hosted by McKamie Krueger, LLP.
(Note: No Friday evening event is scheduled this year.)
Call For Award Nominations: Galen Sparks and Susan Rocha Awards for Outstanding Public Service by an Assistant City Attorney
Galen Sparks served as an assistant city attorney and dedicated public servant for the City of Dallas for over 27 years. He distinguished himself in a variety of areas of municipal law and generously shared his time and expertise in a way that substantially enhanced the professionalism of his fellow municipal lawyers. The TCAA Galen Sparks Award for Outstanding Public Service by an Assistant City Attorney is intended to recognize and honor a current or former assistant city attorney for significant and distinguished career achievements in the field of municipal law.
The TCAA board grants one award each year for an assistant city attorney from Texas’ eight largest cities (Arlington, Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, or San Antonio).
Susan Rocha served as an assistant city attorney for the City of San Antonio early in her career, and went on to be a trailblazer in municipal law. She served as president of both the Texas City Attorneys Association and the International Municipal Lawyers Association, and was a mentor and role model for many attorneys in the field due to her hard work, many achievements, and – of course – irrepressible personality. The TCAA Susan Rocha Award for Outstanding Public Service by an Assistant City Attorney is intended to recognize and honor a current or former assistant city attorney for significant and distinguished career achievements in the field of municipal law. Because of her work with smaller cities, the TCAA board grants one award each year for an assistant city attorney from any city other than Texas’ eight largest cities (Arlington, Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, or San Antonio).
The recipients of these awards will be honored at the TCAA Summer Conference in Bastrop. In addition, TCAA will waive the recipients’ seminar registration fee and reimburse the recipients up to $500 for transportation and lodging for the meeting. The deadline to apply to receive the award at the 2015 summer meeting in Bastrop on June 17-19 is April 24, 2015.
For downloadable criteria and a nomination form, please go to the Awards/Certifications link on www.texascityattorneys.org.
Call For Award Nominations: TCAA Outstanding Mentor Award
Just about every lawyer has a mentor who guided his or her career. In an effort to recognize the efforts of a special municipal law mentor, the TCAA Board of Directors recently created the TCAA “Outstanding Mentor Award.” The award is intended to recognize and honor a municipal attorney for his or her significant and distinguished mentoring achievements related to young attorneys and their practice in the field of municipal law.
The nominee must have demonstrated the qualities of a mentor to one or more young municipal attorneys by, for example: (1) serving as a role model to young municipal lawyers in his or her community; (2) fostering the development of young municipal lawyers; and (3) significantly contributing to the profession and/or the community.
The recipient of this award will be honored at the TCAA Semi-Annual Meeting in Bastrop. In addition, TCAA will waive the recipient’s seminar registration fee and reimburse the recipient up to $500 for transportation and lodging for the meeting. The deadline to apply to receive the award at the 2015 summer meeting in Bastrop on June 17-19 is April 24, 2015. For downloadable criteria and an application form, please go to the Awards/Certifications link on www.texascityattorneys.org.
IMLA Annual Conference Scholarships
TCAA, in conjunction with the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA), is proud to continue the Susan C. Rocha Memorial Scholarships for the 2015 IMLA Annual Conference.
In Susan’s memory, TCAA will provide four $2,000 scholarships to the 2015 IMLA Annual Conference for in-house city or assistant city attorneys only. Two will be from the eight largest cities (Arlington, Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, or San Antonio), and two will be from the remaining cities. The conference will be in Las Vegas, NV, on October 4-7, 2015. (For more information on the conference, go to www.imla.org.)
The winners will be drawn from lots. There can be only one winner per city, and winners from previous years are not eligible. The deadline to apply for the drawing is 5:00 p.m. on April 24, 2015.
If you wish to submit your name for the drawing, please send an email to Heather Mahurin at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, position, city, address, phone number, and email address.
2015 TCAA Fall Conference: Call for Speakers
The Texas City Attorneys Association invites all attorneys interested in presenting at the 2015 TCAA Fall Conference to submit your ideas to Scott Houston at email@example.com by April 24, 2015. This year’s conference will be held in San Antonio on September 24, 2015. Questions? Contact Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-231-7400.
IMLA Salary Survey Report is Available
Released in February 2015, IMLA’s 2014 Compensation Report includes salary data for the following job classifications: chief legal officer, deputy chief legal officer, managing attorney, senior assistant (20+ Years), assistant IV (15-20yrs), assistant III (10-15yrs), assistant II (5-10 Years), assistant I (1-5 years), new lawyer with judicial clerkship, new lawyer with law review, new lawyer, paralegal, legal assistant, law clerk, and secretary. For order forms, please email email@example.com.
Texas Board of Professional Engineers Outreach
Texas Municipal League staff met recently with the executive director of the Texas Board of Professional Engineers (TBPE). The TBPE has asked the League to share some basic information about what it does and how that relates to cities: The TBPE regulates the practice of professional engineering in Texas, and it has reached out to the League and its membership with the intent of working together to educate and answer questions that city officials may have regarding professional engineering. The TBPE has informative materials, including a flowchart titled “When is a professional engineer required on a project?” The materials are available at http://engineers.texas.gov/media.html. TBPE staff is available to make outreach presentations directly to a city or TML region, either in person or via webinar, to discuss the role of TBPE, explain how it affects cities, and answer any questions you might have. Please contact the executive director, Lance Kinney, P.E., at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-440-3080 with questions.
FREE CLE! The 2014 TCAA Summer and Fall Conferences are Available Online
The TCAA Online Seminars are FREE, allowing TCAA members who are city attorneys, assistant city attorneys, or attorneys who regularly practice municipal law to view videos of past seminars in a single–session format. Viewing of the session allows attorneys to receive participatory CLE credit with the State Bar. To view available seminars, please visit www.tcaaonlineseminars.org. (Use the case-sensitive password “FreeCLE” to gain access to the sessions.)
Open Government Symposium
The City of Austin will host its second Open Government Symposium April 9 featuring legal experts discussing open government issues including legislation, litigation, trends and the role of an ethics and compliance program in supporting government transparency. The event is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Austin City Hall, 301 W. Second St. The event is free and open to the public and attending attorneys can receive Continuing Legal Education credit at no cost. Visit austintexas.gov/opengov2015 to register. When responding, specify the panel(s) you would like to attend.
If you would like to have an article considered for publication in the TCAA newsletter, please send your request to Christy Drake-Adams at email@example.com.