The TML Legal Services Department

The Texas Municipal League Legal Services Department consists of five attorneys serving 1,157 TML member cities. We provide general legal information in response to telephone and email inquiries, participate in educational seminars, provide support services for the TML legislative department, advocate for cities in certain agency and judicial proceedings, and prepare a variety of written materials about city issues.

Our most frequent interaction with our members occurs through telephone and email inquiries. We receive approximately 1,200 calls per month and send approximately 500 emails per month. We respond to inquiries from elected and appointed officials and employees of our member cities who call or email about legal issues within their official responsibilities. Those who call or email with personal concerns will be asked to contact their private legal counsel. We do not provide information about municipal law to either private citizens or our associate members as their interests might be adverse to that of our member cities. In addition, TML’s constitution prohibits us from responding to inquiries that involve conflicts or litigation between member cities.

As for coordination with city attorneys, our legal guide explains as follows:

Our role is to answer your general municipal law questions. If the answer hinges on complex local facts, documents, or the peculiarities of local ordinances or charters, we will recommend that you contact your local legal counsel. Also, if we know that your attorney is working on an issue for your city, we will request that your questions be directed to that attorney.

Lawyers give opinions, and no lawyer’s opinion is a guarantee. Your city attorney gives you an opinion believing it to be a defensible one. Some areas of the law are more uncertain than others and are therefore open to interpretation. When the law is especially unclear, we will suggest that you talk to your local counsel, to get an answer from the one who will be following through as an advocate for that answer. Of course, we will be happy to discuss any issue with your city attorney if she or he wishes to consult with us.

Due to the large number of member cities and our limited staff, we do not directly represent your city in legal matters. We also cannot visit your city for an individual consultation on matters of concern.

You can read more about our services here: https://www.tml.org/legal_guide. You can contact the TML Legal Services Department at 512.231.7400 or legalinfo@tml.org.

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