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Click here for Robert Miller's Texas Public Law Blog "View from the Gallery."
For more than a century, Locke Lord has had a singular focus on our clients and their goals. Our long-established tradition of responsive, personalized service and excellence in meeting the needs of our clients has made us one of the nation’s top law firms and political lobbying powerhouses. Our solid reputation and our ability to deliver the highest quality work are what we bring to city halls and state capitals across the nation and to Washington, D.C.
In today's business environment, individuals, companies and organizations must understand, navigate and shape public policy, both locally and federally. Locke Lord will advance your interests, prevent problems before they develop and provide you the information you need to take timely action. We have a proven record of guiding clients through the government maze to achieve their objectives by providing a full array of legislative, regulatory and legal services. Our attorneys and non-attorney professionals form a unique and diverse public law team with extensive political contacts at every level of government and the knowledge of how public processes work.
As federal, state and local governments become more sophisticated, the management of issues grows more complex. Elected officials and legislative staffs are expanding in number and are increasingly affecting businesses, organizations and individuals. The wisest approach in dealing with the government is to be proactive, with a constant presence among officials and vigilant cultivation of those empowered to affect your interests. Our physical presence in Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Sacramento, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. ensures Locke Lord is at the forefront of political, economic and government issues.
Our Public Law partners, associates and professionals in Houston, Austin and Dallas form a Texas team that has built up unparalleled relationships, trust and an outstanding reputation for integrity across the Southwest and beyond. They form the foundation for our proactive counsel and are one of the keys to Locke Lord’s public law strength. In Washington, D.C., our attorneys and public affairs professionals constitute Locke Lord Strategies®, a public affairs team of proactive and bipartisan problem solvers, each with extensive political and public policy experience (see Locke Lord Strategies® Practice area).
No matter what or where your public law issue lies, Locke Lord’s professionals are well-prepared to approach it with good judgment, years of experience and unsurpassed personal connections at every level of government, be it local, state or federal.
Texas Public LawWhether you’re an individual, a business, a non-profit or a public agency, it's vital you know how to properly deal with the government, and Locke Lord can help shape the future of your endeavor or organization.
Our Firm’s Texas roots date back more than 100 years, and we have built upon that century of knowledge, networks and experience in recent years to work with a broad range of state government entities across the country. Our familiarity with government organizations runs deep, and our broad-based practice allows us to assist companies with multi-state operations when they face political hurdles that might hamper or halt their growth. We work to prevent business strategy from being compromised because of conflicting state policies—this requires a comprehensive knowledge of the laws and regulations that govern how business gets done and lobbying skills.
Following the 78th, 79th, 80th, 81st and 82nd Texas Legislative Sessions, Texas Lawyer ranked the firm's lobbying practice at the top of law firm lobbying practices based on lobby billings reported to the Texas Ethics Commission. Our broad and diverse team is thoroughly familiar with the Texas legislative process and has excellent relationships with state officials and legislators throughout Texas. During legislative sessions, our team is full time in Austin assisting clients with their state government relations needs. During the interim, we are actively involved with interim committee charges and cultivating relationships for the next session. Public Law Chair Robert Miller writes a well-followed weekly blog – View from the Gallery – detailing legislative highlights.
In January 2013, Locke Lord was named the No. 1 law firm lobby practice in Texas by Capitol Inside’s 10th Annual Texas Lobby Power Rankings, a top spot the Firm has held for the last decade. Public Law Chair Robert Miller was ranked No. 5 out of approximately 2,000 Texas lobbyists, and Public Law team members Yuniedth Midence Steen, Gardner Pate, Walter B. Smith Jr. and Consultant Nef Partida also were included in the Power Rankings. The widely read publication called our Public Law team “the epitome of teamwork in the public advocacy profession” in Texas and has said in previous reports that it "has become the model in Texas for lobby practices at law firms.”
Our attorneys are also active in Texas representing both government agencies and organizations that are adverse to government agencies in open meetings and public information related issues. In Texas, we counsel clients on proper subject matter for closed sessions, proper invocation of the “competitive issues” exception under Texas Senate Bill 7 (the electric deregulation bill) and proper postings for meetings and subject matter descriptions of issues to be considered. Our attorneys represent parties seeking documents from governmental entities. Likewise, on behalf of state and local governmental entities, we advise agencies on policies and procedures regarding responses to public information requests.
Our administrative/regulatory practice is integral to our state government public law practice. For those companies and organizations directly affected by state government activity, our attorneys are vigilant in cultivating support from those empowered to affect our clients’ interests in such areas as environmental law, utility regulation, transportation, health care, education and taxation. Our representation in front of key leaders at executive agencies is ongoing, and we work on critical matters during legislative sessions and in between, when important interim committee work is being done. We facilitate clients’ contacts with those who influence policy and oversee regulation of key industries.
For example, our team worked with Gulf States Toyota's General Counsel to design a comprehensive five-state government relations program. We handle Gulf States' lobbying of the Texas legislature, work with Texas administrative agencies and communicate on its behalf with the Texas congressional delegation. We helped our client form a team of lobbyists in the four remaining states, and we coordinate and monitor work done by them. Our focus is proactive identification and lobbying regarding any political challenges that might affect our client's business.
LocalAt the local level, our attorneys and professionals work with officials of all types of governmental bodies, including city, county or parish officials and members of special bodies, such as regional mobility agencies, water districts, river authorities, road districts and other political subdivisions. We represent clients in matters concerning land development, revitalization of urban areas, tax abatements, telecommunications tower siting, utility regulation, franchise rights, zoning and a myriad of other local government issues. We also develop private/public partnerships.
A good example of our experience at mobilizing local resources to accomplish a client goal is our effort to help the Houston Astros build a state-of-the-art baseball stadium in Houston, financed with public and private funds. To accomplish this, new legislation was required to authorize the City and County to create a Sports Authority and levy a tax on car rentals and hotel rooms. Our attorneys drafted and lobbied passage of this statewide legislation through the Texas Legislature in 1997.
We then participated in the negotiation of the development, construction and financing documents with the Sports Authority and obtained City and County approvals of the project. Passing the legislation and obtaining the local government approvals demanded an intricate knowledge of the legislative process and access to the decision makers. Structuring the agreements required legal acumen in real estate, construction, labor, bankruptcy and litigation. The result was the construction of Minute Maid Park, on time and on budget.
Texas Lobby Power Rankings 2013 - Capitol Inside
Big Jolly Politics: Robert Miller at the Greater Houston Pachyderm Club
Robert Miller on HoustonPBS' RED, WHITE AND BLUE - "Political Predicitions for 2012"
Robert Miller on HoustonPBS' RED, WHITE AND BLUE - "What Does This Mean For Us?"
Roll Call: Locke Liddell Expands Public Law Practice in D.C.
For Fourth Year in a Row, Locke Liddell & Sapp Named Top Law Firm Lobby Practice in Texas
Capitol Hill's Roll Call: Miers Former Firm Opens (Washington, D.C.) Lobby Outpost
Public Law Section Named Best in State
Houston Chronicle Political Column Quotes Locke Liddell & Sapp Public Law Section Chair Robert Miller
Firms Embracing Public Law, Lobbying Services
Locke Liddell's Public Law Chair Robert Miller quoted in Austin Business Journal on a growing number of businesses using lobbyists
87 Locke Lord Attorneys Representing all 11 U.S. Firm Offices Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2014 Edition
Capitol Hill Veteran Chad Heflin Joins Public Law Team of Locke Lord Strategies in International Firm’s Washington, D.C. Office
Locke Lord Again Named No. 1 Texas Law Firm Lobby Practice; 5 Public Law Members Included in Capitol Inside’s Top Rankings
Longtime Dallas Partner Frank E. Stevenson II Elected Chair of Board of Directors for State Bar of Texas
Public Law Attorney Kimberly M. Bonnen Re-Joins Locke Lord’s Public Law Team as Of Counsel in Houston and Austin Offices
Locke Lord's James W. Checkley Jr. Elected to Chair Administrative & Public Law Section of State Bar of Texas
Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell Attorneys Around the Nation Rank Among Top in Best Lawyers in America 2011
David Cabrales, General Counsel to Texas Governor Rick Perry, Rejoins Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell
Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell Attorneys Recognized Among The Best Lawyers in America 2010
Harriet Miers Returning to Locke Liddell & Sapp; Will Split Time Between D.C., Dallas and Austin Offices
Locke Liddell & Sapp's Public Law Group Garners Number 1 Ranking
FERC Attorney James Moriarty Joins Locke Liddell & Sapp's Washington, D.C. Office
For Third Year In A Row, Locke Liddell & Sapp's Public Law Practice Named No. 1 in Texas
Locke Liddell & Sapp Opens Washington, D.C. Law Office
Locke Liddell & Sapp Named Top Law Firm Lobby Practice in Texas by Capitol Inside
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