Obtained and successfully defended on appeal temporary injunction against the Public Utility Commission of Texas in its attempt to deprive a large telecommunications carrier of universal service funds in a case. PUC of Texas v. CenturyTel of San Marcos, Inc., 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 1515 (abatement pending settlement after injunction).
Successfully defended shipping and transportation interests in proceedings both in court and at the State Office of Administrative hearings in enforcement proceedings.
Served as lead counsel for major construction company in defeating trade secret, non-competition and related claims, including successful defense of injunction and contempt actions. In re Rodman Excavation, Inc., No. 04-07-00317-CV, 2007 Tex. App. LEXIS 5154 (Tex. App.—San Antonio July 3, 2007, orig. proceeding)(granting mandamus relief from trial court’s contempt order).
Defended large telecommunications company in a series of complex consumer class actions arising out of contract and fraud claims and regulatory requirements and billings. See, e.g., Chemject Int'l, Inc. v. Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, No. 13-04-684-CV, 2006 Tex. App. LEXIS 677 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi Jan. 26, 2006, no pet.); Chemject Int'l, Inc. v. Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, No. 13-04-684-CV, 2007 Tex. App. LEXIS 586 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi Jan. 25, 2007, pet. denied), cert. denied, 552 U.S. 1310, 128 S. Ct. 1873, 170 L. Ed. 2d 745 (2008)(upholding class settlement reached prior to class certification hearing over objections); Northrup v. Southwestern Bell Telephone Co., 72 S.W.3d 16 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi 2002, pet. denied)(same); Mireles v. Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, Cause No. 98-07-3003-E, 357th Judicial District Court of Cameron County, Texas
Served as counsel for telecommunications provider in litigation against Texas cities (and other governmental entities), obtaining favorable declarations regarding provider’s property rights and governmental bodies’ authority to regulate right of way where facilities are located. See, e.g., Southwestern Bell Tel. Co. v. City of El Paso, 346 F.3d 541 (5th Cir. 2003); Southwestern Bell Telephone Company v. City of Dallas, 3:98-CV-00843-R (N.D. Tex.); Southwestern Bell Telephone Company v. City of Arlington, 3:98-CV-00844-X (N.D. Tex.); Southwestern Bell Telephone Company v. City of El Paso, 3:98-CV-00114-KC (W.D. Tex.).
Represented excavation contractor in environmental litigation for injunction and damages to an iconic waterway resulting from storm damage to partly constructed, cut-and-fill roadways and culverts, leading to favorable settlement. Travis County and State of Texas v. Coldwater Development, Ltd. and Rodman Excavation, Inc., Cause No. D-1-GV-07-002293, 98th Judicial District Court for Travis County, Texas.
Led team of trial and appellate counsel in series of cases seeking judicial review of FCC orders implementing the 1996 Telecommunications Act and subsequent litigation over the meaning and effect of those orders and the Act. See, e.g., Texas Office of Public Utility Counsel v. FCC, 183 F.3d 393 (5th Cir. 1999).
Served as lead trial counsel for major incumbent local exchange company’s landmark federal Telecommunications Act arbitration overturning Texas precedent on landline interconnection methods, inter-carrier compensation, unbundled network elements, and rate setting. Petition of El Paso Networks, LLC for Arbitration of an Interconnection Agreement with Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, PUC Docket Nos. 25004, 25188
Tried and prevailed in incumbent local exchange company’s Missouri arbitration establishing its relationship with competitive local exchange company. In the Matter of the Petition of Socket Telecom, LLC for Compulsory Arbitration of Interconnection Agreements with CenturyTel of Missouri, LLC and Spectra Communications, LLC Pursuant to Section 252(b)(1) of the Telecommunications, Act of 1996, Docket No. TO-2006-0299
Led prevailing trial team in Telecom Act arbitration over novel interconnection and wireless issues. Fitch Affordable Telecom Petition for Arbitration Against SBC Texas Under Section 252 of the Communications Act, PUC Docket No. 29415. See McCollough v. Tex. PUC, 2009 Tex. App. LEXIS 6513 (appeal of mandamus proceedings pertaining to sanctions affecting case, defended by agency).
Defended administrative charges against electric generation company alleging NERC and regional reliability standard violations.
Served and prevailed as lead counsel in numerous administrative proceedings and appeals pertaining to electric transmission line routing, including numerous cases where clients or groups of clients were located on the “preferred” or “recommended” routes.
Represented as lead counsel a South Texas wildlife foundation’s administrative challenge to path of a new 345-kV transmission line resulting in transmission applicant’s concession to reroute line away from foundation’s lands. Application of Electric Transmission Texas, LLC to Amend Its Certificate of Convenience and Necessity for the Proposed Lobo to Rio Bravo to North Edinburg Double-Circuit 345-kV Transmission Line, SOAH Docket No. 473-13-0846, PUC Docket No. 40728.
Represented as lead trial counsel a broad coalition of landowners on or near the “preferred route” for a proposed 345-kV transmission line in a contested administrative case resulting in agency selection of an alternative route. Application of Lone Star Transmission, LLC, SOAH Docket No. 473-10-4398, PUC Docket No. 38230.
Represented a property owner in prosecuting precedent-setting landowner’s rights claims and certificate of convenience and necessity requirements in multiple electric transmission line cases. See, e.g., Application of Wood County Electric Cooperative, Inc., to Amend its Certificate of Convenience and Necessity for a 138-kV Transmission Line Feed to Sand Springs Substation in Wood County, Texas, SOAH Docket No. 473-06-2341, PUC Docket No. 32070.
Represented as lead trial counsel a large landowner group in contesting the routing of the Houston Import Project, including opposition of “recommended route,” based upon community values and social justice concerns. See Application of Centerpoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC to Amend a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity for a Proposed 345-kV Transmission Line Within Grimes, Harris, and Waller Counties, SOAH Docket No. 473-15-3595, PUC Docket No. 44547.
* Includes matters prior to forming EBBK. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
AWEA, Women of Wind Energy, "Wind Energy and Transmission," 2010
Austin Bar Association, Administrative Law Section Nuts and Bolts of Administrative Law Seminar, "Making a Record at the State Office of Administrative Hearings for Judicial Review," 2009
State Bar of Texas Public Utility Law Section Annual Meeting and Seminar, "Reliability Alert – Compliance with ERCOT Protocols and NERC Standards," 2008
State Bar of Texas Public Utility Law Section Annual Meeting and Seminar, "The New Texas Regional Entity: New Procedures, Work in Progress," 2007
State Bar of Texas Public Utility Law Section Annual Meeting, "TRO Remand and T2A Update," 2005
State Bar of Texas Public Utility Law Section Annual Meeting, "Telecommunications Regulatory Developments: USTA II, UNEs, and VOIP," 2004
State Bar of Texas Public Utility Law Section Annual Meeting (FCC Triennial Review Order), 2003
COMPTEL/TEXALTEL/SBC Seminar on FCC’s Triennial Review Order, 2003
University of Texas Telecommunications Seminar (right-of-way and local regulatory issues in context of telecommunications), 2002, 2003
National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates (customer and carrier information under FTA and Texas rules), 2002
Federal Communications Bar Association (frequent speaker on various topics, including Triennial Review proceeding, legislative topics, and FTA arbitrations), 2002-2003
Author, Texas Reliability Entity, "Rules of Procedure"
Representative Presentations and Publications
Representative Experience *
Represented multiple municipalities and municipally-owned electric utilities in the development of pole-attachment and right-of-way-use ordinances, agreements, standards, permits, and design manuals. See, e.g., https://www.cpsenergy.com/poleattachments https://www.bryantx.gov/rightsofway/
Successfully defended veterinarian and executive director and founder of “no-kill” animal shelters in multiple enforcement proceedings related to her veterinary work, including trials and other proceedings at the State Office of Administrative Hearings, State District Court, and the Third Court of Appeals. Tex. State Bd. of Veterinary Med. Exam’rs v. Jefferson, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 2002.
EWELL | BROWN | BLANKE | KNIGHT