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About

Bill is a trial lawyer with a specialty in appellate law. He has tried jury trials and argued appeals in state and federal courts, appeared before state administrative agencies, and participated in arbitrations on behalf of clients in a wide variety of commercial disputes. Bill represents landowners in condemnation cases, including those involving challenges to the government’s ability to take private property. Bill has also developed an expertise in media-law and open-government matters, from the defense of defamation claims to suits involving public-information and open-meetings laws.

Bill is Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS

Bill graduated magna cum laude from Yale University. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law, where he was selected for the honorary scholastic society Order of the Coif. While in law school, Bill served as Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Law Review.

Before joining Graves Dougherty in 1999, Bill clerked for U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice and spent two years handling criminal trials and appeals as an Assistant Federal Public Defender. He is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in Texas.

REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE

Bill’s appellate experience includes the following matters:

  • Representation of landowner in dispute over sale of a ranch. Wade v. Wade, 2017 WL 1228864 (Tex. App. – Austin 2017, pet. denied).
  • Representation of landowners resisting attempts by pipeline company to condemn an easement.  Denbury Green Pipeline v. Tex. Rice Land Partners, Ltd.-Texas, LLC, 510 S.W.3d 909 (Tex. 2017).
  • Representation of landowner in condemnation case asserting rights to interest on damages awarded for taking of property.  Whittington v. City of Austin, 456 S.W.3d 692 (Tex. App.—Austin 2015, pet. denied).
  • Representation of a trade organization in a case examining when the Texas Public Information Act applies to a private entity. Tex. Ass’n of Appraisal Districts, Inc. v. Hart, 382 S.W.3d 587 (Tex. App.—Austin 2012, no pet.).
  • Representation of three daily newspapers in a suit to compel a government agency to disclose public information. Tex. Dep’t of Pub. Safety v. Cox Tex. Newspapers, L.P. , 343 S.W.3d 112 (Tex. 2011).
  • Defense of an attorney from claims brought by an opposing party in a case that re-affirmed an attorney’s ability to zealously represent a client in litigation without fear of civil damages. Michels v. Zeifman, 2009 WL 349167 (Tex. App.—Austin 2009, pet. denied).
  • Defense of a newspaper in a libel case implicating the First Amendment rights of the media to report on matters of public concern. Cox Tex. Newspapers, L.P. v. Penick, 219 S.W.3d 425 (Tex. App.—Austin 2007, pet. denied).

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • Austin Bar Association; Chair of Civil Appellate Section, 2016-2017
  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Texas

AWARDS AND HONORS

COMMUNITY

Bill serves on the Board of Directors of Volunteer Legal Services, an organization that provides free legal representation to low-income clients who cannot otherwise afford access to the civil justice system. Bill has also donated his services to the pro bonorepresentation of clients in consequential cases. For example, he represented a man with mental retardation who had been on Texas’s death row for thirty years, persuading Texas’s highest criminal court to commute the client’s death sentence to life imprisonment. Ex parte Bell, 152 S.W.2d 103 (Tex. Crim. App. 2004). He participated in a case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court that clarified the point at which a criminal defendant is entitled to counsel under the Sixth Amendment.Rothgery v. Gillespie County, Tex, 128 S. Ct. 2578 (2008).

PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS

Bill most recently spoke at the Fourth Annual GDHM Land & Mineral Owner Seminar to present Eminent Domain for Pipeline Easements. He has also been invited to appear at Continuing Legal Education conferences to share his legal knowledge and experience with other attorneys. He delivered a presentation on the Texas Public Information Act to the Government Law Section of the State Bar.  He spoke on “Avoiding Waiver on Appeal” at the General Practice Institute at Baylor Law School. He also spoke on open government issues at the State Bar of Texas Advanced Real Estate Course and participated in a panel discussion on “Ethical Dilemmas Under the Public Information Act and Open Meetings Act” at a conference sponsored by the Texas Attorney General’s Office.