In 2003, David M. Marks left a large Houston firm to start this firm in the belief that he could better represent clients in a smaller, more efficient environment. The firm’s business objective is to remain relatively small, efficient and focused on the core business activities of our clients. The practice is concentrated on the representation of the various types of conservation and reclamation districts, primarily municipal utility districts. We also represent other entities, such as the East Montgomery County Improvement District, which we have undertaken because it is an essential component to a larger, master-plan development program. While we have relationships with various cities, counties, and school districts, we do not undertake their representations as either general counsel or bond counsel. The firm also represents not for profit and charitable organizations.
From time to time, we have, on behalf of our clients, worked with and helped manage the efforts of specialized legal representatives in matters concerning general civil litigation, construction contract disputes, banking and investment matters, specialized real estate transactions, specialized environmental law issues and delinquent tax collections. We have, during over twenty five years of practice in Houston, developed relationships with some of the finest lawyers engaged in these specialty areas of practice, and we utilize these relationships to the benefit of our clients when the need arises. Since these areas of practice are not part of the core business of either our municipal utility district or not for profit clients, and the need for those specialty area experts arises only occasionally, it is simply not efficient or cost-effective for our firm or for our clients to staff for these specialized areas. Rather than attempting to be a “full-service” law firm covering all areas of practice, it is our objective to provide concentrated, high-quality and efficient legal services to our clients in the core areas of their interest.
Our approach with respect to representation of water districts is closely related to our business approach to the organization, size and scope of our law firm, and our belief that municipal utility districts, properly utilized, represent a very efficient means of addressing issues of growth and the provision of essential public services in a suburban environment through what amounts to a public/private partnership. Municipal utility districts provide the safety and reliability of a publicly owned and operated water, wastewater and drainage system which can, ultimately, be integrated into a larger urban system. The use of tax-exempt bonds to finance facilities provides a lower cost means of providing these services and eliminates the need to rely upon privately financed, designed, constructed and operated utilities. These activities should be and are the core functions of a municipal utility district and are essential components to orderly growth in the metropolitan area and a relatively stable, lower-priced housing product. We believe that a district’s fundamental functions and services are to provide high-quality, low-cost essential public utility services within their respective service areas.
We have extensive experience in all forms of contract negotiations and preparation, dispute resolution and direction of specialized legal services provided by others. It has been our experience over the years that in contractual relationships involving districts, there is usually a solution that is beneficial and agreeable to all parties involved, and we endeavor to find that common ground and thereby minimize confrontation and adversarial relationships and the legal costs associated with those types of controversies. We also have experience in the development and redevelopment of park lands which has become increasingly useful to many of our clients following the approval of the constitutional amendment increasing the authority of municipal utility districts to develop and maintain park and recreational facilities.
The firm also has extensive experience serving as bond counsel in connection with the issuance of debt by the District. The firm’s opinions are accepted by all underwriters, financial advisors, insurers and rating agencies. The firm does not undertake to perform securities counsel services in connection with the issuance of bonds for any municipal utility districts, underwriters or other clients. We believe these services are most efficiently and effectively provided through an independent firm with demonstrated securities law expertise, and because of our relationships, we are able to arrange for such services in a very cost-effective manner.