Businesses of all types and sizes throughout the United States, Mexico and beyond bring their disputes to Gardere's litigation team and receive practical, responsive, boutique-style attention in return. Our clients have access to the firepower and value of a well-known and highly-regarded Firm's capabilities and interdisciplinary strengths.
Gardere has a national and international energy practice formed around our Energy Industry Team, which is a multidisciplinary group of approximately 60 attorneys with diverse backgrounds, experience and skills specific to the energy industry. Our team includes attorneys who have served as in-house counsel for major energy companies, providing a depth of insight into our clients' needs, issues and concerns. We understand and regularly practice in virtually every sector of the energy, and we represent a wide variety of industry participants from multinational corporations to individuals.
From our offices in the United States and Mexico, our International Practice helps clients operate in today’s global economy. We have more than 30 professionals operating as a boutique within an Am Law 200 law firm and are able to provide focused service with the resources of a large firm. We understand that clients who are engaged in the global marketplace need lawyers who can operate seamlessly across multiple jurisdictions. Our international experts are multi-lingual, are culturally fluent and intimately familiar with various legal systems across the world, especially those in Latin America. Whether you need help with commercial transactions, regulatory matters, customs and import regulations, immigration matters, M&A and joint ventures, international disputes, or international tax planning, Gardere’s international team is here to assist you.
We represent domestic and foreign private funds in all aspects of fund formation, fund operations, platform and add-on acquisitions, and portfolio company operations. Our team has a reputation for being the go-to-lawyers for private equity funds, hedge funds, venture capital funds and family offices. We are known for our vast deal experience, the efficient way we staff and manage our work, and the way we maintain our relationships. We get deals done with sophisticated, strategic, and practical advice tailored to the needs of our clients.
*Not admitted to practice law.
In a much anticipated decision further enhancing the property rights of individual landowners at the expense of governmental entities, the Texas Supreme Court in a unanimous decision announced on February 24, 2012, held that “… land ownership includes an interest in groundwater in place that cannot be taken for public use without adequate compensation guaranteed by article I, § 17(a) of the Texas Constitution.” This landmark decision, Edwards Aquifer Authority and State of Texas v. Day & McDaniel, No. 08-0964 (Tex. Feb. 24, 2012), determined that two landowners who had bought a 380-acre tract of land overlying the Edwards Aquifer could not be denied the right to drill a well into and pump water from the aquifer by the Edwards Aquifer Authority (“EAA” or the “Authority”) unless they were compensated for this “governmental taking.”
The EAA has been charged by the Legislature with issuing permits to authorize withdrawals of water from the Edwards Aquifer, an underground aquifer located generally in an arced curve from Brackettville, west of San Antonio, to Austin. The legislation creating the EAA specified that no water could be taken from the aquifer without an EAA-issued permit and that the EAA was to give preference to existing users and their successors and principals over newer users. Indeed, with few exceptions, the EAA Act prohibited withdrawal of water from the aquifer through any well drilled after June 1, 1993 and directed the EAA to issue permits for the withdrawal of water from the aquifer based upon “historical use” prior to that time.
Day and his partner sought a permit to drill 700 acre-feet of water to irrigate a 300-acre tract and stock a 50-acre lake but, after several hearings, the EAA found that Day and his partner were entitled only to a permit to drill 14 acre-feet of water. After a trial court found for Day on his permitting claim but dismissed his constitutional claims, the Court of Appeals affirmed the Authority’s decision to issue the permit for 14 acre-feet but held that “… landowners have some ownership rights in the groundwater beneath their property … entitled to constitutional protection.” Thus, the court held that Day’s constitutional claims should not have been dismissed by the trial court. The Supreme Court affirmed this finding in all respects, specifying
that Day, indeed, “… has a constitutionally protected interest in the groundwater beneath his property …” and directing that the issue of the amount of damages due to Day as a result of this governmental “taking” must be determined by the trial court in further proceedings.
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