WISE TEXAS COUNSEL
SEASONED ADVOCACY


FIRM ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Austin --  November 3, 2016  --  U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers® have named Borgelt Law to "Best Law Firms" 2017, placing it in the top 15% of law firms nationwide.  In addition, attorney Roger Borgelt has been named to Best Lawyers in America® 2017 and Texas' Best Lawyers for the seventh consecutive year since opening his own firm, Borgelt Law, in 2010.  Borgelt Law is home to a rich array of primarily government-related practice areas and brings both private law firm and senior government experience to each client engagement, with a record of consistently favorable and unprecedented results.  "We are extremely proud of this high honor, made possible by the immense satisfaction derived from serving our valued Clients who are bringing new, challenging issues to our firm year after year," stated Mr. Borgelt, founder and Principal of the Firm.

Houston -- October 14, 2014 -- Austin Attorney Roger B. Borgelt is speaking today at the Hyatt Regency Houston to attorneys and legal staff, state and municipal officials interested in learning more about how their local government operates.  Texas attorneys are increasingly confronted with requests for assistance from clients regarding ever-changing state and local laws, increasing government investigations, and contractual issues unique to government contracts.  This seminar will prepare counsel for these requests.  Attendance will also provide 6.0 hours of Texas MCLE credit. Registration information available by phoning 800/574-4852.

Austin -- August 18, 2014 -- Austin Attorney Roger B. Borgelt named to Best Lawyers in America® 2015.  Borgelt has been named to Best Lawyers for the fifth consecutive year since establishing Borgelt Law in June 2010. "We are extremely proud of this honor made possible through the immense satisfaction of serving our very valued clients," Borgelt stated. Best Lawyers in America® is the oldest, most respected attorney ratings service in the United States and globally.


Austin -- May 21, 2014 -- Austin attorney Roger Borgelt quoted today in The Austin Monitor | In Fact Daily.  Representing the Real Estate Council of Austin, Borgelt spoke at Monday's utility commission meeting in opposition to Austin Energy's proposal to recover full costs of extending power lines to new customers starting in October. 


Austin -- May 3, 2014 -- Austin attorney Roger Borgelt speaking on Campaign Finance Restrictions at public forum sponsored by Common Ground on Saturday, May 3, from 2 to 4 pm, at the Yarborough Library, Austin.  

Washington -- November 1, 2013 -- Borgelt Law named to Best Law Firms by U.S. News -- Best Lawyers® 2014 in the Government Relations Practice Area.  Achieving a Best Law Firms ranking signals both quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.  It is a highly select honor indicative of persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers.  At least one lawyer in a firm must be listed in Best Lawyers in America® for a firm to be eligible for Best Law Firms ranking.  Best Lawyers in America® is the pre-eminent referral guide to the US legal profession and beyond.
       "We are extremely proud of this honor, and humbled that our firm is being recognized in this, its fourth banner year, of providing pre-eminent legal services to the growing, diverse base of clients we serve," stated attorney Roger Borgelt, founder of the firm.  Borgelt is listed in Best Lawyers in America® for 2013 and 2014.  Best Law Firms 2014 rankings were more competitive than any previous year.


Austin -- October 31, 2013 -- Austin attorney Roger B. Borgelt appointed to Texas Department of Agriculture Structural Pest Control Advisory Committee.  The Committee works with the Texas Commissioner of Agriculture to accomplish the Legislature's intent to enhance professional standards of structural pest control license holders while ensuring the health, safety and welfare of the public.  [Update: Borgelt elected Chair of the Advisory Committee at its November 21, 2013 meeting in Austin.]

Austin -- August 23, 2013 -- Austin attorney Roger B. Borgelt speaking at Annual Conference of the State Bar of Texas Public Utility Law Section on Austin Energy rate appeal to the Texas Public Utility Commission. Borgelt is immediate past chair of the Public Utility Law section of the State Bar of Texas.  He represented Homeowners United for Rate Fairness (HURF) in the appeal of Austin Energy's rate increase to the Texas Public Utility Commission, which resulted in an unprecedented rate discount for his client's suburban ratepayers and cost the City of Austin more than $1.6 million in legal and consulting fees to defend.


Washington -- August 13, 2013 -- Austin attorney Roger B. Borgelt named to Best Lawyers in America® for 2013 and 2014.  Best Lawyers in America® is the gold standard for peer-reviewed selection of lawyers and is the oldest, most respected ranking service in the US and globally.  His selection will be published in leading Texas newspapers including the Texas Edition of the Wall Street Journal in May 2014.

Austin -- April 1, 2013 -- Austin attorney Roger B. Borgelt elected Secretary of the Austin Bar Association Environmental Law Section.  Borgelt previously served on the board of directors of the Austin Bar Association as chair of its Administrative Law Section, which has a membership of some 400 public and private sector attorneys practicing in this area in Austin. 



BORGELT LAW IN THE NEWS:


Guest Viewpoint
Borgelt: Coal covers energy bets

by Energy Regulatory Attorney Roger Borgelt
Austin American-Statesman Guest Editorial

August 20, 2012
The City of Austin's goal is to eliminate the city's reliance on the Fayette Power Plant, which currently provides 29 percent of the power generated for Austin Energy's customers.  This was made explicit as a part of the city's climate protection plan adopted in 2010 and reaffirmed by Mayor Lee Leffingwell ... [More . . .]

Guest Viewpoint: Don't Penny Pinch Democracy
by Austin Attorney Roger Borgelt, Former State Senator Gonzalo Barrientos, Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder.
All three are members of Austinites for Geographic Representation, which initiated historic change--and the biggest City Council news story of 2012--when Austin's voters overwhelmingly approved the switch to Single-Member Districts.

Austin American-Statesman Guest Editorial
August 13, 2013
The editorial board of the Austin American-Statesman took a risk in its Aug. 7 editorial with a suggestion to the all-volunteer independent Citizens Redistricting Commission to "live within its means."  They were referring to the $140,000 the City Council has "allotted" to the commission, though they acknowledge that in the scheme of a $3 billion budget ... [More . . .]


LATEST AUSTIN ENERGY DEVELOPMENTS

Austin Energy now backs full collection of line extension costs

by Bill McCann, The Austin Monitor | InFact Daily
May 21, 2014
Taking a cue from City Council members, Austin Energy has shifted its position and now supports recovering the full costs of extending power lines to new customers starting in October.  ...  Indeed, Roger Borgelt, representing the Real Estate Council of Austin, showed up at Monday's utility commission meeting to register opposition.  He warned that the added costs under the proposal would hit small urban infill projects the hardest and could have the effect of driving growth out of Austin Energy territory.  Under questioning from commissioners, Borgelt estimated that the cost-recovery plan would add $1,000 to $2,000 to the cost of a house. Borgelt's involvement..."



NEW SINGLE-MEMBER CITY COUNCIL DISTRICTS

Group suggests four City Council districts
Photo by Thao Nguyen, Austin American-Statesman
September 2, 2013
Roger Borgelt (center) speaks with Ken Jacobs (right) and Mike Rodriguez during a break at the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission which held a public hearing at Austin Community College South Campus in Austin, Texas on August 28, 2013.  [More. . .]

Top 10 Austin City Council Stories of 2012:

One Mayor.  Six Council Members. 10 Stories.  
by Wells Dunbar, KUT News
December 19, 2012
While the Austin City Council lacked an overarching theme in 2012...it faced a decidedly full agenda.  But ironically, 2012 may be remembered more for the change it initiated to future councils than the actions of this one.  With Council safely on hiatus until Jan. 17, 2013, KUT News is taking a look back at the year that was.
1. Switch to Single-Member Districts: Austin, has rarely, if, ever had such an important election. [More . . .]


FAYETTE POWER PLANT DEBATE

Fayette plant at center of debate over coal
by Marty Toohey, Austin American-Statesman
January 1, 2012
A few weeks ago, after a national-level decision to shift climate change lobbying to the state and local level, the Sierra Club's Texas chapter sent a triumphant email to volunteers.  "We're pleased to announce," the email stated, "that every Austin City Council member has pledged to move Austin beyond coal and ..." [More. . .]

Austin ballot measure could allow city
to sell its share of coal-burning Fayette power plant
by Marty Toohey, Austin American-Statesman
August 3, 2012
The Austin City Council took a first step Thursday toward selling the city's share of a coal-fueled power plant that provides a third of Austin's electricity.  In a preliminary decision that will have to be confirmed in two weeks, the council decided to ask voters in November to ... [More. . .]


ANNEXATION AND LAND USE CASES

City refuses to repair major roads
Mustang Ridge deems roads County's responsibility
by Robert Maxwell, KXAN News Channel 36 -- See Video.
September 19, 2013
A battle over who looks after aging county roads is heating up at the expense of Travis County taxpayers.  Leaders in the small city of Mustang Ridge, a short drive south of Austin, refuse to maintain certain roads within their own city.  But county staff say...  [See telecast]


US SUPREME COURT RULING ON
POLITICAL EXPENDITURES

Council may call for counter
to Citizens United decision

by Marty Toohey, Austin American-Statesman
January 10, 2013
The Austin City Council is poised to say that, in spirit if not in law, the U.S. Supreme Court is wrong about the role of money in politics.  On Thursday, the council likely will call for a Constitutional amendment declaring that money spent on political avocacy is not legally protected speech and can therefore be regulated.  
The idea is to urge federal lawmakers to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commmission. ..."It sounds like the City Council is once again messing with matters beyond their scope of authority, and its clearly an attack on the First Amendment," said Roger Borgelt, [Austin attorney]. "When you start going down the road of regulating speech, it's very difficult to draw a line that isn't arbitrary or unfair."  [More. . .]


AUSTIN ENERGY APPEAL TO 

TEXAS PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION


State report: Austin Energy rate increase too high
by Marty Toohey, Austin American-Statesman
February 14, 2013
Austin Energy's recent rate increase is nearly double what it should be, according to a review released Thursday by the staff advising the state Public Utility Commission.  The report concludes Austin's city-owned electric utility needed to collect only $45 million more a year to balance its books -- not the ... [Read the full story here . . .]

Austin Energy to collect legal fees
from suburban customers
by Marty Toohey, Austin American-Statesman
September 13, 2013
When suburban customers appealed the Austin Energy rate increase that went into effect earlier this year, the city amassed nearly $1.6 million in legal and consulting fees -- and now the city is trying to get that money back from the suburbs.  Starting in November, the 50,000 Austin Energy customers outside the city will see a new surcharge ... [Read the full story here . . .]

Wood-waste plant, meant to provide Austin
with renewable energy, sits idle
by Marty Toohey, Austin American-Statesman
February 13, 2013
For most of the seven months since it rumbled to life, a wood-burning power plant in East Texas hasn't been producing electricity for Austin Energy customers despite a $2.3 billion contract.  Simply put, the plant's electricity is now too expensive to use.  But even as the plant sits mostly idle, ... [Read the full story here . . .] 

Austin approves electricity rate settlement
by Marty Toohey, Austin American-Statesman
Friday, March 1, 2013
More than two years of disputes, hours-long meetings and political threats came to a weary end Friday with the Austin City Council settling an appeal of Austin Energy's rate increase.  The council unanimously approved a deal that will give most of the 50,000 Austin Energy customers outside the city ... [Read the full story here . . .]

Suburban customers planning to fight Austin Energy's rate hike
by Marty Toohey, Austin American Statesman (Sunday front page story)
June 17, 2012

When Austin Energy critics launch a petition drive next week, Mike Nahkunst will probably be among the first to sign.  Nahkunst lives in the Preserve at Barton Creek, an upscale neighborhood just outside Austin's western boundary where residents and others are planning to take the fight over Austin Energy's recently ... [Read the full story here . . .]

As City Council gets set to vote on
electric rate increase, new question arises:

Who should run Austin Energy?
by Marty Toohey, Austin American Statesman (front page story)
May 26, 2012
When the Austin City Council finally agrees on how much to raise electric rates, possibly as soon as June 7, a contentious, 2 1/2-year saga will come to a close.  But another debate is likely to follow.  Who should run Austin Energy?  Three City Council members plan to put that question to their peers ... [Read the full story here . . .]

Austin City Council members call
for independent Austin Energy board
by Marty Toohey, Austin American-Statesman
Febuary 5, 2013
The Austin City Council is poised to turn oversight of Austin Energy, the city-owned electric utility, over to an independent board of public-power experts. Mayor Lee Leffingwell said Tuesday he plans to bring the proposal to the council in the near future.  Council Members Bill Spelman and Sheryl Cole will be ... [Read the full story here . . .]

Austin Energy's new rate structure aims
to 
curb consumption
by Marty Toohey, Austin American-Statesman (Sunday front page story)
June 17, 2012
As part of its new rate structure, Austin Energy added something not seen in Texas: five tiers in which the rate rises as you use more.  The basic idea is to punish profligate energy users and encourage homes to conserve.  The first 500 kilowatt-hours are relatively ... [Read more]

Austin faces gathering storm over rates
by Marty Toohey, Austin American-Statesman
June 9, 2012
The individual impact of Austin electric rate increases won't be felt until the bills hit mailboxes this fall.  Six Austin Energy consumers will feel the impact much sooner than that.  They are the six members of the Austin legislative delegation: State Sen. Kirk Watson and Reps. Elliott Naishtat, Donna Howard, Eddie Rodriguez and Dawna Dukes, all Democrats, and Paul Workman, a Republican.  Add to that list Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, who represents a portion of western Travis County.  Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, who represents a portion of Travis County, could ... [Read the full story here . . .]

Austin not likely to give discount to electric customers outside city
by Marty Toohey, Austin American-Statesman
May 29, 2012
Austin city officials probably ensured Tuesday that a fight over a proposed electric-rate increase will continue, as expected, at the state level.  The City Council concluded a three-month series of workshops on the electric rate proposal, presumably meaning a final vote is all that remains, possibly on June 7.  But the council ... [Read the full story here . . .]

Austin City Council approves electric rate hike
by Marty Toohey, Austin American-Statesman (front page story)
June 7, 2012
After some horse trading but surprisingly little fighting, a unanimous Austin City Council voted Thursday night to raise electric rates.  Austin Energy customers will see monthly bills rise -- in some cases, substantially -- starting in October, according to executives with the city-owned utility.  The complicated new rate structure will ... [Read the full story here . . .]

Austin Energy proposal keeps same rate increase but divides it into two steps
by Marty Toohey, Austin American-Statesman
February 3, 2012
Under pressure from an unhappy City Council, Austin Energy released a new proposal Thursday for raising electric rates.  The city-owned utility is seeking to keep the 12.5 percent average rate increase it initially proposed but phase it in over two steps.  Sometime this year, rates would rise 8.7 percent, although the increas would hit homes, churches and some other classes of customer much harder.  Another 3.8 percent increase would kick in around October 2014.   ... [Read the full story here . . .]

Watson backs separate board to run Austin utility
by Marty Toohey, Austin American-Statesman
July 11, 2012
The City of Austin's contentious battle over electricity rates has landed its municipally owned utility on the Legislature's radar amid calls to change how Austin Energy is managed.  Though Austin Energy's customers who live outside the city are the driving force for change, state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, on Tuesday endorsed ... [Read the full story here . . .]

As natural gas prices dip, Austin Energy rates still to increase
by Marty Toohey, Austin American-Statesman
April 29, 2012
At public hearings, forums and even the occasional community gathering over the past few months, a question has popped up again and again:  If natural gas  prices have dropped so quickly, why are Austin Energy's rates going up instead of down?  The answer is complicated. But the question's underlying premise is not: The city-owned utility and its customers are not benefitting much from today's historically low gas prices, mostly the result of a new form of drilling called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.  The reason Austin Energy has not benefited is, essentially, ... [Read the full story here . . .]