Our Areas of Practice

The law firm of Taylor Olson Adkins Sralla and Elam, LLP has over 300 years of combined experience practicing municipal and local governmental law. We currently represent over thirty cities and towns as general counsel and serve as general counsel to more than a dozen other governmental units and entities. We also serve as special counsel and litigation counsel for a number of other cities and governmental entities, as well as the Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool and Texas Council Risk Management Fund. Our attorneys provide complete, reliable, result-oriented and cost-effective professional legal services to local governmental units and affiliated entities throughout the state of Texas. For more information about our services, please read the information below and click on the links to learn more about a particular practice area.

A sample of services provided by TOASE attorneys on a daily basis may include preparing drafting, or reviewing any of the following:

• Interlocal Agreements
• Election Orders and Notices
• Personnel Handbooks, Policies, and Manuals
• Home-Rule Charters
• Leases, Deeds and Contracts for Sale of Real Property
• Ordinances and Resolutions on any Municipal Matter
• Preclearance Submissions to the Department of Justice
• Public Information Act Requests
• Agenda Postings for Open Meetings Compliance
• Municipal Court Prosecution Services
• Code Enforcement Matters
• Procurement Contracts and Bid Documents
• Negotiating and Drafting Complex Economic Development Agreements
• Personnel Training Sessions
• Attorney General Certified Open Government Training
• Annexation

TOASE provides clients with guidance on all matters related to the employment relationship including but not limited to:

• Provide assistance to human resource professionals, front line managers, and executive staff in discipline, termination, grievance and appeal procedures.
• Draft, review and amend personnel policies and procedures.
• Provide training, including sexual harassment and discrimination prevention training and supervisory training.
• Assist in responding to leave requests under the Family Medical Leave Act, Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act, state and federal law and client policies.
• Provide guidance on wage and hour issues, including overtime compensation and exempt status determination.
• Draft, review and amend employment contracts, including executive contracts.
• Investigate workplace conduct complaints, including EEO and harassment complaints, and make appropriate recommendations.
• Assist with Civil Service matters from hiring through promotion, discipline, indefinite suspension and appeal pursuant to both Chapter 143 of the Texas Local Government Code and City Charters.
• Prepare responses to complaints filed with governmental agencies including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Texas Workforce Commission.
• Provide representation in unemployment hearings before the Texas Workforce Commission.
• Provide guidance on compliance with, and avoiding complaints under, employment discrimination, whistleblower, workers compensation and retaliation laws.
• Provide a defense in employment-related litigation.

Our attorneys have years of experience representing local government entities, public employees and public officials in many different types of litigation, including:

• Annexation and boundary disputes
• Disputes between different municipalities and local governments
• Water rights
• Code enforcement
• Civil rights challenges
• Construction law
• Contract disputes
• Elections
• Eminent domain and inverse condemnation
• Employment and civil service disputes
• Fair housing
• Open Meetings Act challenges
• Public Information Act cases
• Substandard buildings and nuisance abatement
• Tort claims
• Zoning, land use and development

As this list shows, our experience includes not only defending clients when they are sued but also bringing and prosecuting cases on their behalf when needed to enforce the law or enforce a client’s decisions. We represent clients before all Texas and federal courts from the commencement of suit, through discovery, mediation, pre-trial motions and, if the case is not dismissed, at trial before a judge or jury. Our firm also represents clients in cases on appeal to the higher courts, including the various Texas Courts of Appeals, the Texas Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.

From time to time, local governments need to acquire private property for public projects. TOASE has extensive experience in negotiating such real estate transactions, and the complexities of handling eminent domain litigation. Eminent domain is a specialized area of representation, and TOASE has successfully handled hundreds of such transactions for both the clients we serve as city attorney, and other governmental entities who engage our services as special counsel.

Such projects include:

• Acquiring road right-of-way for road improvements and expansion

• Acquiring easements for water, sewer or drainage projects

• Acquiring fee title to property for municipal projects such as parks and new municipal buildings or facilities.

On a daily basis, TOASE attorneys guide our clients through the
intricacies of numerous types of nuisance issues including:

• Substandard buildings and structures

• High grass and weeds

• Junked vehicles

• Trash and debris accumulations

• Noise and other violations

• Abatement lien perfection

• Litigation of nuisance abatement related claims

Land use and development matters are important considerations to our clients and citizens. We stay at the forefront of legal issues arising from the regulation of land use and offer our clients alternative solutions to address contentious positions between developers, property owners and citizens.

We are constant trainers and speakers on land use issues at the Center for American and International Law and the University of Texas School of Law and Land Use Planning Conferences. We provide frequent advice and have drafted or updated numerous ordinances on land use, development and property matters. Our routine representation includes:

• Attending hearings and providing guidance to Zoning Boards of Adjustment
• Preparing and providing advice regarding proper implementation of subdivision ordinances
• Drafting amendments to International and Uniform Building Codes
• Providing assistance with all aspects of nuisance abatement including, high grass and weeds; junk, trash and debris; stagnant and unsafe water and other nuisances.
• Defending regulatory takings and inverse condemnation claims and assisting with avoiding claims
• Assisting with all aspects of Substandard Building Abatement
• Preparing Sign Ordinances and addressing First Amendment issues regarding same
• Reviewing and preparing comprehensive plans and maps
• Drafting and providing guidance on required notices for Zoning Ordinances and Amendments
• Advising on the issuance and procedures required for conditional and special use permits
• Drafting complex Planned Development Zoning Ordinances for specific developments
• Providing advice regarding the adoption and amendment of Impact fees, including advising the Capital Improvements Advisory Committee and City Council on updates to the Capital Improvements Plan and Land Use Assumptions
• Drafting complex Sexually Oriented Business (SOB) regulations as well as defending cities in lawsuits regarding the enforcement of their SOB regulations

TOASE has extensive experience in all areas of economic development. The promotion of economic development is often a primary objective of local governments in maintaining or achieving the community’s goals and financial viability. Economic development, whether through new projects and development, or redevelopment, often requires creative public incentive packages and a full understanding of the legal requirements. Regardless of the size of the economic development project, the lawyers at TOASE are adept in the proper utilization of the numerous statutory authorities available to achieve the intended goal.

• Draft development agreements complying with complex State laws, and negotiate allowed incentives with developers on behalf of our client cities
• Assist in creating Type A and Type B Economic Development Corporations, establishing the sales tax for the benefit of the Corporations and drafting Economic Development and Performance Agreements to implement permitted projects for the Corporations
• Provided legal counsel in the creation of Reinvestment Zones, drafted criteria for tax abatement, and negotiated and drafted tax abatement agreements
• Assisted in the creation of Tax Increment Financing Zones, provided legal advice to TIF boards, and negotiated and drafted TIF agreements
• Drafted special state legislation to create the Kennedale Town Center Municipal Management District

TOASE has handled a number of multi-million dollar development projects involving both public and private developments including:

• Southlake Town Center and Parking Garage
• Kennedale Town Center
• Mansfield Big League Dreams Sports Park
• Mansfield Hawaiian Falls Water Park
• Southlake DPS Building
• Southlake Water Storage Tanks
• Hidden Creek Golf Course
• Burleson Community Center

TOASE provides sophisticated guidance on all municipal oil and gas matters in the Barnett Shale. A sampling of our recent work on behalf of our City clients includes the following:

• Drafting, and amending Oil and Gas Ordinances and Resolutions addressing and regulating all aspects of oil and gas production including but not limited to:

• Noise regulations

• Compressor and gathering stations regulations and requirements

• Seismic activity requirements

• Environmental concerns
• Negotiate and assist with securing mineral lease agreements on behalf of our municipalities as property owners
• Draft resolutions and ordinances restricting and regulating the use of City-owned property by pipeline companies
• Conduct Town Hall meetings to provide information to our clients’ citizens regarding controversial oil and gas drilling

A sample of services provided by TOASE attorneys include preparation and or review of the following:

• Contracts of sale and a notice and bidding requirements for sale of City-owned real property
• Title commitments and title policies
• Lease agreements relating to both developed and undeveloped property
• ROW Management Ordinances
• Cable Television Franchise Agreements
• Electric and Gas Franchise Agreements
• Easement and Encroachment Agreements
• Cellular Communication Tower Leases and Agreements
• Distributed Antenna System Agreements
• Eminent domain actions on behalf of municipalities to condemn real property for public purposes
• Tree Preservation Ordinances
• Sign Ordinances
• Multiple-user Property Use Agreements for Shared Public Facilities
• Economic Development Projects
• Oil and Gas Mineral Leases, Surface Use Agreements and Pipeline License Agreements
• Property Development Agreements
• TOASE has handled a number of multi-million dollar development projects involving both public and private developments

We provide our clients with advice regarding all aspects of regular and special municipal elections including but not limited to the following areas:

• Prepare notices of elections and assist municipalities with compliance with voting calendars
• Local option liquor elections
• Charter Elections
• Recall petitions and elections
• Initiative and referendum
• Submissions to the Department of Justice in compliance with the Voting Rights Acts
• Submission of Advisory Opinion Request for City Prepared Election Information
• Sales Tax Election:
• Economic Development Corporation
• Street Maintenance
• Crime Control and Prevention District


• City of Southlake

• City of Edgecliff Village

• City of Blue Mound

• City of Pelican Bay

• City of Westworth Village

TOASE offers broad experience to provide legal services to Texas school districts and other governmental entities, including these essential areas:

• Governance
• Conflicts of interest
• Procurement
• Complaints and grievances
• Student discipline
• Educator contracts
• Discrimination
• Open Meetings Act
• Public Information Act
• First Amendment issues
• Facility use
• Construction