Biography

Tom counsels local governmental clients on various aspects of local government law. He acts as bond, issuer’s and underwriter’s counsel in public finance transactions, and he negotiates, documents, and arranges financing and refunding for public sector projects using both traditional public debt and alternative financing mechanism including privatization. Through the course of his practice, Tom has also assisted communities with economic development matters including tax abatements, tax increment financing, and other incentive programs. Tom also represents local governments in standard redistricting and election matters, with special expertise in advising governmental entities on holding local option elections and analyzing the need for bond elections. He has extensive experience in organizing and coordinating bond elections, dealing with community objections, and bond validation litigation. He also advises local governmental clients on procurement issues.

Tom has extensive experience in administrative law, including counseling and representation of clients in all areas of insurance law including insurance regulation, policy interpretation, insurance defense litigation, and creation and representation of self-insurance pools and trusts. He has handled complex contested cases and rulemaking proceedings, agency enforcement actions, license and charter hearings, as well as related litigation including declaratory judgments, agency appeals, and extraordinary remedies such as injunction, mandamus, and receivership.

Representative Experience

Successful representation in bond validation lawsuits: Calhoun County, Texas and Burleson County Hospital District

Bond counsel for over 30 Texas counties and over 40 jail projects

Bond counsel for the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority in the buy-out of its reservoir and pipeline project from the federal government and its acquisition of water rights

Bond counsel for the Lavaca-Navidad River Authority in the buy-out of its reservoir project from the federal government

Former Chief, Insurance, Banking and Securities Division, Office of the Attorney General of Texas

Former Briefing Attorney, Supreme Court of Texas

Public Finance Handbook for Texas Counties, Texas Association of Counties, 2016.

Public Finance Handbook for Texas Counties, Texas Association of Counties, 2014.

“Public Finance”, by Thomas M. Pollan, Bickerstaff, Heath; Tom Griess, Assistant Attorney General, Public Finance Division; Robert V. Henderson, Managing Director, RBC Dain Rauscher, presented to the 15th Annual Local Government Seminar sponsored by Bickerstaff, Heath and the L.B.J. School of Public Affairs, April, 2002.

“Public Finance Issues For Cities And Counties In Texas,” presented to the 12th Annual Local Government Seminar sponsored by Bickerstaff, Heath and the L.B.J. School of Public Affairs, April 8, 1999.