Faulk Barchus believes that sometimes you have to get dirty to get results. "We don't believe in playing dirty in court, but we love to go the extra mile if it helps our clients get results,” said managing attorney Brandon Barchus.
In preparation for a recent hearing against the City of Houston challenging the drainage fee charges against its clients, Barchus soaked himself with ditch water in his free time.
Representing multiple clients and multiple properties in the case, it became difficult to remember the specific ditches, creeks and bayous that each properties’ drainage flowed. The legal title to these watercourses were also in dispute, and under Texas law the answers are sometimes contingent on the navigability of the streams and bayous.
"It allowed us to gain a valued perspective on the case, and it helped us win. I certainly didn’t forget the facts during argument…or the distinct smell along the journey" Barchus said.
In the legal world, a lot of times argument is based solely from what you see in the written evidence. Sometimes a case involves many fact issues and legal concepts, it can become overwhelming on paper. Challenging yourself to use your other senses gives you a whole new perspective on the purpose your client needed you in the first place.
As lawyers, sometimes it is easy to pile documents on your desk and bury yourself in the minutia of the evidence. Viewing the evidence first hand allows you to visualize your arguments and articulate your facts in a way that makes it easier for others to understand. Even if you have to get dirty, your clients may thank you in the end.
Faulk Barchus is pleased to announce its success in a winning argument against the City of Houston Wednesday establishing jurisdiction that our clients are not "benefitted properties", and therefore do not have to pay the drainage fees and charges, under the recently enacted City of Houston Ordinance. The clients' properties drainage does not flow through City of Houston maintained drainage infrastructure, but rather to Harris County Flood Control District, Special Municipal Utility District, and Harris County owned and operated drainage, then through the bayous and ultimately drains into the Houston Ship Channel or Clear Lake and into the Gulf of Mexico. The City of Houston and its attorneys have already filed a notice of appeal.
Faulk Barchus attorneys maintained that the drainage fee is supposed to be relative to the City providing drainage service, and not a drainage tax. Therefore, if the City does not provide drainage services to your property, you should not have to pay a drainage fee.
The Attached Flowchart was created by Faulk Barchus attorneys as a visual aid in explaining the complex legal concepts involved.
Oil and Gas Law Blog
Brandon M. Barchus