Malish & Cowan, PLLC




Administrative Law

 

The firm's attorneys practice before federal, state, and local governmental entities, with special emphasis on representation before the numerous state agencies based in Austin. We have practiced before virtually all major Texas state agencies including the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the State Comptroller, the Department of Human Services, the Railroad Commission, the Public Utility Commission, the Department of Transportation, and the Office of Consumer Credit Commission. We frequently represent professionals such as doctors, nurses, engineers, accountants, pharmacists and counselors before their licensing boards.

Our attorneys are experienced with all aspects of administrative or regulatory practice including litigation in the agency contested case hearing process, open records requests, open meetings requirements, and appeals of agency decisions to appropriate courts. Where appropriate, the firm has pursued judicial remedies including declaratory judgment proceedings where the administrative agency has exceeded its statutory powers.

Our attorneys are experienced with all aspects of administrative or regulatory practice including litigation in the agency contested case hearing process, rulemakings, open records requests, open meetings requirements, and appeals of agency decisions to appropriate courts. Where appropriate, the firm has pursued judicial remedies including declaratory judgment proceedings where the administrative agency has exceeded its statutory powers.

The firm s attorneys often serve as "watchdogs" for regulatory matters affecting our clients. We monitor rulemaking activities and have been instrumental in changing agency policies and rules to reduce legal burdens on industry and further clients' interests. We personally contact agencies of particular interest for clients to learn about policy changes and initiatives during their formative stage, and we provide input during this stage before regulatory initiatives get under way.



Business Law

 

Malish & Cowan, PLLC advises clients about business formation issues including incorporation, partnerships, limited liability companies and associated strategic planning issues. When our clients have chosen to merge, acquire, or sell existing businesses, we have structured stock and asset transactions to minimize our clients' potential liability and maximize potential profits.

Completing the business formation only begins our relationship with our business clients. The firm's attorneys have extensive experience in drafting and negotiating contracts, including employment and agency relationships, licenses, vendor agreements, commercial leases, intellectual property license agreements (e.g. trademark and copyright) and non-disclosure and trade secret agreements. We are also experienced in protecting the increasingly important intellectual property assets of the business, including its trademarks and service marks.

Instead of dissuading our clients from their original vision as so many lawyers too frequently do, our goal is to educate clients to potential pitfalls and find innovative methods to make ideas come to life.



Civial Litigation

 

Civil LitigationUnfortunately, not all disputes can be resolved amicably, and sometimes it becomes necessary to let the judge or jury decide them. The firm has represented plaintiffs and defendants in lawsuits involving contract disagreements, deceptive trade practices, partnership disputes, shareholder dissent actions, trade secrets cases and other business disputes; wrongful death, medical malpractice, personal injury and premises liability actions; employment law matters and defamation actions. In cases the firm has handled from Justice of the Peace Courts to the Supreme Court, from coast to coast, the emphasis is always on smart, cost-effective litigation, including taking full advantage of any opportunities presented by alternative dispute resolution.




Estate Planning, Probate, Trust, and Federal tax

 

Civil LitigationOur services in estate planning range from small estates to large estates. We offer a wide range of options including simple wills, tax-planned wills, gift strategies, living trusts, family limited partnerships, creation of trusts, and business succession planning.

In estate administration matters, we help executors and administrators identify and choose an efficient strategy to administer estates through the probate process. We also assist trustees perform their fiduciary duties in managing and distributing trust assets. Our expertise includes advising clients on the federal tax implications of different options and strategies. We also represent beneficiaries in matters affecting their interests in estates and trusts.




Legislative Lobbying

 

Mark Foster and Christopher Malish were the primary drafters of legislation introduced and ultimately passed by the 1995 Texas Legislature to repeal economic regulation of the trucking and bus industries and transfer remaining regulatory functions from the Railroad Commission to the Texas Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Safety. The firm has lobbied on issues involving the telecommunications, household moving, nursing home, and electric industries.

Clients previously represented before the Texas Legislature include Exxon Corporation, Ryder Truck Lines, Texas Association of Business and Chambers of Commerce, Truck Renting & Leasing Association, and Texas Association of Licensed Facility Administrators.




Telecommunications and Public Utilities Law

 

Malish & Cowan, PLLC provides effective representation in the telecommunications, electric utility, gas utility, and alternative energy fields. The regulatory arena in these increasingly competitive industries is in a constant state of change. We help clients identify and seize business opportunities in the midst of uncertainty.

Telecommunications | UtilitiesIn the electric arena, the firm represents retail electric providers ( REPs ), transmission companies, and alternative energy generators on regulatory compliance and licensing issues. Chris Malish helped form the transmission provider known as Wind Energy Transmission Texas, LLC, and was instrumental in helping that new company secure rights to build over $500m. in transmission projects in west Texas in the Texas CREZ dockets, one of the largest renewable energy implementations in the world. The firm also represents applicants and affected parties in transmission line routing cases at the Public Utility Commission (CCN proceedings). The firm is also able to help with condemnation proceedings following route selection by the Commission.

In the field of telecommunications, the firm represents competitive local exchange telecommunications companies throughout the nation in gaining regulatory authority, negotiating interconnection agreements with incumbent telephone companies, mergers and acquisitions, contracting with third-party providers, and strategic planning. Malish & Cowan, PLLC prosecutes complaint and arbitration proceedings against incumbent local exchange companies (ILECs) before the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the utility commissions in other states. The focus in such proceedings is cost reduction and increased operational efficiencies. Through economic consultants associated with the firm, we can assist clients in analyzing ILEC rate and service offerings and evaluating new markets and product offerings.

Our experience in the utility field extends beyond the confines of administrative agencies. Other services we provide include negotiation of vendor agreements, evaluation of city franchise agreements, negotiation of power supply and energy agreements for wholesale customers, and preparation of agency/marketer agreements.



1403 West 6th Street Austin, Texas 78703 | Copyright 2010 Malish & Cowan, PLLC. All Rights Reserved. Legal Disclaimer.