Klein, David J.

Principal
(512) 322-5818

David represents municipalities, water districts, water supply corporations, utilities and landowners with their water supply, water quality, and water and sewer utility service interests, including certificates of convenience and necessity (CCN). He also assists these entities with their impact fees, wholesale and retail utility rates, and regulatory enforcement matters.

Specifically, he has over a decade of experience in representing clients before the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Public Utility Commission, and Texas Water Development Board, as well as in contested case hearings at the State Office of Administrative Hearings. He also serves as general counsel to water districts and water supply corporations, assisting them with open governance issues, such as the Open Meetings Act, Public Information Act, Texas public bidding laws, and Texas election laws.  David works with entities regarding the creation of water districts or the addition of land to an existing district.

Further, David also assists entities with transactional issues, such as transferring real property interests, obtaining loans from public and private entities, and exercising condemnation / eminent domain authority.

In addition to these water-related matters, David also assists clients with issues pertaining to the regulation of oil and gas production and transportation (upstream and midstream).

David is currently the Chair of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, a Casenotes Editor for the Texas Environmental Law Journal, and a frequent speaker at water-related conferences.

David received his J.D. from The John Marshall Law School in 1997, and he participated in the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business Student-at-Large Program in Accounting.

  • Admitted to State Bar of Texas (2003)
  • Admitted to U.S. District Court for Northern and Western Districts of Texas (2004)
  • J.D., The John Marshall Law School (1997)
  • University of Chicago Graduate School of Business Graduate-Student-at-Large Program (1997)
  • B.A., The University of Texas at Austin (1994)
  • Preparing and prosecuting applications at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for water rights, water quality permits (TPDES, TLAP, and Reclaimed Water), and water district matters
  • Preparing and prosecuting applications at the Public Utility Commission to obtain, amend, transfer, and decertify water and sewer certificates of convenience and necessity (CCN)
  • Assisting clients in wholesale retail water and sewer rate change applications at the Public Utility Commission
  • Representing clients in contested case hearings at the State Office of Administrative Hearings
  • Defending clients in enforcement matters at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Public Utility Commission
  • Assisting clients with drafting and negotiating development agreements, water supply contracts, wastewater capacity agreements, water transportation contracts, utility operations agreements, utility conveyance agreements, reclaimed water supply contracts, and utility construction contracts
  • Acquiring and selling water and wastewater utility systems
  • Negotiating and drafting agreements for real property transactions
  • Negotiating and drafting agreements for loans from public and private entities
  • Assisting clients with applications at Texas Water Development Board for funding
  • Representing clients in formal complaints at the Public Utility Commission
  • Evaluating 7 U.S.C.A. §1926(b) related issues at the Public Utility Commission
  • Serving as general counsel for water districts and water supply corporations
  • Complying with Texas open governance laws (TOMA, TPIA, records retention, Attorney General Opinions, and elections
  • Assisting clients concerning the regulation of oil and gas activities
  • Participating in TCEQ and Railroad Commission of Texas rulemaking initiatives
  • Co-Author, "A New Wrinkle in Processing Landowner CCN Decertification Petitions?" The Lone Star Current, July 2020
  • Co-Author, "The U.S. Court of Appeals - Fifth Circuit's Sea Change Opinion Regarding the Scope of Federal Protection of CCNs from Decertification Under 7 U.S.C. § 1926(b)," The Lone Star Current, October 2020
  • Speaker, “Public Utility Commission: What’s Happening Now?,” Presented at the Texas Bar Association’s Changing Face of Water Rights Conference, San Antonio, Texas—February 23, 2018
  • Speaker, “Water Rate Making,” Presented at the Texas Bar Association’s Changing Face of Water Rights Conference, San Antonio, Texas—February 23, 2017
  • Speaker, “Complying with the Texas Public Information Act and Open Meetings Act,” Capital Area Suburban Exchange, Summer Conference, South Padre Island, Texas—June 17, 2016
  • Speaker, “Order in the Court! Keeping Board Meetings Under Control,” Presented at Capital Area Suburban Exchange, Summer Conference, South Padre Island, Texas—June 13, 2014
  • Speaker, “Lean or Green? Emerging Water Developments in Central Texas,” Presented at Capital Area Chapter of the AWWA, Austin, Texas—October 18, 2013
  • Author, “Home Sweet Home: Clarifying and Reinforcing a Municipality's Authority to Regulate Natural Gas Activities in Its Corporate Limits,” 14 Texas Tech Administrative Law Journal 339 (2013)
  • Speaker, “Drought Preparedness: Conservation Plans/Initiatives,” Presented at the Capital Area Suburban Exchange Annual Conference, So. Padre Island, Texas—June 15 , 2012
  • Author and Speaker, “New Challenges in Obtaining & Decertifying Water/Wastewater Certificates of Convenience and Necessity,” Presented at the Texas Public Works Association Annual Conference, McAllen, Texas—June 17, 2011
  • Author and Speaker, “Maximizing Water Resources - Water Reuse in Texas,” Presented at the Texas Association of Water Board Directors Summer Conference, Ft. Worth—Texas, June 11, 2011
  • Author and Speaker, “Securing Water Utility Service: Recent Developments Regarding Certificates of Convenience and Necessity,” Presented at the Texas Bar Association’s Changing Face of Water Rights Conference, San Antonio, Texas—February 24, 2011
  • Author and Speaker, “Adopting Orders v. Resolutions: General District Governance,” Presented at the Texas Rural Water Association District Conference, Horseshoe Bay, Texas—September 2, 2010
  • Author and Speaker, “Drafting Wholesale Water Supply Contracts,” Presented at the Texas Rural Water Association Conference, San Antonio, Texas—March 24, 2010
  • Author and Speaker, “Taking Control Over Natural Gas Gathering and Transmission Pipelines and Compressor Station Companies,” Presented at the Texas City Attorneys Association 2009 Summer Conference—June 11, 2009
  • Author and Speaker, “Providing Retail Water and Wastewater Service to New Developments - New Challenges in Obtaining and Decertifying CCNs,” Presented at Texas Water 2009—April 16, 2009
  • Author and Speaker, “Biosolids Regulation and Enforcement Update,” Presented at the Biosolids Management & Odor and Corrosion Control Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas—September 6, 2007
  • Author, “Exploring the Scope of Landowner Water Rights for Domestic and Livestock Purposes,” By David Klein and Robin Smith, Vol VII, No. 1 Texas Tech Administrative Law Journal (2007)
  • Author and Speaker, “Examining the HB 2876 Expedited CCN Decertification Process,” Presented at Texas Water 2007, Austin, Texas, April 11, 2007
  • Author, “Innovative Strategies in Water Marketing on the Rio Grande,” State Bar of Texas Environmental Law Journal, Spring 2007, Vol. 37, No. 3
  • Author, “Keeping Business Out of the Bedroom: Protecting Personal Privacy Interests from the Retail World,” 15 J. Marshall J. Computer & Info. L. 391 (1997)
  • State Bar of Texas - Environmental and Natural Resource Section, Chair 2020-2021
  • Austin Bar Association - Environmental Law Section and Administrative Law Section
  • American Water Works Association
  • Capital Area Suburban Exchange
  • Planning Committee - Changing Face of Water Rights Conference and the Texas Environmental Superconference
While David is fond of his time in Chicago, he has resided in Austin for over 20 years. When he’s not working, David enjoys relaxing at Zilker Park, playing soccer, taking advantage of Austin’s live music scene, and volunteering with non-profit organizations such as Urban Roots and Treefolks.

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