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Monica M. Jacobs

Monica M. Jacobs focuses her practice on water law and the intersection between water and energy production. Ms.Jacobs is a partner and co-chairs Kelly Hart & Hallman's Water Law practice group. She is a registered lobbyist. Her specific experience in water and energy resources and related contested cases and litigation includes:

  • Water Resources: water supply management for large landowners, industrial users and major Texas municipalities; surface water and groundwater permitting; project development; water rights sales and leases; advocacy regarding the development of Texas water law; and policy in a variety of contexts including at the Texas legislature
  • Energy Resources: mineral exploration and mining; Class III well and Class I disposal well permitting; radioactive material licenses; aquifer exemptions; mine reclamation and closure; rule making at both the Texas Railroad Commission and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality; and operations in areas covered by groundwater districts
  • Contested Case Hearings/Litigation: significant experience in first-chairing complex contested case hearings from the application stage through live hearing and post-hearing briefing; served as co-counsel in related lawsuits and appeals
Experience and highlights
  • First Chair in Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) contested case hearing regarding a Class III injection well area permit application, aquifer exemption and application for a production area authorization for new in situ uranium mine; received favorable decision from Commission on all issues
  • First Chair in TCEQ contested case hearing regarding applications to amend uranium mining production area restoration tables; received favorable decision from Judge and Commission on all issues
  • First Chair in TCEQ enforcement contested case involving a water main break; after the conclusion of the live hearing, TCEQ requested that the case be remanded prior to the issuance of the Judge's decision
  • First Chair in TCEQ landfill application contested case hearing, representing two corporations; successful settlement included all attorneys fees and costs
  • Drafted substantial revisions to Chapter 131 of the Natural Resources Code and Chapter 27 of the Water Code regarding groundwater use; worked with legislative and agency staff and other stakeholders; both bills were passed unanimously by both the Texas House and Senate
Affiliations and honors
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Austin Bar Association; Environmental, Natural Resources and Water Law Section Chair, 2005-2008
  • Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star, Thomson Reuters, 2004-2013
  • Outstanding Young Alumni Award from University of Houston Honors College, 2000
  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D., with honors, 1998
         Order of the Coif (top 10% of class)
         Texas Law Review
  • The University of Houston, B.S., with honors, summa cum laude, 1995
  • State Bar of Texas, 1998
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, 2010
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, 2010
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, 2011
Speeches & Publications
  • Texas Water Rights, Permian Basin Petroleum Association's (PBPA) Water Committee Meeting, March, 2018
  • "Oil & Water: Comparison of Water Law in Texas and New Mexico," Permian Basin Water in Energy Conference, February 20-23, 2018
  • "Case Law Update," Texas Water Conservation Association 2011 Annual Conference
  • "Oil is King: Water is the Heir Apparent," Oil, Gas and Mineral Section of the Austin Bar Association, April 8, 2009
  • "Emerging Issues in Groundwater and Surface Water Rights," 9th Annual Texas Rural Water Association/Texas Water Conservation Association Water Law Seminar Austin, Texas, January 22-23, 2009
  • "Case Law Update, New Directions in Water" 2008 Texas Water Conservation Association and The Texas Rural Water Association Water Law Seminar, Austin, Texas, February 2008
  • "Texas Water Rights...Amenity Lakes, Detention Ponds, and Dams,"  LJA Engineering Company, Austin, Texas, January 2008
  • "Water Rights Permitting Process," Brazos G Regional Water Planning Group, Brazos River Authority, Waco, Texas, October 24, 2007
Ms. Jacobs drafted substantial revisions to Chapter 131 of the Natural Resources Code and Chapter 27 of the Water Code regarding groundwater use and regulation