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Texas Commission on Environmental Quality


As former staff attorneys, the firm's lawyers have great respect for this agency and its mission. Through ongoing relationships with many of its dedicated professionals, Cindy and Shana assist clients in communicating with agency staff. A deep understanding of TCEQ's governing laws and policies enables the Smiley Law Firm to effectively represent its clients before the agency.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


The Smiley Law Firm attorneys use a collaborative style proven successful in many years of resolving regulatory, permitting and enforcement issues for its clients.

EPA Region 6, located in Dallas, has responsibility for the states of AR, LA, NM, OK and TX.


Cindy Smiley
Shana Horton
Professional Links
  • Welcome!

    The Smiley Law Firm, P.C., located in Austin, Texas, represents a wide variety of clients in environmental matters. The firm is dedicated to serving its clients as they participate in regulatory processes, including:

    • permit applications and authorizations
    • rulemaking
    • responses to environmental enforcement actions.

    A large part of the firm's practice centers on regulatory counseling and assistance in identifying and addressing environmental issues and concerns. The firm's founder has more than 25 years of wide-ranging experience in environmental and administrative law.

    Practice Areas:

    For business and industry:


    representation in obtaining environmental permits and authorizations for projects; de­fend­ing enforcement actions; counseling on regulatory issues; participating in agency rulemaking activities; monitoring federal, state and local government activities; and identifying and evaluating potential environmental liabilities associated with transactions.

    ^top

    For property owners &
    homeowners associations:


    representation in identifying and evaluating potential environmental liabilities and ob­li­ga­tions; counseling on regulatory issues; participating in government rulemaking and other activities; monitoring activities of federal, state and local government entities; obtaining authorizations and permits; and addressing enforcement concerns.

    ^top

    For local government entities:


    representation in reviewing and negotiating environmental agreements and contracts; counseling on regulatory issues; obtaining permits and authorizations for projects; and maintaining en­vir­on­ment­al permits and approvals.

    ^top

    For Inventors:


    evaluating and exploring the environmental and water law aspects of creative or innovative technologies and methods.

    ^top

    Cynthia Cooke Smiley's Experience

    Firm Tenure
    Attorney/Owner–Smiley Law Firm 2012–Present
    Partner–Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP 2004–2012
    Special Counsel–Baker Botts LLP 1994–2004
    Senior Attorney–Jones Day, Reavis & Pogue 1988–1994
    Attorney–Texas Water Commission 1983–1988
    Attorney–Exxon Company, USA 1981–1983
    Admitted to Practice in Texas October 1981
    Education Date
    UT Austin School of Law, Doctor of Jurisprudence 1981
    UT Austin, Bachelor of Arts (Plan II) with highest honors 1978

    Professional Service:

    She is active in the planning of the Texas Environmental Superconference, a "SXSW for environmental professionals" sponsored by the Environmental & Natural Resources Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. This popular, well-regarded annual conference is held in Austin in early August. The Superconference celebrated its 25th year in August 2013.

    • Director of the Southwest Section of the Air & Waste Management Association (2011-2013)
    • Executive Committee of the Environmental & Natural Resources Law Section of the State Bar of Texas (2012-2013)

    Honors and Recognitions:

    • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Water Law and Environmental Law (2008-2014)
    • Chair of the Environmental & Natural Resources Law Section of the State Bar of Texas (2011-2012)
    • General Conference Vice Chair for the 105th Annual Conference & Exhibition of the Air & Waste Management Association (June 2012)
    • Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation (2011)
    • Member of the College of the State Bar of Texas (2013)

    Recent Publications:

    2014

    Contributing Author to Chapter in Essentials of Texas Water Resources, 3rd Ed., (Texas Bar Books: Austin, 2014), "Dredge and Fill Permits under Clean Water Act Section 404."

    Contributing Author to Texas Environmental Law (2013-2014 Ed.), (Thomson Reuters, November 2013), "Overview of Regulatory Programs in Texas."

    2013

    Forward Thinking in a Regulatory World, Cindy Smiley, EM Magazine, November 2013, pp. 40-41. EM Magazine is a publication of the Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA; http://www.awma.org). To obtain copies and reprints, please contact A&WMA directly at 1-412-232-3444.

    Lessons Learned from Public Meetings, Cindy Smiley, EM Magazine, August 2013, pp. 42-43. EM Magazine is a publication of the Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA; http://www.awma.org). To obtain copies and reprints, please contact A&WMA directly at 1-412-232-3444.

    2012

    Contributing Author to Chapter in Essentials of Texas Water Resources, 2nd Ed., (Texas Bar Books: Austin, 2012), "Dredge and Fill Permits under Clean Water Act Section 404."

    Contributing Author to Chapter in Party Talk: Answers to Everyday Legal Questions for Texas Lawyers, 2nd Ed., (Texas Bar Books: Austin, 2012).

    2009

    Contributing Author to Chapter in Essentials of Texas Water Resources (Texas Bar Books: Austin, 2009), "State Water Planning."

    Recent Presentations:

    "Highlights of Texas Water Law (with a focus on the Highland Lakes)," presentation to Rotary Club of Marble Falls, March 2014.

    "Watching Your Step: Pre-Development Surface and Siting Issues," presentation and paper at State Bar Conference on Environmental Impacts of Oil & Gas Production, January 2014.

    Mentor to:
    • New lawyers through the Austin Bar Association's Mentoring Program (2012-2013)
    • International law students through the Austin Asian American Bar Association's Mentoring Program (2012-2013)

     

    State Bar Activities



    In August 2012, Cindy was presented with a plaque recognizing her service as the Chair of the Environmental & Natural Resources Law Section of the State Bar from the Section's incoming Chair, Cindy Bishop.

    She was elected as a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation in 2011 and selected as a member of the College of the State Bar of Texas in 2013.

    A Dallas Client Says:

    "Cindy is very intelligent, thorough, thoughtful, and exceptionally effective in Environmental Law. She is most pleasant to work with (even when the legal issues are not); she is definitely a team player. We have great confidence and trust in her judgment, as well as her ability, and would highly recommend her to anyone needing her expertise in the environmental arena."

    President
    Dallas, Texas Facility

    A San Antonio Client Says:

    "Cindy works in a very demanding field. She is without a doubt the finest and foremost environmental attorney I have ever worked with. She makes her clients feel at ease and keeps hours to a minimum, but, above all, she delivers results with the agencies, both state and federal. Her knowledge of environmental law and her expertise are astounding. Her demeanor is always professional but friendly. She is simply an outstanding attorney."

    Retired Environmental Manager
    San Antonio, Texas Facility


    Cindy's Affiliations



  • Shana Horton

    Ms. Horton joined the Smiley Law Firm, P.C., in February 2014. She brings a decade of recognized expertise in surface water, groundwater, and administrative law; chapter co-author of major water law reference book published by the State Bar of Texas and former Chair of the Environmental Section of the Austin Bar Association.

    Practice Areas:

    For business and industry:


    representation in obtaining environmental permits and authorizations for projects; de­fend­ing enforcement actions; counseling on regulatory issues; participating in agency rulemaking activities; monitoring federal, state and local government activities; and identifying and evaluating potential environmental liabilities associated with transactions.

    ^top

    For property owners &
    homeowners associations:


    representation in identifying and evaluating potential environmental liabilities and ob­li­ga­tions; counseling on regulatory issues; participating in government rulemaking and other activities; monitoring activities of federal, state and local government entities; obtaining authorizations and permits; and addressing enforcement concerns.

    ^top

    For local government entities:


    representation in reviewing and negotiating environmental agreements and contracts; counseling on regulatory issues; obtaining permits and authorizations for projects; and maintaining en­vir­on­ment­al permits and approvals.

    ^top

    For Inventors:


    evaluating and exploring the environmental and water law aspects of creative or innovative technologies and methods.

    ^top

    Shana Horton's Experience

    Firm Tenure
    Attorney–Smiley Law Firm 2014–Present
    Senior Counsel–Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP 2011–2014
    Staff Attorney–TCEQ 2005–2011
    Committee Counsel–Texas House 78th and 79th Leg. Sessions
    Associate Attorney–Akins & Nowlin, LLP 2003–2004
    Judicial Intern–Hon. Lawrence Meyers, TX Court of Criminal Appeals July-Aug–2001
    Summer Associate–LGRT, PC May-July–2001
    Education Date
    UT Austin School of Law, Doctor of Jurisprudence 2003
    UT Austin, Bachelor of Arts (Plan II) with honors 2000

    Professional Activities and Memberships:

    • Chair, Austin Bar Association Environmental Law Section, 2012-2013 (Immediate Past Chair, 2013-2014; Chair Elect, 2011-2012; Membership Chair and CLE Coordinator, 2009-2011; Membership Chair, 2008-2009; Events Chair, 2007-2008)
    • Texas Water Conservation Association Water Laws Committee (2012-2013)
    • The Changing Face of Water Rights CLE Planning Committee (2012, 2013, 2014 programs)
    • Austin Young Lawyers Association (2003-present)

    Recent Publications & Speeches:

    2014

    Author and speaker, "Legislative and Agency Update," The Changing Face of Water Rights in Texas 2014, State Bar of Texas, Feb. 2014 (click "more info" then see p. 3)

    Co-author of "State and Federal Governmental Entities With Water Resource Jurisdiction," Chapter in Essentials of Texas Water Resources, (Texas Bar Books: Austin, 2011), Mary K. Sahs, Ed. 3rd Ed.

    2013

    Author and speaker, "Litigation and Administrative Update," Texas Rural Water Association/Texas Water Conservation Association, Water Law Seminar, Jan. 2013.

    Author and speaker, "Surface Water Rights", The Changing Face of Water Rights in Texas 2013, State Bar of Texas, Feb. 2013

    Author and speaker, Legislative Update, Texas Water Law Conference, CLE International, Oct. 2013

    2012

    Author and speaker, "Surface Water 101", The Changing Face of Water Rights in Texas 2012, State Bar of Texas, Feb. 2013

    2011

    Co-author of "State and Federal Governmental Entities With Water Resource Jurisdiction," Chapter in Essentials of Texas Water Resources, (Texas Bar Books: Austin, 2011), Mary K. Sahs, Ed. 2nd Ed.

    An Austin Colleague Says:

    "Shana is a detail-oriented attorney, with excellent communication skills. Her legal expertise, coupled with a sincere respect for others, made her a joy to work with at the TCEQ."
    A Former Colleague
    Texas Commission on Environmental Quality


    Shana's Affiliations



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Office: 6000 Shepherd Mountain Cove STE 2107 Austin TX 78730

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