Mr. Brooks began working with Cable Huston in 2006 as a legal clerk, immediately assisting the Firm in providing legal services to our public clients. He became a member of the Oregon Bar in 2007 and the Washington Bar in 2008.
Mr. Brooks has dedicated his entire legal career to assisting public entity clients. His practice focuses on local government law, including land use, utility law, and other regulatory issues. His overall municipal experience spans more than a decade and, prior to attending law school, he worked in the Office of the Mayor in Portland, Oregon for four years where he served as the mayor’s policy aid for planning, utility, environment, and economic issues. It was in that position that Mr. Brooks developed a keen understanding of the dynamics between elected officials, staff, and the public – skills he relies on today when representing public entities.
Since joining Cable Huston full time in 2007, Mr. Brooks has represented public entities of all types, largely focusing on special districts. He currently serves as the Firm’s primary attorney for multiple intergovernmental entities comprising a mix of municipalities and special districts. He also serves as general counsel for a port district. In this capacity, he advises the port on all aspects of local government law including public records, public meetings, and local contracting law. He also advises the port in its proprietary capacity and is heavily involved in property transactions, concessionaire agreements, and the port’s various economic development efforts.
Mr. Brooks has also served as general counsel since 2011 for a water utility in central Oregon with 1,500 customers. In that capacity, he assisted the utility during a major transition in which an entirely new board was elected and an entirely new staff was hired. That water utility is regulated by the Oregon Public Utility Commission and Mr. Brooks advises on all aspects of that regulatory structure including ratemaking and customer connections and disconnections. Mr. Brooks also advises that utility with respect to the maintenance and development of its water rights and issues relating to drinking water regulations.
Mr. Brooks is currently on the executive board of the Oregon State Bar’s Local Government section. He also regularly assists special districts of various types with respect to franchise fees and other right-of-way charges. He has assisted multiple clients with the negotiation of franchise agreements. He recently represented clients before the Oregon Supreme Court regarding the scope of franchise fee authority.
Within the context of local government law generally, Mr. Brooks has a deep expertise in administrative law. He specializes in the administrative review of land use decisions before the Land Use Board of Appeals. His land use experience includes multiple linear projects such as water and electric transmission lines. These projects are especially complicated because they pass through multiple jurisdictions and land use zones, requiring a multi-level, comprehensive strategy and a full understanding of Oregon’s land use and regulatory systems.
- Newman, David H.; Tommy A. Brooks and Coleman W. Dangerfield Jr., 2000. Conservation use valuation and land protection in Georgia. Forest Policy and Economics. 1:257-266.