Longtime Texas public utility attorney Don R. Richards has become chief counsel to the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA), which represents more than 580 rural telephone companies across the country.
NTCA announced Richards’ appointment Jan. 15. Richards (pictured), a partner in Richards, Elder & Green in Lubbock, says it will be difficult to follow the example set by James L. Bass, who served NTCA for more than 40 years, before his retirement. But Richards says he looks forward to working with NTCA on legal and policy matters.
“I will help coordinate the legal staff and be counsel to the [NTCA] board of directors,” he says.
Richards has a long history with NTCA. He says he has served on NTCA’s Legal Committee for 25 years and has been chairman of the committee in the past. He also serves as general counsel to Texas Statewide Telephone Cooperative Inc. and says he will continue in that role.
Richards, a former journalist, says he is “in the middle of his 29th year” as a lawyer and practices public utility, media and administrative law. He says he represents more than 40 local telephone companies before the Texas Legislature and the state’s Public Utility Commission and plans to be active in the current legislative session. In addition, Richards is an adjunct professor at Texas Tech University School of Law, where he says he teaches administrative law.
— Mary Alice Robbins
Robbins is an Austin-based freelance writer and a former Texas Lawyer senior reporter.