About Mark Smith
Legal Assistant: Ajael Tovar | 972-694-7206 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark’s wife, a public bilingual Pre-K and 1st grade teacher for more than 25 years, and her many teacher and school administrator friends have given him an inside view of the professionalism and dedication of those who educate our children. It has been Mark’s privilege to have spent a significant portion of his legal career focused on assisting educators in the process of acquiring land and constructing new school facilities to better serve their students.
Mark advises and represents Texas independent school districts in a wide variety of areas including real property sales and acquisitions (both by contract and by eminent domain proceedings), land use issues, leasing of real property both as lessor and lessee, and property and commercial related litigation including disputes over land issues and title disputes. Mark’s nearly 30 years of experience handling these matters for the Dallas Independent School District and other school districts has given him exposure to all manner of school law issues related to real property.
In addition, Mark has extensive experience practicing in all areas of business law. Mark has broad experience representing all types of private companies, including corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies, with their general business governance and commercial matters. As stated above Mark has extensive experience representing public governmental entities but he also represents private companies that desire to do business with governmental entities. Mark has experience in acquisitions, divestitures, securities transactions and other complex business transactions. Specifically, he has significant experience representing both corporate and private equity buyers and sellers in structuring, negotiating, documenting and closing private mergers, acquisitions and dispositions. Finally, Mark has handled every facet of buying, selling, developing, operating, leasing and financing real estate for his private business clients.
- J.D.; Southern Methodist University School of Law, 1989
- Bachelor of Business Administration; University of Texas at Austin, 1985
Licensing & Court Admissions
- Licensed in the state of Texas
- U.S. District Court for the Northern, Southern, Western and Eastern Districts of Texas
Memberships & Recognitions
- State Bar of Texas, Business Law, Real Estate Law, and Litigation Law Section
- Dallas Bar Association
- National School Boards Association/Texas Association of School Boards – Council of School Attorneys
- Texas Association of School Administrators
Selected Client Representations
- As part of the Dallas ISD 2002 Bond Program, I worked on the acquisition of hundreds of parcels of property both by negotiated contracts and through eminent domain proceedings for the construction of 21 new schools, a sports facility and a food service facility; and further acquisitions needed for the expansion of existing school campuses. I filed in excess of 100 condemnation cases as part of this project and together with other members of my firm worked all these cases to conclusion on terms satisfactory to DISD staff. As a part of the project, I helped to create a practice protocol with related forms that enabled us to professionally, with skill and efficiency, handle the volume of properties involved. I have revised and updated the protocols and forms over the years as needed to adjust for changes in the law and to improve them based on additional experience gained.
- From 2008 to 2014, I worked on the acquisition of properties by negotiated contracts and through eminent domain proceedings for the construction of fifteen (15) new schools and the expansion of existing school sites designated under the Dallas ISD 2008 Bond Program. Through negotiated contracts or eminent domain proceedings, we successfully closed on acquisitions of over 140 parcels of land for the District, all by eventual agreement with the property owner.
- From 2015 to 2018, I worked on the acquisition of properties for the construction of two (2) new schools designated under the Dallas ISD 2015 Bond Program, both by negotiated contracts and through eminent domain proceedings.
- In 2016 I assisted the Dallas ISD its exercise of an option to acquire the $46M high rise office building located on North Central Expressway, which would become the primary administration building for the District. Since acquired I have worked with District staff to manage the high rise building and the commercial tenants assumed upon acquisition of the building.
- Further in 2016, I revised and prepared public bid documents that were used by the District in the sale of twenty- three (23) sites no longer needed for school purposes, including the sale of the Dallas ISD’s Ross Avenue administration building.
- In 2018, I represented the Dallas ISD in matters related to the dissolution of the Dallas County Schools (“DCS”) and assisted the District in acquiring on favorable terms three of the four DCS bus service centers and the DCS administration building for use by the District.
- Due to my eminent domain and condemnation experience with school districts, beginning in 2017, I have been retained by TXDOT Project Management firms to provide condemnation due diligence support services on TXDOT projects. Thus far I have worked on the following TXDOT projects:
- 2017: TxDOT, IH 45, Galveston, Texas. Handled eminent domain due diligence matters as a subcontractor of KCI including E-49 package preparation and electronic submission to TxDOT.
- 2018: TxDOT, FM 1960, Houston, Texas. Handled eminent domain due diligence as a subcontractor of THC including E-49 package preparation and electronic submission to TxDOT.