Photo of Rene  Ruiz

Rene Ruiz Member

Areas of Practice


Bar Admissions

  • Texas, 1999


St. Mary's University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1999

University of Houston, B.S., 1992


Board Certified in Administrative Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization


Rene Ruiz is a member of Dykema’s Government Policy and Practice Group in the San Antonio and Austin, Texas offices.


Mr. Ruiz concentrates his practice on the public law that governs relationships between individuals and government, with an emphasis on administrative law, water law, and municipal law.  He is Board Certified in Administrative Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and represents clients before the state agencies that regulate the water, electric, and oil and gas industries, in rulemakings, ratemaking and permitting proceedings, and enforcement.  His emphasis on water law includes acquisition and transfers of water rights, water utility rates and services, and wastewater reuse.  His municipal law practice focuses on representing private entities doing business with local governmental entities, including public-private projects and economic development incentives.

Water Rights

  • Secured valuable groundwater rights for landowners, cities and business through proceedings before Texas groundwater conservation districts
  • Secured water rights for growing city in contested case hearing before State Office of Administrative Hearings
  • Helped clients buy, sell, and lease water rights and obtain governmental approvals
  • Advised bank in transaction to lend money to private water utility and secure loan with lien on water system and water rights and pledge of utility revenues
  • Performed due diligence review on water rights and service issues for developer clients seeking to develop large tracts of raw land

Water Permits – Location and Type of Use

  • Helped clients amend water permits to allow for changes in location and type of use
  • Help clients permit existing dams and reservoirs

Water Supply Issues – Counsel to Electric Utility

  • Advised electric utility companies on potential water shortage issues affecting power production
  • Advised water speculators on structuring water supply projects for municipal use

Water Reuse Agreement

  • Helped lignite mining company obtain permit to allow reuse of mining wastewater and drafted water reuse agreement to sell water to third parties
  • Helped oil and gas exploration company obtain permit to make beneficial use of high quality produced water

Water Development Projects – Regulatory Counsel

  • Advised clients on investments in and structuring of water development projects to minimize regulatory oversight and maximize returns
  • Represented developer client before Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to remove land from service area of water utility and add land to service area of another water provider
  • Represented developer and water utility clients on recycled water supply projects to conserve potable water and provide cheap supply of irrigation water for parks, golf courses, and other beneficial uses

Water Counsel to Oil and Gas Clients

  • Represented landowner clients in transactions to sell water to oil and gas companies for hydraulic fracturing
  • Counseled oil and gas companies on securing water for oil and gas exploration and production

Regulatory Counsel – Environmental and Utilities

  • Represented clients in numerous rulemakings before groundwater conservation districts, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission
  • Represented landowners and for-profit businesses in enforcement proceedings before the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, and groundwater conservation districts
  • Represented landowners in contested case proceedings before the Public Utility Commission of Texas and State Office of Administrative Hearings concerning electric transmission routing cases

Nuclear Power Industry – Regulatory Counsel

  • Represented nuclear electric power generation facility at Texas legislature to negotiate, help draft, and secure favorable legislation for disposal of low-level radioactive waste
  • Secured permits from Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission to allow generator of low-level radioactive waste to export waste for disposal in Utah facility to reduce disposal costs and preserve limited capacity in Texas disposal facility
  • Represented nuclear electric facility in complex, multi-year project involving the establishment of rates and agency rules for disposal of low-level radioactive waste in the Texas LLRW Compact Disposal Facility

Electric Transmission Proceedings

  • Represented landowners in electric transmission line routing proceedings, including hearings on the merits, to protect client interests

Public-Private Partnerships

  • Advised private co-owners of electric generation facility on public law issues associated with selling an interest to a governmental entity
  • Provided legal opinions to banks on public laws affecting enforceability of agreements entered into by governmental entities
  • Represented hospital district in complex, multi-party transaction to finance and construct a new hospital using tax-exempt revenue bonds, HUD loan insurance, a pledge of hospital revenues and mortgage on hospital property
  • Chair, Water Committee, Section of Public Utilities, Communications and Transportation Law, ABA, 2010-present
  • Editor, Water Report, Recent Developments in Public Utilities, Communications and Transportation, ABA, 2010-present
  • Council Member, Section of Public Utilities, Communications and Transportation Law, ABA, 2011-2012
  • Scene in SA, “San Antonio’s Best Lawyers,” 2008, 2013
  • Selected for inclusion as a "Texas Rising Star," Law and Politics Magazine, 2005