Don R. Richards
Texas Board of Legal Specialization
A former award-winning community journalist, Richards now practices law primarily in the areas of Public Utility Law, Media Law, and Administrative Law. He is Board Certified in Administrative Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, State Bar of Texas, and is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Texas Tech School of Law where he teaches the Texas Administrative Law course. He was named to Texas Monthly’s 2005 list of “Super Lawyers” for Texas.
In telecommunication and utility matters, Richards regularly represents more than 40 local exchange telephone companies and electric utility cooperatives before the Texas Legislature and the Public Utility Commission of Texas. He has served as general counsel to the Texas Exchange Carrier Association, and currently is Chairman of the Legal Committees of the National Telephone Cooperative Association. He is a member of Electric Cooperative Bar Association and the Texas Telephone Association and past-Chairman of the Public Utility Section of the State Bar of Texas. He serves as legal counsel to a number of West Texas media clients. He also serves as an Advisory Director and as a hotline attorney for the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas on questions of the Open Meetings Act and Public Information Act, and is a frequent speaker on news media law and public utility issues.
A sixth-generation Texan and fourth-generation journalist, Richards was born in Stonewall County, Texas, and is a native of Jayton, Texas, where his father owned the weekly newspaper. He received his undergraduate degree in journalism from Texas Tech University where he served as editor of the student newspaper, The University Daily. He then spent several years in the newspaper business, first as editor of several West Texas community newspapers, and then as publisher of The Azle News. He currently serves as publisher of The Banner of Love, one of Texas’ oldest continuing religious newspapers, as well as publisher/co-owner of the Hale Center American weekly newspaper.
He previously was on the Washington D.C. staff of Congressman Kent Hance as Administrative Aide, serving as Press Secretary and handling legislative matters dealing in communication, military and foreign affairs. He held a Top Secret Security Clearance and toured a number of the nation’s top military installations.
Richards graduated cum laude from Texas Tech School of Law in the Spring of 1984 and was named to the Order of the Coif for finishing in the top ten percent of the class. He was an Associate Editor of Law Review, Chairman of the Board of Barristers, and was selected to the school’s National Moot Court Team.
Don R. Richards was raised in a newspaper family, was editor of the campus newspaper at Texas Tech University and has operated newspapers. From this background came an interest in media law, open records and open meetings law, and an understanding of how to deal with the media. He was a congressional aide and one time nominee for U.S. Congress. From this background came an inside understanding of the legislative and political process and an understanding of community and member relations.
Active in local politics, Richards has in the past entered the electoral arena. He received the Democratic nomination for the 1984 General Election for U.S. Congress from the West Texas 19th Congressional District, and in 1996 received the Democratic nomination for District 84 of the Texas House of Representatives.
Richards is married to the former Ann Polk Schovajsa and together the couple has five children.