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Sherman hires new legal representation

Staff Writer
Herald Democrat
New Sherman City Attorney Richard Abernathy speaks before the Sherman City Council. The city recently approved a contract with Abernathy, Roeder Boyd & Hullett for legal representation.

As it continues to grow, Sherman has decided it needs new legal representation.

The City Council approved an agreement with the law firm Abernathy, Roeder, Boyd & Hullett, P.C. for services as city attorney.

The change in legal representation, which was previously provided by Brandon Shelby and Shelby Law, comes as the city’s legal needs have grown and in an effort to consolidate its needs for supplemental legal services.

“We’ve been working with staff with his firm for two to three years now on various aspects,” City Manager Robby Hefton said. “... As we continue to grow as a city, and the complexity of the issues facing the city continue to grow, we believe this firm would be able to provide a wide range of services to us as a one-stop shop.”

In recent years, the city has needed to reach out to outside law firms for legal services and representation on more nuanced topics related to its growth, Nate Strauch, Sherman community and support services manager, said. Abernathy, Roeder, Boyd & Hullett was one of the firms the city regularly contracted for these services.

As these needs increased, it made sense to bring on board a firm with experience on these topics, Strauch said.

For two members of the firm, this will represent a return to Sherman after many years. Richard Abernathy, who spoke during the council meeting, and Robert Roeder, attended Austin College previously.

While addressing the council Abernathy spoke briefly about his time working with the city on previous projects, and commended the city staff.

“I have found them to be incredible professional, competent ... and you a lucky to have such quality people,” he said.

Under the terms of the engagement agreement, The city will pay an hourly rate ranging from $215 per hour for associates with less than three years experience to $250 for shareholders and directors.

“We believe this will be a cost-neutral decision. Of course, that is highly dependent on how much legal services we need,” Strauch said.

With regard to outgoing City Attorney Brandon Shelby, Strauch confirmed that the city has agreed to a severance agreement. The Herald Democrat has sent a request to the city for the terms of the severance agreement.

Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at mhutchins@heralddemocrat.com.