The Houston office of Fulbright & Jaworski LLP strengthened its school district finance representation recently when it hired Marcus Deitz as a partner.
Deitz, with more than a decade of experience, arrived from Andrews Kurth LLP and now serves as bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel, or disclosure counsel to a middle-market client base that includes school districts, counties, and other municipal entities.
After having known and worked with the Fulbright attorneys for more than 10 years, Deitz said the decision to join the eight members of the firm’s Houston office was an easy one.
“They’re a really good group over here,” he said. “I’ve always respected them and come to admire their skills. And I realized [working here] would offer a great platform for me to provide expanded services to my clients. When the opportunity arose, I jumped at it.”
Fulbright has a large school district practice in Texas, according to Neil Thomas, a Fulbright partner in Houston. It represents a number of school districts from its Dallas and San Antonio offices. But the Houston office needed help, he said, and Deitz’s school district finance experience filled that need.
“Marcus was the first lateral hire of a public finance lawyer we’ve made in the Houston office in several years,” Thomas said. “And it was because we saw the need for someone like him and he was the one we wanted.
In addition to general school district representation, Deitz brings the firm experience in election law matters and state law compliance issues.
Fulbright welcomes the help. Deitz arrived at a time when issuance has been at its lowest levels in 11 years. This first quarter was the firm’s slowest initial quarter in two years, though a slow first quarter in the muni market isn’t unusual, Thomas said, noting that many issuers make a big push to market to end their year.
“We’re really starting to pick up now, at least in our Houston office,” Thomas said. “And I think we will have a pretty good year.”
Fulbright’s public finance group serves as bond counsel, disclosure counsel, special tax counsel, and general counsel to issuers of tax-exempt obligations, as well as counsel to their underwriters, credit enhancers, and liquidity providers.
Deitz, who is licensed to practice law in Texas and Colorado, joins nearly 900 lawyers at Fulbright & Jaworksi who are based in 16 office locations around the world. The firm has roughly 45 attorneys in public finance, Thomas said, including a number of tax practitioners.