2018 PAAT Institute 

This year’s Institute agenda includes everything you need to get ready for the 2019 Legislative Session. We are honored to have Speaker of the Texas House Joe Straus join us as our Keynote speaker. Straus’ leadership over five sessions ties him for the longest-serving Texas Speaker.

Other panels include:

  • Navigating the Texas Ethics Laws - Session Compliance Overview and Important Scenarios
    Gardner Pate and Ed Shack, Ethics Experts and Attorneys at Law Moderated by Andy Cates, Ethics Attorney

  • Commission Update
    Seana Willing, Executive Director, Texas Ethics Commission
    Randy Erben, Texas Ethics Commissioner

  • Local Government Lobbying - Navigating Municipal Ethics Laws
    Ross Fischer, Attorney at The Gober Group and former Ethics Commissioner
    Bill Longley, Legislative Counsel, Texas Municipal League

  • Digital Advocacy - Understanding and Utilizing Technology and Social Media in Today’s Advocacy Environment
    Elyse Yates, Founder, Influence Opinions


November 28, 2018


Austin County Club

Past Events


The legislative session is right around the corner! Are you prepared?

Andy Fish, Managing Partner - Texas Legislative Service (Telicon), will provide an overview of the latest Telicon features as well as tips for using technology and data to navigate the session. More about Telicon.

Elyse Yates, founder and CEO of Influence Opinions, will discuss the influence of digital communications in today’s advocacy landscape. Yates’ discussion will include a brief overview and analysis of the broad spectrum of online channels and digital media happenings, including historical and emerging trends and potential problem situations. More about Elyse.

Seana Willing, Executive Director of the Texas Ethics Commission, will provide a brief “State of the Commission”, with an update on the latest Commission news and activities. More about the Commission.

Andy Cates, Lobbyist and Ethics Attorney, will give us a peek at his Lobby Days software, which makes lobby days at the Capitol actually easier to set up and administer. Cates has been around the Texas Capitol for around 10 years both as a staffer and as a lobbyist, and built this software as a small fix to what he saw as a very outdated way of approaching the logistical nightmare of setting up lobby days at the capitol.

September 25, 2018

It's the law we all don’t quite understand...Join us for our September Roundtable for a detailed analysis of the laws governing the process of electing a Speaker of the Texas House from Travis County Attorney David Escamilla - the office charged with addressing complaints related to this race. Escamilla will provide an overview of the process involved in reviewing complaints under the Speaker's race campaign statute and how to advise your client/company of the ethical boundaries of participation. As part of this Roundtable we have also invited members of the media to provide their thoughts on the Speaker's race from a political and practical perspective.

The Roundtable will also have a panel with ethics attorneys Ed Shack and Margo Cardwell to review the upcoming PAC reporting requirements in advance of the November elections and will include a Q&A in the event you have specific questions.

August 22, 2018

Ever have one of those days when you are sure there is a better way to do what we do?! Well, there might be! Our August Roundtable will explore best practices for the lobby profession, including the more technical business aspects (practice formation, accounting, tax changes, etc.), as well as more client specific issues such as how to set up engagement agreements, what expenses are appropriate to charge back to a client, how to manage conflicts of interest, and more.

If you are an association or company representative who has lobbyists you may learn something about how to better work with them as well! 


  • Representatives from Atchley & Associates, CPA

  • Lobbyists and Ethics Attorneys: Tom Forbes, Jack Gullahorn, Gardner Pate and Ross Fischer

Roundtable with House Chief Clerk Robert Haney
May 22, 2018

Discussion with House Chief Clerk Robert Haney. Haney discussed the House's proposed new kiosk based system that hopes to streamline the bill and resolution authorship process. The new process would eliminate the need for the coauthor and joint author forms that get circulated by members and staff…and sometime lobbyists (informally of course). Haney also discussed his thoughts on other changes in the pipeline heading into the 86th Legislative Session.  MCLE OFFERED. View slide deck