Of Counsel


  • Land Use
  • Municipal Law
  • Civil Litigation: Trial and Appellante Practice
  • Areas of Emphasis: Constitutional, Civil Rights and Fair Housing Claims (federal and state); Vested Rights Claims; Annexation and ETJ Disputes; Impact Fees; Zoning and Subdivision Regulation


At the University of Missouri Law School, Terry developed his interest in land use law as research assistant to Robert Freilich, a national leader in growth management and land use law. He has kept this focus throughout his legal career, which began in Oregon in 1976. Terry frequently represented the homebuilding Industry and private landowners before the Land Conservation and Development Commission, the state agency overseeing Oregon’s statewide planning, and in the state’s courts. He won his first Supreme Court case in 1980, resulting in a decision that established a temporary regulatory taking claim under Oregon’s constitution.

Terry moved to Austin in 1985 and served as assistant city attorney until 1989, prime boom and bust years for central Texas. He also was an adjunct professor in the School of Architecture at UT, teaching land use law to masters candidates in urban planning. Terry is a member of the American Planning Association and works closely with city planners and city managers to avoid litigation and to implement municipal land use goals.

In 1989, he moved back to Kansas City to join his former law professor in a national law firm that offered land use advise and legal defense to cities and counties in 20 states. Terry maintained his Texas connections during that time, serving with Texas Municipal League lawyers in negotiating the Impact Fee law in behalf of Texas cities. He moved back to Dallas in 1993 to open a Texas office for Freilich, Leitner & Morgan. For the past 25 years in a variety of affiliations, he has exclusively advised and defended Texas municipalities in land use matters, including federal and state constitutional and civil rights litigation; fair housing claims; federal and state preemption; municipal boundary disputes; and compliance with the ever increasing encroachment of state laws on municipal authority, including state laws regarding impact fees, rough proportionality, vested rights, annexation and zoning and subdivision procedures.


  • J.D. University of Missouri (Kansas City), 1976
  • Bachelor of Arts, St. Louis University, 1968


Terry has a long history of authoring publications and public speaking engagements. In 1986 he co-authored Land Use Litigation (West 1986), a practitioner’s guide. A representative sample of his publications will be provided on request.

His speaking engagements on land use include presentations before the National Homebuilders Association, the American Planning Association, National and Texas Chapters; the Southwest Legal Foundation; the American Law Institute; and the University of Texas’s annual seminar on Land Use Law.


  • Texas, Oregon and Missouri
  • U.S. District Courts, Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court


Terry lives with his wife Karen Walz in Dallas, Texas, where they have lived for the last 24 years. In his spare time, he and Karen travel the world in search of wildlife and birds in particular, Terry having seen more than the half the world’s species in 25 countries. He also enjoys relaxing at his ranch in the Chiricahua Mountains in southeast Arizona. He currently is drafting a novel based on his travels in Africa.