Craig R. Bennett
Craig Bennett is an attorney in the environmental, legislative, & regulatory group of Jackson Walker’s Austin office. Craig’s practice focuses on administrative and regulatory law, including counseling clients on a broad range of matters such as compliance, enforcement, litigation, and judicial review of administrative agency decisions. Prior to joining Jackson Walker, Craig served as a Master Administrative Law Judge with the Texas State Office of Administrative Hearings for 18 years.
In the time before serving as an Administrative Law Judge, Craig was in private practice in Dallas and Austin as a litigator in the areas of employment, civil rights, governmental liability, and environmental law. A seasoned mediator, Craig has spent two decades successfully mediating dozens of cases for a variety of clients. From 2004-2010, Craig served as an Exam Commissioner for the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Craig currently serves as an adjunct professor teaching Texas Administrative Law at Baylor Law School and at the University of Texas Law School, where he has taught since 2007. He has been a regular guest lecturer at numerous universities and law schools, including the following institutions in China: Wuhan University Law School, Xiamen University Law School, and Jinan University. Craig is also a frequent speaker at continuing legal education seminars, including various Advanced Administrative Law Seminars.
B.S., Indiana University, Bloomington
J.D., Baylor University Law School
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
United States District Court for the Eastern, Northern, and Western Districts of Texas
- Advises clients on litigation strategy and compliance with applicable regulatory and other laws
- Has represented a wide variety of municipal entities in employment and civil rights litigation, including large population counties and prominent school districts
- Has represented both large and small private entities in state and federal courts
- Has served as first chair and second chair counsel in jury and bench trials in federal courts
- The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White Inc.), Administrative / Regulatory Law, 2024
- Speaker, “Developing and Presenting Technical Evidence: For All Practical Porpoises,” 35th Annual Texas Environmental Superconference (August 2023)
- Co-Author, “Texas Supreme Court Grants ERCOT Sovereign Immunity,” Jackson Walker Insights (July 2023)
- Quoted in “EPA may try to block Texas seawater desalination plant in Corpus Christi” by The Texas Tribune (September 2022)
- Co-Author, “Being an Effective Advocate,” Currents by POWER Engineers (February 2022)
- Speaker, “The Art of Persuasion: Winning at SOAH,” 15th Annual Advanced Texas Administrative Law Seminar, UT Law CLE (September 2020)
- Speaker, “Changing Perspectives on Judicial Deference,” 14th Annual Advanced Texas Administrative Law Seminar, UT Law CLE (August 2019)
- Speaker, “Successfully Navigating a SOAH Contested Case Hearing,” 31st Annual Advanced Administrative Law Course, Texas Bar CLE (June 2019)
- Speaker, “SOAH Proposals for Decision,” 30th Annual Advanced Administrative Law Course, Texas Bar CLE (June 2018)
- Speaker, “Agency License Denial and Revocation Proceedings,” 29th Annual Advanced Administrative Law Course, Texas Bar CLE (June 2017)
- Speaker, “A Comparison of SOAH ALJs and In-House ALJs,” 27th Annual Advanced Administrative Law Course, Texas Bar CLE (June 2015)
- Speaker, “Common Evidentiary Issues,” 25th Annual Advanced Administrative Law Course, Texas Bar CLE (June 2013)
- Speaker, “Evidentiary Mistakes to Avoid,” 7th Annual Advanced Texas Administrative Law Seminar, UT CLE (August 2012)
- Speaker, “Summary Disposition: Hearing? We Don’t Need No Stinking Hearing!,” 24th Annual Advanced Administrative Law Course, Texas Bar CLE (June 2012)
- Speaker, “Pleadings and Motion Practice Before SOAH,” 18th Annual Advanced Administrative Law Course, State Bar of Texas CLE (October 2006)
- State Bar of Texas
- Administrative Law Section
- Public Utility Law Section
- Austin Bar Association
- Administrative Law Section
- Speaker, UT Quest Series
- Exam Commissioner, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, 2005-2010
- Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution, Basic Mediation Training, 2000
- Officer, Federal Bar Association, Dallas Chapter, 1998
August 17, 2023Attorney News
‘The Best Lawyers in America’ Honors 287 Jackson Walker Attorneys in 2024 Edition, Including 12 “Lawyers of the Year” and 80 “Ones to Watch”
The Best Lawyers in America has recognized 287 Jackson Walker attorneys across 5 offices and 82 specialty practice areas in its 2024 edition, including 12 Lawyers of the Year and 80 Ones to Watch. In this year’s guide, Jackson Walker saw the largest number of attorneys in the areas of Commercial Litigation (66 attorneys) and Real Estate Law (60 attorneys) and the addition of 35 attorneys as Best Lawyers.
July 17, 2023Insights
On June 23, in CPS Energy v. Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the Texas Supreme Court held that the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is entitled to sovereign immunity, concluding that ERCOT is an “arm of the state” because it is under the complete purview of the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC), the Legislature, and the statutory requirements of the Public Utility Regulatory Act (PURA).
By Craig Bennett & Tyler Self
September 22, 2022Mentions
EPA May Try to Block What Could Be the First Seawater Desalination Plant Built in Texas | The Texas Tribune
Citing water quality concerns, the Environmental Protection Agency may refuse to recognize a permit that Texas approved on Thursday, September 22 for a marine desalination plant at the Port of Corpus Christi.
Jackson Walker partner Craig Bennett, as counsel to the Port Aransas Conservancy, which opposes the plant, told The Texas Tribune that he’s concerned that the TCEQ has set a bad precedent for permitting marine desalination plants. “We are not opposed to desalination,” he noted. “There’s no reason they can’t run the discharge out into the gulf.”
February 24, 2022Insights
By Kirk Rasmussen and Craig Bennett | Whether in a presentation to a receptive client or on the witness stand facing cross examination by a hostile attorney, this article provides practical pointers on being a credible and effective advocate.
February 11, 2022Attorney News
Jackson Walker is pleased to announce the election of 14 attorneys to the Firm’s partnership on Friday, February 11, 2022. In addition to electing 14 new partners, the Firm also congratulates Bart Cicuto, Noah Speck, and Austin Thomas on their promotion from associates to senior counsel.
September 7, 2020Speaking Engagements
Craig Bennett Presents “The Art of Persuasion: Winning at SOAH” During Advanced Texas Administrative Law Seminar
Craig Bennett joined Jason Ray (Riggs & Ray, P.C.) for a discussion on effective ways to frame a persuasive case before the Texas State Office Administrative Hearings and how to organize evidence and arguments supporting the case.
April 7, 2020Podcasts
Craig Bennett discusses how State of Texas public agencies are conducting business and the alternative processes that are offered to help with filing, hearings, and submissions.
March 27, 2020Insights
The Public Utility Commission of Texas has issued orders providing relief and consumer protections to water, sewer, and electric utility customers in Texas and establishing a COVID-19 Electricity Relief Program.
December 9, 2019Attorney News
Jackson Walker Expands Finance and Electric Utility Practices With Addition of Lindsey Berwick and Kirk Rasmussen
Jackson Walker is pleased to announce the addition of Lindsey Berwick and Kirk Rasmussen as partners in the San Antonio and Austin offices, respectively.