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Title: Director, Litigation Division Location: Austin Age: 40 The Next Generation Come over to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality litigation division, and spend the day with Paul C. Sarahan. It’ll be worth your while. Sarahan, an 11-year agency veteran, knows the ins and outs of enforcement, and has built a strong reputation as a creative thinker in resolving cases. “He is an excellent negotiator. He has been successful in working toward resolution [in] a number of very significant enforcement cases with a lot of impact to the state, and reaching a resolution that is of benefit to the state of Texas,” says his boss, Lydia Gonzalez-Gromatzki. Sarahan also gets raves as a mentor for his attorneys. Mary Risner, like Sarahan, did not plan to stay at the agency long-term, but his training is one of the reasons she has � for nine years. “He discusses strategy with us and talks about the pros and cons of different approaches. He gives the big picture, how what we’re doing affects industry statewide,” she says. Sarahan says a large part of his department’s job is “really training the next (generation of environmental lawyers. That’s exciting. Getting them the background they need to do the work. That’s probably the most exciting part of what we do.” He not only spends time discussing strategy with his lawyers, he also lets agency interns tag along on a “day in the life” with him. Mary Mendoza, a partner in Haynes and Boone, says that desire to help younger lawyers develop and increase their skills is something one doesn’t usually see from in-house lawyers. “It’s the mark of a good lawyer, because they care about making other people good lawyers as well,” Mendoza says. That reputation has spread. Sarahan says high-quality applicants are drawn to TCEQ because of the prospect of instant responsibility. Sarahan arrived at TCEQ in 1994 with an LLM in environmental law. He worked as a staff attorney under then-director John Riley, helping slog through a backlog of cases and create a more structured and timely case-processing plan to prevent the log jam from happening again. Today, the litigation division is again implementing case-processing changes, brought on by an agency review that was open to public comment. Sarahan was instrumental in advising and educating the committees that processed the ideas and comment. “One of the key issues was that we would start an enforcement case and our investigators would do another investigation at the same site,” which caused delays, he says. Under the new system, each step in a case has a specific time frame, which should move matters through more seamlessly. “I think it will be a vast improvement,” he says.

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