Originally Published by The Houston Chronicle
In the firms 12th story conference room, Houston Attorney Cris Feldman focuses on the rest of the battle after a major victory in the historic legal battle over oyster rights in Galveston Bay.
Feldman used state records over several decades old to prove fishing rights belong to all Texans.
After Feldman’s constitutional arguments, Galveston State District Judge Lonnie Cox voided the controversial lease that created the firestorm along the Texas Coast. The ruling makes it clear the Chambers Liberty County Navigation District had no right to lease 23,000 acres of Galveston Bay bottom to a company called S.T.O.R.M.
“For two years this illegal lease has added to the heartaches of the good people who make their livelihood harvesting for oysters. Good people have been hurt. Their life’s work threatened. Judge Cox delivered justice for the People of Texas”, says Cris Feldman, partner in the Feldman and feldman.law firm. “We are elated to restore the people’s right to Galveston Bay.”
Feldman will now seek legal fees and pursue financial damages for oyster fishermen who were threatened with trespassing charges if they entered the area.
“This lease was born out of a corrupt process, and even victory cannot recover the damage done to the oyster industry in Galveston Bay”, says Feldman. “For the last two years, oyster companies have been kept from transplanting oysters for public safety, or from investing in reefs. The damage will be felt for years.”
Feldman is readying for the next court battle in December in the oyster fight, but Lisa Halili of Prestige Oyster says the firm has already delivered a miracle.
“When I took on the fight against S.T.O.R.M. I asked God to put the right people in my life for the right reason. We trusted Cris to lead the fight for right. We all owe him a tremendous debt.”