By Staff Writer
VON ORMY— Art Martinez de Vara, of Von Ormy, has been named among the 15 Outstanding Lawyers in San Antonio this year by the San Antonio Business Journal. Martinez de Vara is being recognized for his record as a legal practitioner, educator and policy maker. The Award will be given at a November 19 Gala at the Pearl Stables.
Martinez de Vara described his law practice to the Star, “We are a rural law office, which means we have to be general practitioners. Most of our local cases involve business law, real estate, criminal, probate, personal injury and family law. About 1/3 of our clients are statewide. We practice municipal law, campaign and election law and ethics compliance. I usually travel out of the area at least one day per week.”
The San Antonio Business Journal’s press release described the recipients in their press release, “These lawyers practice represent a wide cross-section of the local legal community, including large firms, boutique firms, government agencies and corporations. What they have in common is a track record of excellence that has had an impact on their organizations, industries and communities.”
Art Martinez de Vara moved to Von Ormy in 2003 to attend St. Mary’s School of Law. While at St. Mary’s he interned for Judge Xavier Rodriguez of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.
Upon graduation in 2007 he formed the Law Firm of Ramirez, Marrou and Martinez de Vara, PLLC located in San Antonio with law school classmates Chris Marrou and Ivan Ramirez.
He left Ramirez, Marrou and Martinez de Vara to serve as Chief of Staff for State Rep. John V. Garza in 2010 during the 82nd Texas Legislature. He told the Star that the most impactful bill he worked on that session was “a sweeping Home Owners Association Reform Bill. We were originally trying to add open records and open meetings-type rules for HOAs, but then others amended it with election and ethics reforms. It now covers all HOAs in Texas.” The smallest bill he worked on was “a bill that allows Von Ormy to lower the speed limit in Rife Lane to 10 mph. We passed a bill through the legislature and had governor sign it just for Von Ormy.”
Upon his return, he formed the Martinez de Vara Law Firm located at 13940 Benton City Road in Von Ormy, where he still maintains his office. He said, “I have had my office in San Antonio and prefer Von Ormy. It is only a short drive to the Courthouse and clients prefer not having to drive into the city and pay parking. ”
In 2015 he again returned to the Texas Legislature serving as Chief of Staff for State Sen. Konni Burton of Fort Worth for the 84th Texas Legislature. This session Martinez de Vara worked on annexation reform, criminal justice reform and business deregulation. He told the Star, “I was representing a criminal client this month and was able to apply the new law we passed. It was a great feeling.”
He has since returned to his law practice and continues to serve as Sen. Burton’s General Counsel on a part-time basis. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Our Lady of the Lake University teaching business law in its Graduate School of Business and Leadership.