Dallas City Attorney


First Assistant City Attorney

Chris Bowers joined the Dallas City Attorney’s office in 1990. For five years, he advised the city council, city boards, and staff on land use, historic preservation, and administrative law issues. Since 1995, he has practiced civil trial and appellate law with an emphasis on property matters, including eminent domain, zoning, and contracts. In 2001, he took over a regulatory takings case on appeal and obtained a reversal of a $6.4 million judgment against Dallas.  In 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court granted his petition for certiorari in a tow truck regulation case and vacated the Fifth Circuit’s adverse judgment.  In 2005, he convinced the Dallas Court of Appeals to affirm a trial court’s ruling that Dallas’ denial of a demolition permit for a historic building did not result in a taking of property rights.  In 2006, he persuaded the Texas Supreme Court to reverse the court of appeals and the trial court and to uphold the Dallas board of adjustment’s denial of a variance.  In 2005, he became the chief of litigation for Dallas, and in 2007 he became the first assistant city attorney.


  • Cornell University, J.D. with Concentration in Advocacy, 1989
  • Member, Cornell International Law Journal, President, Cornell Law Student Association (student government)
  • Who's Who Among American Law Students, 1989
  • Silver Key Award, American Bar Association/Law Student Division
  • Texas A&M University
  • B.S., Political Science, 1986
  • McFadden and National Merit Scholar

Affiliations & Activities

  • Chair, Government Law Section, Dallas Bar Association, 2010
  • Recipient, "Presidential Citation" Dallas Bar Association, 2009
  • Texas Super Lawyer, 2006-2009
  • AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell, 2003
  • Admitted to U.S. Supreme Court, 2002
  • Member, College of the State Bar of Texas, 2002
  • Who’s Who in America, 2002
  • Barrister, Patrick E. Higginbotham American Inn of Court, 2001-2004
  • Member, City of Plano Heritage Commission, 1999-2002
  • Chair, National Alliance of Preservation Commissions (NAPC), 1999-2001
  • Admitted to U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, 1998
  • Member, Former Student Advisory Board, Texas A&M Department of Political Science, 1998-
  • Member, Dallas Bar Association, 1998-
  • Member, Board of Directors, NAPC, 1993-2001
  • Admitted to U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, 1992
  • Recipient, "Heritage Award,” Black Dallas Remembered, Inc., 1992
  • Recipient, “Certificate of Appreciation,” Dallas Landmark Commission, 1991
  • Admitted to the State Bar of Texas, 1989

Publications & Presentations

  • Speaker, "What Every Municipal Lawyer Needs to Know about Historical Preservation Law," IMLA Land Use Teleconference, 2010
  • Speaker, "Common Preservation Ordinance Issues," Certified Local Government Presentation Symposium, Texas Historical Commission, Austin, TX, 2008
  • Co-presenter, "Eminent Domain and Regulatory Takings", Annual Conference, Texas Chapter of American Planning Association, Addison, TX, 2007
  • Author and speaker, “Deprivations of Street Access: They Aren’t Just Your Teenager’s Problem,” Challenges Facing Local Governments (CLE seminar), Dallas Chapter of Federal Bar Association, Dallas, TX, 2001
  • Author and speaker, “How to Avoid Paying for What You Didn’t Take: Defending Zoning Actions Against Inverse Condemnation Claims,” Land Use Litigation Conference (CLE seminar), Southwestern Legal Foundation, Dallas , TX, 2001
  • Speaker, “Preservation Commission Short Course,” NAPC and National Trust for Historic Preservation, Los Angeles, CA, 2000
  • Speaker, “Takings and Due Process Challenges to Historic Preservation Ordinances,” NAPC National Commission Forum, Pittsburgh, PA, 2000
  • Speaker, “Legal Issues in Historic Preservation,” Missouri Certified Local Government Forum, Columbia, MO, 1999
  • Author and speaker, “The Moratorium: A Tougher Tool for Texas Cities?,” 3rd Annual Conference on Land Use Planning Law (CLE seminar), University of Texas School of Law, Austin, TX, 1999
  • Speaker, “Property Rights Concerns and Legal Challenges,” NAPC National Commission Forum, Denver, CO, 1998
  • Author, “Historic Preservation Concerning Private Property,” 30 The Urban Lawyer 405 (Spring 1998) and 1998 Institute on Planning, Zoning & Eminent Domain , Southwestern Legal Foundation, Ch. 4 (cited as one of four best articles on historic preservation in 1998 by Stuart L. Deutsch & A. Dan Tarlock, “Annual Survey of Land Use Literature,” 22 Zoning & Planning Law Report 56 (June 1999))
  • Author, “Is Owner Consent Objectionable?,” The Alliance Review (May/June 1997)
  • Speaker, “ Missouri Commissions Assistance Program,” Regional Training & Assessment Conference, NAPC and Missouri Historic Preservation Program, Lee’s Summit, MO, 1996
  • Speaker, “Conflict Resolution in Historic Districts,” 50th National Preservation Conference, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Chicago, IL, 1996
  • Author and speaker, “Historic Preservation Law Concerning Private Property,” Challenges Facing Local Governments (CLE seminar), Dallas Chapter of Federal Bar Association, Dallas, TX, 1996
  • Speaker, “Enforcement: Putting Teeth into Preservation Ordinances,” 49th National Preservation Conference, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Fort Worth, TX, 1995
  • Author, “Is Your Preservation Commission Procedurally Correct?,” The Alliance Review (Summer 1995)
  • Speaker, “Sign Regulation and the First Amendment,” Challenges Facing Local Governments (CLE seminar), Dallas Chapter of Federal Bar Association, Dallas, TX, 1994
  • Moderator, "Social Regulation Through Zoning,” Annual Conference, Texas Chapter of American Planning Association, Corpus Christi, TX, 1991