Attorney Rick Cofer Pushes Through Plastic Bag Ban In Austin

Attorney Rick Cofer Pushes Through Plastic Bag Ban In Austin

Rick Cofer grew up wanting to be an attorney and defend clients. After completing high school he became a student at The University of Texas at Austin in 2000. Four years later he graduated with honors in history and government. Cofer then attended The University of Texas School of Law and graduated with his JD in 2007.

After completing his law degree, Rick Cofer went into private practice for less than a year. In October 2009 he became an assistant county attorney in Travis County. In this role, he was a trial court division prosecutor and dealt with family violence cases.

His next career stop was as an assistant district attorney, again in Travis County. He prosecuted juvenile sex crimes as well as child abuse and cases involving sexual assault. He also prosecuted cases involving everything from murder to drug possession.

He is now a criminal defense attorney in Austin and has a law firm, the Law Office of Rick Cofer, PLLC. He says that the best defense is quite often the one that is least expected. He focuses on providing a great defense for each of his clients and crafts a unique approach for each one.

Rick Cofer is involved quite a bit with the broader Austin community. One example of this is being a leader in the fight to ban single-use plastic bags in Austin. The Austin City Council had started to study these types of bags in 2007 and whether it was possible to replace them with other bag types such as reusable bags and compostable plastic bags. In 2008, they passed a resolution that called for a voluntary reduction of single-use plastic bags.

The voluntary reduction didn’t achieve the results that were hoped for. A study commissioned by the City Council showed that the plastic bags were costing taxpayers about $850,000 each year. This didn’t even include the cots of getting them out of drain gutters or what effect they were having on wildlife and nature.

A law was passed in 2011 that would phase out plastic bags, something that Rick Cofer fully supported publicly. The ban went officially into place in 2013. The Laredo Merchants Association sued another city in Texas, Laredo, over their plastic bag ban. The result was that, after a series of appeals, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that plastic bag bans were unconstitutional.

Rick has spearheaded the ban of plastic bags in the city of Houston. After this law was struck down he said that many people in Austin planned to continue to refuse to use plastic bag regardless of the supreme court ruling, something that he fully supports and does so himself.