By Travis Booher - Aggie
For the sake of the game plan, let’s run with Charlie’s lame football analogies, and look at a few more objectives to keep in mind when preparing a runsheet. This time, attention will be on the good guys (the boys in maroon), rather than the gang in purple and gold. Here are five more thoughts:
1. The fields are the same, but the stadiums are unique: The field is 160’ wide and 360’ long, like all other fields, but on game day, Kyle Field is a unique experience. Likewise, each tract being examined is unique, and a roadmap to its history is useful. A deed-plotting program is a tool to confirm if the description closes. If a tract changes shape and size 10 times, 10 separate deed plots do not show the examining attorney how the property developed. Thus, it is always helpful to provide a “boundary history” of the tract on one plat, or to provide overlays to illustrate the boundaries during these ownership changes.
2. What color is his uniform? The 12th Man, wearing their maroon and white, stands during the game, ready to be called to the sidelines. The colors help identify your team. Many times, however, a runsheet shows a recent oil and gas lease acquired from a stranger to the title (an unknown uniform). The landman might tell the lawyer that as a result of running “telephone title”, he heard Old Man Johnson recently died and Bubba Johnson, the lessor in Lease 4, is his son. As a general rule, it is helpful to note in the runsheet who these new players are, as record title will not reflect their ownership (or even their existence). New uniforms create havoc, especially if they are as grotesque as these guys, or even these guys. They should be adjudged guilty in the court of bad taste.
3. Date the Playbook: Coaches formulate a new playbook for each upcoming game. When preparing a runsheet, always confirm that it has a certification date, so that your examiner can identify the time frame in which the chain of title was run.
4. It’s the Xs and Os: When Kliff Kingsbury calls a play into Johnny Football (see him at right), the formation and routes are carefully detailed in the Xs and the Os. When a title examiner reviews only a Memorandum of Oil and Gas Lease, he understands only a small part of the pattern. If a tract is subject to a Memorandum of Oil and Gas Lease, provide the examining attorney a copy of the unrecorded, underlying lease for review.
5. A flag on the play: When the referee mistakenly throws a flag on the boys in maroon, the penalty is enforced and the yardage is marked off. A lawsuit in your chain of title is like a flag. In order for your title examiner to know and understand the penalty, he will need to review the Order or Final Judgment ending the lawsuit. Flags, like lawsuits, happen, but you have to know the penalty.