With it being Lent and all, we ask, are this year’s Ferrymen of the River Styx using these 40 days to turn from wickedness and find their way to repentence? Who knows, but we do know that as alternative energy rises, so do associated grifters, frauds and thieves. And political malpractice is a new category.
Louisiana Coastal Zone Suit Returns to State Court
Plaquemines Parish, et al v. Chevron et al has characteristics of the many pending climate-change suits brought by governments in state courts against Big Oil, which Big Oil tries to remove federal court. In this case the question was whether the producers were acting under federal officers’ control when they ramped up oil production during…
Louisiana Legacy Lawsuit Survives Motion to Dismiss
Withrow v. Chevron is another Louisiana legacy lawsuit, this one claiming that defendants Chevron and Vernon E. Faulconer, Inc., and their predecessors, improperly disposed of toxic and hazardous oilfield wastes in unlined earthen pits causing leaks, spills and other surface and subsurface damages and contaminating the soil and groundwater.
Defendants’ filed a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss the whole shebang for failure to state a claim. To defeat the motion the plaintiff had to plead specific facts, not mere conclusory allegations or legal conclusions masquerading as factual conclusions. On the other hand, a complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief.
This the court did not offer much in the way of reasoning for its rulings; there will be plenty of time for that. The order is helpful as a laundry list of claims often asserted by legacy plaintiffs.
The court considered the following claims:…
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Texas Supreme Court Reverses Judgment Because of Lack of Written Notice
If you administer or advise on master service agreements, or for that matter any other contract that requires written notice, this post by my Gray Reed partner Joe Virene is essential reading:
Texas Supreme Court: Actual Notice Does Not Satisfy Written Notice Requirement
In short, the Supreme Court of Texas reversed a jury verdict in…
Louisiana Coastal Zone Litigation Likely to Remain in Federal Court
In Plaquemines Parish et al. v. Chevron et al., the U. S. Fifth Circuit has ruled on whether 42 suits brought by six parishes and the Louisiana Attorney General against a number of oil companies belongs in federal court or state court. The allegations are that the companies’ operations over the years essentially destroyed the Louisiana coastal marshes. Billions of dollars are at stake. The immediate issue was whether the defendants’ removal was timely. They were, the result of which is that the cases are likely to remain in federal court.
A short history …
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A Long-Running Dispute Over an Acquisition Agreement is Returned to the Trial Court
Co-author Rusty Tucker
This is another chapter in the dispute between Eagle Oil & Gas Co. and. TRO-X, L.P. The litigation arises out of an agreement to acquire and sell oil and gas leases. Here, TRO-X alleges that Eagle failed to remit a share of revenues from production that commenced after the first suit between the parties ended.
In 2005 TRO-X and Eagle entered into an acreage acquisition agreement for leases in Pecos and Reeves counties. The interests would be acquired in Eagle’s name for both parties. Each party could choose to retain a percentage of un-promoted working interests in the prospects, and the remaining interests would be sold to third parties. Profitable sales would yield either “cash proceeds” or “non-cash proceeds.” The agreement included an AMI.
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Discovery Rule Can’t Save a Louisiana Succession’s Untimely Claim
In May et al v. Succession of Mayo Romero et al a Louisiana court of appeal denied the plaintiff’s efforts to suspend the running of liberative prescription in the face of peremptory exceptions. The discovery rule is one theory under which the doctrine of contra non valentum can save a late-filed lawsuit. Call it what you want, but opening a succession to investigate claims and sitting on those claims for 13 years is not likely to yield a beneficial result for the plaintiff. …
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The Oil Producer and Premises Liability During Covid-19
Co-author Bill Drabble
Let’s set aside fracking challenges, low prices, and pipeline rejections to discuss the mundane. Should you as an owner of property be concerned about premises liability claims? We’re talking about the office environment and out in the field. What can you do to protect yourself? Gray Reed partner Bill Drabble has the…
Cyberspace Saves an Out-of-State Oil Company
Can an email be directed to a particular state? No, said a Texas court in Enerquest Oil & Gas, LLC v. Antero Resources Corporation. The court questioned “the very premise of the contention that an email can be sent to a particular state”. Emails are not sent to a designated computer or electronic device located at a particular place. Email accounts have no physical address. They are sent into cyberspace, saved onto a server or servers, and opened by the recipient wherever that person might happen to be whether, as the court said, “in Texas, Tennessee or Tibet.”…
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Oil Fraudster Conspires with His Own LLC
In January I commented on the partnership that wasn’t and the lawyer whose actions give the rest of us a bad name. That was Stephens et al. v. Three Finger Black Shale Partnership et al. The court of appeal has substituted its original 66-pages with a 67 page opus. Save yourself the trouble of reading…