Longfellow Ranch Partners, LP v. Occidental West Texas Overthrust, Inc. and OXY USA Inc. (Pecos County, Texas lawsuit and concurrent arbitration)
Breach of oil and gas leases and surface use agreement. Representing royalty interest owner/surface owner in a dispute against the operator and gathering company, alleging various breaches of the underlying leases, including for failure to release terminated acreage and failure to properly calculate and pay royalties, breach of the implied duty to develop, and breaches of the surface use agreement.
Superior Energy Services, Inc., et al. v. Christopher J. Russo, et al. (Harris County, Texas)
Fraud; conspiracy; UTSA. Represented multiple defendants accused of participating in an alleged fraudulent kickback scheme established by two prior officers of plaintiff Stabil Drill against claims of fraud, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty and fraud, trade secret misappropriation, negligence, and conspiracy. Favorably settled the case for a confidential amount.
Alan Schrock v. Amegy Bank of Texas, N.A. and ZB, N.A. D/B/A Amegy Bank (S.D. of Texas)
Breach of contract (involving Bank Secrecy Act). Represented bank against claims asserted by former account holder seeking damages for termination of his accounts and for alleged wrongful reporting to government agencies. Secured dismissal of all claims.
Sun Coast Resources, Inc. v. Plains Marketing, LP (Harris County, Texas)
Breach of contract (failure to pay). Represented client involved in the business of transportation of fuel, crude, and other petroleum products to recover amounts the defendants owe under the parties’ transportation agreement, and defending counterclaims of fraud and breach of contract also stemming from same. Successfully defended against all counterclaims and obtained a favorable final judgment award after an April 2018 bench trial.
M-I Overseas Limited v. Lee-Var, Inc. d/b/a Palmer of Texas Tanks, Inc., et al. (Harris County Texas)
Breach of contract (defective fiberglass tanks). Represented drilling fluids supplier in a dispute involving the sale of defective storage tanks for use in a project in Angola, Africa. Favorable final judgment awarded in excess of $10,000,000.00 after a September 2016 bench trial.
Mesa Petroleum Partners LP v. J. Cleo Thompson, et al. (Reeves County, Texas)
$1.3 Billion damage model for breach of AMI, JOA, and misappropriation. Responsible for post-trial motions and appeal in high-stakes litigation over Delaware Basin acreage.
Tolbert v. RBC (Southern District of Texas)
Class action (ERISA employee pension benefit plan). Represented plaintiffs in an ongoing class-action lawsuit wherein the plaintiffs alleged that the forfeitures of their benefits under their employee pension benefit plan constituted ERISA violations. In Tolbert, et al. v. RBC Capital Markets Corp., et al, 758 F.3d 619 the Fifth Circuit reversed the district court’s holding that the benefit plan was not an “employee pension benefit plan” covered by ERISA. Favorably settled the case for a confidential amount.
Pena Creek I, Ltd. and Pena Creek III, Ltd. v. EXCO Operating Co., LP (Travis County, Texas)
Royalty and surface-use agreement dispute. Represented operator against claims asserted by royalty-interest owners claiming damages for alleged underpayment of royalties and surface-use agreement violations. Favorably settled the case for a confidential amount.
EXCO Holding, (PA), Inc., et al. v. Royal Dutch Shell, PLC, et al. (AAA Arbitration)
Breach of Joint Development Agreement; tortious interference. Represented working interest owner/operator in a dispute against Shell and its affiliates for failure to honor the obligations set forth in a Joint Development Agreement. Shell admittedly became an affiliate under the JDA when it acquired BG Group in 2016, but Shell subsequently refused to honor the JDA, including specifically obligations respecting the Area of Mutual Interest as defined therein. Lawsuit dismissed during EXCO bankruptcy proceedings.
In re Sandridge Energy Inc. (Western District of Oklahoma)
Shareholder derivative litigation (misappropriation of confidential information). Represented multiple entities accused of misappropriation of confidential information and unjust enrichment in shareholder derivative litigation in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. Plaintiffs’ sought $1.5 Billion in damages; initial demand against my clients was $500 Million, settled the case against my clients for $500 Thousand.
TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company v. Pelagic Exploration Company, et al. (Harris County, Texas)
Misappropriation and breach of contract (trade secret and failure to pay). Represented international seismic company in a multi-million dollar misappropriation-of-trade-secret and breach-of-contract claim against licensee for disclosing and allowing partners to use seismic data without paying the requisite license fees. Received judgment for full amount of claim incident to an Agreed Final Judgment.
TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company v. Oranto Petroleum Limited, et al. (Harris County, Texas; Liberia)
International dispute (sought $20 Million in unpaid invoices; parallel proceedings in Liberia; $16 Million in counterclaims). Represented international seismic company in a breach of contract dispute involving various West African entities controlled by a Nigerian prince for failure to pay invoices totaling more than $20 Million USD. Defended breach of contract counterclaims for alleged failure to pay amounts owed under various revenue-sharing agreements between the parties, and for alleged interference with defendants’ production sharing contracts with the government of Benin. This favorably-settled matter included cross-continent discovery practice, a parallel Liberian proceeding filed during the Ebola pandemic, and anti-suit injunction practice.
Brenham Oil & Gas Inc. v. TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company (Harris County, Texas)
Tortious interference claim ($6.5 Billion damage model). Defended an international seismic company against claims of tortious interference with an $6.5 Billion USD damage model arising out of an offshore oil-and-gas concession in West Africa. The trial court dismissed the case on forum non conveniens grounds. On July 30, 2015, the dismissal was affirmed in all respects by the First Court of Appeals of Texas, 472 S.W.3d 744 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2015, no pet. hist.).
BG US Production Company, LLC v. EXCO Operating Company, LP, et al. (AAA Arbitration)
Contract dispute (deductibility of post-production expenses). Defended operator against claims asserted by working-interest owners who argued that the operator’s deduction of firm transportation expenses violated the parties’ joint-development agreement, joint-operating agreement, and gas-sales agreement. Favorably settled the dispute after summary judgment briefing for a confidential amount.
EXCO Operating Company, LP, et al. v. BG Energy Merchants (AAA Arbitration)
Contract dispute (gas-purchase contract). Represented operator in a dispute with a gas purchaser involving the parties’ meaning and intention behind a price-calculation formula. Favorably settled the dispute after summary judgment briefing for a confidential amount.
Amegy Bank National Association v. Johnson (Harris County, Texas)
Fraudulent breach of a loan and security agreement. Represented bank in dispute wherein borrower defaulted on $15 Million loan and fraudulently breached the security agreement by selling the security interest and spending the entirety of the proceeds acquired from same. The litigation was resolved by entry of an agreed final judgment for over $17 Million USD and permanent injunctive relief.
Oil Spill by the Oil Rig “Deepwater Horizon” (Eastern District of Louisiana)
(“Deepwater Horizon” litigation). In the immediate aftermath of the blowout and explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig and subsequent largest oil spill in history, researched and drafted a 12(b) Motion to Dismiss on behalf of M-I L.L.C., arguing that the plaintiffs’ claims against the drilling fluids company should be dismissed based primarily on the Oil Pollution Act Statute (OPA), and the interplay between OPA and other statutes such as OCSLA, general maritime law, and state law.
Smith Int’l, Inc. v. Frank’s Int’l, Inc., (Harris County, Texas)
Breach of contract (unpaid invoices). Authored appellate briefing in this breach of contract suit for damages related to Smith’s invoices. Client used the appeal briefing to settle this litigation and unrelated pending litigation for very favorable terms.
Welspun Corp. Ltd. v. Gulf South Pipeline Co., L.P., et al. (AAA Arbitration)
International arbitration (defective pipe). Represented pipeline owner in an international-arbitration dispute involving defective pipe sold by an India-based pipeline manufacturer. Favorably settled the dispute for a confidential amount.
Prize Energy Resources L.P., et al. v. Cliff Hoskins, Inc. (Harris County, Texas)
Payment of royalties (working-interest-owner dispute against operator). Granted summary judgment and recovered $1.5 Million for a mineral-interest holder against an operator. Prepared appeal briefing on multiple complex oil-and-gas claims and defenses. In a 51 page opinion, Prize Energy Resources, L.P. v. Cliff Hoskins, Inc., 345 S.W.3d 537 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2011), the Fourteenth Court of Appeals of Texas affirmed the trial court’s award of damages to the client, held that the trial court erred in denying the client’s request for attorneys’ fees, and rendered judgment that the client recover $900,000 in attorneys’ fees.
Coto v. J. Ray McDermott S.A., et al. (Orleans Parish Louisiana)
Multi-plaintiff, personal-injury maritime dispute. Maritime case in which thirteen plaintiffs alleged damages for mental and physical injuries sustained in 1995 when a barge sank off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Member of a two-attorney trial team representing the barge owner. Favorably settled the dispute for a confidential amount.
Christus Health v. KONE, Inc., (Harris County, Texas)
Breach of contract and fraud (elevator maintenance). Granted summary judgment on behalf of an elevator service provider on a $7 Million claim of fraud arising out of the death of an individual killed during an elevator malfunction. Dismissal affirmed by the Fourteenth Court of Appeals of Texas, 14-07-00786-CV, 2009 WL 2496988 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] June 25, 2009, pet. denied).