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As Agency Enforcement Efforts Mount, CFTC Prohibits Private Lawsuits Against RTOs/ISOs for Market Manipulation

Incidents of alleged fraud and market manipulation in the energy markets increasingly have received the attention of federal agency enforcement efforts, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the...more

The Rule Against Perpetuities is Alive and Enforceable in Oklahoma

Today we venture into Oklahoma, to be instructed on the Supreme Court’s treatment of the Rule Against Perpetuities. First, the Rule: No property interest is good unless it must vest, if all, not later than 21 years after...more

FERC Enforcement Releases 2016 Annual Report

On November 17, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC or “Commission”) Office of Enforcement (“Enforcement”) released its annual Report on Enforcement (the “2016 Report”). This year’s report is the 10th such...more

Option Contract Ruling Reversed by Texas Supreme Court.

North Shore Energy v. Harkins interpreted an Option Agreement between landowners and a producer over a 400 acre tract. In football they would say the Texas Supreme Court pancaked the plaintiff. In the law, some would call it...more

Texas Courts Continue Their Romance With Arbitration

The lessons in Craddick Partners Ltd. v. EnerSciences Holdings, LLC are three: Parties who have not signed an agreement to arbitrate have standing to compel arbitration; artful pleading to avoid arbitration won’t work; and...more

FERC’s Maxim Settlement Shows Continued Focus on ISO and RTO Bidding Conduct

On September 26, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the “Commission”) issued an order1 approving a Stipulation and Consent Agreement between its Office of Enforcement (“Enforcement”) and Maxim Power Corp....more

Investigators Continue to Scrutinize Climate Change Disclosures

Critics Claim “Intimidation” - Earlier this month, on September 14, 2016, feuding parties gathered before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology to address the legitimacy of subpoenas sent to the New York...more

The Eighth Circuit Extinguishes Claims of Continuing Conduct in Propane Tank Conspiracy

Before plaintiffs could light the pilot on antitrust claims against two propane tank distributors, a split Eighth Circuit panel cut the gas. In doing so, the majority espoused a narrow view of the applicability of the...more

Back to the Bulgarian Bad Guy, So Say the Justices

My blogging sensei Cordell Parvin says the title should always inform the reader of the content. Mea culpa on this one; I couldn’t resist the alliterations. Some time back I reported on Carlton Energy Group et al v....more

Federal Court Grants Full Civil Trial to FERC Enforcement Target

The decision will likely affect the strategies of enforcement targets in electric market manipulation cases. For the first time, a federal district judge has held that a review of a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s...more

Delaware Chancery Court Dismisses Challenge to MLP Drop Down Transaction

The Delaware Chancery Court recently dismissed a challenge to a transaction in which a master limited partnership (the "MLP") repurchased an interest in a crude oil pipeline in 2015 previously sold to its general partner (the...more

Forum Shopping Curtailed: Venue Limited to Parish Where Drilling Rig Was Lost

In a May 4, 2016 opinion, Louisiana’s Third Circuit Court of Appeal made clear that venue was not proper in Concordia Parish—where plaintiff filed suit for damages resulting from the loss of its drilling rig in LaSalle...more

Volkswagen proposes a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice. Judge Breyer sets a June 21 deadline for a...

Tris Coffin heads the Vermont Volkswagen Class Action litigation team at DRM that also includes Directors Bob Luce and Marc Heath. On the evening of April 20, a number of news outlets published stories that Volkswagen...more

Petronius To Petrobras – Fifth Circuit Reaffirms Test For Ocsla Versus Maritime Tort Jurisdiction

In 2006, the Fifth Circuit issued a landmark controversial opinion in Texaco Exploration & Production, Inc. v. AmClyde Engineered Products Co., 448 F.3d 760, 770 (5th Cir.) amended on reh’g, 453 F.3d 652 (5th Cir. 2006). The...more

One Arbitration Binds the Next: Alberta Court of Appeal Says Res Judicata Applies to Arbitrations

The doctrines of res judicata and issue estoppel can, as a matter of law, apply to subsequent arbitration proceedings, the Alberta Court of Appeal recently held in Enmax Energy Corporation v TransAlta Generation Partnership,...more

A Corporate Opportunity? … Stolen?

If you want to get to the meaning of a case, one exercise is to put yourself in the shoes of one participant or the other and see how you react to the events. (This also works well with Bible stories, by the way.) Last week...more

What is a Corporate Opportunity?

Let’s say two fellows are in the oil business and one of his activities is as a director of an exploration company. A deal comes in, they present it to the company, but take it for themselves, Did they steal the opportunity...more

Superior Court Explains Interference With Prospective Business Relationship And Good Faith Claim

This decision does an excellent job of setting out the elements of a claim for interference with prospective business relationships. Even better, it is a comprehensive summary of the elements of a claim for breach of the duty...more

Third Time Is the Charm for Refinery in Getting Claims Dismissed With Prejudice

In a case that tested a federal judge’s patience for inadequate pleadings, a Michigan federal court shut down a group of business owners’ repeated attempts to craft viable tort claims against an oil refinery in a...more

Oh My! Oklahoma Court Allows Earthquake Case to Proceed

What should we make of the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s order sending a suit alleging injuries from an earthquake back to the trial court for further action?  Did the court unleash the lions, tigers and bears of the litigation...more

North Dakota Supreme Court Addresses What Creates a Fiduciary Relationship with a Land Broker

On September 21, 2015, the North Dakota Supreme Court found that a fiduciary relationship between an oil company and its landman could exist depending upon the existence of a confidential relationship. Irish Oil...more

Supreme Court Declares Canadian Corporations may be Liable for Acts of Foreign Affiliates

In a just-released decision, Chevron Corp v Yaiguaje, 2015 SCC 42, the Supreme Court of Canada held that Canadian courts have jurisdiction to decide whether a foreign judgment can be enforced in Ontario against either or both...more

You Own the Oil. Do You Own the Rock?

Riddle: What’s the difference between a hydrocarbon molecule and the underground structure which the molecule inhabits? Answer: In Texas, you can own one and not the other, according to Lightning Oil Co. v. Anadarko E&P...more

Court Arrives at Fair Market Value of Gas Property

In Texas, lost profits can’t be recovered as damages unless proven to a “reasonable certainty”. Question 1: What does that mean? Question 2: Does it matter if the deal is in Bulgaria? Let’s get rid of the...more

Exercising Registration Rights Did Not Violate Fiduciary Duties

Molycorp, Inc. is a publically traded Delaware corporation engaged in a the production and sale of rare earth oxides. Private equity investors held 44% of Molycorp’s stock, appointed certain directors and had demand...more

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