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Avoiding multimillion-dollar liability for de facto partnership breach under Texas law: one useful tip

After a lengthy trial, a Dallas jury has found that a de facto partnership existed between Energy Transfers Partners, L.P. (ETP) and Enterprise Products Partners, L.P. “to market and pursue a pipeline project to transport...more

The "Bright Star" Fades: The NC Business Court On Letters Of Credit

I've resolved this year to blog about every numbered decision of the Business Court, as opposed to past years, where my lack of enthusiasm about the more boring decisions has left me writing about less than 100% of the...more

FERC Enforcement Chief Norman Bay Testifies Regarding FERC’s Energy Market Oversight and Enforcement Authority and Approach

On January 15, 2014, Norman C. Bay, Director of the Office of Enforcement (OE) of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), testified before the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Financial...more

Barclays Motion to Dismiss Raises Significant Issues About FERC Jurisdiction

After an investigation of actions in the western electricity markets by Barclays Bank PLC (“Barclays”), Daniel Brin, Scott Connelly, Karen Levine, and Ryan Smith (collectively, the “Traders” and together with Barclays,...more

Appeal Court Allows $2-Billion Wind Farm Action to Proceed Against Government of Ontario

On November 12, 2013, inTrillium Power Wind Corporation v. Ontario (Natural Resources), 2013 ONCA 683, the Ontario Court of Appeal allowed a $2-billion action by Trillium Power Wind Corporation (Trillium) to proceed against...more

The Investigative and Enforcement Priorities of the FERC Office of Enforcement

The past year has been marked by several record-breaking penalties imposed on companies and individuals by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) for alleged misconduct in the energy markets. On November 21, 2013,...more

How An Oil And Gas Scammer Avoided Justice

Scoundrels often get away with their crimes by scamming lots of victims for small amounts, so that no one investor can afford to prosecute his claim. Big Rock Investors Association v. Big Rock Petroleum, Inc. was an...more

FERC Requests that U.S. District Court Affirm Penalties for Market Manipulation

On October 1, 2013, we reported here that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued orders on August 29, 2013, assessing civil penalties against, and requiring disgorgement of profits by, Lincoln Paper and...more

Haynesville Shale Fraud Judgment Reversed

Vestiges of the early Haynesville Shale land rush remain. Imagine: The lease is about to expire. Lessee (Mecom) offers lessor (Henderson) $90 per acre for an extension, telling him, “I could extend for two more years...more

Second Circuit Affirms Canadian Mining Company’s Victory in Securities Fraud Suit

A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently upheld the dismissal of a multidistrict class action against Canadian mining company Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited (Agnico) and its executives, who...more

Barriers to Cooperation between the CFTC and FERC Hinder Investigations into Energy Market Manipulation – A Legislative Fix May be...

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) has initiated investigations into energy market manipulation in the last two years that have resulted in nearly $1 billion in penalties and profit disgorgements from companies...more

Former Head of Investor Relations Penalized by SEC for Selectively Disclosing Material Nonpublic Information, While...

The selective and early disclosure of material non-public information resulted in a Securities and Exchange Commission cease and desist order and civil penalties against the former head of investor relations at First Solar,...more

FERC Chairman’s Letter To Senate Highlights FERC-CFTC Tension And A Voluntary Trader Ban In The JP Morgan $410 Million FERC...

This past Monday, September 9, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) posted a letter from its chairman, Jon Wellinghopf, to Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey responding to their inquiries on the...more

The Prospect Generator’s Case, A Second Look

There is more to learn from Southwestern Energy Production Co. v. Berry-Helfand and Muncey, discussed in a recent post. Damages – With Room to Run, the Expert Scores. Courts are entitled to be “flexible and...more

Corruption Allegations in China Lead to a Shareholder Class Action in the U.S.

The filing of a shareholder class action has become routine following a drop in stock price after the revelation of adverse news about a company. Allegations of corruption at a public company are proving to be no different,...more

Prospect Generator Is Vindicated

The prospect generator’s worst nightmare is presented in Southwestern Energy Production Co. v. Berry-Helfand and Muncey. I will over-simplify the facts: Hefland and Muncey toil for years generating James Lime prospects in a...more

FERC’s BP America Manipulation Show Cause And Proposed $28 Million Penalty Highlights The Interrelationship Between CFTC And FERC...

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) August 5, 2013, $28 million show cause order against BP America Inc. and other BP affiliates highlights the interrelationship between the Commodity Futures Trading Commission...more

UK Bribery Act: Serious Fraud Office Announces its First Prosecutions

On 14 August, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) announced that four men connected to Sustainable AgroEnergy plc have been charged with offences of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and conspiracy to furnish...more

FERC Accuses BP of Market Manipulation

On August 5, 2013, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an Order to Show Cause and Notice of Proposed Penalty, directing BP America Inc., BP Corporation North America Inc., BP America Production Company, and...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - July 26, 2013

In this issue: - District Court Rejects Challenge to SEC Conflict Minerals Rule - Mandatory Clearing of iTraxx CDS Indices for Category 2 Entities Began July 25 - CFTC Issues Extension of Time-Limited...more

D.C. Court of Appeals Sets New Precedent in Affirming FERC Enforcement Penalties Against a Seller Making False or Misleading...

The District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, in Kourouma v. FERC, (Docket No. 11-1283, July 23, 2013), has set new precedent affirming FERC’s authority to enforce penalties for a seller’s violation of its Market...more

Fiduciary Duties In Oil Patch Deals

I. GENERAL. A. Introduction. In selecting a form of business entity for an oil patch deal in Texas the organizer or initial owners can consider the following five business entity forms: • Corporation •...more

FERC Directs Barclays To Pay $435 Million in Civil Penalties

On Tuesday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order assessing $435 million in civil penalties against Barclays Bank PLC (Barclays) for allegedly manipulating western electricity markets in and around...more

FERC Assesses Record Civil Penalty But the Story Is Just Beginning

By Order dated July 16, 2013 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) assessed civil penalties against Barclays Bank Plc. and four of its traders – Daniel Brin, Scott Connelly, Karen Levine and Ryan Smith (Order). The...more

Delaware Court Dismisses Securities Fraud Action Against Power Plant Executives

The US District Court for the District of Delaware dismissed a class action for securities fraud against former officers and directors of a geothermal energy company, in which the plaintiffs alleged that the defendants had...more

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