General Business Civil Procedure Energy & Utilities

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The Double-Fraction Dilemma: Intent-Focused Inquiry Prevails

As the oil and gas industry has moved away from the legacy of the 1/8th royalty, double-fraction language has generated a multitude of disagreements as to whether a royalty interest should be construed as "fixed" or...more

Ohio Supreme Court: Form Oil and Gas Lease Not Void as Against Public Policy

Earlier this week, in an unsurprising but nevertheless meaningful decision, the Ohio Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the standard form oil and gas lease at issue was not “perpetual,” and thus was not void as against...more

Third Circuit Holds That Courts – Not Arbitrators – Must Determine Whether Arbitration Clauses Permit Class Action Arbitration

The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in a precedential opinion, recently held that courts, not arbitrators, must decide whether a class action dispute should be governed by arbitration unless the...more

Protecting Rights and Finding Opportunity in Oil and Gas Industry Bankruptcies

2015 was a rough year for the oil and gas industry. The primary source of the trouble was (and continues to be) the dramatic fall in crude oil prices. In 2014, the price of U.S. crude oil averaged approximately $91 per...more

State Attorneys General Investigations and Enforcement: What to Expect in 2016

In recent years, state Attorneys General (“state AGs”) have significantly increased their investigative and enforcement efforts across a wide range of industries and matters, and these new efforts present a growing challenge...more

Third Circuit Rules Court Should Decide Class Arbitrability

Action Item: In a precedential opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit outlined what is required for parties to allow arbitrators—rather than courts—to decide whether a matter could be arbitrated as a class....more

Jackson EMC Prevails in Grandfather Rights Dispute Before Full Commission

As previously reported, on April 3, 2015, a hearing officer of the Georgia Public Service Commission issued an initial decision in favor of Jackson EMC in its dispute with Georgia Power Company over the right to serve a wood...more

States Have Jurisdiction Over ISP-Bound Traffic Says 3rd Circuit

On November 25, the Third Circuit held that states have jurisdiction over Internet Service Provider (ISP) bound traffic exchanged between two competing local exchange carriers (CLECs). In 2008, Core billed AT&T for...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

Ohio Supreme Court Issues Second Key Decision Interpreting Dormant Mineral Act

On November 5, 2015, in Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C., et al. v. Kenneth Buell, et al., 2015-Ohio-4551, the Ohio Supreme Court issued its second decision interpreting Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act (the “ODMA”). The ODMA is a...more

Rectification in a Tax Context: The Intention Standard Prevails

A drafting mistake in an agreement can result in significant and unintended tax consequences. In the recent case of Baytex Energy Ltd. v. Canada (Attorney General) (Baytex), the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta (Court)...more

Supreme Court Questions FERC Authority to Regulate Electricity Market Demand Response to Bolster Grid Reliability

Ensuring the reliability of the electric power grid in times of extreme weather and other times of peak usage is critical to avoid interruptions in power and black outs. Reflecting on the 2014 Polar Vortex, the paramount...more

Consequential Loss in Energy Commodity Contracts

Energy commodity contracts can be of significant monetary value, and their breach may expose the defaulting counterparty to significant liabilities for contractual damages. In considering potential liabilities, contracting...more

Alberta Court Strikes Out Pleadings Challenging Validity of Oil and Gas Permits

A challenge to the validity of oil and gas permits outside the judicial review process is a collateral attack and will be struck, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench held recently in Ominayak v Penn West Petroleum Ltd, 2015...more

Important Changes in Litigating Oil and Gas Cases in Federal Court: What the 2015 Amendments to the Federal Rules Mean for Oil and...

Many oil and gas disputes are litigated in federal court. In recent years, federal litigation has undergone significant changes in discovery practices and rules. For example, with the increase in electronically stored...more

Hudson Energy Denied Administrative Priority for Electricity Sold Pre-Bankruptcy

In a September 18, 2015 order, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York affirmed a bankruptcy court order denying administrative claim treatment to Hudson Energy Services, LLC (“Hudson”) for its retail...more

Oil Supplier Appeals Conoco’s Right To Buy Stake In Refinery Unit

In a long-standing dispute between Venezuelan state-owned Oil Company Petroleos de Venezuela SA (“Petroleos”) and ConocoPhillips, a New York district court judge upheld ConocoPhillips’ acquisition of a 50% stake in a Texas...more

Supreme Court of Canada Addresses Recognition, Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Chevron Case

In a much anticipated ruling, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) has released its decision in Chevron Corp. v. Yaiguaje, addressing recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments. The SCC unanimously held that for a Canadian...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

The SemCrude Bankruptcy: Commodity Traders Prevail Against Related Fraud and U.C.C. Claims

In 2008, SemCrude, L.P. and related entities (collectively, SemCrude or the Debtors) filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. In connection with the SemCrude bankruptcy, a dispute...more

BP Case May Again Test Limits of FERC’s “In Connection With” Enforcement Jurisdiction

A Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Administrative Law Judge last week issued an Initial Decision finding that BP America (BP) and certain related BP entities violated FERC’s Anti-Manipulation Rule. Following a...more

MoFo New York Tax Insights - Volume 6, Issue 8 - August 2015

Court Of Appeals Affirms Revocation Of Tax Exemption For Public Parking Facilities - Reversing a decision by the Appellate Division, the Court of Appeals has held in a 5-2 decision that a charitable organization is not...more

Texas Supreme Court Clarifies When Parties to an Oil and Gas Lease May Allocate Post-Production Costs by Agreement

The Texas Supreme Court recently decided Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C. v. Hyder, providing a notable win for royalty interest holders. In a close 5-4 decision, the Texas Supreme Court held that Chesapeake had improperly...more

Without So Much as a Fig Leaf . . .

Legal commentators and court watchers rightly complain about activist judges who make laws rather than interpret them. Last month’s decision in the The Babcock & Wilcox Co. et al. v. American Nuclear Insurers, et al., is...more

PA Court Holds That Natural Gas Producer Improperly Deducted Fees

Post-production costs deducted from gas royalties, such as interstate transportation charges and marketing costs, must be incurred while a producer still holds title to the gas....more

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