General Business Energy & Utilities Business Torts

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ACER 2014 REMIT Report Confirms Continued Inquiries into Market Conduct

ACER calls for substantial funding increase to enable more aggressive monitoring and enforcement efforts in coordination with national regulators. On Tuesday 10 June 2014, the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy...more

Operator Wins JOA Fight

MDU Barnett Ltd. P’ship v. Chesapeake Exploration Ltd. P’ship is at least three things: - The culmination of an unhappy relationship between an operator and non-operators. - What happens when joint owners’ interests...more

“A letter of intent is the invention of the devil [that] should be avoided at all costs.” -- Stephen R. Volk, Esq. regarding the...

A Dallas jury recently reminded us why Mr. Volk lamented letters of intent. Enterprise Products Partners, L.P. is currently appealing that jury’s finding of $319MM in actual damages and $914MM for improper benefits due to...more

Actions Speak Louder Than Words or Partnership by Ambush?: Formation of Partnerships in Texas after ETP v. Enterprise

On March 4, 2014, a Dallas jury awarded Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. (“ETP”) $319 million in damages after finding that Enterprise Products Partners, L.P. (“Enterprise”) had formed a binding partnership with ETP to build a...more

Going Public: Powhatan Energy Fund’s “Insurance Policy” Regarding FERC Enforcement’s Non-Public Manipulation Investigation Into...

On February 28, 2014, Powhatan Energy Fund (“Powhatan”) launched a public website disclosing that for more than three years, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) Office of Enforcement (“OE”) has been...more

Texas Supreme Court Will Review Reversal Of $20 Million Judgment

Two intriguing factors are present in the Texas Supreme Court’s decision to review Hooks v. Samson Lone Star, LP. It is out of the ordinary for this court to consider a court of appeals reversal of a large jury verdict. ...more

Texas Court Of Appeals: Providing "Treasure Map" To Potential Investors Without Non-Disclosure Agreement Does Not Destroy Trade...

A Texas Court of Appeals upheld a jury's determination that a seismic map of an underground natural gas field retained its trade secret status, despite the fact that the owner gave the map to the alleged misappropriator and...more

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 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

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

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

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

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

Court Rules FERC Does Not Have Authority to Fine Trader for Manipulation of Futures Contracts

Pursuant to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) fined a natural gas trader $30 million for manipulating the settlement price for natural gas futures contracts on the New York...more

Weekly Brief: 78% of Law Schools Ignore ABA Rule [Video]

March 7 (Bloomberg Law) -- Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia runs through the legal news for the week. New testimony at the BP oil spill trial in New Orleans focuses on a key safety test taken shortly before the accident. Also,...more

Insuring Your Business -- December 2012

In This Issue: Insurance Coverage Related to Oil and Natural Gas Fracking; Finding Coverage For Fiduciary Liability Claims; and What’s the Difference Between an Insurance Certificate and an Additional...more

San Francisco Residents May Soon Purchase Renewable Electricity

With a veto-proof majority, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has approved the CleanPowerSF initiative that automatically enrolls Pacific Gas & Electric customers within the City in a “a program offering them 100 percent...more

The Next Big Step For Renewables: Energy Storage

The promise of renewable energy has been partly realized as renewables, including wind and solar, have attracted significant investment over the years and now generate output that comprises a useful contribution to our...more

TRANSACTIONAL: Corporate/London: Looking Around the Corporate Veil by Hywel Jones

International energy agreements frequently incorporate UK law in choice-of-law clauses. Legal principles developed by British courts thus have the potential to affect wide-ranging operations of energy-related companies,...more

Global Warming Solutions Act Starts To Heat Things Up In California

California enacted the Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) in 2006. The wide-reaching environmental law is aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by implementing a market based cap-and-trade program tied to an...more

U.S. Government Intervenes In Action Alleging Evasion Of Import Duties by Rebecca Woodings

The U.S. Department of Justice intervened in a lawsuit alleging falsification of country-of-origin documents to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. At issue is whether a Japanese company, Toyo Ink International Corp., two...more

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