Energy & Utilities Civil Procedure

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What Does Your Reservation Clause Mean?

Webb et al. v. Martinez (Tex. App. San Antonio) - On December 14, 2016, San Antonio’s Fourth Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s take-nothing summary judgment regarding a property dispute in favor of Martinez. Webb...more

Environmental Litigation and Toxic Torts Update – Mountain/West Coast Case Law Highlights

Ninth Circuit Finds “Threatened” Designation For Bearded Seals Proper Based On New Long-Term Projections - Alaska Oil and Gas Ass’n et al. v. Pritzker et al., 840 F.3d 671, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19084 (9th Cir. 2016)....more

Mineral Lease Prevails in Louisiana Royalty Dispute

Prevails over what, you ask? In Gladney v. Anglo-Dutch Energy, LLC, a conditional allowable from the Office of Conservation didn’t supersede lease royalty obligations....more

Court Of Chancery Limits Cost Recovery Following Successful Appeal

This decision explains what “costs” are recoverable under Court of Chancery Rule 54 following a successful appeal. While the amounts involved normally do not merit much discussion, the cost of bond for an appeal can be...more

Court of Appeal Re-affirms the Importance of the 'Autonomy Principle' of Letters of Credit

Fraud is rarely proved in practice. So a High Court decision in 2016 which prevented payment under a standby letter of credit (the “SBLC”) on the basis that the demand presented under the SBLC was untrue and fraudulent caused...more

Can the ‘Long-Ago’ Nature of Conduct Bar Punitive Damages — Even for Recent Injuries?

Does the statute of limitations bar a claim for punitive damages if the conduct occurred outside the limitations period, but the plaintiff’s injuries occurred within it? An Illinois federal judge recently confronted this...more

Award for Nuisance From Gas Wells Squelched

It was a bad day for the Parrs in Aruba Petroleum v. Parr. The trial court judgment was against the operator for intentional nuisance. The Parrs recovered $2.9 million for pain and suffering and mental anguish and for loss of...more

Oil and Gas Arbitration – Did the Parties Get What They Bargained For?

First, a promise: I won’t report on another arbitration case until there is more to say than “business as usual”. Second, an opinion: Arbitration is still the right forum in many situations. Third, remember: An award and a...more

Supreme Court Grants Certiorari in Clean Water Rule Case Jurisdictional Challenge

On January 13, 2017, the US Supreme Court granted certiorari for an appeal that will allow the Court to determine the proper jurisdiction for litigation challenging the Clean Water Rule (the Final Rule). The federal Clean...more

Dallas Court of Appeals Reverses $2.9 Million Jury Verdict, Finding Insufficient Evidence of Intent

In 2014, the jury awarded $2.9 million to plaintiff landowners in Lisa Parr et.al. v. Aruba Petroleum, Inc., a case involving alleged hydrocarbon exposure due to hydraulic fracturing operations. Earlier this week, the Dallas...more

Fourth Circuit Upends NPDES Permit Shield

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently upheld a lower court’s determination that a West Virginia mining company was not shielded from liability by its NPDES permit. The mining company’s permit...more

Business and Human Rights in Foreign Operations: The Stakes Just Got Bigger

Canadian courts took another step in further opening the country’s courts to civil claims by foreign victims of alleged human rights abuses against Canadian corporations for acts committed abroad. In a January 26, 2017,...more

Cap and Trade Auction Credits: Taxes, Regulatory Fees or “Something Else”? California Third District Court of Appeal Hears...

A three-judge panel of the California Court of Appeal for the Third District heard oral argument last week in the longstanding companion cases challenging the legality of AB 32’s cap and trade auctions. California Chamber of...more

Commonwealth Court Rejects DEP’s Interpretation of The Clean Streams Law

On January 11, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania decided the case of EQT Production Company v. Department of Environmental Protection of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and granted EQT Production Company’s (EQT)...more

Letters of Credit: Autonomy Principle is Re-confirmed

The Court of Appeal has confirmed the "autonomy principle" of letters of credit under English law, holding that PetroSaudi Oil Services (Venezuela) Ltd ("PetroSaudi") and its director and General Counsel, Mr Buckland, had...more

Wash. Supreme Court Rejects Limited Scope of the Ocean Resources Management Act

On January 12, the Supreme Court of the State of Washington issued a unanimous ruling holding that both the Court of Appeals and the state’s Shorelines Hearing Board (Board) had erroneously interpreted the state’s Ocean...more

California Cap-and-Trade Lawsuit Hits Milestone with Oral Argument at the Court of Appeal

Yesterday, California’s Third District Court of Appeal heard oral argument in the related cases California Chamber of Commerce v. California Air Resources Board and Morning Star Packing Co. v. California Air Resources Board. ...more

The Corporate Veil Matters

In two related decisions, the Ontario Court has said, resoundingly, that it will respect the corporate veil, even for complicated corporate groups with numerous subsidiaries. Both decisions involve the enforcement of foreign...more

Kazakhstan Ordered to Pay $506 Million for Crude Expropriation of Oil and Gas Investments

In a case that highlights both that governments are not above the rule of law and that it is difficult to swiftly enforce arbitral awards, a Swedish appeals court, on December 12, 2016, upheld a $506 million award against...more

It’s Now Easier To Be a Common Carrier Pipeline in Texas

We now know what it takes to establish common carrier pipeline status in Texas. According to the Texas Supreme Court in Denbury Green Pipeline Texas LLC v. Texas Rice Land Partners Ltd., all that is required is a reasonable...more

Supreme Court of Illinois Says Courts Can Decide ARES Rate Disputes

Courts – not the ICC – have jurisdiction over rate cases involving an ARES, said the Supreme Court of Illinois.[1] In a unanimous opinion written by Chief Justice Karmeier, the Court in December answered the Seventh Circuit’s...more

Court Finds That Enron’s Fraud Does Not Void Contract Entered Into With Enron Subsidiary

A federal appellate court has upheld a district court order enforcing an arbitration award by the ICC against the Republic of Nigeria in favor of Enron Nigeria Power Holdings, Ltd. (“ENPH”), a former subsidiary of Enron...more

The Limitation of Liability Act of 1851: Recent Court Decisions Highlight Significant Issue for Offshore Energy Industry

In 1912, a vessel owner by the name of White Star Lines invoked a little understood U.S. maritime law to limit its liability arising out of a maritime disaster. In 2010, a vessel owner by the name of Transocean invoked the...more

Louisiana Third Circuit Addresses Payment of Royalties in Situations Involving Production Under a Mineral Lease Pursuant to a...

In Gladney v. Anglo-Dutch Energy, L.L.C., the Third Circuit addressed the question of whether or not a mineral lessee must pay its lessor full lease-basis royalties for production undertaken during the effective period of a...more

Denbury v. Texas Rice "Texas Rice II": The Texas Supreme Court Affirms Common Carrier Status

On Friday, January 6, 2017, the Texas Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Denbury Green Pipeline-Texas v. Texas Rice Land Partners (“Texas Rice II”), reversing the 9th Court of Appeals and reinstating the trial...more

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