Energy & Utilities Commercial Real Estate Civil Procedure

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Another Washout Case

The El Paso Court of Appeals recently continued the trend of Texas courts to allow washouts unless strictly forbidden by agreement. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. v. TRO-X, L.P., 031816 TXCA8, 08-15-00158, March 18, 2016....more

West Coast Real Estate Update: April 2016 #1

Residential Communities: Calderon Process for HOAs Likely to Be Extended Again - The California Assembly Committee on Judiciary in early April unanimously passed Assembly Bill (AB) 1963 to extend the pre-litigation...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court holds estoppel by deed applies to oil and gas leases

In the Court’s first decision on oil and gas issues since three new justices were elected, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently held that the doctrine of estoppel by deed applies to oil and gas leases. In Shedden v....more

PA Opinion Reassures Stakeholders That Estoppel By Deed Applies to Oil and Gas Leases

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has recently confirmed that the doctrine of estoppel by deed applies to oil and gas leases and does not require detrimental reliance. See Shedden v. Anadarko, No. 103 MAP 2014, --- Pa. ---...more

Pennsylvania Court: Sublease of Production Rights Does Not Sever “Dual-Purpose” Oil and Gas Leases

In a published opinion, the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that utilization of the subject land for gas storage held production rights under a “dual-purpose” lease providing for both storage and production. See Loughman v....more

Environmental Notes - March 2016

U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Whether Jurisdictional Determinations May be Appealed - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determines the presence or absence of wetlands and other “waters of the United States” on a...more

Complaint over FERC hydro project property transfers

What happens when the holder of a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license for a hydropower project buys, sells, or transfers real estate that is part of the project? A complaint recently filed with the Commission raises...more

Not So Fast My Friend: Implied Covenant to Develop and Non-Apportionment Subdivision Tracts

I can acquire a 2,000-acre lease in Ritchie County, West Virginia, held by production from one well, drilled in 1905. I can acquire a 100-acre lease with an affidavit of nonproduction from an individual who has owned...more

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

US Suspends Coal Leasing on Federal Lands

Legal challenges to moratorium likely as US Department of Interior considers reforms. On Friday, January 15, 2016, US Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced that the US will “pause” federal coal...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

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

Supreme Court of Kentucky Provides Guidance on Deduction of Post-Production Costs

On August 20, 2015, the Supreme Court of Kentucky published two opinions addressing questions about the propriety of deduction of certain post-production costs from royalty payments under an oil and gas lease. In Baker v....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

County Waited Too Long to Assess

In Duke Energy Fayette II, LLC v. Fayette County Board of Assessment Appeals, No. 1406 C.D. 2014 (May 28, 2015), the Court found that the Fayette County Board of Assessment Appeals conducted an impermissible spot reassessment...more

Environmental Notes - June 2015

In this Issue: - EPA Issues SIP Call to Eliminate SSM Defense - EPA and Corps Define “Waters of The United States” - Frequent Questions: EPCRA 313 - Generators Need to be Vigilant About TCLP Sampling...more

Is Your ORRI What You Think It Is?

Bankruptcy Court reinforces importance of parties’ intent in determining the nature of overriding royalty interests under state law. On April 2, 2015, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware...more

Mello-Roos May Be Used to Fund Condemnation Action of Private Utility Provider

Those of us living in newer neighborhoods are familiar with Mello-Roos – it shows up on our annual tax bills as a way to pay off bonds issued to finance various public improvements, such as schools, streets, and parks that...more

Are Groundwater Extraction Fees Property Related or Regulatory Fees? It Depends

Two new Proposition 218-related cases published in March come to opposite conclusions in determining whether groundwater extraction and replenishment fees are “property-related” fees subject to Article XIII D of the...more

New Jersey Spill Act: No Statute of Limitations After All

Several months ago we wrote about a then-pending challenge before the New Jersey Supreme Court over the question of whether the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act (the “Spill Act”), N.J.S.A. 58:10-23.11 et seq. was...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Range Resources Case

On March 6, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court decided a case involving the duties owed to the non-executive holder of a nonparticipating royalty interest by both the executive rights holder and the lessee that negotiated the...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Shades of Sheppard?

In Wagner & Brown, Ltd. v. Sheppard, 282 S.W.3d 419 (Tex. 2008), the Texas Supreme Court held that the termination of Sheppard’s lease (Sheppard was the Lessor) did not terminate her participation in a unit into which her...more

Is It Too Late to Just Throw Superfund to the Curb?

Last week, Judge Paul Borman of the Eastern District of Michigan, allowed a motion by the United States for judgment on the pleadings, dismissing a third-party complaint brought against the United States by Michigan...more

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