Residential Real Estate Energy & Utilities Civil Procedure

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Louisiana Mineral Code Article 122 Revisited

Creativity abounds: Your 16-year old “explaining” the empty Southern Comfort bottle and the roach clip; President Obama justifying his rejection of Keystone. The Louisiana Supreme Court isn’t much of a supporter, at least in...more

Water Rights Adjudication Process Serving Streamlined

AB 1390 expedites comprehensive groundwater adjudications to determine rights to extract groundwater in a basin. While AB 1390, a companion bill to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014, streamlines several...more

Fracking-Related Earthquake Litigation Gains Momentum

On June 30, 2015, the Oklahoma Supreme Court issued a decision that opened the courthouse doors to lawsuits for property damage and personal injuries caused by earthquakes purportedly related to fracking activities. See Ladra...more

Pennsylvania Appeals Court Reverses Lower Court Decision and Allows a Natural Gas Well Project to Proceed in a Residential...

On September 9, 2015, Judge Mary Leavitt of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania reversed the Court of Common Pleas of Lycoming County’s ruling, which had set aside the Board of Supervisors of Fairfield Township’s (the...more

Offensive Discovery after Strudley and Changes to the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure

Toxic tort cases often involve real property, especially in areas with large mining and energy sectors like the West and Southwest. The cases frequently have large potential damage values and require extensive discovery....more

New York Fracking Ban: Insult Followed by Injury

Political actions have consequences. A force majeure clause in New York oil and gas leases does not modify the primary term of the habendum clause and the leases are not extended because of the state ban “moratorium” on...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Rejects Broad Expansion of Private Nuisance and Trespass

Action Item: On August 6, 2015, the Supreme Court of New Jersey in Ross v. Lowitz, et al., No. A-101-13 (N.J. Aug. 6, 2015), held that property owners could not prove claims for private nuisance and trespass against the...more

Defendants Saved by Louisiana Subsequent Purchaser Rule

Another Louisiana court has ruled that the Subsequent Purchaser Rule applies to damages following a mineral lease. In Bundrick v. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. it is the 3rd Circuit. The Rule: An owner of property...more

Update on Two Recent California Eminent Domain Cases

I wanted to provide a quick update on two recent cases from the California Court of Appeal. The first, Golden State Water Company v. Casitas Municipal Water District (April 14, 2015), involves what appears to be an...more

Recent Court of Appeals Decision Guts Force Majeure Clauses in Most Oil and Gas Leases

On March 31, 2015, the New York State Court of Appeals issued an opinion in the case of Walter R. Beardslee, et al. v. Inflection Energy, LLC, et al., interpreting the applicability of force majeure clauses to extend the...more

Duty to Consult Not Triggered for Exploration Dispositions: Saskatchewan Court of Appeal

The grant of exploration dispositions for oil sands located beneath treaty lands did not trigger the Crown’s duty to consult, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal held recently in Buffalo River Dene Nation v Ministry of Energy...more

Two California Appellate Court Rulings Demonstrate that Groundwater Pumping Fees are in the Eye of the Beholder

One Holds that the Fee is Subject to Prop. 26 and Another that it is a Property-Related Fee Subject to Prop. 218 - Two California Appellate Court decisions handed down this month address whether or not a local water...more

Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner: Don’t Deny Earthquake Claims as Man-Made by Linking Them to Fracking

The jury is still out on whether hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” causes earthquakes, but carriers whose policies afford coverage for quakes have recently been denying such claims, asserting that they are excluded because...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

A Lesson in Lease Administration

What must a Louisiana lessee do to avoid statutory penalties for non-payment of royalty, and what must a royalty owner do to put the lessee on notice that royalties are not being paid? The answers are, more than the lessee...more

Judge Finds GenOn Power Plant Suit is Like School on a Saturday … No Class.

A Pennsylvania federal judge recently struck the class allegations from a suit brought against GenOn Power Midwest LP, alleging that its coal-fired power plant released toxic emissions that damaged surrounding property. Even...more

Environmental Alert: "Texas Supreme Court Declines to Determine Effect of Permit in Subsurface Trespass Case"

The Supreme Court of Texas upheld a jury verdict finding that a landowner did not suffer trespass from a wastewater injection well located on adjacent property. Environmental Processing Systems, L.C., v. FPL Farming Ltd.,...more

Pennsylvania Tax Developments - A Reed Smith Quarterly Update: November 2014

This is a brief update on recent Pennsylvania tax developments. Does New Governor Mean More Tax Reform? In the recent gubernatorial election, challenger Tom Wolf (D) defeated incumbent Governor Tom Corbett (R)....more

New Law Changes Special District Noticing Requirements for Terminating Service on Delinquent Accounts

Passage of AB 2747 by California Legislature Modifies Law - The noticing requirements special districts must follow to terminate delinquent residential light, heat, water or power service accounts were substantially...more

The Well Operator Should Have Listened To My Mother

My mother used to give us good advice. For example: Don’t lie … do your homework. Sabella v. Appalachian Development Corporation agrees with my mother. Sabella bought minerals in 1997 under 66 acres in Warren...more

An Update on Recent Oil- and Gas-Related Decisions in Ohio

Due to increased drilling activity in the Utica shale formation, state and federal courts in Ohio and the 6th Circuit have recently issued decisions related to local drilling regulations, drilling permits, leasing, indemnity...more

Delay Strikes Down Another Plaintiff

Why am I always reporting on plaintiffs who wait too long to file their lawsuit? In the latest Texas case, Trahan v. Mettlen, the Trahans sued in 2010 on a 2006 warranty deed....more

Faulty Property Description Haunts Louisiana Servitude

Halloween is approaching, so let’s talk poltergeists – troublesome spirits that haunt a specific location. Where do they come from? In Quality Environmental Processes, Inc. v I.P. Petroleum Company, Inc., it was from a faulty...more

New Jersey Appellate Court Limits Measure of Damages for Contaminated Properties

On August 27, 2014, the Superior Court of New Jersey ruled in favor of Puritan Oil against a New Jersey property owner, finding that where the oil company had already taken steps to remedy contamination it caused on...more

What Does “Sprawling Litigation” Look Like?

It looks like what you’d expect: a bunch of litigants spending lots of time at a courthouse in Goliad, Texas, with no end in sight. After much ”sprawl” in Harkins v. Northshore Energy it came down to the meaning of this...more

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