The Third Circuit recently clarified the home state and local controversy exceptions to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), remanding proceedings in a case involving Marcellus Shale oil and gas leases to a Pennsylvania trial court.
Plaintiffs in Vodenichar v. Halcón Energy Properties, Inc. were various Pennsylvania-domiciled landowners in Mercer County, Pennsylvania, seeking to lease their oil and gas rights to Halcón (a Texas domiciliary), with the assistance of the defendant law firm Morascyzk & Polochak (M&P) (a Pennsylvania domiciliary) and defendant marketing company Co-eXprise (a Pennsylvania domiciliary). Halcón entered a letter of intent to lease up to 60,000 acres of oil and gas rights from the landowners, but ultimately accepted leases for only approximately half of the acreage, rejecting the balance of the leases. Plaintiffs are the landowners whose leases Halcón rejected.
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