Gray Reed & McGraw, P.C.

1601 Elm Street Suite 4600
Dallas, Texas 75201, United States

Contact: Michael Blachly

  • (214) 237-6370

Subcontractors Score a Victory in Federal Court

On August 27, in In re Heritage Consolidated, L.L.C., the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted subcontractor’s lien rights to two oil and gas drilling contractors. The Court reversed a district court ruling which upheld a…more

Appeals, Commercial Bankruptcy, Construction Industry, Liens, Mechanics Lien

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CO2 is Good

In French vs. Occidental Permian, Ltd. the Texas Supreme Court held that costs associated with injection of carbon dioxide into a reservoir in a tertiary recovery operation were properly deducted from royalties. This case…more

Carbon Capture and Sequestration, Carbon Emissions, Energy, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Oil & Gas

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A Cost-Free Royalty Clause That Works – Part Two: The Override

Welcome to part two of the hair-splitting decision in Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C. v. Hyder. See our prior post about the basic facts…more

Energy, Oil & Gas, Royalties

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Left Shark and Lawsuits – Who Gets Bitten in the End?

Halftime was just the Beginning: A backup dancer in Katy Perry’s Super Bowl halftime show goes viral upstaging the singer, Tom Brady and Russell Wilson for MVP. Thanks to social media, “Left Shark” became a “thing” overnight and…more

3-D Printing Technology, Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Entertainment Industry

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Will Net Neutrality Kill the Internet 3.0?

As expected, the FCC passed the net neutrality rules today.  Other than spokesmen for the large telecoms (and perhaps some politicians who listen to that lobby), you don’t hear much reasoned opposition to net neutrality…more

Broadcasting, FCC, Net Neutrality, Telecommunications

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Operator Can’t Recover Drilling Costs For Affiliate’s Expensive Rig

In Elm Ridge Exploration Co., LLC v. Engle we are reminded of a little-used provision in the 1989 Model Form Operating Agreement. Article VI.D.1 allows the operator to use its own equipment, but his charges may not exceed…more

Breach of Contract, Business Litigation, Oil & Gas, Operating Agreements, Well Drilling

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Pipeline Loses Effort To Condemn Private Land

Private property rights advocates scored a big victory in a Texas condemnation case in the ongoing battle between pipelines and landowners over the power of eminent domain. (See our last post for a decision with the opposite…more

Common Carriers, Eminent Domain, Liquid Natural Gas, Petroleum, Pipelines

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Ambiguity Sends An Overriding Royalty Dispute Back To The Trial Court

It must be maddening to non-lawyers that a large segment of an industry can operate in harmony by agreeing that a contract in widespread use means one thing, only to have party-crashers decide it means another…more

Ambiguous, Contract Disputes, Royalties, Trials

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Texas Well Integrity Rule Revised

The Texas Railroad Commission has clarified and strengthened Rule 13, relating to requirements for drilling, putting pipe down, and cementing wells. The amendment will go into effect on January 1, 2014…more

Amended Legislation, Fracking, Groundwater, Underground Injection Wells

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North Dakota Good Faith Purchasers: At What Point is Notice Relevant?

The Question - In order to be a good faith purchaser, a party must not have actual or constructive notice of another’s rights. Northern Oil and Gas v. Creighton asked, When should the determination of whether a party has…more

Commercial Leases, Constructive Notice, Mineral Leases, Oil & Gas

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The Duhig Rule – State By State

As promised in our last post, here is a state-by-state review of the Duhig Rule - who has adpoted it, who hasn’t, and who might. Texas – Duhig v. Peavey Moore Lumber Company, 135 Tex. 503, 144 S.W.2d 878 (1940) was a…more

Duhig Rule, Energy, Oil & Gas

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A Measle-ly Lawsuit: Can Parents Who Don’t Vaccinate their Children be Sued?

Yearning to leave the frozen wasteland of Dallas, Texas behind her if just for a moment, Penny McCrathy, an outspoken anti-vaccination advocate, took her unvaccinated children to Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Not knowing…more

Breach of Duty, Causation, Healthcare, Vaccinations

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IRS Telephone Fraud By “Mr. F-#-@-K Y-O-U”

Every year the IRS sends out its “Dirty Dozen” list. This is a compilation of the most prevalent tax scams, with the intent to inform and warn taxpayers of tax related rip-offs. The very first on the list involves phone…more

IRS, Tax Scams

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Employment Law 101: Americans with Disabilities Act

Who does it apply to: The law applies to all employers with 15 or more employees. What is the issue: It is against the law to discriminate against an employee or a prospective employee based on a disability the person…more

ADA, Best Management Practices, Disability, Disability Discrimination, Employee Rights

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Title Troubles In Texas, North Dakota And Montana: Right Of Way v. Fee Conveyance

If you examine titles or read title opinions, this post is for you. I was recently examining instruments for an East Texas title opinion when I came across an instrument that, at first glance, appeared to be an easement…more

Contract Drafting, Easements, Quitclaim Deeds, Title Examination

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Deepwater Horizon Settlement Fine-Tuned By Fifth Circuit

The Fifth Circuit has taken steps to fine-tune the interpretation and implementation of the agreement BP negotiated to settle its massive liabilities arising from the April 2010 oil spill following the explosion of the Deepwater…more

Deepwater Horizon, Gulf Oil Spill, Settlement

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Qualified Domestic Relations Orders: Little-Known Issues Involving Dividend Pass-Through Elections And Same-Sex Spouses

As most family law practitioners are aware, ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) do not permit a participant in a retirement plan to assign or alienate his/her interest in that plan to another person. These rules are…more

ERISA, QDRO, Retirement Plan, Same-Sex Marriage

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Texas Supreme Court Relaxes Its Grip on the Discovery Rule

The Texas Supreme Court – that elephants’ graveyard of claims and causes of action – has sided with a lessor-plaintiff who relied on the discovery rule to defeat a limitations defense. For the many with low expectations when…more

Discovery, Fraudulent Inducement, Mineral Leases, Oil & Gas, Public Records

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Non-Operators Shake Off The JOA Tar Baby

Non-operators have had a lot in common with Br’er Rabbit ever since 2006, when the Texas Supreme Court surprised the industry in Seagull Energy E & P, Inc. v. Eland Energy, Inc. Their tar baby is the ruling that, absent a…more

Assignments, Joint Operating Agreement, Oil & Gas, Successor Liability

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The 1956 Model Form JOA Does Not Apply To Future Leases

I learned to drive on an old, black, stick-shift, straight-six, no-radio, no-A/C automobile manufactured the year after the AAPL’s first Form 610 - Model Form Operating Agreement was created. The ’57 Chevy is now considered a…more

Contract Drafting, Joint Operating Agreement, Leases, Oil & Gas

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Hold On To Your Insurance … Federal Court Certifies Deepwater Horizon Questions To Texas Supreme Court

BP’s woes from the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf continue. The federal Fifth Circuit in In re: Deepwater Horizon, withdrew an opinion of a three-judge panel and certified questions for consideration by the Supreme Court…more

BP, Commercial General Liability Policies, Deepwater Horizon, Gulf Oil Spill, Insurers

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Deepwater Horizon Settlement Fine-Tuned By Fifth Circuit

The Fifth Circuit has taken steps to fine-tune the interpretation and implementation of the agreement BP negotiated to settle its massive liabilities arising from the April 2010 oil spill following the explosion of the Deepwater…more

Deepwater Horizon, Gulf Oil Spill, Settlement

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Don’t Be A Target: Mitigating Liability From Cyber Attacks

During the holiday season, Bullseye, a big box retailer, was the victim of a cyber attack that compromised the credit and debit card information (including PIN and CVV codes) of nearly 40 million of its customers. The attack…more

Cyber Attacks, Cybersecurity, Data Breach, Data Protection, Target

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Confusing Expiration Labels Cost Texas Restaurants

All restaurants have to deal with the issue of throwing away food at the end of the day. According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a powerful environmental action group and the Harvard Food Law and Policy…more

Resorts & Restaurants, Restaurant Industry

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Have You Considered Parking In Your Restaurant Lease?

Shockingly, many restaurant leases fail to account for parking. More often, the landlord considers whether there is enough parking before entering into the restaurant lease negotiations, but they don’t account for it in their…more

Commercial Leases, Contract Negotiations, Parking Lots, Restaurant Industry

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Texas Supreme Court Relaxes Its Grip on the Discovery Rule

The Texas Supreme Court – that elephants’ graveyard of claims and causes of action – has sided with a lessor-plaintiff who relied on the discovery rule to defeat a limitations defense. For the many with low expectations when…more

Discovery, Fraudulent Inducement, Mineral Leases, Oil & Gas, Public Records

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Louisiana Lessee Could be Liable for Withholding Information

A Quiz - You are in Louisiana and are described as having a “lesion beyond moiety”. What do you do? A. Contact your primary care physician for an appointment..…more

Fair Market Value, Fraud, Mineral Leases, Misrepresentation, Oil & Gas

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5th Circuit Blocks Punitive Damages in Maritime Case

In McBride v. Estis Well Service, LLC, the federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals determined that punitive damages are not available to seamen under the Jones Act or under general maritime law. In those cases, recovery is limited…more

Appeals, Jones Act, Offshore Drilling, Oil & Gas, Pecuniary Losses

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Implied Warranties: Part One (Goods)

Texas law imposes certain implied warranties on the sale of goods, regardless of whether the warranties are mentioned in the contract. In particular, Texas law creates the warranty of “merchantability” and the warranty that the…more

Fitness for Particular Purpose, Warranties

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Mixed Result In A Louisiana Legacy Pollution Case

The Dietz family sued several lessees for injunctive relief and restorative damages arising out of leases on two non-contiguous tracts in Acadia Parish. In Dietz, et al. v. Superior Oil Company, et al the trial court granted…more

Contaminated Properties, Groundwater, Oil & Gas, Premature Claims, Ripeness

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Selling What You Don’t Have…What Happened to my Super Bowl Tickets?

Thursday before Super Bowl XLIX in Phoenix Ima Goen Nomattawatta, a huge Patriots fan, found an online broker Izzure Scalp with Super Bowl tickets for $2,500 apiece. Not believing that he could get 4 tickets at only $750 above…more

Limitation of Liability Clause, Sports, Super Bowl, Terms and Conditions

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Hydrocarbon Exposure Reconsidered

You might recall previous entries discussing the $2.9 million Dallas County verdict and judgment in Parr v. Aruba. Not all similar suits have the same result. Michael and Myra Cerny sued Marathon Oil Corp. and Plains…more

Hydrocarbons, Negligence, Oil & Gas, Toxic Exposure

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Areas of Practice
  • Agriculture
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
  • Appellate Practice
  • Art, Entertainment, & Sports Law
  • Bankruptcy
  • Business Organizations
  • Class Action
  • Commercial Law & Contracts
  • Construction Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Debtor/Creditor
  • Elections & Politics
  • Energy & Utilities
  • Environmental Law
  • Family Law
  • Finance & Banking
  • Health
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Law & Trade
  • Labor & Employment Law
  • Litigation
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Personal Injury
  • Products Liability
  • Real Estate
  • Securities Law
  • Taxation
  • Toxic Torts
  • Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning
  • Zoning, Planning & Land Use
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Locations
Other U.S. Locations
  • Texas
Number of Attorneys

100+ Attorneys

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