The attorneys of Burleson LLP's Litigation Practice Group have a reputation for successfully representing oil and gas companies engaged in both upstream and midstream exploration and production operations.
We have represented clients in virtually every jurisdiction in the key producing areas in North America. We bring a significant depth and diversity of knowledge to the trials of energy-related lawsuits.
Our accomplished attorneys have prosecuted or defended clients' interests in matters ranging from class actions involving publicly traded companies to simple commercial disputes between small businesses. We are particularly skilled in handling claims related to operations, joint operating agreements, and royalty interests; environmental matters, including toxic torts; criminal defense in enforcement actions, surface use cases, access and eminent domain actions, and gas gathering and processing disputes; securities fraud; and complex commercial transactions.
We understand every part of the oil and gas business and the unique concerns of the parties involved. As a result, we have the insight and background needed to obtain successful results, whether by trial, arbitration, mediation, or negotiation.
We realize that litigation is rarely pleasant, nor are the results predictable, and that clients often want to avoid protracted legal disputes. That's why we place a particular emphasis on delivering effective pre-trial counseling and why we work to secure outcomes that do not involve going to court whenever possible.
If litigation does become necessary, we vigorously protect our clients' interests. We work with them to develop and implement an effective and efficient strategy, and help to evaluate, manage, and control the risks, costs, and uncertainties of litigation.
Burleson's Litigation Team has the knowledge and resources to assist clients with a wide range of other litigation matters common to the energy industry, including those involving:
- Alternative dispute resolution
- Compulsory and voluntary pooling and unitization
- Contract disputes
- Corporate and internal investigations, including those involving the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the U.S. Department of Justice
- Damages to wells, reservoirs, and mineral deposits
- Environmental and other regulatory matters, including representation before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Minerals Management Service, the Texas Railroad Commission, and other federal, state, and local regulatory bodies
- Government contracts litigation
- Insurance, indemnity, and other risk-shifting arrangements
- Investigations and defense involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and anti-corruption compliance
- Labor and employment disputes, including regulatory compliance, employment discrimination, and labor relations
- Qui tam cases
- Royalties, bonuses, shut-in payments, and take-or-pay provisions
- Securities litigation
- Taxation, including severance taxes and representation before the Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities
- Theft of corporate trade secrets
- Title trespass and other adverse claims to ownership
- Whistleblower litigation, including matters pending before the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Energy
- Wrongful death and other personal injuries
- Represented an oil and gas exploration and production company in litigation concerning a dispute over an overriding royalty interest, resulting in a favorable settlement for the client.
- Successfully defended a major midstream company against contract claims brought against it by a large independent oil and gas exploration and production company that it had improperly allocated natural gas and natural gas liquids under a gas processing agreement and collateral contracts.
- Represented an oil and gas investment fund in connection with a contract dispute regarding its acquisition of certain oil and gas properties pursuant to the terms of a purchase and sale agreement.
- Represented an independent oil and gas exploration company in connection with its response to a drilling incident resulting in property damage, personal injury, and OSHA oversight.
- Advised a vertically integrated oil company in connection with a contract dispute over the interruption of jurisdictional oil pipeline service.
- Advised a major vertically integrated oil company in connection with regulatory compliance options and other issues associated with midstream operations.
- Represented an independent oil and gas exploration company in connection with various insurance claim and regulatory compliance issues arising out of an unprecedented set of circumstances following a well blowout.
- Represented a small independent oil company in its defense against contract claims and environmental compliance issues arising out of its sale of certain mineral properties, resulting in a mutually beneficial settlement for the parties.
- Represented a national banking corporation in connection with its enforcement of its secured interests in collateral and in the proceeds of certain assets identified in the hands of third parties pursuant to garnishment proceedings filed in the state district court.
- Represented an overriding royalty interest owner in its pursuit of a breach of contract claim against the well operator for withholding payment of certain overriding royalties.
- Represented a large multinational oil field services firm in various class actions brought to challenge its acquisition of a solutions provider of offshore construction, engineering, and project management.
- Represented multiple plaintiffs in a mineral deed construction lawsuit pending in Liberty County, Texas, concerning disputed annual royalty payments in the many millions of dollars.
- Defended a leading Mexican industrial company's U.S. subsidiary against federal action brought in California by an investment bank alleging fraud, breach of contract, and violations of unfair trade practices statutes.
- Represented a Texas-based oil and gas engineering firm in connection with an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission into purported overstatements of oil reserves by a publicly traded exploration and production company.
- Represented a U.S. arm of a European oil and gas technology and reservoir monitoring company with regard to a competitor's alleged theft of its trade secrets and proprietary technology.
- Represented a publicly traded company and its key managers in an investigation of an insider-trading scheme: presented evidence to the Department of Justice, prosecuted former employees engaged in theft of trade secrets, and assisted the management team with putting the company into Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
- Obtained the dismissal of a complaint filed by an oil field equipment supplier against a Texas-based exploration and production company alleging non-payment and breach of contract.
- Defeated the application for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in Texas state court on behalf of a client whose former business partner sought to freeze the client's accounts and commercial operations.
- Advised a group of Texas landowners in connection with the wrongful suspension of royalty production payments by an Oklahoma-based exploration and production company.
- Represented a major oil field supply and services company with regard to a large customer's bankruptcy and the preservation of creditor claims against the same.
- Successfully defended an estate administrator against charges leveled by an independent exploration and production company that he had improperly executed a mineral lease covering the estate's land.
- Defended a major independent energy company in a federal class action alleging that the company wrongfully refused to consummate over $100 million in oil and gas leases.
- Successfully appealed a municipality's denial of an oil and gas exploration and production company's application for a sewage holding tank permit for a well site in Crawford County, Pennsylvania.
- Represented a small operator in a dispute over the applicability or survivability of oil and gas leases.
- Defended a large operator from claims of property damage and trespass as a result of the construction of a section line roadway.
- Defended a small operator from claims of breach of contract, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty brought by a minority interest owner following the operator's disposition of oil and gas properties.
- Resolved a dispute involving controversies involving certain Louisiana properties belonging to a privately held independent oil and gas company, and assisted the company with agreements involving some of its Louisiana exploration ventures.
- Represented an exploration and production company's entities in disputes in Louisiana.