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Earlier this month, the Louisiana Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law limiting tax credits for Louisiana taxpayers who pay taxes in other states; thus these taxpayers may now have refund opportunities.  The law at issue is Act 109 of the 2015 Regular Legislative Session.  Act 109 amended Louisiana Revised Statute 47:33 to disallow credits for taxes imposed on net income tax paid to other states that do not offer reciprocal tax credits to those…
The federal Fifth Circuit recently signaled its continued skepticism of permitting class certification for royalty owners.  In Seeligson v. Devon Energy Production Company, L.P., No. 17-10320, 2018 WL 5045671 (5th Cir. Oct. 16, 2018), a group of royalty owners in the Barnett Shale in Texas alleged that Devon Energy Production Company, L.P. breached its royalty obligations “by selling the raw, unprocessed gas to its corporate affiliate at the wellheads at a price artificially reduced by…
On September 27, 2018, the FCC released its Declaratory Ruling and Third Report and Order, which is expected to help accelerate the deployment of 5G cellular service. In the Matter of Accelerating Wireless Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Inv., WT Docket No. 17-79, WC Docket No. 17-84. To support the rollout of 5G service, the wireless industry is turning to small cell devices, a new technology designed to expand network coverage and capacity.…
In United States v. Nature’s Way Marine, L.L.C., 904 F.3d 416 (5th Cir. 2018), the Fifth Circuit held that a tug owner fit the definition of “operator” of an oil-spilling barge and consequently was ineligible under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90) for reimbursement of cleanup costs in excess of the share allocated to the tonnage of the tug. In January 2013, a tug owned by Nature’s Way Marine, L.L.C. was moving two…
The continuous reciprocation of tariffs between the United States and China could leave businesses and suppliers in a bind.  With rising costs of supplies, contracts that once appeared lucrative for a business could soon become a financial liability.  As there appears to be no end in sight to the tariffs, can a company claim force majeure or seek to pass on the burden of the tariffs to the other party? Generally speaking, force majeure refers…
Non-compete agreements have come under increased scrutiny.  This is especially true in employment contracts for laborers and other non-managerial employees who do not have access to trade secrets or intellectual property.  In Louisiana, a non-compete agreement must meet strict requirements to be enforceable.  If you’ve been using the same non-compete agreement for years or for employees in different states, chances are your contract isn’t enforceable in Louisiana.  Here’s why.  Your agreement is geographically…
A recent Louisiana Fourth Circuit decision has clarified what is prompt payment of obligations due under a public works contract.  In Woodrow Wilson Construction LLC v. Orleans Parish School Board, 245 So.3d 1 (4/18/18), rehearing denied (5/15/18) the Fourth Circuit reinforced a public entity’s duty to promptly pay sums due and payable under contract, or be subjected under La. R.S. 38:2191 to a writ of mandamus compelling payment of the sums due under the contract…
As a sustained upward trend in U.S. shale growth continues, industry analysts predict it will offset the current production problems in the near future.  In recent months the energy market has been heavily influenced by a series of demand-side developments, and investors are continuing to monitor the escalating trade conflicts between the United States and China, as well as the financial crisis in Turkey coupled with the strong U.S. dollar for their effect on the…
The Louisiana Third Circuit’s recent decision in Duhon v. Petro “E,” LLC, 2018-57 (La.App. 3 Cir. 7/11/18), stands as a reminder to companies of the exposure to liability they may face under the single business enterprise (SBE) theory.  Reversing a summary judgment dismissal, the court ruled that the plaintiff, an aggrieved landowner, presented facts sufficient enough to support her position that two energy companies were engaged in a single business enterprise, such that one should…
Under Louisiana law, “[e]very contact or agreement, or provision thereof, by which anyone is restrained from exercising a lawful profession trade, or business of any kind, except as [otherwise] provided [by law], shall be null and void.”  See La. R.S. 23:921(A)(1).  The Louisiana First Circuit’s recent decision in Envirozone, LLC v. The Tarp Depot, Inc., No. 2016 CA 0015, 2016 WL 7444091 (La. App. 1 Cir. 12/22/16), cert. denied, 17-0308 (La. 4/7/17); 218 So.3d 11,…