Texas Law Blog

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By Judith A. Meyer Texas law protects property owners from personal injury suits by the employees of independent contractors and subcontractors hired by the property owner to work on an improvement on their property. The Texas Supreme Court is considering whether this protection includes claims for the property owner’s negligent hiring of the contractor or subcontractor. In certain circumstances, Chapter 95 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Texas law protects property owners from…
By Tod J. Everage The modern day contract is a direct result of trial and error. Generally speaking, transactional lawyers try to negotiate “bulletproof” contracts providing exactly what their client wants or needs. Despite their best efforts, litigators in later disputes try their level best to find the “errors” in those contracts that could benefit their client. Then the pattern repeats. Take Seismic Wells, LLC v. Sinclair Oil and Gas Co., 2018 WL 43377234 (5th…
By Hattie Guidry On October 1, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a Texas Supreme Court’s ruling finding Noble Energy Inc. (“Noble”) liable for cleanup costs paid by ConocoPhillips Co. (“ConocoPhillips”) to settle a separate Louisiana oilfield legacy case. The Texas Supreme Court ruled that Noble inherited the indemnity obligation to ConocoPhillips from its predecessor, which bought oil and gas assets from Alma Energy Corp. (“Alma”) at an auction sale through a Chapter…
By Tod J. Everage Contractual indemnities are important and valuable in the oil patch. When they are enforceable, they have the potential to end litigation completely or at least the financial burden for a particularly well-positioned indemnitee. But, with “anti-indemnity” statutes in play in several jurisdictions (including Louisiana), the enforceability of these indemnity provisions rely (barring exceptions) on the application of general maritime law. It is a common practice to select general maritime law as…
By statute, royalties on oil and gas production are due on or before 120 days after the end of the month of first sale of production from the well. This gives operators about four months after a well begins producing to obtain title curative, set up a pay deck for the well, issue division orders to the various owners, and start paying royalties. Thereafter, royalties are payable 60 days (for oil) and 90 days (for…
Kean Miller is growing again, opening offices in The Woodlands, Texas, and Lafayette, Louisiana, by combining with the energy-focused law firm Dupuis & Polozola. This expansion builds on Kean Miller’s Houston office opening in 2017 and strengthens the firm’s portfolio of legal and business services to energy, oil & gas, and petrochemical industry clients. The 10 lawyers with Dupuis & Polozola are experienced in all phases of upstream oil and gas exploration and production, handling…
By Brian R. Carnie For those who think the chance of being assessed penalties for non-compliance with the Affordable Care Act are slim to none, think again.  The IRS’ efforts to enforce the ACA’s employer mandate are alive and kicking.  Since late November 2017, the IRS has been sending out proposed penalty notices to companies they believe were not compliant.  For now, the IRS is only assessing proposed penalties for the 2015 calendar year.  The…