Successful Prosecution of Breach of Warranty/Contract Claims
Represented a major oil company operator as plaintiff in a lawsuit and obtained a $4.7 million net recovery against a vendor for breach of warranty and breach of contract. The oil company purchased lifeboats for a new deep water offshore production platform and required the lifeboats be U.S. Coast Guard approved. The U.S. Coast Guard, however, refused to approve the lifeboats after two of the boats failed during offshore commissioning and a subsequent investigation revealed design and manufacturing defects. The platform operator incurred significant damages due to construction delays caused by the lack of usable lifeboats. After a favorable settlement, the operator’s recovery from the vendor represented many multiples of the purchase price of the lifeboats.
Settlement of a Trade Secrets Misappropriation Lawsuit
Secured a favorable settlement of a trade secrets misappropriation lawsuit in federal district court in North Carolina. Haynes and Boone represented the plaintiff, a technology company headquartered in Houston. On the third day of the jury trial, the defendants, a former plaintiff executive and his new company, announced their consent to an agreed permanent injunction and agreed to dismiss all of their counterclaims, pay all of plaintiff’s damages, surrender their inventory, and pay a portion of plaintiff’s attorney’s fees. The case involved the misappropriation of the formula for a proprietary catalyst used to treat hydrocarbons at refineries worldwide. The former executive claimed to have independently developed the formula after leaving the company, but shortly before trial began the formula was discovered in a spreadsheet that proved defendants’ claim was untrue.
Preferential Right Dispute
Represented defendant non-operator in preferential right dispute over assignments of working interest to other non-operator.
Haynesville Shale Lease Disputes
Litigated oil and gas lease dispute brought by lessors against lessees related to Haynesville shale leases and the alleged termination of leases pursuant to a horizontal severance clause despite continuous operations on the leased lands. Obtained favorable settlement and lease extensions.
Petroleum Trading Company Facing Underpayment Claims
Represented petroleum trading company in claims for underpayment of crude purchases in California. Obtained favorable settlement after filing suit.
Arbitration Over Breach of Warranties
Obtained a $4.3 million arbitration award for supermajor pipeline company affiliate after 2 weeks of arbitration hearings and collected 100 percent of the award against an international manufacturer of defective valves. The respondent vigorously contested liability and damages, which arose from a defective valve trapping an in-line-inspection tool and caused interruption in shipments on a major products pipeline in the southeastern United States. The award represented the pipeline company’s actual damages, attorneys’ fees, expert fees, and costs, as well as pre-award and post-award interest. Most of the award was for consequential damages that far exceeded the purchase price of the defective valves.
Cost Overrun Dispute
Represented oil and gas operator and obtained favorable settlement of cost overrun disputes with working interest owners.
Synthetic Drilling Mud
Represented offshore oil and gas operator in dispute over synthetic drilling mud use and costs. Obtained confidential seven-figure settlement payment to client.
Harvest House Publishers v. The Local Church, 190 S.W.3d 204 (Tex. App. - Houston [1st Dist.] 2006, pet. denied)
In an interlocutory appeal following the trial court’s denial of summary judgment, obtained rendition of a take-nothing judgment for a media defendant in a defamation case.
Tri-Union Development Corporation - Chapter 11
Representation of an operating oil and gas exploration debtor company in reorganizing its secured, unsecured and governmental obligations associated with the operation of onshore and offshore oil and gas properties. Included in the representation was an analysis of hedged positions for the sale of physical oil and gas production in a rising market, the restructuring of significant second lien secured bond indebtedness held under trust indenture, and the negotiation and resolution of substantial onshore and offshore plugging and abandonment and environmental obligations owed to state and federal authorities. Included in the proceeding was litigation over payment of royalty claims, litigation concerning the design and resolution of decommissioning obligations for offshore platforms and wells, and litigation with co-owners and other parties in interest over continuation of oil and gas leases and farm out agreements. Reported decision in the case addressing satisfaction of offshore well obligations: In re Tri-Union Dev. Corp.,
314 B.R. 611 (Bankr. S.D. Tex. 2004) and In re Tri-Union Dev. Corp.,
349 B.R. 145 (Bankr. S.D. Tex. 2006)
Exploration Trade Secret Claims
Represent defendant non-operator in tortious interference/equitable rescission dispute over erroneous assignments of oil and gas leasehold interests and trade secret claims related to a geologist now working for client's competitor.
Removal of Operator from Joint Operating Agreement
Succeeded in removal of an operator under an AAPL-form joint operating agreement for non-payment of contractor invoices and misappropriation of joint interest billing collection and placed client in desired position of operator.
Oilfield Services Trade Secret Dispute
Defended start-up oilfield service company and former employees of rival oilfield service company in trade secret/fiduciary duty dispute and achieved "walk-away" after filing counterclaims against the former employer.
Semiconductor Trade Secret Litigation
Represents a major international semiconductor-manufacturing company—Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (“TSMC”)—in a trade-secret case pending in California state court. TSMC alleges that a Chinese competitor stole semiconductor-fabrication technology that it then unlawfully deployed in its business.
Cash Collateral for Drilling and Workovers
Represented secured creditor in several evidentiary hearings concerning the use of cash collateral for drilling and workovers during bankruptcy case. Successfully obtained multiple orders precluding the use of cash collateral for risky drilling and workovers.
Breach of Fiduciary Duty
Defended natural gas company against breach of fiduciary duty claims arising from sale of a gas pipeline business. Obtained favorable settlement after month of trial.
Represented bankrupt oil and gas working interest owner in dispute over non-consent penalties for proposed oil and gas operations and obtained favorable settlement.
Tortious Interference/Equitable Rescission Dispute
Represent defendant non-operator in tortious interference/equitable rescission dispute over erroneous assignments of oil and gas leasehold interests.
Replacement of Well Operator
Represented working interest owner and successfully removed the operator for misappropriating joint interest funds and installed client as the new operator.