Lynne Liberato in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Chesapeake Energy avoids pending trials with settlements


Later this month, Fort Worth attorney Dan McDonald and Chesapeake Energy were scheduled to square off in court in the first of 10 trials to determine whether the company cheated thousands of property owners out of millions of dollars in natural gas royalties.

But Chesapeake and McDonald, who has made a cottage industry out of suing the Oklahoma City-based energy giant, recently agreed to settle cases set for trial in April and May, postponing any courtroom battle until June, unless the two sides reach more out-of-court deals.

The first trial, set for April 25, concerned leases held by William Wright in Tarrant County. The second trial, scheduled for May 23, was about royalty payments to Bettye Haynie for her leases in Johnson County ...

Lynne Liberato, a Houston attorney who wrote a Texas Bar Journal article on multi-district litigation, said, “The surest way to settlement is a trial date.”

“So, as the cases in multi-district litigation are handled more expeditiously and become ready to try, they will often settle on the courthouse steps,” said Liberato, a former president of the State Bar of Texas.

Excerpted from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. To read the full article, please click here.


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