Jeff Kuehnle has represented litigation clients in almost all facets of the oil and gas industry for his entire career. From major integrated oil and gas companies to privately-owned independents or equity investors, Jeff has dedicated his practice to advising energy clients in their disputes in federal and state courts across the producing states.
Jeff spends a great deal of his time on technical oil and gas litigation, including lease termination, development, and royalty disputes. Jeff has also protected his clients’ rights when energy companies sue each other, such as operating agreement, gas processing, farmout, joint venture, billing, indemnity, and preferential right to purchase/area of mutual interest litigation. These matters have included class actions, multi-district litigation, and other multi-million dollar lawsuits in Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Louisiana, Kansas, New Mexico, Wyoming, and North Dakota.
Jeff understands that not all lawsuits are created equally. As a result, he uses his experience in the energy industry and understanding of his clients’ specific needs to strive for the best practical result for his client – whether it be an aggressive defense or prosecution of his client’s claims or a negotiated settlement. In an effort to avoid disputes altogether, Jeff also periodically advises transactional clients on litigation or risk-related aspects to their deals, or at a pre-litigation stage of a dispute.
- Recognized in Legal 500 U.S., 2020
Professional and Community Activities
- Houston Bar Association, member, Oil and Gas and Litigation Sections
- Institute for Energy Law, Advisory Board
- The Woodlands Bar Association
- In the 118th District Court of Martin County, Texas; Defense of operator in lease termination dispute over West Texas properties. Obtained favorable settlement.
- In the 123rd District Court of Panola County, Texas; Defense of operator in title dispute over East Texas mineral interests. Obtained favorable settlement.
- In the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota; Defense of producer in putative class action over ownership of property flooded after creation of Lake Sakakawea. Motion to dismiss granted in favor of client.
- In the 189th District Court of Harris County, Texas; Defense of producer in environmental indemnity suit. Obtained favorable confidential settlement at trial.
- In the District Court of Fremont County, Wyoming; Defense of producer in class action suit over escrowed royalty payments. Obtained favorable settlement.
- In the District Court of Fremont County, Wyoming; Defense of operator in multi-party suit over reasonableness of gas processing charges. Obtained favorable settlement.
- In the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota; Defense of producer in putative class action over royalties allegedly due for flared natural gas. Motion to dismiss granted for client.
- In the 26th Judicial District Court of Stevens County, Kansas. Defense of midstream clients in putative class action in Kansas state court alleging mis-measurement of natural gas. Client was dismissed without any payment after trial court twice denied class certification.
- In the 48th Judicial District Court, Tarrant County, Texas. Suit by non-operator client to enforce AMI and PRP claims for properties in Texas and Louisiana. Obtained favorable confidential settlement and conveyance of properties at trial.
- In the District Court of Tulsa County, State of Oklahoma. Defense of producer client regarding alleged preferential right to purchase contained in loan agreement. Court granted summary judgment dismissing all claims against client. Affirmed by Oklahoma Supreme Court.
- In the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming. Represented six midstream defendants in industry-wide qui tam suit alleging that pipelines and gatherers mis-measured natural gas. U.S. Supreme Court refused cert after 10th Circuit affirmance of summary judgment for our clients.
- In the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Texarkana Division. Defended producer in False Claims Act case over federal benchmark royalty payments. Obtained favorable settlement for less than 1/3 of the actual damages.
- In the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division. Defended several producer clients in $5 million unit dispute over entitlement to oil and gas royalty payments. All claims against clients dismissed on summary judgment.
- United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. Defended qui tam suit against producer clients over alleged failure to pay interest on past royalty obligation. Won summary judgment dismissal.
- In the 71st Judicial District Court of Harrison County, Texas. Defended producer client in class action alleging failure to develop. Settled favorably with agreed drilling program without any cash consideration.
- In the 17th Judicial District Court of Tarrant County, Texas. Prosecuted AMI claim for producer clients. Case settled for significant payment to our clients after successful bifurcated trial on liability.
- In the 129th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas. Defended joint venture dispute claim concerning North Sea properties and successfully transferred case under forum non-conveniens motion to London court.
- In the 189th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas. Prosecuted claims for producer client against contractor for certain drilling fluids and technical advice in relation to the drilling on an offshore GOM well. Settled favorably with a confidential amount paid to our client.
Some of these matters were handled prior to joining Haynes and Boone.
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, 1994
J.D., Baylor University School of Law, 1997, magna cum laude
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
Legal 500 U.S. has included 12 Haynes and Boone, LLP lawyers and five practice areas in the 2020 edition of the legal directory. The Legal 500 series analyzes the capabilities of law firms across the world, based on feedback from 300,000 clients worldwide, law firm submissions, and interviews with leading private practice lawyers. The guide singled out 11 Haynes and Boone partners as leaders in th [...]