SM Energy Company, et al. v. Endeavour Operating Corporation
Represented SM Energy Company, Potato Creek LLC, Open Flow Gas Supply Corporation, and SJ Exploration LLC in an action against Endeavour Operating Corporation. The case arose from Endeavour Operating Corporation’s breach of two purchase and sale agreements to purchase our clients’ interests in oil and gas leases, a pipeline, and related facilities in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania for a total purchase price of $110 million. After winning a significant partial summary judgment, the case settled shortly before trial for a total value of $19.25M to our clients.
TexCal Energy South Texas, L.P. and Venoco, Inc. v. Denbury Onshore, LLC
We represented Venoco, Inc., a mid-size oil and gas company based in Colorado, in a contract dispute with Denbury Onshore, LLC, a subsidiary of Denbury Resources, Inc., regarding Venoco’s reversionary interest in a Texas oilfield, wherein the parties disputed the meaning of several terms that affected when “payout” would occur. After a week-long arbitration hearing before a three-member panel, we obtained a unanimous award in favor of Venoco with respect to all three contractual interpretation declarations sought. Venoco was also awarded most of its attorneys’ fees, costs, and expert fees in a discretionary decision by the panel. The present-day value of the award to the client is estimated to be over $100 million.
Melrose v. Crawford, et al.
We successfully represented several managing partners and directors of several private equity funds in an arbitration matter. Our clients had been served with an arbitration demand by another managing director with whom they had fallen out. He alleged a number of claims against our clients, including breaches of contract and breaches of fiduciary duty, for which he sought millions of dollars in damages. We asserted several counterclaims in response. Following roughly 8 months of discovery and a week-long arbitration, the arbitrator denied every claim against our clients and ruled in our favor on nearly all of our counterclaims. Among other things, the final award found that the opposing partner should be retroactively terminated for cause due to his willful misconduct, ordered that the partner pay back all compensation he had received during that period, and awarded our clients nearly all of their attorneys’ fees in the matter.
Scott Martin, et al v. Martin Resource Management Corp., et al.
Represented Keeneland Capital Management, LLC (“KCM”) in a shareholder derivative and individual suit involving its investment in Martin Resources Management Corporation (“MRMC”), a closely-held energy corporation in the business of transportation, storage, terminalling and processing of energy resources. KCM purchased a significant number of shares in MRMC from a key stakeholder, and was assigned that seller’s causes of action against members of management and the Board of Directors for, among other claims, shareholder oppression, breach of fiduciary duty, wrongful entrenchment and dilution, abuse of control, gross mismanagement and fraud stemming from the Directors’ alleged improper issuance of well over $50 million of MRMC stock for the purpose of entrenching management and diluting certain minority shareholders. MRMC and the MRMC Employee Stock Ownership Trust also opposed KCM in this action, and, along with the other defendants, asserted counterclaims for over $20 million in alleged damages against all plaintiffs and other third parties. After two years of intense litigation that involved several other related lawsuits, the case settled favorably for KCM for a confidential amount on October 2, 2012.
SourceGas Distribution LLC v. Noble Energy, Inc.
Following a complex five-week trial, a Houston jury returned a verdict for client SourceGas Distribution LLC (SourceGas) against Noble Energy, Inc (Noble). The jury determined that Noble breached its Gas Purchase Agreement (GPA) with SourceGas by selling SourceGas natural gas at above-market prices that SourceGas was not obligated to purchase under the GPA. The Honorable Patricia J. Kerrigan submitted the question of contract interpretation to the jury. In addition to a claim for damages, the contract dispute involved tens of millions of dollars worth of impact on future performance under the contract. On November 17, 2011, the jury determined that SourceGas’s contract interpretation was correct, found that Noble breached the GPA, and awarded damages of approximately $4.58 million. The jury also rejected Noble’s counterclaims for breach of contract against SourceGas, under which Noble sought approximately $1.5 million in damages. On April 24, 2012, the court entered final judgment in favor of SouceGas for over $6 million, including attorneys’ fees.
Crane v. JP Morgan Chase & Co, et al.
This lawsuit arose out of the purchase by Plaintiff, an individual investor, of approximately $35 million of asset backed sewer revenue securities from defendant JPMorgan. When the value of the securities suffered a significant drop in value, Plaintiff filed suit against JPMorgan alleging violations of the Texas Securities Act. Specifically, Plaintiff alleged that JPMorgan was selected as the underwriter and swap provider for the securities, by means of unlawful payments, which JPMorgan failed to disclose. Plaintiff alleged that, because JPMorgan had sold the securities by means of materially false statements and omissions, Plaintiff was entitled to rescission under the Texas Securities Act. On December 17, 2010, the trial court denied JPMorgan’s motions for summary judgment on Plaintiff’s claims. The case proceeded to trial in January 2011 in Harris County, Texas before the Honorable Mike Engelhart. Two days into trial, the parties entered into a confidential settlement which was favorable to our client.
Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America LLC v. Kinder Morgan Kansas, Inc.
Represented Kinder Morgan in an arbitration against Myria Holdings, Inc. Myria owns 80% and Kinder Morgan owns 20% of Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America LLC (NGPL). Kinder Morgan is the operator of the pipeline pursuant to an Operations and Reimbursement Agreement. NGPL is the largest pipeline operated by Kinder Morgan. Myria contended that Kinder Morgan breached the O&R Agreement by improperly allocating certain general and administrative costs to NGPL in the 2011 budget. The case was arbitrated in Philadelphia in July 2011. In a final decision, the arbitrator concluded that Kinder Morgan’s interpretation of the key contractual provision was correct. The arbitration award was confirmed by Judge Steven Kirkland in the 215th Harris County District Court on December 16, 2011.
Farouk Systems Inc. v. Costco Wholesale Corporation
Represented Farouk Systems, manufacturer of the popular CHI hair care products, in an action against Costco concerning the sale of counterfeit products. After a seven day trial, the jury determined that Costco had sold a counterfeit CHI hair iron. The jury also awarded Farouk Systems the maximum statutory damages for non-willful trademark infringement under the Lanham Act. After the jury award, the court entered a permanent injunction prohibiting Costco from selling counterfeit CHI hair irons.
U.S. Pipeline, Inc. v. Denbury Resources, Inc., et al.
We represented the Claimant, U.S. Pipeline, Inc., in an arbitration proceeding against Denbury Resources, Inc. and affiliated entities. The dispute arose out of U.S. Pipeline’s construction of a 272-mile long carbon-dioxide transmission pipeline for Denbury. The construction project, initially estimated at nearly $250 million, was beset with delays and additional work, which we contended was primarily due to incomplete engineering and problems with permitting and right-of-way acquisition. U.S. Pipeline incurred substantial additional construction costs in performing its work. U.S. Pipeline brought suit for breach of the construction contract, and sought damages in excess of $50 million. After defeating potentially dispositive summary judgment motions filed by Denbury, the case was resolved on the eve of trial on terms favorable for our client. The settlement amount is confidential.
Certain Underwriters at Lloyds of London, et al. v. Pioneer Natural Resources USA, Inc., et al.
Represented Pioneer Natural Resources in an insurance dispute with certain underwriters at Lloyds of London and Zurich American Insurance Co. The case centered on contractual obligations to compensate Pioneer for an oil platform destroyed by Hurricane Rita in 2005 and involved damages of over $150 million. Pioneer sued the Underwriters in Louisiana state court and the Underwriters responded by suing Pioneer in Texas state court. We successfully moved to dismiss the Harris County, Texas case. Lloyds then removed the Louisiana state court action to federal court and moved to compel arbitration. Our team successfully opposed the motion to compel arbitration and the case was remanded. We were then successful in having the Underwriters’ appeal of this decision dismissed from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for lack of jurisdiction. The U.S. Supreme Court then denied the Underwriters’ petition for writ of certiorari. Finally, we tried the case with co-counsel in Louisiana state court where, after four days of trial in October 2010, the case settled very favorably for Pioneer.
GAC Energy Corp., et al. v. Frontera Resources Georgia Corp., et al.
Represented Defendants Frontera Resources Georgia Corporation and Frontera Resources Corporation in an international arbitration involving a significant oil and gas exploration lease in the Republic of Georgia. Claimants were GAC Energy Corporation and GAC International. The arbitrator ruled in Frontera’s favor, rejecting GAC’s claims for $19 million in restitution.
Texas Children’s Hospital
Represented Texas Children's Hospital in a lawsuit against Community Health Choice, Inc., an HMO, for failure to properly pay TCH for services provided to CHC's insureds. The case settled favorably.
AB Watley v. Administaff
Obtained complete dismissal of a complaint in New York state court on behalf of Defendant Administaff, a professional employer organization, in a case alleging breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, and fraud relating to insurance coverage.
Duke Energy v. GE
Represented Claimant Duke Energy in a dispute with GE concerning an operating and maintenance agreement at a plant in South America. The case settled favorably.
Zachry Construction Corporation v. ABB Lummus Global
Represented Plaintiff Zachry in a dispute concerning construction costs and delay expenses with respect to the building of an ethylene cracking plant, which was the world's largest ethylene plant by volume at the time. We achieved a favorable confidential settlement.
Town & Country Hospital Litigation
Defended the general partner of Stealth, LP, which developed Town & Country Hospital, against claims of mismanagement and malfeasance brought by certain limited partners. The case settled favorably on a confidential basis.
In re Dynegy Securities Litigation
Obtained complete dismissals of securities fraud actions brought against one current and two former officers of Dynegy in the Dynegy securities litigation.
Friede Goldman Halter, Inc.
Represented former directors of Halter Marine Group in a securities fraud matter arising out of the merger and subsequent bankruptcy of Friede Goldman and Halter Marine, two of the world's largest ship and rig-building companies at the time of the merger. Plaintiffs alleged hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. The matter was successfully resolved as part of a confidential settlement.