Overview

The Ernest E. Smith Oil, Gas and Mineral Law Institute continues to be the definitive course for attorneys, corporate lawyers, E&P operators, and landmen. The Institute brings together a distinguished faculty of academics and practitioners for presentations on the latest oil and gas developments.
2021 program highlights include:

  • Two-part Case Law Update showcasing recent decisions on oil and gas leases, royalties, mineral conveyances, joint operating agreements, state regulation, and related topics.
  • Turn Around, Don’t Drown: A New Generation of Oil and Gas Lease “Washouts” in Texas and How to Avoid Them a discussion on three Texas cases that have shaken up the assumptions about the law on this topic.
  • Updates on midstream agreements in bankruptcy from Sabine to Chesapeake.
  • Plus valuable information on title and environmental due diligence as it relates to oil and gas acquisitions, review of surface conflicts between oil and gas lessees and renewable energy companies, trade secrets in the oil and gas context, and more.
Come a day early for Thursday's Fundamentals of Oil, Gas and Mineral Law—ideal for beginners and experienced practitioners seeking a refresher.

The Institute is jointly presented by The University of Texas School of Law and The Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Section of the State Bar of Texas.
 

Event Schedule

Program is subject to change.

  • Time
    Credit
    Subject
    Speaker
  • Friday Morning, Mar. 26, 2021
    Presiding Officer:
    Ronnie Blackwell, Exxon Mobil Corporation - Spring, TX
  • 8:00 am
    Welcoming Remarks

  • 8:10 am
    0.50 hr
    Case Law Update Part 1
    Review recent decisions dealing with oil and gas leases, royalties, mineral conveyances, joint operating agreements, state regulation, and related topics.

    Owen L. Anderson, The University of Texas School of Law - Austin, TX

  • 8:40 am
    5-Minute Break

  • 8:45 am
    0.75 hr
    The Commingling Doctrine & Horizontal Wells:  Whose Burden is it Anyway?
    Review the origins of the commingling doctrine from Old English common law to early U.S. and Texas precedent, as well as various factual circumstances where commingling has been applied. The session will include a discussion of the shifting evidentiary burden necessary to establish the application of the doctrine in a modern oil and gas context.

    Ricardo E. Morales, Person, Mohrer, Morales, Boddy, Garcia & Gutierrez PLLC - Laredo, TX

  • 9:30 am
    5-Minute Break

  • 9:35 am
    0.75 hr
    Update On Midstream Agreements in Bankruptcy—From Sabine to Southland and Beyond
    Many recent E&P bankruptcies have grappled with the characterization of midstream agreements as either contractual rights that can be rejected or real property interests that ride through unaffected. This presentation analyzes the ever-shifting legal landscape, which has seen midstream agreements characterized as both, leading to a widening split in the courts and uncertainty in the industry.

    Jonathan Hyman, Gray Reed - Houston, TX
    Philip Jordan, Gray Reed - Dallas, TX
    Lydia R Webb, Gray Reed - Dallas, TX

  • 10:20 am
    5-Minute Break

  • 10:25 am
    0.75 hr
    Non-Participating Royalty Interest Litigation
    Recent developments in non-participating royalty interest litigation and royalty instrument interpretation issues.

    Corey F. Wehmeyer, Santoyo Wehmeyer P.C. - San Antonio, TX

  • 11:10 am
    5-Minute Break

  • 11:15 am
    0.75 hr
    Turn Around, Don’t Drown: A New Generation of Oil and Gas Lease “Washouts” in Texas and How to Avoid Them
    While Texas law has always been permissive toward oil and gas lease washouts—the elimination of non-operated leasehold interests or burdens by replacement of an existing lease—three new Texas cases have shaken up our assumptions about the law on this topic. This presentation will discuss these case holdings, their impact on industry stakeholders, and drafting advice for avoiding their negative effects.

    Brandon Durrett, Dykema Gossett, PLLC - San Antonio, TX

  • 12:00 pm
    Break for Lunch - Presentations Resume at 12:30 p.m. CST

  • Friday Afternoon, Mar. 26, 2021
    Presiding Officer:
    Ronnie Blackwell, Exxon Mobil Corporation - Spring, TX
  • Luncheon Presentation
  • 12:30 pm
    0.75 hr ethics
    How Did My Texas Disciplinary Rules Change in 2021 Referendum?
    Texas lawyers are voting on new disciplinary rule proposals in the February 2021 referendum. Hear which ones passed, and how do these rules affect your law practice? What should you (and what can you) do differently?

    Claude E. Ducloux, Attorney at Law - Austin, TX

  • 1:15 pm
    5-Minute Break

  • 1:20 pm
    0.50 hr
    Case Law Update Part 2
    Review recent decisions dealing with oil and gas leases, royalties, mineral conveyances, joint operating agreements, state regulation, and related topics.

    Owen L. Anderson, The University of Texas School of Law - Austin, TX

  • 1:50 pm
    5-Minute Break

  • 1:55 pm
    0.75 hr
    Protecting Lessor Rights against a Financially Distressed Lessee

    Ryan Lammert, Uhl, Fitzsimons, Jewett, Burton & Wolff, PLLC - San Antonio, TX

  • 2:40 pm
    10-Minute Break

  • 2:50 pm
    0.50 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Title/Environmental Due Diligence and Related Issues in Oil and Gas Acquisitions
    Explore drafting issues and corresponding title and environmental examination measures to consider in connection with acquisitions and divestitures of oil and gas assets.

    Joe F. Flack, III, Jackson Walker LLP - Houston, TX

  • 3:20 pm
    5-Minute Break

  • 3:25 pm
    0.50 hr
    Force Majeure During and After the COVID Pandemic
    In the wake of COVID-19 and plunging oil prices, many practitioners have found themselves reviewing whether force majeure provisions may apply to forgive certain shortcomings in performance during 2020 and beyond. Survey existing law regarding force majeure issues and discuss considerations in drafting future force majeure provisions.

    J. Derrick Price, McGinnis Lochridge - Austin, TX
    Austin W. Brister, McGinnis Lochridge - Houston, TX

  • 3:55 pm
    5-Minute Break

  • 4:00 pm
    0.50 hr
    Make Peace, Not War: Negotiating and Drafting Accommodation Agreements in the Oil and Gas Industry with Wind and Solar Companies
    A brief discussion of the basic elements of a comprehensive accommodation agreement, which shall include pitfalls to avoid in drafting such agreements, as well as an overview of typical accommodation issues and how best to resolve them.

    Roderick E. Wetsel, Wetsel, Carmichael & Allen, LLP - Sweetwater, TX

  • 4:30 pm
    5-Minute Break

  • 4:35 pm
    0.50 hr
    Trade Secrets in the O&G Context Uniform Trade Secrets Act

    Joseph G. Thompson, Porter Hedges LLP - Houston, TX

  • 5:05 pm
    Adjourn

Conference Faculty

Owen L. Anderson

The University of Texas School of Law
Austin, TX

Austin W. Brister

McGinnis Lochridge
Houston, TX

Claude E. Ducloux

Attorney at Law
Austin, TX

Brandon Durrett

Dykema Gossett, PLLC
San Antonio, TX

Joe F. Flack, III

Jackson Walker LLP
Houston, TX

Jonathan Hyman

Gray Reed
Houston, TX

Philip Jordan

Gray Reed
Dallas, TX

Ryan Lammert

Uhl, Fitzsimons, Jewett, Burton & Wolff, PLLC
San Antonio, TX

Ricardo E. Morales

Person, Mohrer, Morales, Boddy, Garcia & Gutierrez PLLC
Laredo, TX

J. Derrick Price

McGinnis Lochridge
Austin, TX

Joseph G. Thompson

Porter Hedges LLP
Houston, TX

Lydia R Webb

Gray Reed
Dallas, TX

Corey F. Wehmeyer

Santoyo Wehmeyer P.C.
San Antonio, TX

Roderick E. Wetsel

Wetsel, Carmichael & Allen, LLP
Sweetwater, TX

Planning Committee

Ronnie Blackwell—Chair

Exxon Mobil Corporation
Spring, TX

Robert G. Hargrove—Co-Chair

Davis, Gerald & Cremer PC
Austin, TX

Jonathan D. Baughman

Houston, TX

Kevin M. Beiter

Austin, TX

J. Byron (Trace) Burton III

Uhl, Fitzsimons, Jewett, Burton, Wolff & Rangel, PLLC
San Antonio, TX

Gregory C. Cox

EOG Resources, Inc.
Houston, TX

Brandon Durrett

Dykema Gossett, PLLC
San Antonio, TX

Monika U. Ehrman

The University of Oklahoma College of Law
Norman, OK

W. John English Jr.

Baker & Hostetler LLP
Houston, TX

Jorge I. Gutierrez

Reed Smith LLP
Dallas, TX

Michael D. Jones

Jones Gill Porter Crawford & Crawford LLP
Houston, TX

Carroll G. Martin

Scott Douglass & McConnico LLP
Austin, TX

Ricardo E. Morales

Person, Mohrer, Morales, Boddy, Garcia & Gutierrez PLLC
Laredo, TX

David Michael Patton

Locke Lord LLP
Houston, TX

Michael P. Pearson

Jackson Walker LLP
Houston, TX

April Rogers

The University of Texas School of Law
Austin, TX

Ernest E. Smith

The University of Texas School of Law
Austin, TX

George A. Snell III

Snell Law Firm
Amarillo, TX

Jeff Weems

Staff Weems LLP
Houston, TX

Katy Wehmeyer

Santoyo Wehmeyer P.C.
San Antonio, TX

Credit Info

MCLE Credit
UT Law CLE will report credit to the State Bar of Texas on your behalf. If you are claiming credit in the last week of your birth month, self-report your credit directly to the State Bar of Texas at texasbar.com. A Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you upon claiming credit.
Self-report your CLE credit directly to the State Bar of California at calbar.ca.gov. Print and keep the Certificate of Completion for your records. A Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you upon claiming credit.
UT Law CLE will report credit on your behalf to the Kansas Continuing Legal Education Commission (KSCLE) within 30 days after the conference. UT Law CLE will maintain Attendance Records for four years.
To claim Louisiana MCLE credit, Louisiana credit option must be selected PRIOR to viewing the live webcast. UT Law CLE will report credit on your behalf to LSBA within 30 days after the conference.
UT Law CLE will report credit on your behalf to the State Bar of New Mexico within 30 days after the conference. You will receive a Certificate of Attendance at the conference to keep for your records.
UT Law CLE will report credit on your behalf to The Supreme Court of Ohio within 30 days after the conference. You will receive a Certificate of Attendance at the conference to keep for your records.
The University of Texas School of Law (Provider #169) live webcast presentations meet the requirements and are presumptively approved by the Oklahoma Bar Association for MCLE credit based on a 50-minute credit hour. This accreditation requires attendance verification. In compliance with the rules, UT Law CLE monitors and records attendee responses to questions that randomly appear during the live webcast presentation. The response record is detailed on the Certificate of Completion.

To claim Oklahoma MCLE credit, Oklahoma credit option must be selected PRIOR to viewing the live webcast. Upon claiming credit, a Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you. UT Law CLE will report credit on your behalf to the Oklahoma Bar Association within 30 days after the webcast.
UT Law CLE is an approved provider of Pennsylvania credit, sponsor #236. Attorney attendance will be reported to Pennsylvania within 2 weeks of the webcast conclusion. Attorneys are not able to report this credit on their own, and UT Law CLE pays all associated fees for the credit hours. Contact Laura Tolin, ltolin@law.utexas.edu, if you have additional questions.
Note on Self-Reporting Your Credits in Another State
If you wish to satisfy MCLE or other professional education requirements in another state for a program offered by the University of Texas School of Law, please check with the state bar or other licensing authority in that state to ensure it will qualify for self-reporting your credits.

To claim Other States MCLE credit, Other States credit option must be selected PRIOR to viewing the live webcast. Upon claiming credit, a Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you.

This accreditation requires attendance verification. UT Law CLE monitors and records attendee responses to questions that randomly appear during the live webcast presentation. The response record is detailed on the Certificate of Completion .

MCLE credit is presented based on a 60-minute credit hour.
Other Credit
The University of Texas School of Law (Provider #250) live webcast presentations meet the requirements and are presumptively approved by the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy for Texas Accounting CPE credit based on a 50-minute credit hour. Approved for general CPE credit only.

This accreditation requires attendance verification. In compliance with the rules, UT Law CLE monitors and records attendee responses to questions that randomly appear during the live webcast presentation. The response record is detailed on the Certificate of Completion.

To claim Texas Accounting CPE credit, the Texas Accounting CPE credit option must be selected PRIOR to viewing the live webcast. Upon claiming credit, a Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you. Self-report your CPE credit directly to the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy.

Contact Laura Tolin, ltolin@law.utexas.edu, if you have additional questions.

Key Dates

Live Webcast – Mar 26, 2021
Register now
Live Webcast
Last day for cancellation (full refund): Mar 19, 2021

$50 processing fee applied after this date

Last day for cancellation: Mar 22, 2021

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