COLUMBUS, Ohio — A real estate company that has oil and gas holdings related to its properties on March 28 filed a brief in Ohio federal court contending that an addendum to a hydraulic fracturing lease strikes or supersedes an arbitration provision in the agreement and, therefore, the motion to dismiss and compel arbitration filed by the fracking company should be denied.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) on March 23 sued Secretary of the Interior Debra Haaland and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in California federal court seeking declaratory and injunctive relief for the FWS’s alleged failure to determine whether the Temblor legless lizard warranted protection from oil and gas exploration and drilling operations in the Midway-Sunset and McKittrick oil fields under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
DENVER — The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) on April 5 filed a brief in the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that it should dismiss as “unripe” the appeal of a hydraulic fracturing company that says the DOI acted “arbitrarily” when it passed a rule that would require the company to pay royalties based on what is known as the Index Based Major Portion (IBMP) formula.
GREAT FALLS, Mont. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on March 25 filed a brief in Montana federal court contending that it should grant summary judgment in favor of the Corps in a lawsuit brought by environmental groups related to a permit the Corps issued for pipeline projects to carry hydraulically fractured oil and gas because it “reasonably scoped” its environmental review of potential adverse effects and the plaintiffs lack standing to pursue claims under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
NEW YORK — An investor on March 31 sued an energy company and its board of directors in New York federal court, contending that they violated federal securities laws by filing a “materially incomplete and misleading” proxy statement regarding a proposed acquisition of the company.
MADISON, Wis. — A request by energy companies to depose officials of a Wisconsin Indian tribe over their denial of water quality certifications in connection with the companies’ proposed projects to abate pipeline hazards was rejected April 4 by a federal magistrate judge, who said that while the officials’ actions were “quintessentially administrative” rather than legislative, the desire to hear the “thought-processes” for their decisions is not “proportional to the needs of this case.”
PHILADELPHIA — On March 31, attorneys for a group of Republican Pennsylvania legislators who say they have standing to sue the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) for its moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and attorneys for the DRBC debated the issue of standing before the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, with members of the panel repeatedly questioning the legislators’ attorney on whether they actually have a claim.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A pipeline company on March 22 filed a reply brief in the U.S. Supreme Court contending that review is urgently needed regarding a lower court’s decision vacating a federal order that allowed the construction of a pipeline to carry hydraulically fractured gas because federal appellate courts apply “a variety of conflicting standards” in assessing the appropriate remedy for deficient agency action.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A panel of the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 8 denied a motion to expedite consideration of an appeal regarding the vacatur of a federal lease sale for hydraulic fracturing in the Gulf of Mexico, saying an expedited process was “unwarranted” because the government may still award leases if the appellate court reverses the lower court’s decision after June 30.
HOUSTON — A federal bankruptcy judge in Texas on March 21 granted limited relief from the automatic stay in the bankruptcy of a hydraulic fracturing company allowing a former employee to bring a claim against the company for personal injuries allegedly suffered while working on a fracking site.
DALLAS — On March 22, a hydraulic fracturing company sued an oil company in Texas federal court, arguing that it breached the contract between the parties with respect to the expenses connected with the operation of certain wells.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its March 21 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court said it will not review a fracking technology firm’s claim that a federal judge in North Dakota erroneously awarded a declaratory judgment patent plaintiff its attorney fees and costs.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A hydraulic fracturing company on March 16 filed a reply brief in Ohio federal court seeking to compel leaseholders to undertake what it calls a “routine, forensically defensible email collection and keyword search” for production of documents in a royalty lawsuit, contending that such an examination is needed because of the “obvious fox/henhouse and metadata corruption issues inherent” in the current approach used by the plaintiffs to this point.
RICHMOND, Va. — A panel of the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 1 ruled that a district court properly denied a hydraulic fracturing company’s motion to enforce a judgment and issue an injunction against a group of plaintiffs in a royalty dispute, saying the exceptions to the Anti-Injunction Act had not been met.
AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Supreme Court on March 11 reversed an appellate panel’s ruling and reinstated a trial court’s take-nothing judgment against a man who suffered injuries in a hydraulic fracturing well explosion and his affiliated company, ruling that a state code that limits the property owner’s liability applies.
DENVER — Shareholders in an oilfield services company filed a brief in Colorado federal court on Feb. 28 arguing that class certification is appropriate because the company and its principals have failed to submit specific evidence countering investors’ assertions about relevant public information pertaining to their securities fraud lawsuit, which the case law requires.
WILMINGTON, Del. — Shareholders in a hydraulic fracturing company and its principals on March 15 filed a putative class action in Delaware state court seeking preliminary and injunctive relief, contending that the company violated securities laws in connection with allegedly misleading and materially incomplete statements issued by the company that the plaintiff says were intended to convince shareholders to vote in favor of a proposed merger. The company is already facing another such lawsuit in New York federal court.
DENVER — Siblings who possess a mineral interest in Colorado lands on March 11 filed a brief in Colorado federal court asking that it take notice of supplemental materials in their opposition to the U.S. government’s motion to dismiss their claim for a declaration to quiet title related to ownership of the mineral interests which the government claims it owns.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A federal judge in Ohio on March 10 granted a hydraulic fracturing company and its affiliate summary judgment dismissal of a lease dispute, ruling that the lease in question did not expire based on the “clear and unambiguous” terms of the lease.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On March 9, an environmental group filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that it should not grant certiorari for a petition filed by a pipeline company that seeks review of a decision that vacated a federal order that allowed the construction of a pipeline to carry hydraulically fractured gas. The groups say that the decision below is correct and that the claim at hand rests on allegations of harm that are now “obsolete.”