» 2011 » March

Texas Breach of Contract Lawsuit Emphasizes the Need for a Good Business Attorney in Oil and Gas Matters

The jury trial and appeal in the case of Mohican Oil & Gas, LLC v. Scorpion Exploration & Production, Inc. and Chapco, Inc. highlights the intricacies of contract disputes and business litigation matters in the oil and gas arena. Mohican hired the two other companies to oversee and drill Olmitos No. 2, a directional oil and gas well in Webb County, Texas. The jurors found that Mohican breached the oil and gas drilling contract and awarded Scorpion with $139,120 and Chapco with $60,000 in damages that the appeals case sustained.

Many facets of the contract were disputed during the trial. First, when Scorpion faced drilling process problems they asserted that the work changed from turnkey to daily charges. Scorpion had difficulties setting the intermediate casing and proceeding to production depths. They also encountered premature flowing and the wellbore fell in on itself. Also, Scorpion felt Mohican was obligated to provide them with a mudlogger to help drill the well, or at the very least, they were owed money for delays and damages incurred. The jury had to assess if Chapco served as the Texas Railroad Commission-named operator and answer numerous other questions.

“Individuals and businesses cringe when contract disputes arise and monies owed change along with timeline goals being missed,” said Gregory D. Jordan, Austin business attorney and Austin oil and gas lawyer. “No contract is perfect, but a good business attorney should be able to answer the tough questions when a client feels the contract they’ve entered into isn’t being upheld.”

With oil and gas exploration increasing, there is an increasing need for business attorneys with specialized knowledge in oil and gas exploration. Gregory D. Jordan has over 30 years of experience in the oil and gas industry as a petroleum landman, engineer and attorney. He represents individuals and businesses in trials, arbitrations, and mediations and has experience with the Railroad Commission and Texas Workforce Commission. Jordan has over 20 years experience as an Austin oil and gas attorney, Austin business lawyer and Austin business litigation attorney.

Gregory D. Jordan is an Austin business attorney, Austin employment lawyer, and Austin business litigation lawyer. To learn more, visit Theaustintriallawyer.com.

The Battle over Land and Free Speech Heats Up in Texas Defamation Lawsuit

No ruling has yet been made in the appeal of the interesting case of Dallas land developer H. Walker Royall v. Carla Main, wherein Royall claims defamation for how he is depicted in her book, Bulldozed: ‘Kelo’, Eminent Domain and the American Lust for Land. The Appeals Court for the Fifth District of Texas first heard the case last fall, but there has been no decision yet in regards to defamation or banning the book.

Royall filed the lawsuit claiming that Main and her publisher, Encounter for Culture and Education, defamed him and “hurt his feelings”. His attorneys insist that Royall is a “private citizen who never sought publicity and who values his privacy.”

The lead attorney for Main contends that the developer may disagree with the book, but criticism is a form of speech protected by the First Amendment. In the courtroom, neither the developer nor his attorneys apparently showed that the facts in the book are untrue. Main and her publisher wrote in the appellant’s reply brief that, “Encounter did publish a book about a controversial redevelopment project in which Royall had a leading role. Yet, the courts do not exist to protect hurt feelings and they certainly do not exist to allow participants in controversial public projects to squelch critical political speech.”

Bulldozed is about the seizing of private property from people and communities that did not have the ability to fight back. Main focuses on current events regarding eminent domain, including when Royall signed a development agreement in Freeport, Texas where the city took land owned by a longstanding shrimping business, Western Seafood, so that Royall could build a luxury yacht marina.

Main’s lawyers argued that eminent domain and major development projects involve public issues and thus are not subject to defamation claims and that there is no legal basis to ban distribution or further printing of the book. Her lawyers stated that any conclusions Main has raised from the facts, predictions about Royall’s development, and political views are protected under the First Amendment and cannot constitute libel.

In a defamation case, an individual plaintiff must usually show among other things that the defendant published a false statement that damaged his or her reputation and that the defendant acted with negligence or an otherwise sufficient state of mind. Austin defamation lawyer Gregory D. Jordan is watching the case closely as more defamation lawsuits are appearing where First Amendment rights are being asserted. Jordan is an accomplished Austin trial lawyer with more than 20 years of experience representing plaintiffs and defendants in defamation cases.

Gregory D. Jordan is an Austin business attorney, Austin employment lawyer, and Austin business litigation lawyer. To learn more, visit Theaustintriallawyer.com.

Texas Age Discrimination Case Back in Court

Austin employment attorney and business lawyer, Gregory D. Jordan, comments on a recent case involving Dell, Inc.

Austin, Texas – The age discrimination case of William Wise v. Dell, Inc. just became more complicated when Dell filed a motion for new trial in 2011 after it disagreed with the jury’s decision in December. Wise was terminated by Dell as a technical sales representative in its federal accounts division in June 2008, when he was 61 years old. He had an 11-year career there and felt he was a fired due to “a manipulation of the sales data as a pretext for firing him on account of his age”.

The jury found that age was a motivating factor in Dell’s decision to terminate Wise and awarded him $668,019. The jury sided with Wise and agreed that he was replaced with a younger worker and suffered mental anguish.

However, Dell contends that the evidence Wise and his attorneys had was threadbare and expert witness testimony unreliable and insufficient to prove age discrimination. Dell’s attorneys stated, “There is no evidence to suggest that Dell’s reason was false or that any similarly situated younger employee was treated more favorably than Wise.” Dell argued Wise did not act on the recommendations of his employer’s performance improvement plan and was the only TSR to fail to achieve his sales quota for more than three consecutive quarters. Dell asserts that the court should decide a take-nothing verdict in Dell’s favor or begin a new trial.

“Age discrimination cases frequently rely on circumstantial evidence and can be extremely complicated,” said Gregory D. Jordan, Austin employment attorney. “You must have the right representation to aggressively fight for your interests whether you are an employee or employer. In these types of cases, it is crucial to have an attorney who knows how to connect all of the dots.”

Many laws prohibit employment discrimination and harassment. For example, an employee cannot be discriminated against on the basis of his or her age, race, gender, pregnancy, disability, or religion. “If an employee believes his employer has engaged in illegal conduct or a business just wants to ensure compliance with the law, both would be well served to consult a knowledgeable employment lawyer,” Jordan said.

To learn more visit, http://www.theaustintriallawyer.com.

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