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Codification of Oil and Gas Lien Claimants’ Preference Defense?

Crude oil and natural gas prices began to decline in the third quarter of 2014.  From the beginning of the third quarter of 2014 to the beginning of the third quarter 2016, the price of crude oil declined approximately 60%.  Natural gas prices likewise suffered a significant decline during that time period.  Consequent to the decline in commodity prices,...

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Firm attorney Camisha L. Simmons published an article in Law360 titled “Update Deep-Sea Law To Spur US Mining Projects”

The deep seabed is the final vast Earthly frontier of exploration, mining, production and development of rare earth minerals, hydrocarbons, including oil and gas, and other natural resources. Trillions of dollars’ worth of unmined rare earth minerals and other natural resources are on and underneath the deep seabed in the high seas. Mining the seabed for these critical natural...

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Update Deep-Sea Law to Spur US Mining Projects

The Biden Administration and legislators recently have voiced their concerns that failure to address China’s grip on the global supply chain for minerals, including rare earth elements, which are critical to U.S. national security and our way of life could be fatal to the U.S. Numerous thought leaders have proposed solutions to the U.S.’s rare earths supply chain problem....

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Delaware Court Cracks Down on Insufficiently Plead Preference-Action Complaints

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware recently issued a series of decisions in which the court dismissed preference-action complaints for insufficiency of the factual allegations contained in the complaints. These decisions represent an acknowledgment by the bankruptcy judiciary that the U.S. Supreme Court “meant what it said” in the Twombly and Iqbal cases about a heightened...

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Offshore Oil and Gas Leases:  The Unanswered Question

Despite some recent government action, the oil-and-gas market has yet to rebound to where it was three years ago.  It is not certain when the next wave of oil-and-gas bankruptcies will hit, but when it does, we might see more companies engaging in offshore exploration and production seeking bankruptcy protection.  Exploration and production (E&P) companies and other parties involved...

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Is That Exploration and Production Lease Really a Lease?

Notwithstanding the technological advances in recent years that have significantly increased oil and gas production in the U.S., there is a growing global focus on use of cleaner renewable energy sources, such as geothermal energy. In bankruptcy cases, legal issues often arise with respect to exploration and production projects, including the question of whether an oil and gas or...

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Can Subchapter V Trustees Invoke the Common Interest Doctrine?

The Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 created subchapter V[1] of chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code which became effective on February 19, 2020. Courts and practitioners are now actively interpreting and applying the new subchapter’s provisions. One issue of application that is sure to arise during the discovery phase of litigation is whether the debtor or subchapter V...

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Oil and Gas Decommissioning:  At Whose Expense?

In recent bankruptcy cases in the U.S. and Canada, debtors have sought to abandon oil and gas assets and attached plugging, abandonment and decommissioning (collectively, “decommissioning”) obligations.  In those cases where abandonment is granted, state and local governments, co-lessees and predecessors-in-interest, among other parties, are often left holding the bag with respect to the substantial cost of decommissioning. This article...

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Attorney Camisha L. Simmons quoted in Bisnow article “Sale-Leasebacks Are Back, Baby” by Kerri Panchuk

Business owners may consider sale-leasebacks to remove debt obligations from their balance sheets in rough economies, in this case particularly if they have been hit hard by the pandemic, said Dallas real estate attorney Camisha Simmons, managing member of Simmons Legal PLLC.  In the past year, several major retailers in DFW, including Tuesday Morning and Havertys, offloaded commercial real estate in sale-leaseback deals. In both cases, the firms entered into...

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Ensuring Enforceability of Liquidated-Damages Provisions

Liquidated damages provisions of agreements set forth in advance the amount of damages the breaching party must pay in the event of breach. These provisions are intended to avoid often costly and lengthy litigation precipitated by a contractual breach. The enforceability of these provisions, which is a question of state law, however, is frequently challenged in bankruptcy cases and...

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