Mark W. Hanna

Mark’s practice focuses on commercial litigation, with an emphasis on oil and gas litigation and regulation.  Mark joined Scott Douglass & McConnico LLP in 2006 and was named partner in 2011.  Mark represents a variety of clients, including oil and gas producers, working interest owners, and service companies, from publicly traded companies to start ups.

Mark has appeared on behalf of clients in state and federal courts throughout Texas on a variety of commercial and oil and gas cases.  He has also developed a substantial regulatory practice, representing oil and gas operators before the Texas Railroad Commission and the Texas General Land Office.  Those regulatory matters range from negotiations and assisting with permit approvals to multi-day contested hearings.  In addition to his litigation and regulatory work, Mark counsels clients on a variety of energy-related topics, including title issues, contract issues, royalty payments, and oil and gas lease interpretation.

Mark is also an active member of the Austin community, serving on the board of directors of The Contemporary Austin.

Recognitions & Awards

Texas Rising Star, a Thomson Reuters business, Energy & Natural Resources, 2013 – 2015, 2017-2018

Articles Editor, Southern Methodist Law Review Association

Order of the Coif, Southern Methodist University

Representative Matters

Represented an operator in royalty litigation related to its Eagle Ford Shale production.

Represented an oilfield services company in business-divorce and fiduciary-duty litigation, obtaining a temporary restraining order and settlement.

Advised a publicly traded company on regulatory and legal issues related to the development of its Eagle Ford Shale assets, including advice on drilling permits, lease amendments, pooling authority, title issues and operating agreements.

Advised a working interest owner on multiple acquisitions of assets in the Permian and Midland Basins.

Represented an operator in seeking to force-pool an unleased tract into an Eagle Ford unit under the Mineral Interest Pooling Act.

Represented an oil and gas operator in title litigation filed in East Texas and secured a favorable settlement clearing the way for the client to develop its leases.

Defended a publicly traded oil and gas company in defending lease termination and failure to develop claims on a several-thousand acre lease in South Texas.

Represented an independent oil and gas company in defending title claims alleging forgery, fraud and under-payment of royalties.

Represented numerous oil and gas operators before the Texas Railroad Commission to secure oil and gas drilling permits, win contested hearings on disposal applications, and obtain special field rules.

Advised a start-up oil and gas client on drafting and negotiating lease amendments, surface agreements, and other oil and gas legal issues.

Successfully represented an engineering firm in recovering fees for work performed and defending counter-allegations.

Drafted successful summary judgment motion to defeat a multi-million dollar lost profits claim in a legal malpractice case.

Bar Admissions & Activities

Admitted to the State Bar of Texas and the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Western Districts of Texas.

Member of the Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Section of the State Bar of Texas, the Oil, Gas and Mineral Law Section of the Austin Bar Association, and the Austin Young Lawyers’ Association.

Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation

Community and Charitable Organizations

Member, SMU Dedman School of Law Emerging Leader Board

Board of Trustees, The Contemporary Austin


University of Texas at Austin, B.S., Electrical Engineering, 2002

Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 2006

Articles & Presentations

“Drafting Traps in the Modern Oil & Gas World,” written and presented at the State Bar of Texas 32nd Annual Advanced Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Course, Fall 2014.

“Railroad Commission Rule 32: Flaring and Venting Gas,” written and presented at the Scott Douglass & McConnico Regulatory Seminar, Spring 2015.

“Eagle Ford Land, Legal and Regulatory Issues,” presented as an in-house seminar for a client oil company, Winter 2013.

“Legal Characteristics of Land Ownership,” presented to the Railroad Commission of Texas Eagle Ford Task Force, Fall 2012.

“Horizontal Drilling: Land & Regulatory Problems in Texas,” presented to the Houston Association of Professional Landmen, Fall 2011

“Voluntary Pooling: Express & Implied Limits on Pooled Units,” presented at the Scott, Douglass & McConnico Regulatory Seminar, Spring 2011

“Pooling: The Basics, Plus Something We Only Thought We Knew,” presented to the Austin Area Professional Landman Association, Spring 2010

“Royalties & Royalty Disputes,” presented to the University of Houston’s Advanced Oil & Gas Short Course, Summer 2009

“Multidistrict Litigation from the Defense Perspective,” published in the State Bar Litigation Section Report, Fall 2008