SDM Defeats Application for Temporary Injunction
October 11, 2019

On October 9, 2019, a week after an ex parte temporary restraining order was entered against SDM’s client, Viceroy Petroleum, L.P., SDM lawyers Santosh Aravind and Mary Byars successfully convinced a judge to reject an application by a landowner, Cloverleaf Ranch, LLC, for a temporary injunction that would have prevented Viceroy from conducting drilling operations.
Cloverleaf’s ex parte TRO effectively blocked Viceroy from crossing Cloverleaf’s property to access a drill site on a neighboring surface tract, even though Viceroy owns an undivided mineral interest underneath both properties. After an evidentiary hearing in the 240th Judicial District of Fort Bend County, the court denied Cloverleaf’s application for temporary injunction, finding Cloverleaf had failed to establish irreparable harm, and dissolved the temporary restraining order. SDM’s work in defeating the temporary injunction allows Viceroy to cross Cloverleaf’s property to conduct their drilling operations and to maintain Viceroy’s valuable mineral rights in the area.

Thirteen SDM Lawyers named in 2019 Texas Super Lawyers
September 6, 2019

Congrats to all of the Scott Douglass Texas Super Lawyers.

The Top Women Attorneys in Texas 2020 - Super Lawyers
Paige Amstutz, Business Lit
Carroll Martin, Energy & Resources
Elizabeth Miller, Energy & Resources
Cindy Saiter, Business Lit
Jane Webre, Appellate
Kennon Wooten, General Lit

2019 Texas Super Lawyers
Paige Amstutz, Business Lit
Doug Dashiell, Energy & Resources
Casey Dobson, Business Lit
Sam Johnson, Civil Lit: Defense
Carroll Martin, Energy & Resources
Stephen McConnico, Business Lit
Davin McGinnis, Energy & Resources
Elizabeth Miller, Energy & Resources
Cynthia Saiter, Business Lit
Chris Sileo, Business Lit
Jane Webre, Appellate
Flip Whitworth, Energy & Resources
Kennon Wooten, General Lit

Congrats to SDM's Lawyers Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America 2020
August 15, 2019

Congratulations to Scott Douglass & McConnico's lawyers recognized in The Best Lawyers in America, 2020 Edition, in Austin, TX.

In addition to our 14 lawyers named to Best Lawyers, Casey Dobson has received the “Lawyer of the Year” award in Austin.

Paige Amstutz, Commercial Litigation
James N. Cowden, Oil and Gas Law
Douglas J. Dashiell, Oil and Gas Law
Casey L. Dobson, Lawyer of the Year, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation 
Sam Johnson, Professional Malpractice Law - Defendants
Carroll G. Martin, Oil and Gas Law, 2019 "Lawyer of the Year" award in Austin
Stephen E. McConnico, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants, Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants, Professional Malpractice Law - Defendants
Elizabeth N. Miller, Natural Resources Law, 2019 "Lawyer of the Year" award in Austin, Oil and Gas Law
Cindy Saiter, Litigation - Trusts and Estates
John G. Soule, Oil and Gas Law
Catherine J. Webking, Energy Law
Jane M.N. Webre, Appellate Practice
H. Philip Whitworth, Jr., Natural Resources Law, Oil and Gas Law
Steve Wingard, Commercial Litigation

Steve McConnico named Trial Lawyer of the Year by TEX-ABOTA
June 17, 2019

Steve McConnico was named 2019 TRIAL LAWYER OF THE YEAR by TEX-ABOTA. In addition to his stellar legal career, Steve has been an active and ardent supporter of ABOTA and TEX-ABOTA for more than 30 years, which makes him especially deserving of this award. Steve served as the president of TEX-ABOTA in 1997, and president of the Austin chapter from 1993-95. 

According to TEX-ABOTA, perhaps Steve’s greatest contribution has been getting the organization involved at the Texas Legislature. During his term as president Steve spent some time testifying on ABOTA issues, but he helped lead TEX-ABOTA to a higher level in fighting HB 4 in 2003. Steve spent months at the legislature testifying against HB 4, and once it passed, he went around the state working with other ABOTA lawyers trying to educate the public about the true nature of the proposed constitutional amendment.

SDM Wins Fifth Circuit Appeal in Oil and Gas Case
June 14, 2019

On June 12, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed an adverse summary judgment and rendered judgment in favor of our client, EnerQuest Oil & Gas, L.L.C., in a lawsuit over an area of mutual interest agreement.

The plaintiffs claimed that EnerQuest acquired various interests that were subject to the area of mutual interest provision; EnerQuest argued that they were not.

After the district court ruled against EnerQuest on cross-motions for summary judgment, SDM appealed the case to the Fifth Circuit. The Fifth Circuit issued a published opinion agreeing with EnerQuest’s interpretation of the agreement, reversing the district court’s summary judgment order and rendering judgment and costs for EnerQuest.

SDM Lawyers Dan Bitting, Santosh Aravind, and Willie Cochran handled the appeal, with Dan Bitting arguing the appeal to the Fifth Circuit.

Copies of the SDM briefs can be found here and here. A recording of the oral argument can be found here

SDM Wins Pro Bono Criminal Appeal
May 28, 2019

On May 16, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit vacated the conviction of our client Coy Jones.  Following a trial in December 2017, Mr. Jones had been convicted on firearm and drug charges and was sentenced to 318 months in jail.  On appeal, which SDM lawyers handled pro bono, the Fifth Circuit held that Mr. Jones’s constitutional rights were violated when a law enforcement agent testified at trial to statements made by a confidential informant implicating Mr. Jones in the alleged crime.  That confidential informant did not testify at trial.  The court found that the error was not harmless, vacated the conviction on all counts, and remanded the case back to the district court for a new trial.

SDM Lawyers Santosh Aravind, David Shank and Willie Cochran handled the appeal, with David Shank arguing the appeal to the Fifth Circuit.   

Copies of the SDM briefs can be found here and here.  A recording of the oral argument can be found here.  A copy of the Fifth Circuit opinion can be found here.

SDM prevails in jury trial regarding breach of joint operating agreement
May 9, 2019

On April 25, 2019, a jury in Karnes County, Texas, returned a verdict in favor of a publicly-traded oil and gas company represented by Scott Douglass & McConnico lawyers. 

The lawsuit involved claims brought by SDM’s client against a working interest owner that had failed to pay millions of dollars in revenues and bills. The working interest owner countersued, alleging, among other claims, that SDM’s client had breached the applicable joint operating agreement.  

In May 2018, SDM attorneys Mark Hanna and Santosh Aravind obtained a partial summary judgment in favor of SDM’s client and an award of attorneys’ fees in an amount to be determined later. 

After an eight-day trial, the jury on April 25, 2019, provided a comprehensive victory for SDM’s client on all of the remaining claims at issue in the lawsuit. The jury determined that SDM’s client had not breached the applicable joint operating agreement, and also awarded SDM’s client $1.2 million in attorneys’ fees.

The trial team consisted of Steve McConnico, Mark Hanna, Santosh Aravind, Mary Byars, and Jane Webre.

Kim Bueno gets second win on behalf of clients Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon, Inc. in a jury trial involving a pelvic mesh device.
April 22, 2019

On April 17, 2019 a jury in Philadelphia returned a verdict in favor of Defendants. Kim Bueno served as co-lead counsel in the four-week trial. The trial team consisted of Kim, Sean Gallagher of Bartlit Beck, and La’Verne Edney of Butler Snow. Law360 named the trial team as the week’s “Legal Lions” for the win. 

Kim previously served as co-lead counsel in a May 2017 pelvic mesh trial in Philadelphia, which also resulted in a defense verdict for Ethicon, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson.