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J.D., South Texas College of Law, 1974

B.B.A., The University of Texas at Austin, 1971

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Texas

Federal District Court Northern, Southern, Western and Eastern Districts of Texas

United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit

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Gene Nettles is a partner in the litigation practice group of Porter Hedges. His practice focuses on all types of energy disputes ranging from gas purchase contract interpretation, preferential rights issues, removal of operators, interpretation over joint operating agreements and exploration agreements, gas plant accounting issues, royalty disputes, take or pay disputes and the like.

With more than 40 years of litigation experience, Gene is an accomplished trial lawyer, having tried more than 125 jury trials as lead counsel in civil and criminal matters representing the State of Texas, corporations (publicly and closely held) and individuals in complex litigation in the state and federal district courts in Texas and elsewhere in the United States, as well as representation in arbitration, mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.  Throughout his career Mr. Nettles has also handled a number of appeals to the Texas Courts of Appeals and the Texas Supreme Court.

Apart from his energy-related practice, Mr. Nettles has handled many types of complex litigation including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, Deceptive Trade Practices Act, fraud, securities fraud, CFTC violations, antitrust, price fixing, insurance bad faith, defamation, personal injury, product liability, medical and legal malpractice, class action, trade secret, trademark and copyright infringement, patent infringement, covenants not to compete and employment related matters.

Mr. Nettles is recognized by Chambers USA as among the leading lawyers in Litigation: Energy & Natural Resources, and he has been recognized as an Associate in the American Board of Trial Advocates and he has been included in The Best Lawyers in America in Oil & Gas Law since 2007. He has been selected for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers in Energy/Oil & Gas Law since 2003 and Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel Edition for the State of Texas in Energy and Natural Resources Law since 2009.

Mr. Nettles began his career as an Assistant District Attorney with the Harris County District Attorney's Office where he worked from 1975-1980 and was an adjunct professor of Trial Advocacy at the University of Houston Law School from 1989 to 1993.

Representative Experience

  • Eagle Ford Shale/Royalty Dispute: Representation of a large independent oil and gas company in a royalty dispute in the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas over post-production deduction issues.
  • Permian Basin/Royalty Dispute: Representation of an oil and gas company in a royalty dispute in the Permian Basin over the issue of post-production deductions.
  • Tortious Interference: Representation of Canadian Public Energy Company defending tortious interference claims arising from acquisition of mineral interests in Columbia and a review by the Texas Supreme Court in a special appearance proceeding.
  • Mineral Lien Dispute: Representation of major energy company in a lawsuit involving Chapter 56 mineral liens and claim that the company was directly liable to subcontractor for the debt of a bankrupt fracking contractor.
  • Purchase & Sale Agreement Dispute: Representation of large independent Oil and Gas Company over a dispute involving mineral servitude rights for oil and gas interests in the Haynesville Shale in Louisiana. We successfully challenged subject matter jurisdiction in Harris County, Texas.
  • Force Major Dispute: Representation of a gas marketing company and large utility in a breach of contract suit involving the interpretation of the force majeure clause in a NAESB gas contract.
  • Removal of Operator: Representation of large independent oil and gas company in a suit by the non-operator seeking to remove company as operator under a standard form Joint Operating Agreement.
  • Environmental Dispute: Representation of publicly traded oil and gas company defending a suit by a landowner alleging contamination of the surface estate and the ground water.
  • Failure to Develop: Representation of a large independent oil and gas company defending a suit for failure to develop the leasehold and drainage claims.
  • Surface Damage: Representation independent production company defending numerous surface damage cases in South Texas.
  • Gas Storage: Representation of gas storage facility prosecuting a suit against a producer for trespass and conversion of storage gas.
  • Gas Plant Dispute: Representation of operator of natural gas processing plant defending a breach of contract suit with natural gas producers.
  • CFTC Dispute: Representation of publicly traded oil company defending $60 million gas trading case containing alleged RICO violations, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty claims and CFTC violations.
  • Fraud Conversion: Representation of publicly traded oil and gas corporation prosecuting several $20-$40 million conversion and fraud cases against two of the major oil companies.
  • Construction Litigation: Representation of a major energy company in complex construction litigation matter involving over 20 claimants for retainage and defense of multiple claims in both state and federal courts and bankruptcy court.

Selected Matters

Energy

  • Searcy v. Parex Res., Inc., 496 S.W. 3d 58 (Tex. 2016), reh'g denied (Sept 23, 2016) Tortious interference case where the Supreme Court upheld Special Appearance decision in favor of Canadian Oil & Gas Company.
  • Orca Assets, G.P., LLC v. Burlington Res. Oil & Gas Co., L.P., 450 S.W.3d 203 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2014, pet. denied) The Court affirmed summary judgment of the trial court as to whether the second assignee of mineral rights was a bona fide purchases for value.
  • Devon Energy Prod. Co., L.P. v. KCS Res., LLC, 450 S.W.3d 203 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2014, pet. denied) Dispute over the terms of a purchase and sale agreement for mineral interests in Louisiana, where the Court of appeals up held the summary judgment dismissing the case for want of subject matter jurisdiction.
  • Peironnet v. Matador Res. Co., 47,190 La. App. 2 Cir. 8/1/12, 103 So. 3d 445, writ granted, 2012-2292 La. 1/11/13, 106 So. 3d 541, and writ granted, 2012-2377 La. 1/11/13, 106 So. 3d 542 and rev'd, 2012-2292 La. 6/28/13, 144 So. 3d 791. The Court decided the validity of a lease extension agreement between the parties.
  • XTO Energy Inc. v. Smith Prod., 282 S.W.3d 672, (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2009, writ dism'd). Allowing non-operator working-interest owner to change its election to participate in drilling operations would have conflicted with the intent of the contract.
  • Virginia Power Energy Mktg., Inc. v. Apache Corp., 297 S.W.3d 397 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.], 2009, pet. denied). Force majeure provision in base contract between supplier and marketer excused deliveries on pipeline damaged by hurricanes.
  • Vial v. Gas Sols., Ltd., 187 S.W.3d 220, (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2006, no pet.) Fraudulent concealment did not toll the statute of limitations in an action for breach of oil lease.
  • Hay v. Shell Oil Co., 986 S.W.2d 772 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi 1999, pet. denied) Discovery rule did not toll statute of limitations in action for breach of oil lease.
  • Dorchester Master Ltd. P'ship v. Dorchester Hugoton, Ltd., 914 S.W.2d 696 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi 1996, writ granted w.r.m.) Amendment to gas purchase contract triggered gas processing agreement provision allowing processor to terminate agreement if terms of contract changed.

Product Liability

  • Bradshaw v. Freightliner Corp., 937 F.2d 197, 199 (5th Cir.1991) Injured truck driver brought products liability action against manufacturer of allegedly defective seat.

Employment

  • Dech v. Daniel, Mann, Johnson & Mendenhall, 7 48 S.W.2d 501, (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 1988, no writ) Terminated architect brought action against firm for breach of employment contract.

Real Property

  • Tanglewood Homes Ass’n. v. Henke, 728 S.W.2d 39, (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 1987, writ ref’d n.r.e.) Homeowners association and neighbors brought action against homeowners to permanently enjoin violations of deed restrictions.
  • Seureau v. Tanglewood Homes Ass’n, 694 S.W.2d 119, (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1985, writ red’d n.r.e.). Homeowners' association and its members sought injunction ordering property owner to remove structure allegedly in violation of subdivision deed setback restrictions.

Professional / Civic Affiliations

  • Martindale Hubbell AV Rated Attorney
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, Member (2010)
  • March of Dimes Texas Chapter, Houston Division, Board of Directors (Chairman 2007-2009)
  • Houston Bar Association, Member of Administration of Justice Committee (1992-1997)
  • Houston Bar Association, Administration of Justice Committee, Co-Chairman (1996)
  • Houston Bar Association Bench Bar Conferences, Co-Chairman (1995 and 1997)
  • Member, State Legislation in Public Interest Committee, Member (1982-1986)
  • College of the State Bar of Texas, Fellow
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Houston Bar Foundation, Fellow

News

Publications

  • Energy Litigation Alert: "SCOTX Reviews a Texas-Sized Drilling Dispute - Three Takeaways from Barrow-Shaver Res. Co v. Carrizo Oil & Gas, Inc." (01/08/19)
  • “Surface Access & Use Issues,"  25th Annual Energy Law Institute, South Texas College of Law (08/29/12)
  • "Surface Damages in Texas: An Oil & Gas Litigator's Guide to Defending Surface Damage Claims," 22nd Annual Energy Law Institute, South Texas College of Law - Continuing Legal Education (09/02/09)
  • "Surface Damages in Texas: An Oil & Gas Litigator's Guide to Defending Surface Damage Claims," Advanced Oil & Gas Short Course, University of Houston Law Foundation (Houston, TX - 02/09; Dallas, TX - 02/09; Austin, TX - 04/09) (2009)
  • "Current Ethical Issues for the Oil and Gas Lawyer," University of Houston Law Foundation - Advanced Oil and Gas Short Course (2005-08)
  • "Ethical Considerations and Malpractice Prevention in an Oil and Gas Practice," University of Texas 3rd Annual Gas & Power Institute (11/11/04)
  • "Ethics and Professional Responsibility for Attorneys," Houston Bas Association, Corporate Counsel Section (03/08/01)
  • "Despite All the Jokes, 'Legal Ethics' Is Not An Oxymoron," Houston Business Journal (05/14/99)
  • "Evidence Law Update," University of Houston Law Foundation (01/01/96)
  • "Examination of Lay Witnesses," University of Houston Law Foundation (01/22/93)
  • "How to Offer and Exclude Evidence," University of Houston Law Foundation (01/01/92)

Articles

Events