Gene Nettles extensive litigation 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 more.
As lead counsel in civil and criminal matters, Gene has tried more than 125 jury trials 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 representing clients in arbitration, mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. Throughout his career Mr. Nettles has also handled appeals to the Texas Courts of Appeals and the Texas Supreme Court.
Apart from his energy-related practice, Mr. Nettles handles complex litigation that includes 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.
Gene began his career as an Assistant District Attorney with the Harris County District Attorney's Office, where he worked from 1975-1980.
Honors & Recognitions
Leading lawyer, Litigation: Energy & Natural Resources, Chambers USA
Associate, American Board of Trial Advocates
Listed, Best Lawyers in America, Oil & Gas Law, 2007-2018
Listed, Texas Super Lawyers, Energy/Oil & Gas Law, 2003-2018
Listed, Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel Edition, Texas Energy and Natural Resources Law
J.D., South Texas College of Law, 1974
B.B.A., University of Texas at Austin, 1971
Federal District Court Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- Eagle Ford Shale/Royalty Dispute: Represented 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: Represented an oil and gas company in a royalty dispute in the Permian Basin over the issue of post-production deductions.
- Tortious Interference: Defended a Canadian public energy company against tortious interference claims arising from the acquisition of mineral interests in Columbia and a review by the Texas Supreme Court in a special appearance proceeding.
- Mineral Lien Dispute: Represented a major energy company in a lawsuit involving Chapter 56 mineral liens and a claim that the company was directly liable to a subcontractor for the debt of a bankrupt fracking contractor.
- Purchase & Sale Agreement Dispute: Represented a large, independent oil and gas company in a dispute involving mineral servitude rights for oil and gas interests in the Louisiana Haynesville Shale. We successfully challenged subject matter jurisdiction in Harris County, Texas.
- Force Major Dispute: Represented a gas marketing company and large utility in a breach of contract suit involving the interpretation of the force majeure clause in an NAESB gas contract.
- Removal of Operator: Defended a large, independent oil and gas company in a suit by a non-operator seeking to remove the company as operator under a standard form Joint Operating Agreement.
- Environmental Dispute: Defended a publicly traded oil and gas company in a suit by a landowner alleging contamination of the surface estate and the ground water.
- Failure to Develop: Defended a large, independent oil and gas company in a suit for failure to develop the leasehold and drainage claims.
- Surface Damage: Defended an independent production company in numerous surface damage cases in South Texas.
- Gas Storage: For a gas storage facility, prosecuted a suit against a producer for trespass and conversion of storage gas.
- Gas Plant Dispute: Defended an operator of a natural gas processing plant in a breach of contract suit with natural gas producers.
- CFTC Dispute: Defended a publicly traded oil company in a $60 million gas trading case containing alleged RICO violations, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty claims and CFTC violations.
- Fraud Conversion: Represented a publicly traded oil and gas corporation prosecuting several $20-$40 million conversion and fraud cases against two major oil companies.
- Construction Litigation: Represented a major energy company in a complex construction litigation matter involving more than 20 claimants for retainage and defense of multiple claims in both state and federal courts and in bankruptcy court.Energy
- Searcy v. Parex Res., Inc., 496 S.W. 3d 58 (Tex. 2016), reh'g denied (Sept 23, 2016) In this tortious interference case, the Supreme Court upheld a Special Appearance decision in favor of a 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 purchaser 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) In this dispute over the terms of a purchase and sale agreement for mineral interests in Louisiana, the Court of appeals upheld 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). A non-operator working-interest owner, if allowed 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). A force majeure provision in a base contract between a supplier and a marketer excused deliveries on a 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) A discovery rule did not toll the statute of limitations in an 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.) An amendment to a gas purchase contract triggered a gas processing agreement provision allowing the processor to terminate the agreement if the terms of contract changed.
- Bradshaw v. Freightliner Corp., 937 F.2d 197, 199 (5th Cir.1991) An injured truck driver brought a products liability action against the manufacturer of an allegedly defective seat.
- Dech v. Daniel, Mann, Johnson & Mendenhall, 7 48 S.W.2d 501, (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 1988, no writ) A terminated architect brought an action against his former firm for breach of employment contract.
- Tanglewood Homes Ass'n. v. Henke, 728 S.W.2d 39, (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 1987, writ ref'd n.r.e.) A homeowners association and neighbors brought an 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.). A homeowners' association and its members sought an injunction ordering a property owner to remove a structure allegedly in violation of a subdivision’s deed setback restrictions.
- The Legal 500 Ranks Porter Hedges Among the Leading Firms in the Country for Oil & Gas and ConstructionFirm News, 06.06.2019
- Firm News, 09.07.2018
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- Firm News, 05.27.2016
- Firm News, 09.08.2015
- Firm News, 08.17.2015
- Firm News, 10.30.2014
- Media Mention, 06.17.2016
- Media Mention, 10.30.2014
College of the State Bar of Texas, Fellow
Texas Bar Foundation, Houston Bar Foundation, Fellow
American Board of Trial Advocates, Member, 2010
March of Dimes Texas Chapter, Houston Division, Board of Directors (Chairman 2007-2009)
Houston Bar Association
Administration of Justice Committee, Member, 1992-1997
Administration of Justice Committee, Co-Chair,1996
Houston Bar Association, Bench Bar Conferences, Co-Chair, 1995 & 1997
Adjunct professor of Trial Advocacy, University of Houston Law School, 1989-1993
State Legislation in Public Interest Committee, Member, 1982-1986