Energy & Natural Resources Alert: New Ohio Title Curative Law Enacted

The Ohio General Assembly and Governor John Kasich recently enacted Senate Bill No. 257, which is intended, among other things, to revise and modernize Ohio laws governing title to real property, specifically O.R.C. § 5301.07.  The new law, effective on April 6, 2017, creates a rebuttable presumption that a recorded real property instrument is valid, enforceable and effective, and reduces from twenty-one years to four years, the time period for curing certain defects in instruments such as deeds, mortgages and oil and gas leases.  Changes to Ohio Title Law The new law makes several changes to O.R.C. § 5301.07, but … Read More

Construction Services Group Alert: Superior Court of Pennsylvania Appears to Conclude that Notice of Intent to File a Mechanics’ Lien Claim Must Now Be Served by the Sheriff’s Office

It has been more than a dozen years since the Superior Court of Pennsylvania’s decision in Regency Investments, Inc. v. Inlander Ltd., 855 A.2d 75 (Pa. Super. 2004).  In that case, the court concluded “that service of a notice of filing of claim under Pennsylvania’s Mechanic’s Lien Law must be made ‘in person by the sheriff to the extent practicable.’”  Babich v. Buffalo Wild Wings, Slip. Op. No. 122 WDA 2016 (Pa. Super. Jan. 18, 2017) at p. 5, quoting, Regency Investments, 855 A.2d at 78. Focusing on that language, the Superior Court in Babich, through an opinion crafted by … Read More

Construction Services Group Alert: Builders Beware—Pennsylvania Superior Court Reaffirms That An Original Builder May Be Liable To Subsequent Remote Residential Purchasers For Construction Defects

No privity of contract, no problem.  That is precisely what the Superior Court of Pennsylvania recently reaffirmed in Adams v. Hellings Builders, Inc., No. 1407 EDA 2015, 2016 WL 4522278 (Pa. Super Ct. Aug. 29, 2016), holding that the second owners of a home had viable claims for fraud and violation of the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, 73 P.S. §§ 201-1 et seq. (“UTPCPL”) against the original home builder. In Hellings, Christopher and Margaret Adams purchased a residence from the Witsky family in 2011.  The home in question was originally constructed by Hellings and the Witskys … Read More

Energy & Natural Resources Alert: The Ohio Supreme Court Rules on Applicability of 1989 and 2006 Dormant Mineral Acts:

Today, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled on 14 Ohio Dormant Mineral Act (“ODMA”) cases, finally resolving some of the most significant legal questions regarding oil and gas development in the state.  The Court issued three opinions, with the remaining cases decided by reference to those decisions.  The most significant ODMA interpretation from the Ohio Supreme Court was issued in Corban v. Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C. Slip Opinion No. 2016-Ohio-5796, the first opinion published, in which the Court ruled that: (1) the 1989 ODMA did not provide for the automatic vesting of severed mineral interests, but instead required that a surface owner … Read More

Energy & Natural Resources Alert: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Confirms that the Doctrine of Estoppel by Deed Applies to Oil and Gas Leases

In Shedden v. Anadarko E. & P. Co., L.P., No. 103 MAP 2014, 2016 WL 1228867 (Pa. Mar. 29, 2016), the lessors brought an action against Anadarko, seeking a declaration that an oil and gas lease purporting to cover their 62-acre property only covered 31 acres.  The lessors’ claim was based on the fact that at the time the parties agreed to the lease, the lessor only owned a one-half interest in the oil and gas underlying the 62-acre property and accepted a bonus payment under the lease for 31 net acres.  However, prior to bringing this action, the lessors … Read More

Energy & Natural Resources Alert: Ohio Fourth District Court of Appeals Further Defines the Terms “Paying Quantities” and “Operations” in Oil and Gas Leases

In Pottmeyer v. E. Ohio Gas Co., 4th Dist. Washington, 2016-Ohio-1294 (March 18, 2016), the landowners brought actions against the successors to the deep-rights-lessee, requesting that the court declare the oil and gas leases void because the secondary terms of the habendum clauses of the leases had expired. The successors to the deep-rights-lessee counterclaimed. The Fourth Appellate District of Ohio held: the landowners’ personal use of gas produced from the wells does not count towards the calculation of gas produced in paying quantities as required to maintain the leases; the sporadic and de minimus production of oil and gas from … Read More