LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Mineral Lessees Have Surface Rights Across Non-Producing Pooled Tracts

By Christina A. Denmark, Of Counsel, and Russell L. Schetroma, Member On June 20, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court held that a mineral lessee has the right to use a road to cross the surface of non-producing pooled tracts. This decision is critical for oil and gas producers , as it clarifies the ability...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: New York Court of Appeals Upholds Local Zoning Restrictions on Oil and Gas

On June 30, 2014, the New York Court of Appeals ruled that under the “Home Rule” principle, towns may ban oil and gas production activities, including but not limited to hydraulic fracturing, through the use of local zoning laws in the case of Wallach v. Town of Dryden . The Court ruled that...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Foreign Investors in U.S. Projects Have Right to Due Process in CFIUS Proceedings

Although United States Courts are generally reluctant to interfere in Executive Branch decisions related to national security, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, in Ralls Corp. v. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States , 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13389, recognized an important...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: CMS Final IPPS Rule Effective Oct. 1, 2014

By Jami K. Suver, Of Counsel In August 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) rule for fiscal year 2015, applicable to inpatient stays at general acute care and long-term care hospitals (LTCH). The rule applies to discharges...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Ohio Appellate Court Adopts Fixed ‘Look Back’ Period For 1989 Dormant Mineral Act

In the recent 7th District Court of Appeals case of Eisenbarth v. Reusser , 7th Dist. Monroe No. 13 MO 10, 2014-Ohio-3792 [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers ], the court determined that the “look back” period for the 1989 Dormant Mineral Act (“DMA”) was fixed...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: U.S. EPA Moves Forward with Potential TSCA Rulemaking Regarding Hydraulic Fracturing

By Armando F. Benincasa, Member The public comment period for USEPA’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding hydraulic fracturing chemicals and mixtures and potential regulation pursuant to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) came to a conclusion on September 18, 2014 and sets the...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Subcontractors Beware - Ohio Supreme Court Upholds ‘Pay-If-Paid’ Provisions

By Eric J. Hulett and Matthew A. Brandt The Ohio Supreme Court recently changed the landscape in construction law when it held that a payment provision in a subcontract which included the term “condition precedent” was sufficient to transfer the risk of the owner’s non-payment from...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Ohio Appeals Court Overturns Ruling That Held Certain Oil And Gas Leases Were Void

In Hupp v. Beck , Ohio’s 7th District Court of Appeals overturned the trial court’s decision that certain oil and gas leases were void ab initio (i.e. at their inception) because the trial court considered them to be a “no term or perpetual lease” due to the delay rental provisions...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Know How: Timely Tips for Avoiding Sanctions for Failure to Preserve Evidence

By Bridget M. Cohee, Member With the nationwide move to using electronic medical records in lieu of paper charts, the duty to preserve evidence has become a more complicated process for medical providers. The duty to preserve evidence arises when a party has notice that the evidence is relevant to...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Producer Requirements Change for Expired Oil and Gas Leases

By Gary Slagel and Holly Christie The “Recording of Surrender Documents from Oil and Natural Gas Lease Act,” will take effect as Act 152, December 21, 2014. Spurred by increasing concerns around title cloud issues caused by unreleased leases, the Act requires oil and gas producers to deliver...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: W. Va. Residential Homeowner Can Recover Costs of Repairs Even If Greater Than Fair Market Value of House

By Eric J. Hulett, Member Until recently, owners of damaged homes in West Virginia had some limits on the amount of damages they could recover in a lawsuit. Now, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has significantly revised prior case law and expanded available damages in Brooks et al v. City...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: The Impacts of the 2014 Elections on Colorado’s Energy Industry

By Lori A. Dawkins, Member, and Devin C. Daines, Associate The results and impacts of Colorado’s recent elections were widely regarded as positive by those in the energy industry. By narrowly winning a second term, Governor John Hickenlooper will be able to keep intact his oil and gas task force...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Trial Lawyers Targeting Oil and Gas Industry Layoffs

There have already been social media campaigns targeting laid off oil and gas workers. Trial lawyers are looking for claims to bring against companies that make mistakes in laying off workers. On its face, the WARN Act appears to be simple and straightforward. However, there are several traps in that...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Ongoing Political And Legal Developments Impact Marcellus Operations In Pennsylvania

While some jurisdictions (Maryland, New Jersey; municipalities in California and Colorado) are still considering whether to permit or ban hydraulic fracturing, operators in Pennsylvania need not be too concerned about a statewide moratorium anytime soon. However, operators should be aware of ongoing...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: West Virginia DOL May Require PEs Working Shale Gas Development To Obtain Contractor License

By Paul A. Konstanty What does this mean to you? If you are currently a Professional Engineer (PE) working in the Marcellus shale, you may now also need to be licensed as a Contractor in the State of West Virginia. Failure to comply means you could be faced with a Cease and Desist Order from the Department...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: West Virginia Legislature Changes Medical Professional Liability Act

By Paul K. "Kip" Reese and Jace H. Goins During its recent 2015 session, the West Virginia Legislature passed significant tort reform measures affecting Long Term Care (LTC) providers. These measures largely involve changes to the West Virginia Medical Professional Liability Act (MPLA),...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Pennsylvania DEP Repurposes Rules for Oil and Gas Wells – Industry Concerns Increase

By Gary E. Slagel | As was previously noted on this blog site, the PA Department of Environmental Protection embarked on an effort several years ago to revise its Chapter 78 rules pertaining to the permitting and environmental issues associated with oil and gas operations. These proposed rules were...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Kentucky Oil and Gas Modernization Act of 2015 Will Become Effective June 24

By Sarah M. Lange and J. Kevin West e | The Kentucky Oil and Gas Modernization Act of 2015 was enacted by the Kentucky General Assembly during the 2015 Legislative Session and will take effect on June 24, 2015. The legislation provides regulatory certainty to the Commonwealth’s oil and gas industry...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: EPA Proposes Zero Discharge Rule For Hydraulic Fracturing Wastewater

On April 7, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued proposed regulations which would create pretreatment standards of performance for existing and new sources of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing operations. EPA is proposing to establish a “zero discharge”...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Fayette County, W. Va., Commission Amends Code to Require Local Approval for UIC Wells

Operators of future underground injection wells in Fayette County, West Virginia will be required to obtain a permit from the county approving the placement of the well. The County Commission amended the development code to require permits for underground injection control (UIC) wells. A public hearing...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Under Stark, ‘Value’ Doesn’t Mean ‘Expensive’

The federal Stark law prohibits physician referrals of “designated health services” payable by Medicare to entities with which the physician or an immediate family member has a financial relationship, unless the arrangement meets an exception. Enforcement initiatives aim at extending the...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: EPA Releases Clean Power Plan

By Stephen L. Miller On August 3, 2015, President Obama and EPA Administrator McCarthy released the agency’s Clean Power Plan , regulations designed to significantly reduce CO 2 emissions from power plants, as well as promoting low-emitting power sources and energy efficiency. These sweeping...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Pa. DEP’s Latest Revisions to Chapter 78a for Unconventional Wells – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s long, drawn out effort to promulgate new rules for oil and gas activities took another turn on August 12, 2015. On a DEP webinar on that day, the DEP announced several significant changes to its latest edition of proposed rules for regulating...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Pa. Federal Judge Invalidates Ordinance Governing Oil and Gas Waste Disposal

A federal judge invalidated portions of a “Community Bill of Rights Ordinance” that banned the disposal of waste from oil and gas operations and eliminated the legal rights of corporations in Grant Township, Pennsylvania [ lexis.com subscribers can read the enhanced opinion | Lexis Advance...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Make Sure Your Peer Review Program Is Ready Before You Need It

A 2015 decision by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals highlights the importance of following procedural formalities by making it clear that a failure to apply and maintain clear distinctions in what health care providers intend to classify as “peer review,” both before and during...