40th Annual Oil & Gas Law Short Course

  • Westminster, Colorado
  • October 16-20, 2023

Chair and Speakers 

Chair

TARA RIGHETTI is a Professor of Law at the University of Wyoming School of Law and the Occidental Chair in Energy and Environmental Policies at the University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources (SER) and the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources. She joined the University of Wyoming in the fall of 2014 after working in legal and management roles at an upstream oil and gas company. Professor Righetti teaches classes related to energy law and writes on property and regulatory issues associated with energy and decarbonization projects. She is admitted to practice in Texas and California and is a Certified Professional Landman. 

Faculty

OWEN L. ANDERSON is a lifetime Honorary Trustee, former Board member, and former Treasurer of The Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law, and an awardee of the Foundation’s Clyde O. Martz Law Teaching Award. He is a Distinguished Oil & Gas Scholar at the University of Texas School of Law, Co-Academic Director of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy Law & Business at the University of Texas, and is the Eugene Kuntz Chair in Oil, Gas, & Natural Resources Emeritus and George Lynn Cross Research Professor Emeritus at the University of Oklahoma College of Law. He has authored or co-authored over 100 articles, several books, and treatises on water law and domestic and global petroleum law, including International Petroleum Law and Transactions (FNREL 2020), A Students Guide to Estates in Land and Future Interests (Carolina Acad. 2020), Cases and Materials on Oil and Gas Law (West Acad. 7th ed. 2018 and six prior editions), Oil and Gas Law and Taxation (West Acad. Hornbook 2017), the updates to Kuntz on Oil and Gas Law (Matthew Bender, since 1995), and Texas Law of Oil and Gas (LexisNexis Matthew Bender, since 2019). He is Editor in Chief of the Texas Title Standards, a trustee of the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation, a member of the Academic Advisory Board of the Institute for Energy Law, and a member of the Legal Committee of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. He is a member and former Vice President of the Association of International Energy Negotiators (AIEN), form and style editor of AIEN model contracts, and founding member of the Editorial Board of the AIEN-Oxford University Journal of World Energy Law and Business. He is a faculty advisor to the Texas Journal of Oil and Gas Law and the Oil and Gas, Natural Resources and Energy Journal (ONE J). Professor Anderson has been an Honorary Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne Faculty of Law, an Honorary Lecturer and Principal Researcher for the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy at the University of Dundee, a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Sao Paulo, and an international legal advisor for petroleum issues in the Commercial Law Development Program of the U. S. Department of Commerce. He has lectured at numerous universities and venues on six continents and throughout the United States. He a life member of the Uniform Law Commission, a member of the American Law Institute, a member of the Texas, Oklahoma, and North Dakota bars, and a consultant and arbitrator on oil and gas law and policy.

JAMES W. COLEMAN is a Professor of Law at SMU Dedman School of Law in Dallas, Texas. Prior to joining SMU, he was on the faculty at the University of Calgary, where he taught at both the law school and the business school. Before Calgary, he served on the faculty at Harvard Law School as a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law. Coleman’s scholarship addresses regulation of North American energy companies, focusing on how countries account for and influence regulation of fuel and electricity in their trading partners and how global energy companies respond to competing pressures from investors and regulators in multiple jurisdictions.

JOHN S. DZIENKOWSKI is the John F. Sutton, Jr. Chair in Lawyering and the Legal Process and a Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Texas. John is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a high honors graduate of the University of Texas School of Law. While in law school, John served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Law Review and received the honors of a member in the UT Chancellors and the Order of the Coif. He served as a judicial law clerk for Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Joseph Sneed (1983-84) and for District of Massachusetts Judge Robert Keeton (1984-85). John began his teaching career at Tulane Law School in New Orleans and joined the Texas faculty in 1988. John teaches and writes in the areas of professional responsibility of lawyers, real property, international energy transactions, and oil and gas taxation. He also was the recipient of the Texas Exes Faculty Teaching Award at the Law School in 2005. John is a five-term member of the MPRE drafting committee. John has authored and edited numerous books and articles on a variety of legal ethics and natural resource topics. John is the long-time co-chair (with Bob Peroni) of the bi-annual Parker Fielder Oil and Gas Taxation Conference, co-sponsored by the University of Texas School of Law and the Internal Revenue Service.

MONIKA U. EHRMAN is a Professor of Law at SMU Dedman School of Law, in Dallas, TX, where she researches and teaches in the fields of energy, environment, and natural resources. Her prior academic experience includes being Professor of Law at the University of Oklahoma, where she led the energy and natural resources program and served as the Faculty Director of the Oil & Gas, Natural Resources, and Energy Center. Prior to teaching, she served as general counsel of an energy company; senior counsel with Pioneer Natural Resources; and associate attorney at Locke Lord LLP. Currently, she serves on the board of directors of Matador Resources Company. Before law school, Professor Ehrman worked as a petroleum engineer in the energy industry. Her scholarly interests are in the areas of property, natural resources, energy, and environmental law & policy. She is principal investigator of a multi-year team grant awarded in November 2021 from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to study the impact of the clean energy transition on Native American communities. She is also researching the mischaracterization of natural resources in property law, currently writing on atmospheric modification, mining, and wildfire policy. She has been published in law reviews and interdisciplinary journals, is a West casebook co-author, and is active with the Association of American Law Schools Section on Natural Resources & Energy Law, where she serves as Secretary; The Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law; the Institute for Energy Law; and the Association of International Energy Negotiators.

KEITH B. HALL is the Nesser Family Chair in Energy Law at Louisiana State University, where he serves as Director of the Mineral Law Institute and as Director of the John P. Laborde Energy Law Center. He teaches Mineral Rights, Civil Law Property, International Petroleum Transactions, and Energy Law & Regulation. His publications have focused on oil and gas leases, pooling and unitization, carbon capture and sequestration, hydraulic fracturing, induced seismicity, and the management of produced water. He is co-author of three books on oil and gas law. These include a national casebook on oil and gas law, a book on legal issues relating to hydraulic fracturing, and a book on International Petroleum Law and Transactions. In addition to teaching at LSU, Professor Hall has taught energy law classes as a visiting professor at Baku State University in Azerbaijan, as a visiting professor at the University of Pittsburgh, and as an adjunct professor at Loyola School of Law. Before joining the LSU faculty, he practiced law at a major firm in New Orleans for sixteen years, and before that he worked for eight years as a chemical engineer in the petrochemical industry. He serves on the Trustees Council of The Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law, the Trustees Council of the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation, the Education Advisory Board of the Association of International Energy Negotiators, and as Editor-in-Chief of the Institute for Energy Law’s Oil & Gas E-Report.

COLIN HARRIS has over 25 years’ experience helping clients in litigation, enforcement and regulatory matters arising under environmental, pipeline safety, and public lands statutes. As recognized by the top lawyer ranking service (Chambers and Partners USA), Colin’s “strong reputation in the oil and gas space” is why leaders in the upstream, midstream, and downstream industry consistently select him to meet environmental-related challenges and capitalize on 21st century opportunities. Colin’s air quality experience includes groundbreaking cases, such as EPA national enforcement initiatives, methane regulation, permit appeals, novel injunctive relief claims, Indian Country disputes, and he represents a major oil and gas company in precedent-setting climate change litigation. He advises oil and gas, utility and other clients in wide-ranging Clean Air Act matters throughout the Inter-Mountain West. Colin’s Clean Water Act and Oil Pollution Act experience includes high-profile pipeline rupture incidents, and he is a recognized leader in PHMSA compliance and litigation for the pipeline industry. His diverse practice includes complex issues in mining, manufacturing, agriculture, and other industries. Colin recently settled two natural resource damages cases for significantly less than government demands, and his remediation experience includes legacy liabilities at Superfund-listed mining sites from Missouri to Colorado and the West Coast. He is a battle-tested litigator able to combine his substantive environmental and industry knowledge with skilled advocacy, and he has a proven track record of negotiating extremely favorable settlement terms for his clients in penalty and injunctive relief enforcement cases. Colin’s environmental law policy, compliance and enforcement know-how, energy and climate change experience, and board room counseling acumen, helps clients navigate the turbulence and opportunities presented by the “E” in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues. Colin treats every client as the only client.

BRUCE M. KRAMER received his B.A. in International Relations from UCLA in 1968, his J.D. from the UCLA School of Law in 1972, and an LL.M. in Environmental and Natural Resources Law from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1975. From 1974 through his retirement at the end of 2006 he taught at the Texas Tech University School of Law. He is now the Maddox Professor of Law Emeritus. From 2007 through the present, he is of counsel to the Texas-based law firm of McGinnis, Lochridge & Kilgore. He has taught at University of Colorado School of Law from 2008-2018. He is the co-author of several treatises including The Law of Pooling and Unitization, Williams & Meyers Oil and Gas Law (since 1996), Cases and Materials on Oil and Gas Law and International Petroleum Transactions. He is also the author of numerous law review articles in the field of oil and gas law. His works have been cited by numerous state and federal courts over the past 35 years. He is an honorary trustee of The Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law, a member of the Institute for Energy Law of the Center for American and International Law, and a trustee to the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation.

CHRISTOPHER KULANDER is a Professor of Law at South Texas College of Law – Houston and Director of the school’s Harry L. Reed Oil & Gas Law Institute. At South Texas, he teaches courses covering oil and gas, energy, and property law. He received his J.D. from the University of Oklahoma, where he was managing editor for the Oklahoma Bar Mineral Law Newsletter and note editor and assisting managing editor for the American Indian Law Review. Before teaching, Professor Kulander practiced full-time for four years in the Houston office of Haynes and Boone LLP within the Energy Practice Group, focusing on energy lending, finance, and bankruptcy. Prior to that, he practiced with Cotton & Bledsoe in Midland, Texas, focusing on oil and gas title and leasing. Before law school, he received his B.S. and M.S. in geology from Wright State in Dayton, Ohio, and his Ph.D. in geophysics (petroleum seismology) from Texas A&M, after which he worked as a geophysicist for the U.S. Geological Survey. He has written and published in the fields of oil and gas law, land use control, American Indian law as well as in geology and petroleum seismology.

JUDITH M. MATLOCK is a partner in the Energy Group of the Denver law firm of Davis, Graham & Stubbs LLP. For over thirty-five she has represented companies in the oil and gas industry. Her practice has emphasized the post-production side of the business. She is involved in all aspects of the gathering, transportation, processing, fractionation, and marketing of natural gas, liquids, and crude oil and representing producers in connection with the calculation, payment, and reporting of royalties and production taxes. Her practice also includes public utility law involving both gas and electric utilities. She has been involved in numerous public utility proceedings involving the acquisition of gas-fired electric generation for base load and peaking needs and to backup intermittent renewable energy resources and is currently representing natural gas interests in Public Service Company of Colorado’s clean energy plan that must achieve an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. She received her undergraduate degree (B.A. 1979) from the University of Colorado at Denver and her law degree (J.D. 1982) from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Order of the Coif, and the Denver, Colorado, and American Bar Associations. She has been named in The Best Lawyers in America® (oil and gas) since 1995. She is an active participant in The Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law (the “Foundation”) and has served on the Executive Committee, co-chair of the Special Institutes Committee, chair of the Scholarship Committees, program chair for several Foundation special institutes and short courses and was the program chair for the 2010 Annual Institute. In 2020 she became a lifetime honorary trustee of the Foundation. She is a frequent lecturer and writer on energy topics including over a dozen institute papers for the Foundation, and numerous other papers for various oil and gas associations.

PATRICK S. OTTINGER graduated from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Louisiana State University, with a Juris Doctorate degree in December 1973.  His professional practice has been concentrated in oil and gas (both onshore and offshore), and renewable energy projects. Mr. Ottinger is frequently engaged as an expert witness or special consultant in areas within his practice area, particularly oil and gas issues in the upstream sector of the industry. He is an experienced arbitrator and mediator in oil and gas matters, providing such services through The Patterson Resolution Group.  Mr. Ottinger served as the President of the Louisiana State Bar Association during the years 1998-99.  He was awarded the Louisiana Bar Foundation’s 2018 Curtis R. Boisfontaine Trial Advocacy Award at the Annual Meeting of the Louisiana State Bar Association, awarded for “long-standing devotion to and excellence in trial practice,” and “upholding the standards of ethics and consideration for the courts, litigants and all counsel.”  Mr. Ottinger is the Past Chair of the Advisory Council of the Institute on Mineral Law, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, having served from 2016 to 2021.  He has also served as Chair of the Section on Mineral Law of the Louisiana State Bar Association.  He serves on the Advisory Board for the John P. Laborde Energy Law Center at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University.  Mr. Ottinger is a member of the Louisiana State Law Institute, serving as the Reporter of the Mineral Law Committee and of the Louisiana Risk Fee Act Committee. Mr. Ottinger is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Louisiana State University, where, since 1996, he has taught the course in Mineral Rights, and an Oil and Gas Seminar entitled “Anatomy of an Oil and Gas Transaction.”  He received the Distinguished Service Award from the Mineral Law Institute in recognition of his “dedication in teaching oil and gas law courses, his years of invaluable service to the Mineral Law Institute, and his wise counsel to LSU’s John P. Laborde Energy Law Center.”  He is the author of Louisiana Mineral Leases:  A Treatise, published by Claitor’s Law Books & Publishing Division, Inc. 

ROBERT J. PERONI is the Fondren Foundation Centennial Chair for Faculty Excellence and a Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Texas. His research and teaching interests are in the areas of federal taxation (including natural resource taxation and international taxation), law and economics, and professional responsibility and legal ethics. He is a frequent speaker at academic conferences and continuing legal education programs throughout the country. Bob is the recipient of awards for outstanding law school teaching at Tulane, George Washington University, and the University of Texas. He has written extensively, having authored or co-authored numerous articles and books, including, with Anderson, Dzienkowski, Lowe, Pierce, and Smith, the most recent edition of Hemingway’s treatise on Oil and Gas Law and Taxation (published by West Academic Publishing in 2017). He earned a BSC from DePaul University; a JD from Northwestern University; and an LLM (in Taxation) from New York University. He was a Professor-in-Residence, Internal Revenue Service, Office of Chief Counsel, Washington, D.C., 1985-86. He is also the co-chair (with John Dzienkowski) of the bi-annual Parker Fielder Oil and Gas Taxation Conference and is the long-time academic co-chair of the Annual Institute on Current Issues in International Taxation. Bob also is the long-time Vice-Chair and Academic Liaison of the Foreign Activities of U.S. Taxpayers Committee of the ABA Section of Taxation, a long-time member of the planning committee for the Tulane Tax Institute, and a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel.

Joseph A. Schremmer is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Oklahoma College of Law and directs the Oil, Gas, Natural Resources, and Energy Center (ONE C). He teaches courses in oil and gas, energy, and natural resources law, as well as first-year property. He is a co-author of Oil and Gas Law: Cases and Materials (11th ed. Foundation Press) and has published extensively in the law journals on topics such as correlative rights, waste, property in pore space, subsurface trespass, and split estates. Before joining OU Law, Schremmer was the Judge Leon Karelitz Oil & Gas Law Professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law. Before that, he practiced law in Wichita, Kansas for six years and was a partner with Depew Gillen Rathbun & McInteer, LC. His practice covered most aspects of upstream oil and gas production, including title examination, transactional work, practice before the Kansas Corporation Commission, and civil litigation. He was the president of the Oil, Gas, and Minerals Section of the Kansas Bar Association and was recognized multiple times as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers. 

BRET WELLS is the Law Foundation Professor of Law at the University of Houston Law Center. He teaches and writes extensively in the fields and tax law and oil and gas law and has spoken at numerous continuing education conferences. Prior to joining the faculty, Professor Wells was an executive office of a leading oil and gas service company where he had significant exposure to oil and gas issues in the upstream context. Since joining the faculty, Professor Wells has written repeatedly on Texas oil and gas issues with a particular focus on the legal challenges raised by today’s development in unconventional shale formations. Professor Wells also is a co-author on a leading casebook on Texas oil and gas law. See JACQUELINE L. WEAVER AND BRET WELLS, TEXAS OIL AND GAS LAW: CASES AND MATERIALS (LawCarta 2d Ed. 2021). Professor Wells is a frequent speaker at conferences on oil and gas law matters. Professor Wells holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Texas School of Law (cum laude, 1989).  He holds a B.B.A. in Accounting from Southwestern University (summa cum laude, 1987).  He is licensed to practice law and is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Texas. Professor Wells is an elected member of the American Law Institute.