Annual Institute Program Chair:
BRUCE M. KRAMER is a nationally known oil, gas, energy, and land use legal scholar and was a long-time professor at Texas Tech University School of Law. Bruce has advised companies on a wide array of legal issues and strategies in the energy arena for more than 40 years. His areas of experience include state and federal laws, as well as regulations and rules affecting exploration, production, and upstream facilities. Bruce is the co-author of several important books that have become the definitive references for energy lawyers, including two multi-volume treatises, The Law of Pooling and Unitization and Williams and Meyers Oil and Gas Law (since 1996). Bruce’s books and legal articles have been cited as authority in numerous court rulings and appellate opinions, including decisions of the Supreme Courts of Texas and multiple other states, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, and numerous Federal District Courts as well as testifying before legislative and administrative bodies.
Corporate Counsel Section Chair:
MARY LOU FRY is a Legal Manager representing the Equinor U.S. Offshore Wind and Renewable Energy business in Stamford, CT. She was formerly the lead attorney for the Equinor U.S. upstream development and production business and was a member of the U.S. Onshore Management team. Prior to joining Equinor in May 2011, she served as the General Counsel for Torch Energy Advisors. Before Torch she was in the legal department at Shell and an attorney at Mayer Brown. Mary Lou has served on the board of the Houston Bar Association Oil and Gas Section and recently became a Trustee-at-Large for The Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law. She received an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Kentucky and a law degree from Vanderbilt University.
Environmental Section Chair:
MARCELLA BURKE leads the Environmental Health and Safety practice at the Houston office of King & Spalding. She counsels clients across the environmental and natural resources spectrum, including chemicals, carbon capture, conventional oil and gas, hydraulic fracturing, renewables, decommissioning, energy technology, permitting, citizen suit defense, crisis management, criminal environmental enforcement, and environmental investigations. Marcella also leads the firm’s Energy Transition initiative and is a board member of the Houston ESG Council. She was named by the Petroleum Economist as a global Top 100 Women of the Energy Transition 2021, received the National Law Journal Energy/Environmental Law Trailblazer Award 2021, named Lawdragon 500 Leading Environmental & Energy Lawyers 2021, and ranked among the Legal 500 United States top environmental practices 2021. She is on the Executive Committee of the Environment & Natural Resources Division of the State Bar of Texas, the Institute for Energy Law Advisory Counsel. Before joining King & Spalding, Marcella served at the EPA as Deputy General Counsel. She also served at the Department of Interior as Deputy Solicitor for Energy and Natural Resources and Senior Counselor to the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management.
International Section Co-Chairs:
MICHAEL DIXON co-chairs the Litigation & Dispute Practice at Blakes in Calgary. His practice involves all aspects of corporate and commercial litigation and arbitration with a focus on energy law, contract disputes, royalty disputes, fraud claims, and large insurance matters. He regularly advises Canadian and multinational corporate clients on compliance with domestic and international anti-bribery legislation. He has conducted numerous internal investigations in response to corruption allegations. He also assists clients with implementing and improving compliance programs and with anti-corruption and sanctions compliance due diligence during mergers, financings, and other commercial transactions. Michael also advises a variety of other criminal and regulatory legislation and has defended clients charged under a variety of criminal and regulatory statutes. In 2014 he was recognized as a leading investigations specialist by Global Investigations Review’s 40 Under 40 as well as recognition in The Best Lawyers in Canada 2022 (Corporate and Commercial Litigation), The Legal 500 Canada 2022 (Dispute Resolution, International Trade), Who’s Who Legal: Global 2021 (Investigations & Business Crime Defense and Investigations), and The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2019 (Leading lawyer to watch in Litigation - Corporate Commercial). Michael received his LL.B. from the University of Victoria and is a member of the Calgary and Canadian Bar Associations.
MARIANNA BOZA MORÁN is a Director in the Bogotá, Columbia office of Brigard Urrutia and heads the firm’s Oil & Gas and Mining Practice Group. She has extensive experience providing comprehensive legal advisory services to clients around the world on the operations and corporate transactions of upstream, midstream, or downstream oil and gas companies, as well as in infrastructure and finance projects related to the mining, energy, oil and gas, and petrochemical sectors. She has been involved in major upstream, midstream, and downstream projects in Latin America, advising in the negotiation and drafting of the relevant contracts, and the creation and financing of joint ventures for the development of activities. She also has substantial experience advising service companies in the extractive sector and in the development of due diligence of mining and oil and gas projects in Colombia and Venezuela. Marianna is a member of the Board of the Colombian-Canadian and Australian-Colombian Chambers of Commerce, the AIPN´s Latam Regional Committee, and the International Committee of The Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law. She is also a certified translator in Colombia and Venezuela and a legal project manager. Marianna leads gender equality organizations related to the oil and gas and mining sectors in Colombia.
Mining Section Chair:
ALISON LACY is a Partner in the Toronto, Canada office of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP. Her practice is focused on procurement and project development for large capital projects. Alison has significant experience in mining, energy, and infrastructure projects. She has assisted with the procurement, development, and financing aspects of mining projects in Canada, Panama, Chile, Peru, Argentina, Mexico, Cuba, Madagascar, Senegal, and Nigeria. In the electricity and resource sectors, she has worked on transactions in Canada, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Mexico, Colombia, Uruguay, China, and India. Alison’s expertise has been recognized by Chambers Global, Who’s Who Legal Canada, and the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory. She is a fluent Spanish speaker.
Oil & Gas-Landman’s Section Co-Chairs:
AUSTIN BRISTER is an oil and gas attorney in Houston, TX, with McGinnis Lochridge. Austin represents both operators and non-operators in complex oil and gas disputes throughout state and federal courts in Texas. He focuses his practice on handling deal disputes, JOA disputes between operators and non-operators, royalty disputes, surface access and trespass claims, and lease termination claims. Austin is an active member of The Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law where he currently serves as a Trustee-at-Large. He frequently publishes articles and gives presentations on oil and gas law, AAPL’s Landman Magazine, and the Oil, Gas, and Energy Resources Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. Austin is the current author of the Oil, Gas, and Mineral Law section of SMU’s Annual Texas Survey.
MEGAN HAINES is a Partner in the Pittsburgh office of Reed Smith. She is an experienced energy litigator and environmental regulatory lawyer who helps clients meet their operational needs and manage risk. She has led numerous high-profile energy litigation and environmental matters in state and federal courts and before state and federal agencies. She has successfully litigated lease termination, royalty underpayment, joint operating agreement, gas gathering agreement, and property damage claims. She has also counseled clients regarding a broad range of environmental matters, from negotiating a Clean Air Act audit agreement with U.S. EPA to advising on the environmental aspects of transactions. Megan is part of the firm’s global environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practice. She has a particular focus on the environmental and governance aspects of ESG. She has advised clients on carbon and climate-related regulations and legislation, as well as ESG finance issues in conjunction with energy transactions.
MATT SALZMAN is a Partner with Stinson LLP in Kansas City and Co-Chair of the Oil & Gas Practice Group. Matt is a trial lawyer who has successfully taken cases to trial in state and federal courts throughout the country. He also does appellate work and has won cases at every level, including several state supreme courts and the U.S. Supreme Court. He focuses on contract-related and environmental litigation and class actions, particularly in the oil and gas, financial services, and insurance industries. He has represented and advised exploration and production, midstream, pipeline, and refining companies in a wide variety of matters, from lease terminations and right-of-way issues to major environmental spills and royalty class actions. Matt has assistant clients in the oil and gas industry across the country, including in Kansas, North Dakota, Montana, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
Public Lands and Indian Law Section Chair:
LAURA GRANIER is a Partner and Co-Chair of the mining practice at Holland & Hart where she focuses her practice on mining, energy, and natural resources issues. She has successfully handled issues of first impression important to mineral resource development, including her extensive involvement in advocating for multiple use of federal lands in the course of the land use planning efforts related to the Greater Sage Grouse and protection of rights under the Mining Law. Laura has worked and continues to work extensively on key industry issues important to the domestic production of critical minerals.
Renewable Energy and Electricity Section Chair:
KAREN McGAFFEY is a Partner in the Seattle, WA office of Perkins Coie and chairs the firm’s national Environment, Energy & Resources practice. With more than 25 years of experience, she represents clients on project development, permitting, regulatory, and litigation matters arising under federal and state environmental laws. Karen’s practice emphasizes energy project development. She counsels clients on the development of all types of energy facilities, including wind, solar, and natural gas generation, wood-fired cogeneration, renewable fuels, energy storage, transmission lines, pipelines, and other related infrastructure. Karen also regularly advises clients on strategic business and policy matters concerning renewable energy, climate change, carbon reduction, and other environment, social, and governance (ESG) issues. Karen is a fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers and a member of The Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law’s Renewable Energy Task Force.
Water Section Chair:
BURKE GRIGGS teaches property law, natural resources law, and legal history at the Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, KS. He specializes in American water law. Prior to joining the Washburn faculty, Professor Griggs represented the State of Kansas in federal and interstate water matters, most prominently Kansas v. Nebraska, an original action to enforce the Republican River Compact, and as lead counsel in the Kickapoo Tribe reserved water rights settlement. Outside of the litigation arena, Professor Griggs has advised the Kansas Legislature and the state’s natural resources agencies on matters of natural resources law and policy. He is affiliated with the Woods Institute for the Environment and the Bill Lane Center for the American West, both at Stanford University. He is a co-author of the most recent edition of Water Resource Management: A Casebook in Law and Public Policy (Foundation Press, 2021) (with Benson and Tarlock).
TODD AAGAARD joined the Villanova Law faculty in 2008. He served as Vice Dean of the Law School from 2015 to 2019. His scholarship focuses on environmental, energy, and administrative law. Professor Aagaard received his B.A. with honors from Pomona College, his M.S. from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and the Environment, and his J.D. magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School. While at Michigan, he was the Editor-in-Chief of the Michigan Law Review and an Executive Editor of the Michigan Journal of Race & Law. Following completion of his J.D. and M.S. degrees, he clerked for Second Circuit Judge Guido Calabresi before joining the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice as an attorney in the Appellate Section. At the Justice Department, he briefed and argued civil and criminal cases in federal courts of appeals in the areas of environmental, natural resources, administrative, and Indian law.
AHAB ABDEL-AZIZ is a Partner and the Global Director of Nuclear Power Generation at Gowling WLG. He has been a leader in the global nuclear sector for over 30 years. Ahab has represented leading members of the Canadian and international nuclear sector in nuclear new build project negotiations and implementation support, along with related policy and legislative development, nuclear project development and finance, licensing and compliance, and dispute resolution. Ahab is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCNI), President of the Canadian Nuclear Law Organization (Canada) and a member of the Board of the International Nuclear Law Association (INLA). He is recognized as one of Canada's top energy lawyers by Legal 500 Canada, Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, Report on Business/Lexpert Special Edition: Canada's Leading Energy Lawyers, Who's Who Legal: Canada and Who's Who Legal: The International Who's Who of Energy Lawyers. He was also the principal author of its national policy recommendation, titled “Facilitating a Brownfield Redevelopment Strategy for Canada,” prepared at the request of the prime minister of Canada at the time. He is co-author and co-editor of the Canadian Brownfields Manual (LexisNexis Butterworths).
MATTHEW J. ALLEN was born in Lubbock, TX, in 1980. Mr. Allen graduated from the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics in 1998, and later the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in 2003 and a Juris Doctor in 2007. Mr. Allen specializes in oil and gas conservation matters before the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, including both adjudicative and legislative proceedings. Mr. Allen contributed to the drafting of the Oklahoma Energy Jobs Act of 2017 and the Oklahoma Extended Lateral Act of 2017. Mr. Allen is the author of “Curative Pooling When the Validity of an Oil and Gas Lease Is Challenged (Force Pooling the Top Lessee)” published in 2019. Mr. Allen has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers in the Energy Law space. Mr. Allen was named to the Oklahoma City Journal Record’s Achievers Under 40 Class of 2016 for his legislative and regulatory contributions to the industry. Mr. Allen also serves on the Planning Committee for the Eugene Kuntz Conference on Natural Resources Law & Policy presented annually in Oklahoma City by the University of Oklahoma College of Law.
KIMBERLEY R. ANDERSON has over 20 years of experience helping clients finance their business through strategic public and private offerings of equity and debt securities and advance their strategic goals through mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures. She guides clients through complex and ever-changing SEC requirements and listing standards on the NYSE, NASDAQ, and NYSE American and the evolving best practices in corporate governance, compliance, and disclosure, allowing clients to focus on moving their business forward with confidence. Kimberley has extensive experience in Canadian cross-border transactions and particular depth in the oil and gas, clean energy, mining and natural resources, manufacturing, and technology industries. Kimberley is a frequent speaker and author on corporate compliance, SEC disclosure, and other securities law topics, and currently serves as co-editor of Dorsey’s corporate governance and compliance blog, Governance & Compliance Insider. Kimberley has served in various leadership roles at Dorsey for the past several years, including currently serving as Co-Chair of the Capital Markets & Corporate Compliance Practice Group and previously served on the firm’s Management Committee.
NORMAN C. BAY is Co-Chair of the Energy Commodities Group and Head of the Energy Regulatory Practice at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in Washington, DC. His practice focuses on enforcement and compliance, energy policy and rates, mergers and acquisitions, and infrastructure development. Bay was Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), as well as Director of the Office of Enforcement. He was integral in shaping FERC policy on a wide range of energy market issues, including enforcement and compliance, energy storage, aggregated distributed energy resources, transmission and interconnection policy, and price formation in the RTO markets. Bay was previously a Professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law and the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico. He is currently a member of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board for the Department of Energy, a non-resident Senior Fellow with Duke University, a member of the NYU Institute for Policy Integrity Advisory Board, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Irving Institute for Energy and Society at Dartmouth College.
MATT BALLENGER is an Assistant Solicitor in the Department of the Interior’s Office of the Solicitor. He supervises the Branch of Offshore Safety and Enforcement, whose attorneys are primarily responsible for advising and representing the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement on regulatory and litigation matters. He has been with the Department for over 11 years, during which he also spent one year as an Acting Administrative Judge on the Interior Board of Land Appeals. Matt has also served in acting capacities as Associate Solicitor for the Divisions of Land Resources and Mineral Resources. Prior to joining the Department, Matt was in private practice with Hogan Lovells in Washington, DC, where he focused on litigation and investigations. He lives outside of Washington with his wife and two teenagers.
KEITH G. BAUERLE is an Attorney Advisor with the U.S. Department of the Interior Board of Land Appeals, an appellate review body that exercises the delegated authority of the Secretary of the Interior to issue final decisions for the Department. Mr. Bauerle came to the Board after practicing environmental and land use law in California, litigating federal natural resources and public lands cases in the Rocky Mountain West, and clerking in American Samoa. He holds a B.A. in biological chemistry from the University of Virginia and J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.
C. WARREN BEIL is the General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Maverix Metals Inc., a rapidly growing gold royalty and streaming company. He is a practicing corporate and securities lawyer skilled in advising companies operating in the mining and natural resources sectors. His expertise includes securities law, regulatory and stock exchange compliance, capital markets transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, asset purchases, options and joint ventures, and stock exchange listings. Prior to joining Maverix, Warren was the Vice President, Legal for two gold exploration companies. He began his career in private practice with a preeminent national law firm. After leaving private practice, he served as the General Counsel to a private venture capital company focused on the mining and natural resource sectors. Warren also currently serves on the Board of Directors of Westward Gold Inc., a mineral exploration company focused on advancing projects in Nevada. He holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto and a Juris Doctor with Honors from Bond University on the Gold Coast of Australia. He is a practicing member of the Law Society of British Columbia and the Financial Advisory Committee for The Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law.
PREETI BHAGNANI is a Partner in White & Case’s International Arbitration Practice. She represents corporations and states in arbitrations under international commercial contracts and investment treaties. She has handled arbitrations in a wide range of industries including oil and gas, natural resources, power, financial services, life sciences, telecommunications, and water supply, and under most major arbitral rules. Having served as in-house counsel for Shell early in her career, Preeti brings a client-focused perspective to dispute settlement. Clients say she “offers commercial solutions” and “leaves no stone unturned” (2022 Who's Who Legal – Future Leaders). Preeti’s leadership positions have included: Advisor to the Energy Related Arbitration Practitioners; Global Advisory Board Member of the ICDR Y&I; Advisory Board Member of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration; North America Representative of the LCIA YIAG; and North America Representative of the Asia-Pacific Forum for International Arbitration. Select experience includes successful representations of WRB Enterprises in an ICSID arbitration with Grenada concerning an investment in the power sector, a Canadian Province in an arbitration concerning a gas development project, and an energy sector insurer in an arbitration concerning pollution liability.
MATTHEW BROTMANN is Senior Counsel to Equinor’s Legal Renewables group where he is responsible for Equinor’s U.S. based renewables portfolio. Prior to joining Equinor, Brotmann served as Senior Counsel at the New York Power Authority where he focused on Power, Transmission, and Regulation. In addition, he previously served as Assistant General Counsel at the MTA/Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority and as a Special Advisor to the New York Attorney General. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Denison University, and he holds a Juris Doctorate from Pace University Law School where he later served as an Adjunct Professor teaching international and environmental law.
EMILIE BUNDOCK is Partner in the Firm’s Global Energy and Climate Change, and Mining and Indigenous Law Practice Groups. She is based in Fasken’s Montréal, Québec office, and her practice focuses primarily on environmental law with a focus on energy and natural resources development projects. Over the years, Emilie has developed a specific expertise related to climate change law and carbon trading, especially on the regulated Québec-California cap-and-trade system and the marketing of environmental attributes. She advises clients of the commercial, industrial, and energy production sectors on the regulatory compliance matters regarding climate change laws and in the context of transactions involving greenhouse gas emission units and environmental attributes, both on the regulated and voluntary markets. Emilie also writes and speaks frequently about climate change-related matters.
NEIL CHATTERJEE is a former Commissioner and Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and has deep ties in Washington and across the industry with extensive experience across the energy landscape both domestically and internationally. He is respected for his ability to strike compromise and work with a wide variety of stakeholders. In his time on the Hill and at FERC, Neil built a reputation as a bipartisan operator who builds alliances and cuts through red tape with an eye on always promoting innovation. Neil’s significant knowledge and experience is derived from operating at the highest levels of government and, as such, can provide clients valuable insights and counsel when navigating the highly regulated energy industry. Prior to his time at the Commission, Neil served as an advisor to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) where he aided in the passage of major energy, highway, and agriculture legislation. Neil also has experience working as a principal in government relations for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. He began his career as a staff member on the House Committee on Ways and Means.
MARIA ALEJANDRA DELGADO is a qualified Peruvian lawyer. She graduated from the University of Lima Law School and has a master’s degree in Law and Development from the University of Warwick, England. She also holds two post-graduate degrees, one in Management from the University of Piura and one in the Prince of Wales Business and Sustainability Program from the University of Cambridge, England. Mariale began her career in law firms advising companies on mining projects. She went on to work at a Peruvian-owned mining company for two years where she learned to work with multidisciplinary teams in the mining business before joining Rio Tinto in 2006. Mariale has been with Rio Tinto for over 15 years, working in Peru and in London as a senior counselor for one year. In 2016 she took on the role of General Manager of Rio Tinto Minera Perú Limitada SAC, and since has also added to her portfolio Legal and I&D for South America. She has more than 20 years of experience in commercial, managerial, administrative, and mining matters. She is also an Honorary Associate of Women in Mining Peru.
ASHLEY DILLON is a Partner at Stinson LLP in Kansas City, MO. She represents a wide range of companies in employment and complex business disputes, whether matters are pending in federal or state court or before an administrative agency. Her areas of focus include defending employers against employment discrimination claims under federal, state, and local statutes; claims brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act; wrongful termination, retaliation, and whistleblowing cases; and state law contract and tort claims. Ashley provides practical business and legal solutions in all areas of employment law compliance, and she regularly counsels and trains employers on a wide variety of matters including hiring and firing, employment agreements, leaves of absence, disability issues, wage and hour compliance, and preventing discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Ashley also has conducted sensitive workplace investigations for employers.
PEDRO SERRANO ESPELTA has extensive experience in Natural Resources and Compliance, Anti-Corruption & Investigations. Until 2020 Pedro was a Partner at Marval O’Farrell Mairal and head of Marval’s Compliance, Anti-Corruption & Investigations practice where he led complex multijurisdictional investigations and litigation matters related to white collar crime and anticorruption legislations like the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and Brazil’s Clean Company Act. For many years Pedro was the president of one of the largest Argentine petrochemical companies and vice-president of Argentina’s largest natural gas distribution company. Pedro was a Visiting Scholar at the University of California at Berkeley from 1993 to 1995 and received a master’s in laws degree (LL.M.) from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1997. Pedro was a foreign associate at The Americas Law Group in San Francisco, CA, from 1993 to 1996 where he advised American, Canadian, and Mexican companies in doing business under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Pedro is a regular speaker at international conferences and seminars on issues related to his expertise. He is frequently quoted in national media outlets to provide insight on natural resources as well as compliance regulations and cases.
ANDREW C. EMRICH represents clients in significant litigation in the areas of oil and gas, mining, and renewable energy projects. Andrew has more than 20 years of experience in energy, environmental, and natural resources litigation and federal and state agencies’ administrative appeals. On the permitting side, Andrew advances his clients' projects through focused strategies to obtain expeditious and defensible permitting and regulatory approvals for projects on and across federal, state, and tribal lands. He is admitted to practice in Colorado, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia. Before joining Holland & Hart in 2005, Andrew served as Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General at the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, DC. While at the Justice Department, Andrew litigated significant environmental and natural resources cases and helped develop and implement litigation strategies for federal agencies in courts throughout the country. He worked closely with senior legal and policy personnel at the Environmental Protection Agency and the Departments of Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, and Defense on regulatory initiatives and formal legal decisions. Andrew began his legal career in Washington, DC, as legislative counsel to former U.S. Senator Michael Enzi of Wyoming.
ANGELA FRANKLIN has over 30 years of experience representing traditional oil and gas and mining and emerging energy clients in acquisition, divestiture, merger, exploration, development, and financing projects and transactions. She prepares traditional transaction agreements and novel project agreements dealing with today’s energy projects and challenges, including CO2 sequestration, helium production, and hydrogen storage and conversion. She has extensive experience examining title to and conducting due diligence reviews of fee, federal, state, and Indian lands throughout the Rocky Mountain region and rendering acquisition, financing, drilling, and division order title opinions. She regularly advises on the intricacies of federal lands, leases, and units. She is admitted to practice in Utah and Wyoming. Angela has written and presented over 30 articles and papers on a variety of natural resources topics, and she has been quoted in Law360, Bloomberg Law, and Utah Business magazine. She is an active member of The Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law, American Association of Professional Landmen, Utah Association of Professional Landmen, Northern Utah Expanding Your Horizons, Holland & Hart Foundation, and Immune Deficiency Foundation.
STEPHANIE GAMBINO’s practice focuses on supporting clients in both domestic and cross-border transactions ranging from securities offering, acquisitions, and complex commercials transactions. Stephanie assists clients with SEC reporting obligations and best practices with respect to corporate governance and compliance disclosure. Stephanie also has experience with a variety of U.S. regulatory issues, including advising clients with respect to the cannabis and hemp industries.
ROBERT L. GLICKSMAN is the J.B. & Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of Environmental Law at the George Washington University Law School and a Member Scholar and Board of Directors member for the Center for Progressive Reform. He is an authority on natural resources, environmental, administrative, and property law. Glicksman is the author of the four-volume treatise, Public Natural Resources Law (Thomson Reuters 2d ed.) (previously with Coggins), which is available on Westlaw, and Modern Public Land Law in a Nutshell (West Academic 5th ed. 2019). His other books include Administrative Law: Agency Action in Legal Context (Foundation Press 3d ed. 2020), Reorganizing Government: A Functional and Dimensional Framework (NYU Press 2019); Environmental Protection: Law and Policy (Wolters Kluwer 8th ed. 2019) (9th edition forthcoming in 2023), Statutory Analysis in the Regulatory State (Foundation Press 2014), and Risk Regulation at Risk: A Pragmatic Approach (Stanford University Press 2003). His numerous law review articles on natural resources law cover various aspects of multiple-use management, different forms of wilderness and endangered species preservation, and environmental assessment, among other topics. He has a B.A. from Union College, an M.A. from Harvard University, and a J.D. from Cornell Law School.
ANA LUCI GRIZZI is an experienced sustainability advisor focused on incorporation of the environmental and climate variables within businesses’ strategic planning. With 21 years of experience, she is an emeritus board member of The Nature Conservancy, Director of the ESG Advanced Program from Saint Paul School of Business, member of ESG Committees from Abrasca (the association of publicly traded companies), member of CFA Society, and she is the vice-coordinator of the Sustainability Committee from the Brazilian Institute of Corporate Governance. She has a post-MBA on Corporate Governance from the Saint Paul School of Business and an LL.M in environmental law from PUC. She is a co-author of the book Civil Environmental Liability (2003) and author of the book Environmental Law Applied to Agreements (2008).
NOAH HALL is a Professor of Law at Wayne State University Law School. His law practice and scholarship focus on public and private water rights. He co-authors several casebooks in water law and environmental law, including Modern Water Law: Private Property, Public Rights, and Environmental Protections (Foundation Press) and Environmental Law and Policy: Nature, Law, and Society (Aspen Publishers). Professor Hall previously taught at the University of Michigan and was the founding Executive Director of the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center. He continues to represent a variety of clients in significant environmental policy disputes. From 2016-2019, Professor Hall served as Special Assistant Attorney General for Michigan for the Flint water investigation. Professor Hall graduated from the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment, concentrating in environmental policy. After law school, he clerked for the Honorable Kathleen A. Blatz, Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court.
COLIN G. HARRIS is a Partner in the Denver and Boulder offices of Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath. He has proudly represented the oil and gas industry and other energy sectors for 30 years. He is an environmental litigation and compliance lawyer, with specialization in the Clean Air Act, Oil Pollution Act, and pipeline safety (PHMSA) matters. His case load includes high-profile enforcement cases for clients, including recent Natural Resource Damages consent decrees, permit appeals, complex air enforcement cases, and defense of litigation surrounding major pipeline spill events. He has a varied climate change-related practice including the defense of climate tort litigation and methane enforcement initiatives, counseling about methane regulations and related ESG performance, and assistance on carbon sequestration projects. He teaches the environmental section of the FNREL Oil & Gas Short Course.
KARA H. HERRNSTEIN is an experienced energy attorney focusing on facilitating renewable generation in Ohio. She provides legal assistance and problem-solving to developers at every stage of their projects, from land access to permitting to operation. Her practice also includes litigation on behalf of a variety of energy companies including producers and midstream companies. In everything, she is a passionate about helping her clients build Ohio into a major energy-producing state.
AMY E. JACOBSEN is a Senior Associate and the former Chair of Behre Dolbear Group Inc. She has over 25 years of diverse experience, which has included project evaluations, due diligence reviews, valuations, expert witness assignments, process metallurgy and strategic planning and business plan. Her experience has been global and includes experience in base and precious metals, industrial minerals and fertilizers, and energy fuels such as uranium, coal, and lignite. Her expertise is in cash flow modeling and technical project evaluations and valuations. Her credentials include a Bachelor of Science Degree in Metallurgical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines as well as a Master of Business Administration from the Executive MBA program at the University of Denver. She is an Associate Certified Minerals Appraiser with the International Institute of Mineral Appraisers and a Qualified Professional through the Mining and Metallurgical Society of America. Ms. Jacobsen is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Colorado. Additionally, she is currently an adjunct professor in the Professional Masters – Mining Engineering and Management degree program at the Colorado School of Mines and a Director with Endeavor Silver Corporation in Vancouver, Canada.
PATRICK K. JOHNSON serves as one of the lead Partners for Bracewell’s Carbon Capture Utilization & Storage (CCUS) team. Over the past few years, he has been involved in several CCUS projects including Hilcorp Energy Company’s hybrid upstream and midstream joint venture with an affiliate of NRG Energy for purposes of utilizing captured CO2 for an enhanced oil recovery project and Powertech Labs Inc., a subsidiary of a Canadian Crown Corporation to evaluate the proposed sale of mobile hydrogen refueling stations for third party installation and use in the U.S. Patrick also represents clients across the energy sector in transactions that include mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures of assets and companies, joint venture arrangements, and project finance. He also has extensive experience with the development of energy projects, including the negotiation and drafting of EPC agreements, construction management agreements, operation and maintenance agreements, and various other procurement and project development agreements. Patrick rejoined Bracewell after serving as in-house counsel to ExxonMobil. In that role, he provided legal support for upstream and midstream projects under development in jurisdictions spanning Europe, North America, South America, and Australia.
SEEMA KAKADE joined the faculty at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law in July 2017 after 15 years in environmental legal practice. Prior to joining the legal academy, Seema served as an attorney with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Civil Enforcement and with the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of General Counsel. At both agencies, she won numerous awards for her work, including several bronze and silver medals for service, and twice received the Administrator’s Award for Excellence. Before her federal government practice, she worked as a research attorney and Co-Director of the India Program at the Environmental Law Institute. She also spent time as a litigation associate in private practice. Seema’s scholarly research focuses on the implementation and enforcement of environmental law, with a particular focus on air pollution, climate change, and environmental justice. Seema holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a JD from the George Washington University Law School. She is the recipient of the 2019 Environmental Law Institute’s “Future’s Award” and is a Fellow with the American College of Environmental Law. She is also an active member of multiple organizations dedicated to serving the greater Asian American community.
JOSHUA KAPLOWITZ is Vice President for Offshore Wind at the American Clean Power Association. Previously, he served as Senior Counsel – U.S. Offshore Wind at GE Renewable Energy and spent five years in the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of the Solicitor as an attorney-advisor to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s offshore wind program. Mr. Kaplowitz began his career in private practice as an environmental, commercial, and tort litigator at several law firms in Philadelphia and Washington, DC. He lives with his family in Arlington, VA, where he serves on the board of his local farmers market.
VERONICA LARVIE has had three professional careers—geologist, lawyer, and Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). She graduated from the University of Wyoming with a degree in Geology and Geophysics at the end of the oil boom in the late 80’s, but was lucky to find work traveling the country as a geologist. Traveling to remote locations for months on end became tiresome, so she went to law school, again at the University of Wyoming, and after graduation joined the Department of the Interior to practice natural resource law, which she did for 26 years primarily representing BLM but most other DOI agencies as well. During her career with the Solicitor’s Office, she worked on some of the most iconic legal cases from the last few decades—Grand Staircase Escalante and Norton v. SUWA, for example. She also traveled to some of the most remote and beautiful places in the contiguous United States and Alaska. In 2020 she was appointed as an ALJ in the Departmental Cases, Hearings Division and now hears appeals from DOI agency decisions. She has three children—a son in the Navy, a son in the Army, and a third son at home waiting until he is old enough to join the Marines. She and her husband live in Utah and Wyoming.
MICHAEL R. LESLIE is a Partner in King & Spalding’s Los Angeles office and an accomplished trial lawyer and litigator who focuses on complex environmental litigation, toxic tort litigation, and environmental regulatory matters. Mike also has deep expertise in complex commercial litigation, having prevailed in cases involving real estate, class actions, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, misappropriation of trade secrets, and California’s unfair business practices statute. Mike has a long-standing record of successfully representing clients in the litigation and trial of high-stakes complex actions. Mike regularly represents Fortune 500 corporations, multinational energy companies, governmental agencies, and small businesses. He has tried numerous cases to verdict, negotiated complex multi-party consent decrees with state and federal agencies, and won both significant plaintiff and defense verdicts. In addition to his busy trial practice, he has also won important appeals for his clients before the California Court of Appeals and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Mike is a leader in many of the leading environmental bar organizations and a frequent speaker on environmental issues, complex litigation, and trial practice.
DANIEL LINSKER is a Senior Partner at Control Risks and currently manages the Control Risks Mexico City office. Daniel specializes in the design and delivery of complex risk management projects for large projects in the extractives, energy and infrastructure, complex reputational and compliance issues, and those that require in-depth regional expertise of Latin America. Daniel also heads the Americas extractive industry consulting practice. He joined Control Risks in London in 2005 and worked as the head of the Americas Desk in the Global Risk Analysis department until 2009 when he took a sabbatical to work as the Strategic Director and Policy Coordinator of a presidential campaign in Colombia. He then rejoined Control Risks and managed the Latin America Crisis and Security consulting practice. Before joining Control Risks, Daniel taught Latin American politics at the London School of Economics while completing his doctoral thesis on the effectiveness of international institutions. Daniel has a Master of Science in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics, where he is also a PhD candidate in government. He is also a certified Governance, Risk, and Compliance Professional (GRCP).
NATASHA J. MARTIN’S practice focuses on Administrative and Regulatory litigation with an emphasis in environmental and utility law. She has represented clients in contested cases and complaint proceedings before the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the Public Utility Commission of Texas, the Texas Alcoholic and Beverage Commission, and the State Office of Administrative Hearings. Natasha has experience counseling clients on regulatory permitting and enforcement on air, water, and waste issues. She has also represented clients obtaining electric, water, and wastewater Certificates of Convenience and Necessity (CCNs). Natasha serves as general counsel to several water supply corporations and groundwater conservation districts in Texas. Prior to law school, she worked as a technical air permit reviewer at the TCEQ where she reviewed mechanical and agricultural air permit applications in accordance with state and federal laws.
PATRICK H. MARTIN is Campanile Professor of Mineral Law, Emeritus, at Louisiana State University Law Center. Professor Martin taught at the LSU Law Center from 1977 to 2011, including courses in jurisprudence, contracts, and mineral law. From 1982 to 1984, he served as the Commissioner of Conservation for the State of Louisiana. Professor Martin holds the B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from Louisiana State University and a J.D. degree from the Duke University Law School. His publications include Pooling and Unitization (with B. Kramer) and Williams & Meyers Oil and Gas Law (update and revision author with B. Kramer) and three casebooks, Jurisprudence: Text and Readings on the Philosophy of Law (with Christie & MacLeod), Oil and Gas Cases and Materials (with Kramer, Hall, Righetti & Schremmer), and Economic Regulation: Energy, Transportation and Utilities (with Pierce and Allison, 1980) as well as numerous articles on oil and gas law, energy regulation, and early modern English history. McFarland & Company, Inc., published his Elizabethan Espionage: Plotters and Spies in the Struggle Between Catholicism and Crown, in 2015. Professor Martin has served as an arbitrator, mediator, and consultant in the oil and gas industry.
ELIZABETH McGINLEY leads Bracewell’s Carbon Capture Utilization & Storage (CCUS) team and Chairs Bracewell's tax department. She advises strategic and financial investors on tax issues arising in connection with the energy transition including federal tax credits and investment structures. Her recent representations include Navigator CO2 Ventures LLC in the development of an industrial scale carbon capture pipeline system of more than 1,200 miles of new carbon dioxide gathering and transportation pipelines across five Midwest states, and Talos Energy in its lease and development of over 40,000 acres located offshore in Texas state waters in the Gulf of Mexico for carbon sequestration. As part of her traditional energy transactional practice, Liz regularly advises clients on acquisitions, dispositions, project development, joint ventures and debt and equity investments in the upstream and midstream oil and gas and conventional and renewable power industries. She represents both public and private energy companies as well as private equity funds. Liz is recognized by Chambers USA among America's leading lawyers for tax (2012-2021).
ANDREW C. MERGEN is Deputy Section Chief in the appellate section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he supervises a wide variety of natural resources litigation. He has presented oral arguments in all 13 federal courts of appeals and several state intermediate and supreme courts. He has also taught at several law schools including, most recently, Michigan Law and Harvard Law School. Mergen has written about federal water rights in "A Misplaced Sensitivity: The Draft Opinions in Wyoming v. United States" (68 Colo. L. Rev. 683 (1997), with Sylvia F. Liu); energy development on public lands in "Surface Tension: The Problem of Federal Private Split Estates" (33 Land & Water L. Rev. 419 (1998)); and, more recently, climate change and the Endangered Species Act in "The Role of Climate Change in ESA Listing Decisions" (53 Rocky Mt. Min. L. Fdn. 67 (2016), with Murray Feldman).
MARK MORRISON is the Chair of Blakes Business Crimes, Investigations, and Compliance Group. His practice focuses on anti-corruption compliance, white-collar defense, and internal investigations. Mark regularly advises corporate clients on compliance with anti-corruption legislation, undertakes internal investigations, assists clients with anti-corruption due diligence and has successfully defended complex anti-corruption cases. Mark has undertaken numerous internal investigations and assisted companies in resolving anti-corruption issues arising from conduct in Africa, Central America, South America, Eastern Europe, and Asia. Mark has played a key role on both of Canada's most significant Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act ("CFPOA") enforcement cases to date. He served as independent counsel to the Board through the internal investigation of Canada's largest CFPOA case to date. Mark was also appointed as the independent compliance monitor for SNC-Lavalin. On a pro bono basis, Mark provided training to prosecutors and enforcement authorities in Zimbabwe on the investigation and enforcement of anti-corruption laws. Mark also provided expert testimony at the Canadian Senate hearing in consideration of Canada’s new Remediation Agreement provisions. Mark is widely recognized as one of Canada’s leading investigations and white-collar crime lawyers and is ranked Band 1 in Chambers Canada (White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations).
LAURA SMITH MORTON draws on over 20 years of high-level government and private practice experience in her counsel to clients on major offshore wind projects development. She advises at all stages of these complex projects, including environmental review and permitting required for generation, transmission, and related infrastructure. Laura also helps clients navigate government regulatory review and permitting of other infrastructure, including onshore wind, solar, electric transmission, and water resource projects. Prior to joining Perkins Coie, Laura served as the Senior Director of policy and regulatory affairs for offshore wind at American Clean Power, where she led the association’s work on a wide range of issues surrounding the offshore wind leasing and permitting process and multiple-use compatibility in the ocean environment, including commercial fishing, radar and airspace, maritime traffic and safety, wildlife and other marine resources, and transmission. Before ACP, Laura served for seven years in leadership positions at the U.S. Department of Energy, the White House, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and practiced energy and environmental law in the private sector. Early in her career, Laura was senior litigation and appellate counsel in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and a law clerk for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.
NNEOMA VERONICA NWOGU is Senior Counsel at the World Bank. She provides legal representation on corporate matters related to Development Finance including legal advisory services on specified funds as well as operational matters related to project financing in client countries. She is the legal advisor to the World Bank’s Extractives and Energy Global Practice and co-leads the Bank’s Legal Vice Presidency Working Group on Technology and Innovation. Ms. Nwogu received her bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College, an MPhil from Oxford University, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She is an adjunct professor at the Washington College of Law, American University.
ALEXANDER K. OBRECHT concentrates his practice on energy regulation and litigation, focusing on oil and gas development on federal, state, and private lands; hazardous materials transportation and compliance; pipeline and gathering line safety and compliance; and oil and gas royalties and midstream disputes. Having grown up and attended law school in Wyoming, one of the leading energy-producing states in the country, Alex adds a practical understanding to the complex legal environment in which his clients operate. Prior to law school, Alex worked with Credit Suisse, a Switzerland-based investment bank. During his tenure, he was involved in securities trading that occurred after the Macondo well blowout and multiple energy-focused debt offerings.
DANIELLE MANGRUM PATTERSON’s practice focuses exclusively on the energy and infrastructure industries, but across a broad spectrum of sectors, including the upstream and midstream oil and gas and renewable power sectors. In particular, she represents clients in mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, joint ventures, and project development transactions. Danielle has advised all players in the energy industry, including strategic companies, institutional investors, private equity funds, and other financial institutions. In 2021, Danielle was selected by Legal 500 as a Next Generation Partner in Energy – Renewable/Alternative Power and Energy – Transactions – Oil and Gas. Danielle is recognized as an “Up and Coming Lawyer” by Chambers USA in Energy: Oil & Gas – Transactional, 2021 and was also selected to the “Texas Rising Stars List: Super Lawyers” by Thomson Reuters in 2019 and 2020. Danielle is a Deputy Practice Group Leader of V&E’s Energy Transactions and Projects group.
KARI A. POTTS is the General Counsel, Corporate Secretary, and Compliance Officer at Brigham Minerals, Inc. since January 2020. Previously, Kari served as Senior Legal Counsel at Equinor from December 2011 to January 2020. While at Equinor, Kari provided legal advice regarding corporate governance, human resources, antitrust issues, upstream oil and gas operations, regulatory compliance, corporate financing, investment transactions, and other matters associated with Equinor’s activities in the U.S. Prior to Equinor, Kari served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Brigham Exploration Company from July 2010 until its sale to Equinor in December 2011. Kari was responsible for the company's legal affairs and advised on a broad range of matters, including corporate financing transactions, risk management, securities law compliance, human resources, and corporate governance. Before joining Brigham Exploration Company in 2010, Kari was a Partner at the law firm of Thompson & Knight LLP, where she advised clients on public and private debt and equity transactions, mergers and acquisitions, securities law compliance, and corporate governance. Kari received a Doctor of Jurisprudence from The University of Texas School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Texas at Austin.
BRIAN J. PULITO enjoys that every day has the potential to be unique with the possibility of finding creative solutions to his client's problems. Clients appreciate Brian’s ability to talk them off the ledge and diffuse a situation, however, when necessary, he is a tenacious and fierce litigator who is comfortable in a state and federal courtroom. With a practice rooted in energy, Brian has a unique skill set that is relevant to both renewable energy and oil and gas developers. With a keen eye toward emerging markets, Brian works with clients in Pennsylvania on solar projects, including project planning, real estate, zoning, and regulatory compliance. In addition, he works with clients on eminent domain proceedings, construction litigation, and midstream litigation. No matter the client or the situation, Brian brings enthusiasm and deep respect for the legal system to the table.
NIKI ROBERTS is Counsel in the Houston office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. Her experience spans the full natural resources value chain, from exploration, production, processing, and infrastructure to monetization. She primarily represents exploration and production companies, midstream companies, private equity clients, and other financial institutions in strategic negotiations and complex transactions across the energy sector, with a particular focus on acquisitions, divestitures, and joint ventures involving domestic upstream and midstream oil and gas assets. Niki has extensive experience in connection with hydrocarbon marketing and transportation agreements, farmouts and farmins, participation and joint development agreements, joint ventures, water disposal, transportation agreements and other commercial agreements. She has more than 10 years of direct oil and gas land and legal experience. She received her law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount Holyoke College.
JASON ANTHONY ROBISON is a Professor of Law in the Environmental, Energy, and Natural Resources Program at the University of Wyoming (UW). Originally from Salt Lake City, Jason moved to Laramie in 2013 to join the UW faculty, after earning an S.J.D. and LL.M. from Harvard Law School, a J.D. from the University of Oregon, and a B.S. in environmental studies from the University of Utah. Jason is the editor of the forthcoming volume, The Law of the River & Its Cornerstone: Confluence at the Colorado River Compact’s Centennial (2022). He is also the author of the long-running treatise, Law of Water Rights & Resources, and lead editor of Vision & Place: John Wesley Powell & Reimagining the Colorado River Basin (2020). Jason serves as Chair of the Colorado River Research Group and a member of the Water & Tribes Initiative’s leadership team. Before becoming a law professor, Jason held various positions with the Harvard Water Security Initiative, Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic at Harvard Law School, Colorado River Governance Initiative at the University of Colorado, Oregon Supreme Court, Special Litigation Unit of the Oregon Department of Justice, and Oregon Court of Appeals.
CHRISTOPHER W. ROGERS is a Member in the Pittsburgh office of Frost Brown Todd LLC. He counsels clients in predicting, avoiding, and defending (or pursuing) mineral disputes, including title, lease, right-of-way, and royalty disputes. Leveraging his title and litigation experience, Chris helps clients navigate the murky and ever-changing waters of Ohio’s Marketable Title Act and Dormant Mineral Act and recommends ways to manage risk. Chris is a thought leader who avidly writes on Ohio and Pennsylvania oil and gas law developments, especially on Ohio’s Marketable Title Act and Dormant Mineral Act, and has been published in numerous places, including Law360. Chris also has experience managing time-sensitive due diligence projects across several deals that resulted in the acquisition of more than $1 Billion in oil and gas assets, as well as closings and management of these assets. In addition to his energy practice, Chris’ nearly 16 years of practice has included commercial disputes, website accessibility claims, easement and right-of-way disputes, personal injury defense, coal sterilization claims, asbestos defense, pipeline right-of-way disputes, subsurface easements, and mechanic's liens. His experience across various industries helps him find creative solutions and ways to allocate and manage risk for clients.
ALEC ROTHROCK is a shareholder with the Greenwood Village, CO, law firm of Burns, Figa & Will, P.C. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1981 and a Juris Doctor degree from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago in 1984. Mr. Rothrock’s practice emphasizes legal ethics and attorney discipline defense, and the law of practicing law. Mr. Rothrock is the author of the book, Essays on Legal Ethics and Professional Conduct in Colorado (Continuing Legal Education of Colorado, Inc. 2003, Supp. 2008) and a frequent lecturer on topics of legal ethics and professional conduct. He is a former Chair of the Colorado Bar Association Ethics Committee and is Chair of the Colorado Judicial Ethics Advisory Board.
MICHAEL H. RUBIN, one of the leaders of the multi-state law firm of McGlinchey Stafford PLLC, with offices from the West Coast to the Gulf Coast to the East Coast, heads the firm’s appellate team. A past president of the Bar Association of the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, the Louisiana State Bar Association, and the Southern Conference of Bar Presidents, he serves on the ABA’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professionalism and has taught legal ethics, real estate, and finance in law schools. He is also a member of the American Law Institute and a Commissioner of the Uniform Law Commission. A nationally known public speaker and humorist who has given over 475 major presentations throughout the United States, Canada, and Great Britain, Rubin is an author of, co-author of, and contributing writer to more than a dozen legal books and over 50 articles for law reviews and periodicals. His works are used in law schools and have been cited as authoritative by state and federal trial and appellate courts. In addition, he is an award-winning novelist of two thrillers that have received national awards: The Cottoncrest Curse and Cashed Out.
DARIN B. SCHEER serves as Senior Counsel with Crowley Fleck PLLP in Wyoming, where he litigates natural resource-related matters and general commercial disputes. In addition to his litigation practice, Darin represents clients in a wide variety of business transactions, negotiating agreements to acquire and divest oil and gas assets and other commercial properties worth tens of millions of dollars. He also represents clients in connection with large natural resource development projects in the Mountain West, including oil and gas, wind, and solar. Darin has extensive experience negotiating surface use agreements on behalf of oil and gas operators in Wyoming and Colorado. He has also negotiated agreements for the installation of more than 2 GW of renewable energy projects and is currently lead counsel in a project involving the acquisition and conversion of a coal-fired power plant to natural gas. In his free time, Darin is a private pilot and raft guide who loves to explore backcountry airstrips and rivers throughout the western U.S.
MICHELLE SCHEFFLER is Co-Chair of Haynes and Boone’s Oil and Gas Practice Group and counsels energy clients in high-stakes litigation matters. Michelle is at the forefront of some of the most important disputes facing energy clients today and is barred in multiple oil and gas producing jurisdictions. She is sought out for both her courtroom skills and her strategic thinking. Michelle represents major integrated oil and gas companies, privately-owned independents, equity investors, and midstream companies in a wide range of matters including cases arising under operating agreements, lease termination disputes, mass and class action royalty litigation, complex title disputes, and midstream disputes. Michelle takes a common-sense, business-oriented approach to each case whether it requires a strongly negotiated settlement, or the aggressive defense or prosecution of her client’s claims. Her experience continues to be recognized by clients and colleagues, which has led to multiple noteworthy recognitions. Some of these include being named a Rising Star in Energy by Law 360, one of only five nationwide, Chambers Up and Coming in Nationwide Oil & Gas Litigation 2021, Texas Super Lawyers, and one of the Top 50 Women in Oil and Gas by the National Diversity Council.
JOHN (JACK) C. SCHMIDT is the Janet Quinney Lawson Chair in Colorado River Studies and leads the Center for Colorado River Studies at Utah State University where he has been a member of the faculty since 1991. He leads the Future of the Colorado River project and is a widely recognized expert on the past, present, and future of the river. Jack’s research focuses on the geomorphology and hydrology of rivers, especially those of the Intermountain West. He has worked with federal and state agencies to understand the impacts of dams and diversions on rivers and has helped develop strategies to mitigate and rehabilitate degraded river ecosystems. He helped develop and implement the program of controlled floods in Grand Canyon and won the National Park Service Director’s Award for his career of work on management of the large, regulated rivers of the National Park system. He was also a member of the team who won the Partners in Conservation award from the Secretary of the Interior for his work to develop a pulsed flow release of the Colorado River into the Colorado River delta in Mexico. Between 2011 and 2014, Jack led the Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center of the U.S. Geological Survey.
WILLIAM J. SHAPIRO is a Senior Attorney with the United States Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resource Division in Sacramento, CA, where he defends the U.S. in claims arising from federal agency decisions concerning water management, mineral extraction, tribal issues, and land use. In recent years, he has litigated several high-profile Fifth Amendment cases related to the 2005 flooding of St. Bernard Parish and the Lower Ninth Ward during Hurricane Katrina, the 2011 flooding of properties near Vicksburg, MS, and the 2017 flooding of Houston, TX, during Tropical Storm Harvey. In addition, Mr. Shapiro has litigated several cases related to water allocation decisions involving the federal government’s operation of the Central Valley Project and the Ventura River in southern California. Mr. Shapiro received his J.D. degree from the University of Colorado in 1999. He is admitted to the Colorado bar, and admitted to practice in several federal district courts, the Court of Federal Claims, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.
ABBY COHEN SMUTNY is Global Head of the White & Case International Arbitration practice, an award-winning international arbitration practice that has been ranked repeatedly as the leading practice globally. Abby is ranked as a global Band One practitioner in Chambers and other directories and is identified in Who’s Who Legal for her particular expertise in mining disputes. With over 30 years’ experience, she has handled billions of dollars in claims and has helped clients obtain some of the largest victories in international arbitration. She represents both multinational corporations and sovereign States in high stakes commercial and investment arbitration and works with clients addressing multi-jurisdiction award and judgment enforcement litigation. Abby’s leadership positions have included: Chair of the Institute of Transnational Arbitration (ITA); Vice President of the American Society of International Law; President of LCIA North American Users Council; AAA Advisory Board Member; Vice Chair of IBA Arbitration Committee and Chair of IBA Investment Treaty Sub-Committee; ALI Adviser on U.S. Restatement on International Arbitration; Co-Chair of the ICCA Task Force on Standards of Practice in International Arbitration; and Chair International Law Section of Washington, DC, Bar. Abby is a member of the Court of Arbitration of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre.
KRISTINE S. TARDIFF is a Senior Attorney with the United States Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resource Division in Concord, NH. Ms. Tardiff maintains a national docket of cases involving Fifth Amendment takings and other public land law matters, including claims brought against the U.S. related to flooding, water rights, endangered species, the private use of public lands, and the preservation and use of railroad corridors as public trails. In recent years, she has litigated several high-profile Fifth Amendment cases related to operational decisions involving the Klamath Project, the Central Valley Project, and the Ventura River. Ms. Tardiff has also been involved in the litigation of several flood based Fifth Amendment claims, including claims arising out of the 2017 flooding in Texas during Tropical Storm Harvey. Ms. Tardiff received her J.D. degree from the Northeastern University in 1993 and clerked for the late Senior Judge Shane Devine in the U.S. District Court in New Hampshire, from 1993 to 1995. She is admitted to the New Hampshire bar and is admitted to practice in several federal district courts, the United States Court of Federal Claims, and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
PILAR THOMAS (Pascua Yaqui) is a Partner in Quarles & Brady's Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Practice Group. She serves as general counsel for several tribes, Section 17, and tribal business entities, with an emphasis on energy and economic development. Pilar previously served as the Deputy Director for the Office of Indian Energy in the U.S. Department of Energy, Deputy Solicitor of Indian Affairs for the U.S. Department of the Interior, Interim Attorney General and Chief of Staff for Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice, Environmental and Natural Resources Division, Indian Resources Section. She received her J.D. from the University of New Mexico School of Law, magna cum laude, and her B.A. in Economics from Stanford University.
PAUL M. TILLEY is a shareholder in the Tucson office of DeConcini McDonald, Yetwin & Lacy, PC, and a member of the Natural Resources Practice Group. His practice focuses on public lands, mining law, natural resources and environmental law, water law, and general real estate matters. Paul advises clients on the broad array of issues related to the development of natural resource and renewable energy projects, including title considerations, joint ventures, financing, permitting, due diligence, and the acquisition and conveyance of water rights. He also advises mining clients on claim staking conflicts and disputes. Paul is a guest lecturer at the Global Mining Law Center and the Natural Resources Users Law and Policy Center at the University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law. He received his J.D. from Tulane Law School and his B.A. in International Studies and German from the University of Denver.
PATRICK TRAYLOR is a Partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Vinson & Elkins LLP, where his practice focuses on environmental enforcement defense and project development and permitting, primarily in the energy sector. From 2017-2019, Mr. Traylor was the Deputy Assistant Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. While there, Mr. Traylor helped oversee the EPA’s nationwide civil and criminal environmental enforcement program, with a particular emphasis on Clean Air Act enforcement. Prior to his time at the EPA, Mr. Traylor was a Partner in the D.C. office of Hogan Lovells U.S. LLP. He earned his B.A. from Texas A&M University, his J.D. from the South Texas College of Law, Houston, and his LL.M. in Environmental Law from The George Washington University Law School.
JOHN F. WALSH brings decades of federal government and private practice experience to lead WilmerHale's investigations, criminal litigation, and complex civil litigation practice in the Denver office. He has received extensive awards and professional recognition. Most recently, Colorado Law Week named him Colorado’s Best Litigator and Best Overall Litigator for 2021. After six years of service as Colorado’s U.S. Attorney, national responsibility as Chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys and a U.S. Senate run in Colorado, Mr. Walsh focuses his practice on complex civil and criminal litigation, internal investigations, and international matters. As U.S. Attorney from 2010 to 2016, Mr. Walsh served in national-level leadership positions for the DOJ, including service as Chair of the national Attorney General's Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys (AGAC). Mr. Walsh also served as Co-Chair of the AGAC's White Collar Crime Subcommittee, and as national Co-Chair of the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Fraud Working Group. A fluent Spanish-speaker, Mr. Walsh has conducted internal investigations in countries across Latin America and around the world. He serves as Co-Chair of the Mexico Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of International Law. Prior to his service as U.S. Attorney, Mr. Walsh practiced at two highly respected law firms in Denver for more than 15 years. As a Partner for 11 years at Hill & Robbins, Mr. Walsh handled plaintiff-side business litigation and class action matters, a broad range of securities and commercial litigation, as well as internal investigations, including FCPA matters. Previously, he was Counsel and then Partner for five years at Holland & Hart. Mr. Walsh began his practice as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles where he served for eight years, ultimately as Chief of the Major Frauds Section of that office's Criminal Division (1987–1995). Mr. Walsh is a graduate of Stanford Law School, Williams College, and Cherry Creek High School.
JENNIFER WEDDLE is the Co-Chair of Greenberg Traurig’s American Indian Law Practice and has wide-ranging experience in complex regulatory and jurisdictional issues, with a focus in Indian law, handling a variety of matters for tribal and non-tribal clients. Much of her practice focuses in the areas of tribal economic development and natural resources development. Jennifer also has significant U.S. Supreme Court experience. Her work includes negotiations for mineral leasing employment matters and representation before federal agencies. Her transactional experience includes oil and gas renewables projects throughout the west, as well as Endangered Species Act work. Jennifer has wide-ranging project siting experience, including the application of NEPA, NHPA, and other environmental laws on tribal and public lands, including with respect to large linear multi-state energy and infrastructure projects such as the 800-mile Ruby Pipeline project that entered service in 2011. She is past president of the National Native American Bar Association and the Federal Bar Association Indian Law Section. She currently serves as the Tenth Circuit representative to the American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary. She is a 2000 graduate of Harvard Law School and a 1997 graduate of the University of Michigan.
COREY WEHMEYER represents energy industry participants in trials, arbitration, and disputes. Clients include operators, working interest owners, mineral owners, drilling contractors, oil field service companies, pipeline companies, refiners, and mining companies. He has handled matters in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and North Dakota. He also represents clients in general real property and commercial litigation matters. As lead attorney, Corey has tried oil and gas jury trials to multi-million-dollar verdict and judgment for clients and has also secured take nothing defense verdicts. Corey is also an appellate attorney and has successfully represented energy clients in oral argument and briefing before the Supreme Court of Texas, and many intermediate courts of appeal. He is Board Certified in Oil, Gas, and Mineral Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
CHRISTOPHER WYATT is a Senior Associate with Behre Dolbear and is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors. He has over 25 years of experience in the minerals industry, including 14 years in senior and executive level operational management positions. Mr. Wyatt has operational experience and consulting experience in North America, South America, Australia, Indonesia, Asia, Africa, and Sri Lanka including financial evaluations, mineral appraisals, project management, performing feasibility studies, development, startup, and management of surface operations. In addition, he has assisted legal firms through development of expert technical reports, critically reviewing others reports and through depositions. Mr. Wyatt has assisted with or been the primary expert witness with the technical reviews and preparation of reports and expert testimony for ICSID arbitration, royalty disputes, legal cases, and insurance litigation. Mr. Wyatt graduated with a B.S. in Mineral Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and has an M.S. in Engineering Management, and an MBA from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo. In addition, he has an M.S., Mineral Economics from the Colorado School of Mines and was a member of the South Dakota School of Mines, Mining Engineering and Management Department, Faculty. He is a Qualified Person via the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME) and Mining & Metallurgical Society of America (MMSA) Qualified Professional. In addition, he is Certified Mineral Appraiser, International Institute of Minerals Appraisers, and a Member International Marine Minerals Society.
SANDRA B. ZELLMER is a Professor and Director of Natural Resources Clinics at the University of Montana School of Law, where she teaches public lands and natural resources, wildlife law, water law, torts, and related courses. Previously, Zellmer held the Robert B. Daugherty Chair at the University of Nebraska College of Law. Zellmer has published dozens of law review articles as well as several books, including Water Law & Policy (2018) (with Thompson, Abrams, and Leshy), Natural Resources Hornbook (2015) (2d ed. 2020) (with Laitos), and A Century of Unnatural Disasters: Mississippi River Stories (2014) (with Klein). Zellmer was elected to the American College of Environmental Lawyers in 2020, and she has served on the Board of Directors and as a trustee of The Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law. She is a member scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform and is active with the American Bar Association’s Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources (Committees on Public Lands and on Water Resources). Before teaching, she was an attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division, representing federal land management and wildlife agencies. She also practiced law at Faegre & Benson in Minneapolis, MN, and clerked for the Honorable William W. Justice, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas.
DR. GAIL SCHOETTLER grew up on a California cattle ranch. She has been a U.S. Ambassador, Colorado’s Lt. Governor and State Treasurer, Douglas County school board president, and a successful businesswoman. She narrowly lost her race for governor of Colorado, was a founder of the very successful Women’s Bank of Denver, and has served on ten corporate and numerous non-profit boards. She has a BA in economics from Stanford University and a PhD in African History from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Among her many awards are the French Legion of Honor (France’s highest civilian award) and membership in the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame. She co-founded Electing Women and the Electing Women Alliance to get women to raise money for pro-choice women running for governor and US Senator across the country, strongly believing that when women support women, women win. She helps run several family businesses, is married to Dr. Donald Stevens, has 3 children and 4 grandchildren. She is an avid hiker who has conquered her fear of heights to climb all 54 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks and 19,000 foot Mt. Kilimanjaro.