January 5, 2018
On January 5, 2018, the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals, Division 4, issued a 31-page published decision affirming the trial court’s 2015 judgment in this declaratory judgment action, which asked the court to declare the rights of royalty owners and the obligations of lessees on four key issues of Oklahoma royalty law relating to: (1) oil and gas lease interpretation, (2) payment of royalty on fuel gas, (3) payment of royalty under different forms of gas marketing agreements, and (4) payment of statutory interest on late royalty payments.
In 2012, NP achieved favorable declaratory summary judgment rulings for the plaintiffs on all four issues. The court’s declaratory summary judgment ruling on the payment of statutory interest was affirmed by the Oklahoma Court of Appeals, Division 1 and the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
In October 2015, NP partner Brad Beckworth successfully tried the remaining three declaratory judgment issues and the defendants’ counterclaim and achieved a favorable judgment for the plaintiffs on all four issues. NP is one of the only firms to try a case to judgment concerning these critical issues of Oklahoma royalty law. This judgment, and now, its affirmance, will benefit over a million Oklahoma royalty owners.
NP partners Brad Beckworth, Lisa Baldwin, and Trey Duck led the prosecution of this case.