Supreme Court of Texas Blog: Legal Issues Before the Texas Supreme Court

No. 12-0920
TAMES

CHARLES G. HOOKS, III, ET AL. v. SAMSON LONE STAR, LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, N/K/A SAMSON LONE STAR LLC

Oral argument was held on September 17, 2014. The Court issued an opinion resolving the case on January 30, 2015. It then denied rehearing on May 1, 2015 File Closed

In the news...

Tracking 4 articles about this case.

February 3, 2015

Texas Justices Renew Royalty Owner's Fraud Case

from Texas Tribune

The Court has issued opinions:

January 30, 2015

Three decided cases and nine grants [Jan. 30, 2015]

from SCOTXblog

September 18, 2014

Texas Supreme Court Weighs Oilfield Fraud Case

from Texas Tribune

June 16, 2014

Three opinions, one grant [Jun. 13, 2014]

from SCOTXblog

This article also mentions 18 other cases.

Opinion

January 30, 2015

Devine
Hecht
Green
Johnson
Willett
Guzman
Lehrmann
Boyd
Brown

Justice Devine delivered the opinion of the CourtView Electronic Briefs | Oral Argument | Video . PDF

 

Court of Appeals

Appellate District:1st Court of Appeals
Outcome Below:Aff-Mod/Pt,Rev & Rem/Pt
COA Docket No.:01-09-00328-CV
Opinion Author:Honorable Evelyn Keyes

Trial Court

Trial Court:60th District Court
County:Jefferson
Trial Judge:Honorable Gary Sanderson
Trial Docket:Bl73008-B

Entries on SCOTX Orders Lists

Docket Entries

Date Event Outcome  
2015-05-01 Motion for Rehearing - Disposed Denied
2015-05-01 Mandate issued  
2015-04-27 Amicus Curiae Letter Received  
2015-04-22 Amicus Curiae Brief received  
2015-04-16 Amicus Curiae Letter Received  
2015-03-16 Case forwarded to Court
2015-03-16 Motion for Rehearing - Filed  
2015-02-17 Motion for Extension of Time to File Motion for Rehearing (Respondent)  
2015-02-17 Motion for Extension of Time to File Motion for Rehearing (Petitioner)  
2015-02-17 Motion for Extension of Time to File Motion for Rehearing disposed (Petitioner)   Filing granted
2015-02-17 Motion for Extension of Time to File Motion for Rehearing disposed (Respondent)   Filing granted
2015-01-30 Court approved judgment sent to attorneys of record Issued
2015-01-30 Opinion issued   Court of Appeals' judgment affirm and reverse in part; remand to court of appeals
  This case was awaiting the Court's decision after oral argument between September 29, 2014 and January 30, 2015.  
2014-09-29 Post submission brief filed (Respondent)  
2014-09-25 Post submission brief filed (Petitioner)  
2014-09-25 Post submission brief filed (Respondent)  
2014-09-17 Oral argument  
2014-09-16 Exhibits in case/cause filed (Petitioner)  
2014-08-13 Oral Argument Submission Form from Attorney received (Respondent)  
2014-08-12 Oral Argument Submission Form from Attorney received (Petitioner)  
  This case was waiting for oral argument between June 13, 2014 and August 12, 2014.  
2014-06-13 Case set for oral argument   Case set for oral argument
2014-05-02 Petition for Review granted
2014-05-02 Petition for Review disposed   Filing granted
2014-04-03 Address Change (Petitioner)  
  This case was pending on merits briefs between January 13, 2014 and April 3, 2014.  
2014-01-13 Letter brief (Petitioner)  
2014-01-10 Letter brief (Respondent)  
2014-01-06 Letter Filed (Petitioner)  
2014-01-06 Reply to Amicus Curiae Brief (Petitioner)  
2013-12-31 Phone call from Clerk's Office (Amicus Curiae)  
2013-12-20 Letter Filed (Respondent)  
2013-12-06 Amicus Curiae Brief received  
2013-12-06 Amicus Curiae Brief received  
2013-12-06 Reply brief filed (Petitioner)  
2013-12-03 Amicus Curiae Brief received  
2013-11-12 Motion for Extension of Time disposed. (Petitioner)   Filing granted
2013-11-12 Motion for extension of time to file brief. (Petitioner)  
2013-11-04 Brief filed (Respondent)  
2013-09-24 Fully hyperlinked brief filed (Petitioner)  
2013-09-23 Corrected Brief filed (Petitioner)  
2013-09-11 Motion for Extension of Time disposed. (Respondent)   Filing granted
2013-09-11 Motion for extension of time to file brief. (Respondent)  
2013-09-03 Brief filed (Petitioner)  
2013-08-01 Motion for Extension of Time disposed. (Petitioner)   Filing granted
2013-08-01 Motion for extension of time to file brief. (Petitioner)  
2013-07-18 Case Record Filed  
2013-07-01 Motion for extension of time to file brief. (Petitioner)  
2013-07-01 Motion for Extension of Time disposed. (Petitioner)   Filing granted
2013-06-14 Record Requested in Petition for Review
2013-06-14 Brief on the Merits Requested  
2013-05-30 Response to Amicus Curiae Brief filed (Respondent)  
2013-05-30 Address Change (Respondent)  
2013-05-28 Reply filed (Petitioner)  
2013-05-23 Amicus Curiae Brief received  
2013-05-17 Call received (Petitioner)  
2013-05-10 Response to Petition filed (Respondent)  
2013-05-10 Response to Amicus Curiae Brief filed (Respondent)  
2013-03-26 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response disposed (Respondent)   Filing granted
2013-03-25 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response (Respondent)  
2013-03-15 Supreme Court of Texas Requested Response  
2013-03-07 Amicus Curiae Brief received  
2013-02-21 Letter Filed (Respondent)  
2013-02-19 Amicus Curiae Brief received  
2013-02-12 Case forwarded to Court
2013-02-08 Response to Petition for Review waived (Respondent)  
2013-01-31 Fully hyperlinked brief filed (Petitioner)  
2013-01-25 Petition for Review filed (Petitioner)  
2012-12-21 Second Motion for Extension of Time to File Petition for Review disposed (Petitioner)   Filing granted
2012-12-19 Second Motion for Extension of Time to File Petition for Review filed (Petitioner)  
2012-11-15 Motion for Extension of Time to File Petition for Review disposed (Petitioner)   Filing granted
2012-11-14 Motion for Extension of Time to File Petition for Review filed (Petitioner)  

Parties

Party Counsel Role
Samson Lone Star LLC
Ms. Cynthia Keely Timms
Mr. Michael V. Powell
Mr. J. Matthew Marchak
Mr. Dick Watt
Mr. M. C. Carrington
Respondent
Hooks, III, Charles G.
Mr. Paul F. Simpson
Mr. Patton G. Lochridge
Mr. Jason Derrick Price
Mr. Shannon H. Ratliff
Ms. Erin Hilary Huber
Mr. David M. Gunn
Ms. Marla Diane Broaddus
Mr. Dale Wainwright
Petitioner

Amici Curiae

Amicus Curiae Counsel
Bordages, Jr., Joe A.
Mr. Patton G. Lochridge
Cardwell, Hart & Bennett, LLP
Mr. Jeffery L. Hart
Mr. J. Bruce Bennett
Texas Land and Mineral Owners' Association
Ms. Mary A. Keeney
Mr. John B. McFarland
The Texas Oil and Gas Association
Ms. Pamela Stanton Baron
The Texas Alliance of Energy Producers
Ms. Gloria Leal
Independent Petroleum Association of America
Mr. Craig T. Enoch
Soule, John G.
Mr. John G. Soule
Nielson, Jamie
Mr. Jamie Nielson

The effect on a statute of limitations when public records are tainted by fraud

A mineral owner sued the operator for fraud that occurred more than four years before suit, the effects of which continued in the stream of payments to the current day. The operator responded with, among other arguments, a limitations defense. The mineral owner contended that the discovery rule should have tolled that limitations period because it reasonably relied on the operator's representations. The operator contends that any such reliance was unreasonable because Railroad Commission records contained the needed information.

The opinion discussed whether "reasonable diligence" is one of fact or law, answering that it's ultimately one of fact but that there are categories of evidence — including some public records — that put a party conclusively on notice, thus starting the clock for limitations.

The Court distinguished those public-record cases because, here, the fraud had also "tainted" the integrity of the public records, with allegedly false information being included in the latest filings. Although the defendant contended that comparing these later records with earlier records should have put someone on notice of the fraud, the Court held that would require too much to be "reasonable diligence" as a matter of law.

Among the other issues, the Court interpreted the parties' "most favored nations" clause for royalty payments. The court of appeals had held this clause was not violated when the State in effect received preferential royalty payments because the State was not a market actor and thus the policy concerns were somewhat different. The Supreme Court held that the contract text did not draw such a distinction and, thus, that the contract had been breached.

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