Attorneys and Staff

THOMAS ALAN ZABEL

PARTNER

Significant Representations

Obtained take nothing final judgment in favor of BP America after two week trial in largest land vacancy claim in recent Texas history (i.e., the King Vacancy Claim) where the claimed amount in dispute exceeded ten billion dollars ($10,000,000,000), and which involved over five thousand land, mineral and leasehold owners. Also served on a task force which worked with oil and gas industry participants, NARO, TIPRO, TxOGA, the GLO Staff, surveyors and legislators to successfully amend and reform the vacancy statutes, and appeared at a legislature committee hearing to testify in support of the new legislation.

Obtained favorable take nothing jury verdict in favor of Marathon in case in which landowner sought over 12 million dollars in damages for alleged lease termination, tortious interference, bad faith pooling and various other tort claims, and no appeal taken from the verdict. Lila Williamson v. Marathon Oil Co., Cause No. 10CV-30,899 in the District Court of Shelby County, Texas (January, 2014).

Obtained take nothing judgment on oil and gas environmental contamination claims in which the plaintiff sought damages in excess of $5 million). Rancho Esperanza v. Marathon Oil Co. Cause No. 10-07-07204 in the 112th Judicial District Court of Crockett County, Texas (February, 2014).

Obtained favorable settlement in ad valorem taxation of underground storage case, saving tax payer over $15 million in taxes. Underground Services Markham, LP v. Matagorda Appraisal Review Board, Cause No. 11-H-0501-C in the 23rd Judicial District Court of Matagorda County, Texas (June, 2014).

Obtained favorable settlements of two international arbitrations involving a proposed $1.5 billion LNG project in Baja California Mexico, one under the American Arbitration Association Rules (AAA) involving a London-based company and the other under the International Centre for Dispute Resolution ("ICDR") rules involving a Mexico-based company.

Prevailed in jury trial defending pipeline company against claims that pipeline company had failed to timely remove multi-million dollar compression station after termination of easement and had lost ownership of same. Scamardo v. ETC Texas Pipeline, Ltd., Cause No. 26,410 in the 21st Judicial Court of Burleson County, Texas.

Obtained favorable settlement in multi-million dollar oil and gas preferential rights dispute on behalf of holder of preferential right. Finely Resources, Inc., et al v. Plains Exploration & Production Company and Latigo Petroleum, Inc., Cause No. 348-257-09-11, in the 348th District Court of Tarrant County, Texas.


 Handled and successfully resolved oil and gas arbitration proceedings for Marathon Oil Company involving oil and gas properties in Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Egypt and Australia, under the AAA, ICDR and other arbitration rules.


 Obtained summary judgment on behalf of major independent oil company in drainage case in which damages exceeded one-hundred million dollars ($100,000,000), and thereafter successfully settled the case for nuisance value.


 Successfully negotiated a settlement valued in excess of twenty million dollars ($20,000,000) with a major oil company in a large unitization dispute.


 Obtained summary judgment in favor of a large oilfield service company in a suit involving wellbore damage claims, secured order striking the Plaintiff's reservoir damage expert on Daubert challenge, obtained JNOV of jury verdict after three week jury trial, and successfully negotiated settlement of wellbore damages claims where claimed damages were in excess of $300,000,000.


 Successfully negotiated no recovery settlement of wrongful death claims asserted by estate of decedent against owner of an aircraft in two separate airplane crashes involving multiple fatalities.


 Tried several land partition lawsuits and obtained favorable judgments.


 Handled and resolved many environmental, nuisance and trespass claims against oil and gas operators concerning alleged contamination of, and, or damage to lands.


 Obtained numerous favorable summary judgments on oil and gas lease and surface lease termination issues.


 Obtained favorable settlements in numerous oil and gas measurement disputes.


 Successfully obtained numerous injunctions for oil and gas clients seeking access to their leaseholds to conduct oil and gas operations, without interference from surface owners.


 Handled well over 2,000 condemnation cases on behalf of numerous common carriers, and gas and electric utilities involving properties in South, Central, East, North, and West Texas.


Negotiated substantial monetary settlement for landowner in condemnation …….

Prosecuted and defended numerous claims involving liens on real estate and oil and gas properties.
Successfully resolved large ad valorem tax cases before appraisal review boards and appellate courts, including large ad valorem tax cases involving oil and gas properties and lignite mines.


 Successfully tried and prevailed on appeal on large ad valorem tax case concerning large commercial real estate tract in Houston, Texas.


 Served as an arbitrator in multiple AAA oil and gas disputes and as mediator in oil and gas cases.

tzabel@zflawfirm.com

Houston
Ph: 713-802-9117
Fax: 713-802-9114
Direct Ph: 713-651-1561
Direct Fax: 281-453-0865
Cellular Ph: 713-305-8875

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