The Texas Supreme Court recently cited OU Law Professor Monika Ehrman’s article, “One Oil and Gas Right to Rule Them All” (55 Houston Law Review (2018)), in its opinion addressing the duty of the holder of executive rights to minerals owned by another.
In Texas Outfitters, LLC v. Nicholson, the court cited Ehrman’s article, which identifies major issues that arise out of the severance of the executive right from the underlying mineral estate, focusing on scenarios where the preferred outcome of the executive does not harmonize with that of the nonexecutive.
In its opinion, the Texas Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the judgment of the trial court finding that the holder of the executive right to lease a mineral estate violated its duty of utmost good faith and fair dealing by refusing to lease in contravention of the non-executive's known wishes, holding that legally sufficient evidence supported the trial court's finding.
The case was argued Oct. 10, 2018, and the opinion was issued April 12, 2019. The page citing Ehrman’s article is below. Read the full opinion here.
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What led you to OU Law? I have wanted to go to law school since I was a teenager. I was active in speech contests and enjoyed making oral presentations. When I was in high school, I would go downtown and watch some of the trials at the courthouse, so, I got acquainted with the courtroom rather early. I obtained a Navy scholarship to go to OU. I was a regular Navy midshipman then I served three years in the far east before coming back to law school. I wanted to attend law school and came back to OU.
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What led you to OU Law? OU Law has been part of my family since the 1920s. My great uncle was Dr. Maurice Merrill, a 1922 graduate of OU Law who then earned a Doctorate in Law from Harvard University in 1925. Merrill taught at OU Law for 30 years, published numerous seminal works in oil and gas law, constitutional law, administrative law and the law of Notice. While still in his twenties, Merrill published the seminal treatise Implied Covenants in Oil and Gas Law, which has been a cornerstone of my cases. In law school, I lived with Uncle Maurice and marveled at his longhand scrawl which was literally final copy in its first draft form. In my mind, he will always be ten times the lawyer that I ever became.