Matt’s litigation experience before joining Holland & Hart includes:
Oil & Gas Royalty Litigation
Took over a royalty class action case on appeal for a production company and a gathering company. Obtained certiorari from the US Supreme Court, which ultimately resolved a removal issue in clients' favor, leading to a favorable settlement. Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. LLC v. Owens (2014)
Lead counsel for two of the five consolidated royalty class actions and obtained favorable ruling from the North Dakota Supreme Court rejecting claim for oil royalties and resulting in dismissal of over a dozen putative class actions. Blasi v. Bruin E&P, LLC (N.D. 2021).
Obtained dismissal of a class action brought by mineral rights owners, which is one of the few cases premised on antitrust claims concerning an AMI, and also successfully represented other clients defending four other antitrust royalty owner class actions.
Obtained dismissal of a class action for the largest oil and gas producer at the time in the Williston Basin concerning royalties on the value of the flared gas from all of its wells in North Dakota. Obtained dismissal of a class action disputing the ownership of mineral rights based on the ordinary high water mark in North Dakota.
Tried, and won an arbitration, of one of the rare cases taken to judgment concerning the reasonableness of actual costs or deductions taken into consideration when calculating oil and gas royalties. Obtained a federal court judgment confirming and adopting the ruling that the gas was in a marketable condition at the well and all post-production costs were reasonable.
Defended pipeline company in the seminal oil and gas royalty owner class action settlement case, which included antitrust claims, in the Federal District Court of Colorado. The approval of the settlement agreement was vigorously contested on appeal to the Tenth Circuit, and ultimately the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari. Rutter & Wilbanks Corp. v. Shell Oil Co., et al. (10th Cir. 2002), cert. denied (2003).
Defeated class certification for a client in two multi-defendant royalty and overriding royalty interest owner class action cases in Texas state court (which court certified the classes against other defendants) and later favorably settled the cases.
Tried and won a multi-defendant class arbitration in New Mexico and obtained a contested federal court judgment in favor of a pipeline company, defending it against claims that it had breached a class action settlement agreement in the calculation of its tariff, which was a factor in the determination of royalty and other payments to the class.
Assist lessees in responding to federal and state audits concerning proper payment of royalties for production from federal and state leases.
Oil & Gas Disputes
Retained in an ongoing gas plant construction case to be lead trial counsel and developed a trial strategy resulting in the exclusions of adverse evidence and, then, a favorable settlement.
Represented multiple E&P companies in overbilling and fraud investigations of oilfield service providers and recovered millions of dollars in unwarranted charges.
Defend E&P companies in numerous lease termination and/or quiet title actions.
Successfully defended a client in a regulatory hearing before the Kansas Corporations Commission (KCC) and obtained an industry-favorable ruling that the current lessee or working interest owner did not have responsibility for plugging hundreds of abandoned wells.
Represent E&P, midstream, and pipeline companies in right-of-way and easement claims concerning drilling, well and pipeline maintenance, and pipeline construction.
Assist both E&P and midstream clients structure affiliated and unaffiliated wellhead sales contracts and gathering, transportation and processing contracts.
Represent refining company in acquiring technology, equipment, and real estate for refining operations.
Regularly represent and assist unregulated interstate CO2 pipeline company on common carrier, tariff methodology, pricing, capacity, expansion, and reporting issues.
Lead counsel in three separate odor nuisance class actions for 1) refining refining company, 2) landfill owner, 3) rendering company. Developed a defense strategy resulting in voluntary dismissal of one case and an early favorable settlement and significance costs savings for the other two clients.
Represented E&P, pipeline, and refining companies in environmental, contamination, surface damage, and livestock claims resulting from spills, ruptures, or leaks.