President Trump Nominates State Supreme Court’s Brown, AG’s Starr To Be Federal Judges

Brown dissented in the closely-watched 2015 Texas high court royalty case Chesapeake v. Hyder in which the court ruled against Chesapeake

 

March 8, 2019

 

President Donald Trump has nominated Texas Supreme Court Justice Jeff Brown and Deputy First Assistant Attorney General Brantley Starr to be federal district judges in Texas.

Brown was among the dissenting judges in the closely-watched 2015 high court case, Chesapeake Exploration LLC and Chesapeake Operating Inc. v. Hyder et al, in which the court ruled 5-4 in favor of a Fort Worth family in a dispute with Chesapeake Energy.

Chesapeake challenged — and lost — an appellate court decision that Martha Hyder and family members were entitled to approximately $1 million after the oil company charged them for post-production activities including transferring and delivering gas produced under their lease in the Barnett Shale.

The Texas Supreme Court concluded that a royalty in oil and gas is free of production costs but must share in post-production costs except where leases say otherwise.

In the Chesapeake case, the lease said otherwise.

Brown, along with TXOGA and others who filed friend of the court briefs, wrote in the dissent that it appeared Chesapeake had acted in good faith in charging Hyder for post-production costs.