Oil and gas leases very frequently contain a provision about how disputes will be resolved. Newer leases almost always contain an arbitration clause.
Just what is arbitration and how does it differ from court proceedings? Generally speaking, both court proceedings and arbitration proceedings are adversarial processes in which a third party (or parties, in the case of a jury trial) is asked to settle a dispute. In both court and arbitration, an award of some kind will be issued to the prevailing party. Courts issue final judgments against parties that usually require them to take some action (i.e. pay damages). These judgments carry the full weight of the law and must be followed by the parties. Similarly, the award issued via arbitration proceedings is also legally binding on the parties. That is, the results from an arbitration proceeding carry no less weight than results from a courtroom proceeding. Because of this, it is essential that arbitration proceedings be taken very seriously.
One advantage of arbitration is that the third party arbitrator (also known as “the neutral”) typically has some personal expertise in the dispute’s subject matter. Oil and gas arbitration is no exception: neutrals often have a background including extensive oil and gas experience. It is therefore in a person’s best interest to prepare for arbitration proceedings with the appropriate guidance and expertise. Our attorneys’ knowledge of oil and gas law is well-known. Perhaps less well-known is our arbitration experience. At proceedings in which specialized knowledge often influences the outcome, it helps to have knowledgeable attorneys at your side. Contact us today if you need representation in an oil and gas arbitration proceeding.
About Eric Johnson
ERIC C. JOHNSON attended Ohio State University, earning a degree in economics and then graduated from the University of Cincinnati Law School in 1983. His areas of practice are personal injury law, real estate, oil and gas, contracts, litigation and appeals.