Mayhall Fondren Blaize

Industry spokespersons question oil and gas law litigation

Representatives of the gas and oil industry in Louisiana are actively complaining that the state has become a haven for litigation due to its image of welcoming such lawsuits against oil and gas companies. The critics of the state's litigation system say that oil and gas law cases have clogged the state's courts and flattened the growth of the industry locally. They pin the blame on the governor, who they say is actively promoting and even soliciting such litigation.

The spokesperson for the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association has stated that part of the problem is set by the tone adopted by state leaders. He says that where the governor cannot solicit the parishes to cooperate, he makes it clear that he is going to do it himself. That industry spokesperson, Jordan Gleason, also asserted that the growth of oil and gas activity in Louisiana is stagnant when compared to the activity in other states around the country.

Another group, the Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch, agreed with Gleason, citing to various factors, including problematic venue laws, misuse of consumer protection laws and even widespread judicial misconduct. These groups also claim that the state has generally developed a popular image nationally of being friendly and receptive to those who would file such litigation. The industry spokespersons lamented that ultimately it was difficult, if not impossible, for the companies to get fair treatment in the courts.

The director of the Coalition of Common Sense went so far as to call the state a "judicial hellhole" and demanded meaningful legal reform. Opposition groups would likely call the claims exaggerated and would point to environmental factors necessitating stepped-up litigation in the state. When an energy company in Louisiana is confronted with oil and gas law litigation, the company will do well to seek representation from an experienced attorney familiar with the ins and outs of such litigation on behalf of the industry .

Source:, "Louisiana oil and gas industry suffering from litigation-friendly reputation, association says", Chandra Lye, Sept. 21, 2017

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