Overview

Austin Brister represents oil and gas operators, non-operators, and mineral owners in oil and gas disputes. Austin has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in federal and state courtrooms across Texas, including courts in South Texas, West Texas, East Texas, and Central Texas. Austin seeks out creative and practical business solutions before resorting to litigation. But, when necessary, Austin works hard to implement aggressive strategies in the courthouse.
Austin has successfully handled disputes concerning mineral and leasehold title, adverse possession, surface trespass and damages, royalty calculation and payment issues, issues arising out of purchase and sale transactions, operator/non-operator disputes, breach of joint operating agreement, lease termination/saving disputes, and retained acreage disputes. Austin has taken and defended depositions of witnesses ranging from expert witnesses, chief operating officers, lawyers, engineers, drilling rig operators, and equipment operators.
Austin is an active member of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, where he currently serves as Chair of the Young Professionals Committee. Austin is also on the Advisory Board for the Institute for Energy Law. Austin frequently publishes articles and gives presentations on upstream oil and gas law. In recent years, he has published several articles within the Texas State Bar OGERL Section Report, authored multiple articles and gave presentations for Annual Institutes and other programs for the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, authored and presented a paper for the Louisiana Mineral Law Institute, co-authored papers for the Institute for Energy Law, and published articles within AAPL’s Landman Magazine.

News & Publications

News

Publications

  • 04.27.2021
  • May 12, 2020
  • February 10, 2020
  • February 3, 2020
  • Co-Author, Four Recent Drainage and Offset Cases: A Texas Litigation Trend?, Texas Oil & Gas Law Journal 01, pg. 33-34
    August 1, 2019
  • August 1, 2019
  • 07.08.2019
  • March 27, 2019
  • Co-Author, A Survey of Depth Severance Issues and Related Drafting Considerations, 63 Rocky Mt. Min. L. Inst. 30-1
    July 2017
  • Speaker, Legal Issues and Drone Applications in Ranching, TSCRA Summer Meeting, The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raiser's Association, Galveston, Texas
    June 16, 2017
  • March 20, 2017
  • Speaker, Royalty Calculations: Analyzing Royalty Clauses and an Update on Recent Case Law, Permian Basin Association of Division Order Analysts, Houston, TX
    November 17, 2016
  • Speaker, Production in Paying Qualities and Keeping the Lease, HAPL 7th Annual Shale Play Seminar, Houston Association of Professional Landmen, Houston, Texas
    September 28, 2016
  • Presenter, Primer and Update on Gas Royalty Calculation Litigation, NALTA Annual Meeting, National Association of Lease and Title Analyst, Atlanta, Georgia
    September 22, 2016
  • Presenter, Texas NPRI’s, NADOA 43rd Annual Institute, National Association of Division Order Analysts, Scottsdale, Arizona
    09.09.2016
  • Co-Author, Royalty Litigation: Perspectives from the Lessor/Lessee?, State Bar of Texas: Oil & Gas Disputes, Houston, TX
    01.28.2016
  • Speaker, Energy Transactions in a Low Price Environment; Mitigating Uncertainty and Risk, 2015 Landscape Discussion on Energy Law & Policy in the Rockies, University of Wyoming College of Law, Laramie, Wyoming
    October 2015
  • Speaker, Acquisitions During the Downturn: Suspense Issues, JIBs, Pay Decks, and Curative Materials, NADOA December Webinar, National Association of Division Order Analysts, Houston, Texas
    December 2015
  • Speaker, North Dakota Probate Issues from the Operator’s Perspective, 2015 ALTA/HADOA Joint Seminar, ALTA/HADOA, Houston, Texas
    November 2015
  • Speaker, Effective Use of Technology to Manage Big Data in the Practice of Law, November NAPO Meeting, National Association of Professional Organizers, Houston, Texas
    November 2015
  • Speaker, Select Landmines in Acquisitions and Divestitures and Due Diligence During Prolonged Oil Slump, Fall Land Institute, Denver Association of Professional Landmen, Denver, Colorado
    October 2015
  • Speaker, Evolving Landmines in Structuring Deals and Conducting Due Diligence Amidst Prolonged Oil Slump, 2015 Shale Play Seminar, Houston Association of Professional Landmen, Houston, Texas
    October 2015
  • Author, Importance of Lease Language That References Regulatory Rules, Landman Magazine
    09.27.2015
  • September 25, 2015
  • Speaker, Restrictions on Assignability: Handling Pref Rights and Consent Provisions, National Association of Lease and Title Analysts National Meeting, National Association of Lease and Title Analysts, Amelia Island, Florida
    September 2015
  • Speaker, Navigating Preferential Rights to Purchase and Consent to Assignment Provisions, National Association of Lease and Title Analysts National Meeting, National Association of Lease and Title Analysts, Amelia Island, Florida
    September 2015
  • Speaker, Landmines in Handling Consent to Assignment Provisions and Preferential Rights to Purchase, In-House Presentation, Undisclosed Major International Oil and Gas Company, Houston, Texas
    July 2015
  • Speaker, Restrictions on Assignability, Dallas Fort Worth Division Order Analysts Luncheon, Dallas Fort Worth Division Order Analysts, Dallas, Texas
    July 2015
  • Speaker, Non-Participating Royalty Interests from the Perspective of Texas Operators, SADOA Summer Seminar, Sooners Association of Division Order Analysts, Tulsa, Oklahoma
    June 2015
  • Speaker, Select Landmines in A&D and Due Diligence Re: Distressed Assets, Mid-Year Seminar, Houston Association of Lease and Title Analysts, Houston, Texas
    June 2015
  • Speaker, Structuring and Negotiating Farmout Agreements, In-House Presentation, Undisclosed Major International Oil and Gas Company, Houston, Texas
    May 2015
  • Speaker, Non-Participating Royalty Interests: Multi-Jurisdictional Fundamentals; Advanced Pooling Issues in Texas, Summer Webinar, National Association of Division Order Analysts
    May 2015
  • Speaker, Dirty Tricks and Cheap Moves: Protecting Your Client During Oil and Gas Transactional Work, International Transactions, The University of Texas at Austin School of Law, Austin, Texas
    April 2015
  • Speaker, Landmines in Acquiring or Divesting Assets During the Oil Downturn, PALTA Seminar, Permian Basin Lease and Title Analysts, Midland Texas
    April 2015
  • Speaker, Restrictions on Assignability: Preferential Rights & Consent to Assign Provisions, PALTA Seminar, Permian Basin Lease and Title Analysts, Midland, Texas
    April 2015
  • Speaker, Select Landmines in Conducting Due Diligence for Distressed Assets, PBDOA Spring Seminar, Permian Basin Division Order Analysts, Midland, Texas
    March 2015
  • Speaker, Overview of Preferential Rights, Consents, Areas of Mutual Interest, and Maintenance of Uniform Interest Provisions, PBDOA Spring Seminar, Permian Basin Division Order Analysts, Midland, Texas
    March 2015
  • Speaker, Non-Executive Mineral Interests for the Texas Operator, In-House Presentation, Undisclosed Independent Exploration and Production Company, Houston, Texas
    February 2015
  • Speaker, Restrictions on Assignability: an Overview of the Ties that Commonly Bind Oil and Gas Properties, Spring Institute, Houston Association of Division Order Analysts, Houston, Texas
    February 2015
  • Speaker, Dirty Tricks and Cheap Moves in the Oil Patch, Joint Operating Agreement Crash Course, Half Moon Education, Dallas, Texas
    January 2015
  • Speaker, JOA Problem Areas: Interests, Expenditures and Liabilities, Joint Operating Agreement Crash Course, Half Moon Education, Dallas, Texas
    January 2015
  • Speaker, JOA Problem Areas: Gas Balancing Agreements and COPAS Accounting, Joint Operating Agreement Crash Course, Half Moon Education, Dallas, Texas
    January 2015
  • Speaker, JOA Problem Areas: Common Article 16 Provisions, Joint Operating Agreement Crash Course, Half Moon Education, Dallas, Texas
    January 2015
  • Speaker, JOA Problem Areas: Proposals, AFEs, Cost Overruns and Exculpatory Language, Joint Operating Agreement Crash Course, Half Moon Education, Dallas, Texas
    January 2015
  • Speaker, JOA Problem Areas: Non-Consent Operations and Penalties, Joint Operating Agreement Crash Course, Half Moon Education, Dallas, Texas
    January 2015
  • Speaker, Anatomy of the AAPL Form 610 Operating Agreement, Joint Operating Agreement Crash Course, Half Moon Education, Dallas, Texas
    January 2015
  • Speaker, History and Fundamentals of the AAPL Form 610 Operating Agreement, Joint Operating Agreement Crash Course, Half Moon Education, Dallas, Texas
    January 2015
  • Speaker, Acquisitions and Divestitures in a Low-Price Environment, North Houston Association of Professional Landmen Luncheon, North Houston Association of Professional Landmen, Houston, Texas
    January 2015
  • Co-Author (with Austin Brister), Production in Paying Quantities: A Framework for Analyzing Lease Perpetuation Issues, Section Report of the Oil, Gas & Energy Resources Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, Volume 40, Number 2 / Winter 2015
    January 2015
  • Speaker, Non-Participating Royalty Interests: Fundamentals, Title Issues & Horizontal Drilling, National Association of Lease and Title Analysts, Annual ATLA Institute, Nashville, Tennessee
    September 2014
  • Author, Lease Perpetuation Issues and Analysis: Part One, Denver Lease and Title Analysts Newsletter
    September 2014
  • Speaker, Farmouts, JEAs, JDAs, and Participation Agreements: An Overview of the Many Agreements Used for Jointly Exploring and Developing Oil & Gas Properties, Dallas Ft. Worth Association of Lease and Title Analysts, Dallas TX
    September 2014
  • Speaker, Non-Participating Royalty Interest: Multi-state Fundamentals & Advanced Issues in Texas, National Association of Division order Analysts 41st Annual NADOA Institute, Chicago, IL
    September 2014
  • Speaker, Lease Perpetuation Issues in North Dakota, In-House Presentation for Enduro Resource Partners, LLC, Fort Worth, TX
    August 2014
  • Speaker and Author, New Horizontal Modifications to the AAPL Joint Operating Agreement, Dallas Bar Association Mineral Law Section, Annual Review of Oil & Gas Law XXIX, Dallas, TX
    August 2014
  • Speaker, Non-Executive Interest: A Look from the Operator's Shoes, Permian Basian Association Lease and Title Analysts, Midland, TX
    July 2014
  • Speaker, Wyoming Mineral Law and Leasing Issues, Mineral Law Section of the Wyoming State Bar
    May 2014
  • Speaker, Title and Pooling Issues Regarding Non-Participating Royal Interests, ConocoPhillips Spring Seminar, Houston, TX
    May 2014
  • Speaker, Non-Participating Royalty Interests: Fundamentals Community Leases Horizontal Drilling, Houston Association of Professional Landman, 45th Annual Technical Workshop, Houston
    May 2014
  • Speaker, Block-Chain Technologies: Potential Applications and Legal Ramifications, ISACA Young Professionals of the University of Houston, Houston, TX
    April 2014
  • Author, NPRIs: Fundamentals, Common Issues, Horizontal Drilling, ALTA Newsletter
    April 2014
  • Speaker, Non-Participating Royalty Interests: A Simple Idea with Complex Rules, Association of Lease and Title Analysts, Houston, TX
    February 2014
  • Co-author, Surface Use Agreements: Multijurisdictional Considerations in Negotiating and Drafting Agreements for Use of Surface Estate in Oil and Gas Exploration, Production and Development, Section Report of the Oil, Gas & Energy Resources Law S
    01.01.2014
  • Author, Surface Use Issues, Agreements and Surface Use Acts, AAPL Annual Meeting, Washington, DC
    June 2013
  • Co-author, Surface Use Agreements: Multijurisdictional Considerations in Drafting and Negotiations, AAPL Annual Meeting, Washington D.C.
    June 2013
  • Co-Author, Ten Ways to Reduce Headaches Over Your Title Opinions, PBLA Newsletter
    June 2013
  • Speaker, Drafting and Negotiating Agreements for Use and Restoration of the Surface Estates in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production, NHAPL Annual Voting Luncheon, Houston, TX
    May 2013
  • Author, Surface Use Issues, Agreements, and Surface Use Acts, AAPL Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C.
    2013
  • Author, Horizontal Drilling Under Graveyards and Churches, NHAPL Luncheon, Houston, TX
    2012

Honors & Recognition

  • Super Lawyers Rising Stars list, a Thomson Reuters service (2020-2021)

Community & Professional

  • Houston Bar Association, Mineral Law Section
  • Oil, Gas & Energy Resources Law Section of the State Bar of Texas
  • Institute for Energy Law
  • Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
  • Wyoming Bar Association, Mineral Law Section
  • American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL)
  • Houston Association of Professional Landmen (HAPL)
  • West Houston Association of Professional Landmen (WHAPL)
  • Young Professionals in Energy (YPE)

Education

University of Wyoming College of Law, J.D., 2011 (Dean's Honor Roll, recipient Watt Brothers Scholarship)

University of Northern Colorado, B.M., 2008

Bar admissions

  • Texas
  • Colorado
  • North Dakota
  • Wyoming

Court admissions

  • United States District Court for the District of Wyoming
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
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