To kick off the New Year, Partner Jonathan Baughman spoke with Law360 about an anticipated decision from the Texas Supreme Court – whether they accept or deny a request from Energy Transfer Partners LPs to review a reversal by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
In the case, Energy Transfer Partners alleges that Enterprise Product Partners LP had cut them out of a pipeline deal. The Fifth Circuit court reversed a $535 million judgment obtained in the case.
Jonathan, who chairs the firm’s Oil & Gas/Energy Practice Group, was quoted about this case. This case should be of interest to more than just energy attorneys, but also those who handle contracts generally as it involved issues as to whether the parties inadvertently created a partnership or joint venture.
“From a practitioner's standpoint, it's a significant case to follow because if the Supreme Court reverses that decision it could cause some uncertainty in the business world — whether it's oil and gas or otherwise — because at what point do you have a partnership or joint venture?” Jonathan said.
The intermediate appellate court in July 2017 concluded that the parties’ written agreements included conditions that were not met and were not waived, precluding the formation of a partnership. Should the Texas Supreme Court decide to review the case, it could provide a chance for final clarification on the steps necessary to form a partnership.
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