CANTILO & BENNETT, L.L.P.; Austin, Texas Partner, 1/07 to Present; Of Counsel, 7/03 to 12/06
Represent state insurance departments in state, national, and international insurance company insolvencies on general receivership administration, civil litigation, multi-district litigation, and international liquidation and bankruptcy matters. Additionally represent national corporate client in employment, fraud, and trade secret litigation, independent oil and gas producers and land owners in oil and gas production disputes, salt water disposal disputes and other related matters, and local civic and home owners' associations, and individuals on municipal, environmental, development, water use, compliance, permitting, and subdivision issues.
GAMMAGE, HAMPTON, MARCIN & RAY; P.L.L.C.; Austin, Texas Partner, 3/98 to 7/03
Trial counsel on general civil litigation matters, complex multi-party cases, administrative hearings, and appellate proceedings primarily related to Natural Resources, Oil & Gas, Water, Municipal, and Environmental Law. Major clients include independent oil and gas producers, oil field service companies, local civic and home owners associations, developers, and individuals. In addition, representations include selected projects in the personal injury and condemnation areas, as well as appearing as an expert witness before the Railroad Commission.
MICHAEL P. MARCIN, ATTORNEY AT LAW; Austin, Texas Attorney, 8/95 to 3/98 Natural Resources, Oil & Gas, Water, and Environmental Law, as well as general business and consumer litigation. Representative projects include regulatory takings by state agencies, royalty non-payment claims, contract and DTPA litigation, rule 37 applications, salt water disposal well authorizations, and international commercial paper transactions.
GROUNDWATER SERVICES, INC.; Houston, Texas Environmental Hydro-Geologist, 11/89 to 8/92
Conducted hydro-geologic analysis for RCRA facility investigations, hazardous waste remediation projects, phase I and II audits for commercial real estate transactions, and consulting expert for City of Houston.
OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORP., (subsidiaries: OXY USA Inc., Cities Service Oil & Gas Corp.); Houston, Texas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma Geophysicist, 11/81 to 11/89
Subsurface geophysical investigations for the identification, promotion, and development of oil and gas prospects in the Texas and Louisiana coastal areas including the analysis of seismic, petrophysical, and paleontological data, and on-site supervision of well logging activities.
THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SCHOOL OF LAW; Austin, Texas J.D., 1994 Editor: Texas Intellectual Property Law Journal Earl Brown Award for Achievement in Natural Resource Law Dean's Achievement Award - Oil and Gas Law Wilbur L. Matthews Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Law
UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON; Houston, Texas Post-baccalaureate study in Hydrology, 1989
SUL ROSS STATE UNIVERSITY ; Alpine, Texas B.S., Geology, Magna Cum Laude, 1981
State Bar of Texas, Member since May 5, 1995 United States District Court for the Western District of Texas Registered Professional Geologist, Arkansas, No. 605; Registered Professional Geologist, Tennessee, No. TN 0651
Austin Bar Association
Travis County Bar Association
American Bar Association
International Association of Insurance Receivers
Alternative Insolvency Regimes - The State Insurance Receivership
The University of Texas School of Law Bankruptcy Conference,
Austin, Texas; November 2006.
Preservation of Your Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment Takings Claim for Non-Discretionary Federal Court Review
Regulatory Takings Conference; CLE International,
Austin, Texas; April 16-17, 1998.
Oil & Gas Litigation: Recent Developments 1994
Oklahoma Bar Association Conference, September 1994, and
CLE program, October 1994.
WBD Oil & Gas Co. v. Railroad Comm'n of Texas, 35 S.W.3d 34 (Tex.App.-Austin, 2001), rev'd and remanded, Railroad Comm'n v. WBD Oil & Gas Co., Inc., 104 SW.3d 69 (2003).
Guetersloh v. State, 930 S.W.2d 284 (Tex.App.-Austin 1996)
Research and appellate briefing
Challenge to County Sewage Permit Grant 2011
District Court, Hays County Texas
Challenge grant of septic permit by County Commissioners Court on grounds that permit was not compliant with county regulations, and was granted without a variance.
Receiver for Insolvent Title Agency 2011
District Court, Travis County, Texas
Serve as representative of the Special Deputy Receiver overseeing the dissolution of large Houston area title agency. Establish and conduct claim process, review and resolve claims against the insolvent entity, dispose of all remaining company assets, and wind up operations.
Employment, Unfair Competition, and Non-Compete Litigation 2010
District Court, Jefferson County, Texas
Defend regional construction and inspection company in suit challenging hiring practices and competitive activities resulting from expansion into new market. Coordinate litigation, conduct discovery, depositions, and draft and argue dispositive motions and coordinate negotiations resulting in settlement favorable to client.
Fraud/Malpractice/RICO Investigation of Former Management 2010
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and Western District of Tennessee (MDL)
Investigate Fraud/Malpractice/RICO claims against former management, as well as professional service contractors (Accounting/Actuarial/Legal) of an insolvent legal and medical malpractice carrier. Assist in the preparation and filing of an action before the U.S. District Court (consolidated with other actions in a multi-district litigation proceeding), seeking the recovery of funds to satisfy unreserved policyholder claims and claims from general creditors. Research company records to identify potential fraudulent or otherwise tortious conduct and prepare case to establish fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and conspiracy claims based on coordinated sham reinsurance transactions and other identified schemes.
Reinsurance Recovery Litigation 2009
State Corporation Commission for the Commonwealth of Virginia
Represent insurance Receiver in litigation to recover reinsurance proceeds from Cayman Island corporation that provided reinsurance to Virginia based medical malpractice insurance company. Coordinate litigation, trial preparation, negotiations, and obtain settlement to recover damages.
International Insolvency of Bermuda Reinsurer 2006
United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Supreme Court of Bermuda
Represent insurance Receiver in litigation and ultimate settlement of claim filed by the liquidators for a Bermuda reinsurer in a United States Bankruptcy Court. Defend Receiver's claim to multi-million dollar fund formerly held in a trust at a domestic U.S. bank against claims by the Bermuda liquidator to obtain turnover of the trust under provisions of 11 U.S.C. 304.
Involuntary Chapter 7 United States Bankruptcy to Recover Notes 2006
United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division
Represent insurance Receiver in involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding against the attorneys-in-fact for two formerly affiliated risk retention groups to recover on a series of notes that were assigned into a domestic trust account established to secure offshore reinsurance treaties. Obtain assignment of claims from liquidator of foreign reinsurance company and substitute Receiver in as real party in interest.
Suit to Recover Royalties on Skim Oil 2005
District Court, Hutchinson County, Texas
Defend operator of commercial salt water disposal facility from claims by mineral interest owners for a royalty on skim oil produced from off-lease water disposed at facility. Obtained declaratory judgment that disposal rights were part of surface and not mineral estate, and was awarded and collected attorney fees for client.
Represent Gas Producer re: Alleged Pipeline Safety Violations 2005
Texas Railroad Commission
Represent small independent gas producer in agency action to shut down recently purchased gas distribution pipeline based on alleged failure to conduct required inspections and failure to implement proper personnel policies. Citations were resolved based on agreed changes to system and creation and adoption of appropriate safety policies.
Suit to Enforce City Development Regulations on Subdivision Plat 2004
District Court, Hays County, Texas
Represent civic association in suit contesting the City of Dripping Springs' use of development agreements to grant wholesale variances from its subdivision ordinances for projects approved in its Extra Territorial Jurisdiction ("ETJ"). Opposing party obtained passage of retroactive legislation approving such agreements, and case was settled based on City's agreement to modify development plats and to pursue modifications to its subdivision ordinances.
Texas Water Code Claim for Injury Due to Diversion of Surface Water 2004
District Court, Travis County, Texas
Represent property owner injured by adjacent subdivision's construction of a detention pond designed to divert and accumulate surface water and to release the outfall directly onto client's property. Claims were asserted for violations of the Texas Water Code, for trespass, and, after the improvements were deeded to the City, for an uncompensated taking, due to the increased and unnatural quantities of water being cast onto client's property without an easement. Settlement included damages, sale of easement, and construction of underground storm water bypass.
Partial Lease Termination Suit 2002
District Court, Moore County, Texas
Defend large independent oil and gas company in suit by mineral interest owner asserting master lease had reverted over the years in a piecemeal fashion. Despite oil and/or gas having been continuously produced from one or more wells on the 640 acre section covered by the base lease, fractional interest owner asserted gas and oil estates had independently reverted with respect to each drilling unit and substance. Cleared title to fractional interest and affirmed remainder of lease.
Suit Against General Land Office to Prevent Termination of Lease 2000
District Court, Travis County, Texas
Suit against General Land Office alleging deprivation of client's property interest in lease caused by regulatory and other delays preventing the start of drilling. Reached an agreed settlement that extended lease for set period to start drilling operations.
Federal Civil Rights Action 2001
United States District Court, Western District of Texas, Austin Division
Obtained award of damages and attorney fees from the City of Austin for its violation of client's protected rights under the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution due to the unconstitutional deprivation of client's property, a Bengal tiger, during an illegal search and seizure.
Subcontractor dispute on County Construction Project 2001
Represent refrigeration company in claim for payment on contract to install refrigeration and piping system to new ice rink at County Coliseum.
Contested Case Proceeding at the Railroad Commission 1995-2003
District Court, Travis County, Texas
Challenge state agency rules promulgated in contested case proceeding that resulted in the sealing and deprivation of oil and gas wells. Suit challenged the validity and applicability of rules under section 2001.038 of the Texas Government Code (the Texas Administrative Procedure Act), and further sought compensation for a regulatory taking based on the retroactive application of these rules to an existing permit in violation of state and federal law. Favorable judgment obtained at Third Court of Appeals was reversed by Texas Supreme Court.
Commercial Salt Water Disposal Well 1998
Panhandle Field, Gray County, Texas
Represent land owner in opposition to the conversion of small oil lease into large commercial salt water disposal facility without his authorization. Result was one of the first district court decisions enjoining the use of existing infrastructure for such commercial disposal of oil and gas waste without surface owner authorization.
Recovery of Gas Sales Proceeds 1996
Panhandle Field, Moore County, Texas
Client funds placed in suspense account during 1980's due to general uncertainty in field concerning proper ownership of severed gas and oil rights after FERC proceedings brought under the NGPA. Obtained recovery of funds based on congressional removal of FERC authority in this area and limitations bar to other potential claims on ownership by third parties.
DTPA and Consumer Credit Protection Act Violations 1996
Residential Home Foreclosure, Humble, Texas
Misrepresentations and mishandling of foreclosure on a home improvement loan transaction between contractor and retired home owner resulted in settlement with bank due to potential liability of bank based on irregular assignment of consumer loan and associated builders and mechanics lien to bank.
RCRA Facility Investigation 1992
Chemical Plant, Alvin, Texas
Conducted site operations for the implementation of an approved RCRA Facility Investigation plan to delineate soil and groundwater contamination at operating chemical plant. Designed and supervised well installation and sampling programs, designed and implemented program to use cone-penetrometer to reduce risk of cross-formation contamination in DNAPL area, analyzed field and laboratory results, and prepared final report for submission to TNRCC and EPA.
Consulting Expert in Suit Opposing Landfill Site 1992
Proposed Cougar Landfill Project Houston, Texas
Firm hired by attorneys representing the City of Houston which opposed the locating of the landfill within the city. Reviewed reports and depositions by landfill proponent's engineer. Identified intermediate depth aquifer tapped by adjacent water well and ignored in the study. Review lead to withdrawal of the application by proponent.
Petroleum Storage Tank (PST) Excavation, Delineation Study, and Groundwater Remediation System Design 1991
Distribution Center for Area Grocery Retailer, Houston, Texas
Removed PST and adjacent soils with hydrocarbon contamination from a leak, obtained TWC approval for closure of the excavation, delineated the limits of residual soil and groundwater contamination, and designed vacuum enhanced water and vapor extraction remediation system.
Phase I Environmental Survey, Oil Field 1991
Old Humble Oil Field, Humble, Texas
Interest in field, discovered in early 1900's, passed to FDIC who had concerns over possible salt water incursion into shallow aquifer by poorly plugged wells, and past handling of pits and releases of crude oil. Reviewed history of site including historical aerial photos, interviews with past operators and on-site inspection of the field. Project identified shallow burial of brine pits, locations of former drill sites, and extensive surface contamination.
Statistical Study of Effectiveness of Amplitude Processing 1987
Offshore Texas and Louisiana, State and Federal OCS
Conducted enhanced amplitude with offset processing over high amplitude anomalies. Collected results of this and other similar studies over gas producing formations and known dry hole locations. Statistically evaluated predictive value of technique for determining thickness of formation and gas producing zone.
Oil and Gas Prospect Generation and Promotion 1982-89
Texas and Louisiana Coastal Areas and Federal OCS
Developed leads for potential oil and gas fields using seismic, petrophysical, and paleontologic data. Initiated data acquisition projects to create prospects which could be promoted to management and partners for acquisition. Responsible for the acquisition of eight federal OCS block.
Oil and Gas Field Development 1982-89
Texas and Louisiana Coastal Areas and Federal OCS
Detailed integration of drilling results and geophysical data to identify underdeveloped areas of existing fields. Untested areas were promoted to management or other companies as farm-in proposals, some of which were drilled resulting in substantial increases in company reserves.
Texas Advocacy Project, Inc.; Austin, Texas
Board of Directors, Chairman, 2021-present; Member, 2012-2020
Envision Central Texas; Austin, Texas
Board Member, 2012-2013
Hays County Transportation Bond Advisory Board; San Marcos, Texas,
Board Member, 2008
Hays County Transportation Advisory Board; San Marcos, Texas
Board Member, 2007
Not Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization