Thomas G. Ciarlone, Jr.
Tom focuses his practice on oil-and-gas litigation and general commercial litigation and dispute resolution. Tom has over fifteen years of complex litigation experience in trial and appellate courts across the country, and his practice broadly reaches all forms of contentious business disputes.
When royalties and other mineral interests are hotly contested, Tom is known for his thoughtful treatment—in the courtroom and on the papers—of the many intricacies that drive title controversies and deed-construction cases to successful conclusion. He frequently represents operators in high-stakes lease disputes involving allegations of the underpayment and miscalculation of royalties; violations of continuous drilling and development obligations; and improper deductions for transportation, processing, and other post-production expenses. His diverse industry background also includes representing operators and pipeline companies in mineral trespass and surface-use disputes, and in related proceedings for emergency and preliminary injunctive relief.
In addition, Tom often assists both operators and oil field service providers with sophisticated matters implicating the breach of supply, service, and confidentiality agreements and the theft and misappropriation of trade secrets. When mineral owners are impossible to find, or when they finally emerge after long absences, Tom helps oil-and-gas companies establish, administer, and wind down mineral receiverships, to ensure that time-sensitive operations are never impeded by missing or emerging interest owners. And, in the event business relationships sour, Tom has earned a reputation for diplomatically—and, when push comes to shove, aggressively—resolving disagreements among joint interest partners and other collaborators in the oil patch. Tom’s practical experience in the energy sector is simultaneously broad and deep, encompassing title issues, seismic-related disputes, drilling operations and surface damages, royalty underpayments, offset drilling and development, bad-faith pooling, cessation of production, and lease termination.
Beyond oil and gas, Tom has played a significant role in litigating and ultimately settling many nationwide class actions, including matters involving allegations of securities and consumer fraud at Big Four auditing and accounting firms and at a wide range of prominent publicly traded companies.
Tom always operates with an eye toward the business objectives of his clients and their bottom line. He makes it a top priority to formulate creative, cost-effective strategies for defusing his clients’ legal problems outside the courtroom. In this way, Tom helps his clients avoid or at least abbreviate litigation, conserve resources, and preserve valuable business relationships.
Every week, you can listen to Tom’s podcast, available at www.energylawroundup.com, which is devoted exclusively to breaking legal news and developments in the energy industry.