Energy

Employers too often assume that job titles, job descriptions or simply categorizing an employee as "salaried" automatically enables the employer to categorize an employee as exempt, thus avoiding overtime pay. This is NOT the case. The Fair Labor Standards Act (the "FLSA") and the U.S. Department of Labor (the "DOL") have very specific guidelines for classifying employees as exempt or non-exempt.

An employer who purchases employment practices liability insurance likely expects coverage for claims of unlawful employment practices. Unfortunately, the devil is in the details in terms of what types of claims are covered and what types of claims are not covered, as well who is responsible for the legal fees incurred on the part of the employer in defense of such claims.

As an employer, you do not want to hire a new employee only to find out shortly after the hire, that the employee had signed a non-compete agreement with his or her previous employer. The employee in that instance may have less value to your company and the hiring may in fact lead to your company being named in a lawsuit along with the employee where the employer seeks to enjoin or restrict that employee working for you or doing certain things as an employee for your company.

  • Representation of founders in the formation and organization of energy company with $5 million in venture capital and mezzanine financing and $30 million in senior debt financing.
  • Representation of a oil tools company in its sale of business.
  • Worked on employment structure issues in connection with consolidation of two largest companies in niche industrial services sector.
  • Defense in arbitration before the International Chamber of Commerce and litigation of owner of offshore drill ship against claims by an offshore service provider.

While disputes are generally resolved through a trial (although in fact most disputes are resolved through a settlement after a lawsuit has been filed), many disputes may be resolved in a forum or proceeding that does not involve a court in any way. Two means to resolve disputes are mediation and arbitration.

Background. You work with, or are considering working with, various vendors, suppliers, partners or other third-parties to either bring more value to your customers or to expand the current level of services that you can deliver. You are sharing information with other businesses in evaluating various ventures. These, and many other scenarios, require you to reveal to a third party, and to possibly receive from a third-party, confidential information.

Texas corporations are creatures of state law, formed under the laws of Texas, referred to as the corporation's state of incorporation. A Texas formed corporation which confines its operations to Texas does not need to worry about the corporate laws of other states. 

But generally shareholders of corporations want them to grow and increase profitability. For this purpose, Texas corporations will oftentimes expand operations outside Texas. Outside of its state of incorporation, a Texas corporation is viewed as a "foreign" corporation.

Reality check: Odds are that at some point in time your company will be sued.  How long the case will be pending, how much will your company expend in legal fees to defend itself and what will be the final outcome are very difficult to predict. 

If your company is sued, IMMEDIATELY review the summons or citation (usually the top page of the complaint or petition that states the claims of the lawsuit) and CALENDAR the date on which a response/answer is due.  The number of days you have to respond will be prominently mentioned. 

The attorneys of PDH provide representation to many companies in the "oil patch" and who otherwise provide energy products and services.  We advise clients in the area of corporate formation and governance, asset acquisition, mergers and acquisitions; land rights and real estate matters; commercial contracts; and litigation and arbitration of disputes. 

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