ALEX RITCHIE is the Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Foundation. He comes to the Foundation from the University of New Mexico School of Law, where he held the Leon Karelitz Chair in Oil and Gas Law and taught oil and gas law, advanced oil and gas law, property law, natural resources law, energy law, and business associations. Before joining the UNM law faculty, Alex was Senior Corporate Counsel for Suncor Energy (U.S.A.) Inc., based in Denver. Alex joined Suncor in 2009 after ten years in the Energy and Natural Resources and Corporate Transactions practice groups at Bryan Cave LLP (formerly Holme Roberts & Owen LLP). In addition to numerous Foundation papers and law review articles, Alex is a co-author of the Tenth Edition of Cases and Materials: The Law of Oil and Gas (Foundation Press 2016) (with Martin, Kramer and Hall). Over the course of his career, Alex has represented clients in oil and gas, mining, corporate, securities, commercial, mergers and acquisitions, and environmental matters.
STACEY GARVIN, AAPL, Fort Worth, TX
JAY W. BEAVERS, Incoming President AAPL; Beavers Energy LP, Sanger, TX
REBECCA W. WATSON is a shareholder in the law firm of Welborn Sullivan Meck & Tooley, P.C. in Denver and serves on the Board of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Foundation as Vice President and President-elect (2019-2020). Rebecca has a distinguished 40-year career representing natural resource, oil and gas and renewable energy clients and in high-level public service in the federal government. As Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management of the U.S. Department of Interior in the George W. Bush administration, she had oversight over 3 energy resource bureaus including BLM, led 12,000 employees and managed a $1 billion budget. Prior to that, she served as Assistant General Counsel for Energy Policy at the U.S. Department of Energy. Rebecca was named the 2011 Distinguished Natural Resources Practitioner-in-Residence at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, her alma mater, and has been repeatedly nationally recognized as a top energy and natural resources lawyer. She speaks and writes frequently on public land and energy topics. Rebecca is a Trustee on the Board of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West museum in Cody, Wyoming and serves on the Jefferson County, Colorado Open Space Advisory Committee.
DAVID W. MILLER is the owner and Managing Member of Miller Land Professionals, LLC, a full-service land company located in Jackson, Mississippi. After graduating from Mississippi State University with a degree in Geology in 1975, Mr. Miller began his forty-four year career as a landman working for his father. He formed Miller Land Professionals in 2003 and expanded his business to cover more than twenty states. He is a Certified Professional Landman and a Registered Professional Geologist. He is a past president of the American Association of Professional Landmen and the Mississippi Association of Petroleum Landmen, and is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the U. S. Oil & Gas Association, Mississippi & Alabama Division.
AMY E. SENESHEN serves as the managing partner of Welborn Sullivan Meck & Tooley, P.C. She specializes in the acquisition and divestiture of oil and gas upstream and midstream assets, and advises clients in the energy sector on day to day operational issues. She represents companies in negotiating and structuring natural resource projects for the exploration and development of mineral properties. Ms. Seneshen has served as a trustee-at-large for the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation. She is Chair of the Site Selection Committee for the RMMLF Annual Institute and also serves as a member of the Special Institutes Committee, the Financial Advisory Committee and the Long Range Planning Committee of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation. She has been selected for inclusion as a member of “Who’s Who in Energy” and has been named a “Top Woman in Energy” by the Denver Business Journal. Ms. Seneshen is the past Chair of the Natural Resources and Energy Law Section of the Colorado Bar Association as well as the Legal and Legislative Committee of the Denver Association of Petroleum Landmen. Ms. Seneshen received her undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut and her law degree from the William and Mary College of Law.
WILLIAM B. BURFORD is a partner in the Midland, Texas, office of Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in geology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1975, and is a 1978 graduate of the University of Texas Law School, where he was a member of the Texas Law Review. He has practiced in Midland since his graduation, primarily in the area of oil and gas title and transactional matters. He has served, since its inception, on the joint editorial board for the development of title examination standards established by the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law and Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Sections of the State Bar of Texas. He currently serves as the Texas reporter for the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation’s Mineral Law Newsletter and is a past chair of the State Bar of Texas Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Section
KATY WEHMEYER, Santoyo Moore Wehmeyer P.C., San Antonio, TX
JOHN B. MCFARLAND represents land and mineral owners in oil, gas and mineral law, water law, and environmental law issues, in both transactional and litigation matters. He was Briefing Attorney to the Honorable Ruel C. Walker and to the Honorable Ross E. Doughty, Supreme Court of Texas, 1975-1976. He obtained Board Certification as a Specialist in Oil, Gas and Mineral Law in December 1986. Mr. McFarland is the author of the Oil and Gas Lawyer Blog. He has been a shareholder with Graves, Dougherty, Hearon & Moody in Austin, Texas since 1978, and was President of the firm from January 2018 to April 2019.
Education: Yale University (B.A., cum laude, 1972); University of Texas (J.D., 1975).
SAM NIEBRUGGE is a partner at Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP in Denver, Colorado. His practice focuses primarily on transactional matters for the oil and gas and mining industries. In addition to his work with oil and gas and mining producers at DGS, he worked in-house for a large independent oil and gas producer. He is experienced in drafting and negotiating purchase and sale, development, exploration, joint operating, farmout, and master services agreements, as well as various other agreements in the oil and gas and mining industries. He has experience in both asset and equity transactions. He also has extensive experience preparing all forms of title opinions covering fee, state, and federal lands. He is a trustee, member of the Financial Advisory Committee and Special Institutes Committee, and the co-chair of the Oil and Gas Section for the 2018 Annual Institute for the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (RMMLF). He is also the former chair of the RMMLF Young Professionals Committee. He has authored several papers and spoken extensively to in-house counsel and at continuing legal education events on all matters associated with the oil and gas industry.
JESSICA K. FREDRICKSON, Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP, Denver, CO
DEANA A. ALLEN is Senior Counsel at Beatty & Wozniak, P.C., in Denver, Colorado, where she practices in the firm’s Oil & Gas Title and Transactional Groups. She is licensed to practice in Texas, Colorado, and North Dakota. Her practice is devoted exclusively to the oil and gas industry, including rendering drilling, division order, leasehold and acquisition title opinions and representing clients in all phases of acquisition and divestiture transactions. Previously, she served as Associate General Counsel for a wholly owned subsidiary of a Fortune 250 company in Dallas where her practice encompassed issues related to real property law, title issues, regulatory compliance and transactional work. She also speaks to legal and industry groups on oil and gas topics and issues affecting the oil and gas industry. Deana graduated from the University of Kansas Business School with a M.B.A. and the University of Kansas Law School with her J.D. She is currently a member of the Oil, Gas and Energy Resources, Real Property, and Probate and Trust Law Sections of the State Bar of Texas, the Natural Resources & Energy Law Section of the Colorado Bar Association, the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, the Denver Association of Oil and Gas Title Attorneys, and the Denver Association of Petroleum Landmen.
TIMOTHY C. DOWD is an attorney with Elias, Books, Brown & Nelson, P.C., in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Mr. Dowd is a past President of the Oklahoma City Mineral Lawyers Society (1996-97); and is past Chairperson of the Oklahoma Bar Association Mineral Law Section (2005-06). Mr. Dowd is the author of the Oklahoma chapter of AAPL’s Nationwide Comparison of Laws on Leasing, Exploration and Production (2011) and the chapter on Oil and Gas Titles in West Publishing Company’s Oklahoma Real Estate Forms and Practice. Mr. Dowd has written numerous articles for publication including:
Trespass in the Age of Horizontal Drilling Under State Conservation Statutes, 63 Rocky Mt. Min. L. Inst. 6A-1 (2017);
Current and Emerging Issues in Oil and Gas, Title Examination, Oil & Gas 2 Nat. Resources & Energy J. 505 (2017);
Clearing Title of Long-Lost Mineral Owners, 54 Rocky Mt. Min. L. Inst. 30-1 (2008); and
Preferential Rights to Purchase in Oil and Gas Transactions, 49 Rocky Mt. Min. L. Inst. 5-1 (2003).
Mr. Dowd’s primary area of practice is oil and gas law, including the rendering of title opinions and the drafting and negotiation of industry contracts.
TERRY CROSS is a founding partner of McClure & Cross LLP, established in 2008, and practices in the Dallas office of that firm. He has 40 years’ experience in providing legal counsel to the oil and gas industry as in-house counsel in a major oil company, partner in a large law firm energy practice and now in the boutique oil and gas firm of McClure & Cross. He is licensed in North Dakota and Texas and board certified in Oil, Gas and Mineral Law by the Board of Specialization of the State Bar of Texas. He regularly teaches Texas Land Titles as Adjunct Professor at SMU Dedman School of Law and is a frequent speaker and author on energy finance, oil and gas law and industry contracts. He is a member of the joint editorial board for the development of title examination standards established by the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law and Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Sections of the State Bar of Texas. Cross was selected for the 24th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America in Energy and Natural Resources Law and named the Best Lawyers® “Lawyer of the Year” in Natural Resources Law for Dallas/ Fort Worth for 2018.
SHERRY BURSEY, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Denver, CO
ERIN K. MURPHY is a Senior Attorney for Encana’s Western and Southern Operations, where she handles a variety of operational and transactional matters. Prior to joining Encana, Erin practiced in the Trial and Natural Resources groups at Davis Graham & Stubbs, focusing her practice primarily on complex natural resources litigation and other commercial matters for the energy industry. She holds a bachelor’s degree with Highest Honorable Distinction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a juris doctorate with Honors from University of Wyoming. Erin is licensed in Colorado, Wyoming, and Illinois, and has represented clients in a variety of administrative, state, and federal proceedings. Erin is an active member in a number of professional organizations, including the State Bars of Wyoming and Colorado, the American Bar Association, and the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation. Erin also serves as an Executive Member of the Board of Directors for the national non-profit organization Can Do Multiple Sclerosis, and as a volunteer in her free time for numerous other charitable organizations.
BLAKE M. PICKETT, Fleur de Lis Energy, LLC, Irving, TX
ERIKA ZIMMER ENGER is Senior Counsel for WPX Energy, Inc., an oil & gas exploration and production company, and previously worked as in-house counsel with Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc. Prior to assuming an in-house role, she worked for several Denver law firms and for the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, generally concentrating on oil & gas and environmental work, as well as environmental and litigation matters for mining clients. Erika earned her J.D. from New York University School of Law and her A.B. cum laude from Smith College and is a past Trustee of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation.
PHIL LOWE is an attorney advisor with the Department of the Interior’s Rocky Mountain Regional Solicitor’s Office, in Lakewood, CO. Formerly a hydrogeologist and environmental scientist in the environmental management and licensing section of a major electrical utility, as an attorney he was part of the environmental practice groups of two large law firms in San Francisco and Denver. At the Regional Solicitor’s Office, he advises Interior agency clients on legal and policy matters related to conventional and renewable energy development on public lands and has extensive litigation experience before the Interior Board of Land Appeals and federal courts. Phil also advises Bureau of Land Management clients on NEPA and FLPMA issues associated with environmental impact statements and environmental assessments for a variety of land planning actions and project level records of decision. He has a 1981 B.S. with honors from Rutgers University (where he won several athletic and academic awards) and a 1989 J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.
LIANE L. MATTSON, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Minerals and Geology Management, Lakewood, CO
CHRIS HEASLEY is a partner with Kirkland & Ellis LLP in the oil and gas asset acquisition and divestiture practice, in Houston, TX. Chris’s practice focuses on acquisitions, divestitures, and formation of joint ventures involving energy assets, with a particular emphasis on oil and gas deep-water and unconventional resources. Chris’s transactional experience also includes advising clients in connection with the formation of joint ventures and complex joint development projects, farm-out and participation agreements to develop oil and gas properties, oil and gas transportation and gathering agreements, natural gas processing and fractionation agreements, and other commercial transactions.
DAVID M. WILDES is Managing Counsel at Newfield Exploration Company in The Woodlands, Texas, where his primary focus is on acquisitions, divestitures and other oil and gas asset transactions. Previously, Mr. Wildes supported the company’s land, operations, marketing, contracts, land administration and seismic teams on various E&P transactions, contracts, matters and disputes. Prior to joining Newfield, David was in-house counsel at Linn Energy, LLC, where he supported the business development group on acquisitions and divestitures and was the lead operations, land and E&P transactions attorney for the Rockies Division, as well as the California, Hugoton, East Texas and Michigan assets. In private practice, Mr. Wildes advised clients on onshore and offshore acquisitions, divestitures and other oil and gas asset transactions, as well as title and diligence matters, at Baker & McKenzie LLP, Thompson & Knight LLP, Wilson & Johnson LLP, and George C. Hippard & Associates, PC. He is Board Certified in Oil, Gas and Mineral Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is also licensed in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
KEITH B. HALL is Director of the Mineral Law Institute and the Campanile Charities Professor of Energy Law at Louisiana State University, where he teaches: Mineral Rights; Property; International Petroleum Transactions; and Energy Law & Regulation. His publications have focused on oil and gas leases, pooling and unitization, hydraulic fracturing, induced seismicity, and the management of produced water. He is co-author of a national casebook on oil and gas law and also is co-author of a book on the legal issues relating to hydraulic fracturing. He also is a contributing co-author to a forthcoming new edition of a book on international petroleum transactions. In addition to teaching at LSU, Professor Hall has taught energy law classes as a visiting professor at Baku State University in Azerbaijan, as a visiting professor at the University of Pittsburgh, and as an adjunct professor at Loyola School of Law. Before joining the LSU faculty, he practiced law at a major firm in New Orleans for sixteen years, and before that he worked for eight years as a chemical engineer in the petrochemical industry.
JIMMY DUPUIS is a partner at Kean Miller LLP in The Woodlands, TX. He has extensive experience representing upstream energy companies in all phases of oil and gas exploration and production in several producing states, including Texas, New Mexico, and Louisiana. His primary areas of practice include title examination, due diligence in connection with the acquisition and divestiture of oil and gas assets, negotiating and drafting contracts, regulatory compliance, and providing advice and assistance to attorneys and landmen at E&P companies.
JOSEPH C. PIERZCHALA is a shareholder at Welborn Sullivan Meck & Tooley, P.C., in Denver, CO. His practice focuses on representing oil and gas companies before the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and business and individual clients in complex commercial and civil litigation before state and federal courts. Mr. Pierzchala has experience before the Commission involving establishment of drilling and spacing units, statutory pooling, well density, setback, surface issues, and enforcement matters. Mr. Pierzchala’s litigation experience includes litigating and arbitrating a wide array of disputes involving oil & gas, mineral rights, real estate, corporate law, eminent domain, and securities. He was selected for inclusion in Colorado Super Lawyers "Rising Stars" List, 2014-2018. He received his J.D. from the University of Denver, where he was Staff Editor or the Denver University Law Review, and he received his B.A. in Political Science from Colorado State University.
JOHN S. DZIENKOWSKI is the John F. Sutton, Jr. Chair in Lawyering and the Legal Process and a Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Texas. John is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a high honors graduate of the University of Texas School of Law. While in law school, John served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Law Review and received the honors of a member in the UT Chancellors and the Order of the Coif. He served as a judicial law clerk for Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Joseph Sneed (1983-84) and for District of Massachusetts Judge Robert Keeton (1984-85). John began his teaching career at Tulane Law School in New Orleans and joined the Texas faculty in 1988. He has been a visiting professor at a number of law schools around the country. John teaches and writes in the areas of professional responsibility of lawyers, real property, international energy transactions, and oil and gas taxation. He also was the recipient of the Texas Exes Faculty Teaching Award at the Law School in 2005. John is a four-term member of the drafting committee of the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination. John has authored and edited numerous books and articles on a variety of legal ethics and natural resource topics. John is the long-time co-chair (with Bob Peroni) of the bi-annual Parker Fielder Oil and Gas Taxation Conference, co-sponsored by the University of Texas School of Law and the Internal Revenue Service.