Special Institute on

Oil & Gas Mineral Title Examination

Speakers & committee

Program Co-Chairs

HEIDI HANDE is a Senior Attorney at QEP Resources, Inc. (NYSE: QEP), headquartered in Denver, Colorado. QEP is a leading independent natural gas and crude oil exploration and production company focused in the United States. While in private practice, Heidi was lucky enough to work with smart lawyers in firms including a solo practice, a 100+ attorney office, and a few established boutiques, on many challenging energy projects for great clients. Heidi graduated from the University of Wyoming with degrees in Environment and Natural Resources/Psychology, Political Science, and later a Juris Doctorate in 2006. She is licensed to practice in Wyoming, Colorado, and her home state of North Dakota. She is a past President of the Denver Association of Oil and Gas Title Lawyers, co-authored a chapter in the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation’s Landman’s Legal Handbook, teaches at the biennial Short Course on Federal Oil and Gas Leasing and at Special Institutes such as Mineral Title Examination, and is a member of the Editorial Board of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Journal.  

BRUCE RUDOY, Attorney, Babst Calland, Pittsburgh, PA

Speakers and Program Committee

PAUL J. ATENCIO, Babst Calland, Pittsburgh, PA

PARKER AULD, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, The Woodlands, TX

BRIAN R. BJELLA, Crowley Fleck PLLP, Bozeman, MT

MARK L. BURGHARDT represents clients in the energy and natural resource industry in litigation, administrative hearings, and transactions. Mark engages with clients to prevent and solve issues with the location and development of their oil, gas, mining, and renewable energy projects. He has worked with companies on projects involving federal, state, private, and Indian lands. Mark has also represented clients in a wide range of transactions and joint ventures. He has litigated energy development and land use disputes in both federal and state court and has routinely appeared before Utah Board of Oil, Gas and Mining and the Utah Division of Environmental Quality.

C. ELAINE CARLETON is a Denver-based attorney licensed in Colorado and Texas, and the managing partner of Carleton Gotlin Law PC. Her practice primarily focuses on oil and gas and energy development. She has extensive business and legal experience in all aspects of the oil and gas industry, including acquisition/divestment, exploration and development. Elaine administers and directs the resolution of various legal issues relating to exploration and drilling, including surface and mineral owner conflicts, title defects, and oil and gas transactional issues. Her practice includes complex multi-formation title opinions, including issues covering large spacing and pooled units and horizontal wells. She specializes in advising and representing clients on challenging title curative matters, due diligence projects and in Determination of Heirship actions.  Elaine received a BBA from the University of Texas with an emphasis in Petroleum Land Management. For 10 years she worked for ARCO Oil & Gas Company in various capacities, including landman, crude oil marketer, land administrator, and project coordinator for development of a gas/oil marketing system. In 1991, Elaine began law school at the University of Denver while working for Apache Corporation, Basin Exploration, Inc., and Amoco Production Company in Denver. Her primary duties were managing drilling projects including Commission oversight thereof, acquisitions, surface and contract negotiations. Elaine has authored and presented numerous papers covering complex title issues, pooling and spacing, determinations of heirship actions, surface issues, and conveyance of minerals.  

TIMOTHY C. DOWD is an attorney with Elias, Books, Brown & Nelson, P.C., in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Mr. Dowd’s primary area of practice is oil and gas law, including the rendering of title opinions and the drafting and negotiations of industry contracts. Mr. Dowd is a past Chairperson of the Oklahoma Bar Association Mineral Law Section (2005-2006) and a past President of the Oklahoma City Mineral Lawyers Society (1996-1997). He 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 Oil and Gas Title Law – A Review of 50 Common Problems – North Dakota, 90 N.D. L.REV 289 (2014); Clearing Title of Long-Lost Mineral Owners, 54 Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute 30-1 (2008); Costs That Can Be Charged In Calculation of Risk Penalties Under Forced Pooling Actions and Non-Consent Penalties Under Operating Agreements, 25 Energy & Min. L. Inst. Ch. 10. (2005); and Preferential Rights to Purchase in Oil and Gas Transactions, 49 Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute 5-1 (2003).

JAMES F. ENGLISH, Lewis Brisbois LLP, Houston, TX

KEITH B. HALL is Director of the Mineral Law Institute and the Campanile Charities Professor of Energy Law at Louisiana State University (LSU). He teaches Mineral Rights, Advanced Mineral Law, International Petroleum Transactions, Civil Law Property, and an Energy Law Seminar that focuses on environmental issues relating to oil and gas development. His publications have focused on oil and gas leases, pooling and unitization, hydraulic fracturing, and induced seismicity that is associated with oil and gas activities.  He is co-author of a textbook on oil and gas law that is used in U.S. law schools and also is co-author of a book published by the American Bar Association on the legal issues relating to hydraulic fracturing. He is a frequent speaker at national and international oil and gas conferences and is a contributing co-author to the forthcoming new edition of a leading textbook on international petroleum transactions. In prior years, Professor Hall has taught International Petroleum Transactions as a Visiting Professor at Baku State University in Azerbaijan, International Energy Transactions as a Visiting Professor at the University of Pittsburgh Law School, and Introduction to Mineral Law as an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School in New Orleans. Before joining the LSU Law School faculty, he practiced law for 16 years, with a focus on oil and gas litigation and transactions. Professor Hall is the Editor-in-Chief of the Institute for Energy Law’s Oil & Gas E-Report. He serves on the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation’s Trustees Council, the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators’ Educational Advisory Board, and the Executive Committee of the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation. He is a former Chair of the Oil & Gas Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy and Resources. He also is a registered professional engineer.

DAVE B. HATCH is an oil and gas title and transactional attorney in the Salt Lake City office of Holland & Hart. Dave has extensive experience with drilling title, division order, financing, and acquisition title opinions, leading the oil and gas title group in New Mexico. He provides efficient and reliable work on simple to complex issues involving federal, state, Indian, and private lands from the Bakken to the Permian. He also represents clients in all types of oil and gas transactions, including conducting due diligence, drafting and negotiating agreements, resolving issues, and getting deals to the closing table. Prior to joining Holland & Hart, Dave gained valuable experience and deeper understanding of issues from the client’s perspective working as a landman for an independent oil and gas company. During that time, he gained broad exposure to workings of an upstream oil and gas company by running title in the county records, negotiating oil and gas leases and assignments, and managing the company’s land database. Dave speaks frequently at industry conferences and enjoys providing client training to oil and gas land and legal departments. He is an active member of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation and the American Association of Professional Landmen. He received his J.D. from University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law and B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Utah.

JARED A. HEMBREE is a partner in the Roswell office of Hinkle Shanor LLP and is an adjunct professor at Washington & Lee University School of Law, where he teaches Oil and Gas Law.  His primary practice is in oil and gas law, including title examination, transactions and litigation.  He is a Past President of the New Mexico Landmen's Association and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico.  Mr. Hembree is a member of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, the American Association of Professional Landmen, the New Mexico State Bar, and the Chaves County Bar Association.  He is admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico, and the New Mexico Supreme Court.  Mr. Hembree received a J.D. from Washington & Lee University School of Law in 2005.  While at Washington & Lee, Mr. Hembree served as an Editor for the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy's 2005 Symposium Edition, Chairman of the Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series, and President of the W&L Federalist Society Chapter.  Mr. Hembree graduated with Honors receiving a B.A. in History with a Minor in Museum Studies from Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana in 2000.  Mr. Hembree sits on the board of directors for a number of civic organizations, including the Eastern New Mexico State Fair, the Roswell Museum and Art Center Foundation, and Roswell Sunrise Rotary.

KRIS C. KOSKI, Long Reimer Winegar Beppler LLP, Cheyenne, WY

JESSICA LARAMIE, Western Colorado University, Gunnison, CO

SEAN MARSHALL, Centennial Resources Company, Denver, CO

JOLISA MELTON DOBBS is a Partner in Thompson & Knight’s Oil and Gas Practice Group in the Firm’s Dallas office. She has expertly navigated clients through sophisticated oil and gas transactions totaling billions of dollars, with a focus on acquisition and disposition transactions throughout all oil and gas plays – including the Eagle Ford, Barnett, Haynesville, and Marcellus. Jolisa’s past experience as a Certified Public Accountant and an internal auditor for a major oil and gas company gives her an edge in assessing, understanding, and allocating various risks associated with oil and gas properties. In addition, she counsels clients in midstream and upstream transactions, including lending diligence and dispositions, oil and gas secured lending, joint venture and development arrangements, and acquisitions and dispositions of natural resources companies. Jolisa also has expertise in oil and gas title due diligence in acquisitions of properties, and she regularly advises clients regarding exploration and production activities, including preparation of agreements and COPAS issues, and regarding leasing issues. Jolisa is a frequent lecturer on oil and gas related topics at conferences and seminars, and has published numerous articles in prestigious industry journals. She is also a deep contributor to numerous leading oil and gas legal and accounting organizations, including serving as the current Treasurer and former Trustee and Executive Committee member of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation. Jolisa’s accolades include being honored by The Best Lawyers in America®, The Legal 500 US, Texas Super Lawyers®, and Who’s Who Legal: Energy. She received her J.D., with honors, from the University of Oklahoma College of Law and her M.A. and B.A. in Accounting, summa cum laude, from the University of Oklahoma.

AMY M. MOWRY, Mowry Law, Denver, CO

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.

TJ ORAM is a founding member of Oram & Houghton, PLLC, and he leads a group of twenty attorneys who draft title opinions in Montana, Utah, North Dakota, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado.  He has experience drafting and supervising the drafting of numerous drilling and division order title opinions on federal, fee, state, and Native American lands.  Prior to forming Oram & Houghton, TJ was the Rockies Case Manager and District Coordinator for a Texas based law firm, where TJ personally supervised and managed a large group of attorneys who drafted title opinions for and provided other drilling and division order advice to many oil and gas operators in the Rocky Mountain Region. Before joining that firm, TJ was trained by many of the finest and most well respected natural resource law and business law attorneys in Montana and North Dakota at Crowley Fleck, PLLC in Billings, Montana.  TJ also has experience with oil and gas transactions, administrative and regulatory matters, oil and gas commissions, condemnation actions, health care law, large real estate transactions, probates and estates, commercial litigation, entity formation, and other commercial legal matters.  TJ graduated Cum Laude with a J.D. from the University of Idaho and an M.B.A. from Washington State University. He is a member of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, the Denver Association of Petroleum Landmen, the Montana Petroleum Association, and has spoken at a number of events on oil and gas title issues and Native American law. He is currently admitted to practice in Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, Colorado, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Utah.

MARGARET G. PATTON, Bradley Murchison Kelly & Shea LLC, Baton Rouge, LA

URIAH PRICE is a partner in Crowley Fleck’s Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Department, in the Bozeman, Montana office.  Uriah is licensed in Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming.  His practice encompasses multiple areas of energy and natural resources law, including oil and gas, energy and mineral litigation, energy and mineral transactions, regulatory and administrative affairs, Indian law and title examination.  Uriah serves on multiple committees for the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation where he was a Trustee at Large (2016-2017), a founding member of the Young Professionals Committee and currently serves as faculty for the Federal Oil and Gas Leasing Short Course.  Uriah obtained his Juris Doctorate, with honors, from Washburn University School of Law and his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Kansas. 

DIANA PRULHIERE, Steptoe & Johnson PLLC, Denver, CO


DAVID G. RIES, Clark Hill PLC, Pittsburgh, PA

TARA RIGHETTI is an associate professor at the University of Wyoming College of Law and the UW School of Energy Resources. She is also the director of the University of Wyoming’s AAPL accredited academic program in Professional Land Management. She teaches courses including oil and gas law, energy deals, and advanced oil and gas law and coaches the law school’s energy negotiation competition team. Professor Righetti has written extensively on oil and gas law issues, and is a frequent speaker at conferences and courses for attorneys and other professionals in the industry. Prior to joining the University of Wyoming, Professor Righetti worked as counsel and in executive management at a privately held exploration and production company. In addition to teaching, she has served as a consulting or testifying expert in cases and to startup companies in the energy industry. She is admitted to practice in California and Texas.

ELENA L. RORABAUGH, Babst Calland, Pittsburgh, PA

ELIZABETH (BETH) ATKINSON RYAN is senior counsel at Concho Resources, Inc., Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she advises on New Mexico operations. Prior to moving in house with Concho, Beth was a partner with Carson Ryan, LLC in Roswell, New Mexico, where she focused her practice in the areas of oil and gas title examination, regulatory, complex transactions, corporate, public lands, and operational matters primarily for E&P companies operating in the State of New Mexico. After serving four years as a Member of the New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board, in 2015 Governor Susana Martinez appointed her to the New Mexico Game and Fish Commission where she seeks to achieve the State’s comprehensive wildlife management goals. Beth has been a Trustee for the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation since 2008, representing the New Mexico Bar Association. She also serves on the Lovelace Regional Hospital Board of Directors, and is active in the New Mexico Landman’s Association, New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, and the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico. She is also an accomplished published author on issues ranging from appellate standards of review to oil and gas. Beth graduated from Texas Tech School of Law in May 2006. She has been married to Zack Ryan for fifteen years. They have two children: Belle (9 years old) and Kathryn (4 years old).


BRIAN R. SULLIVAN, McElroy Sullivan Miller & Weber, LLC, Austin, TX

JEFFREY R. TAYLOR, Lear & Lear PLLC, Salt Lake City, UT

SCOTT TURNER, Shareholder, Welborn Sullivan Meck & Tooley, P.C., Denver, CO

PAUL UPSONS, Attorney, Poulson, Odell & Peterson, LLC, Denver, CO

LEIA G. URSERY, Lathrop & Gage LLP, Denver, CO