Foley & Lardner LLP announced today it served as legal advisor for its West Virginia-based clients BB Land, LLC and Randy Broda, president of Jay-Bee Oil & Gas, Inc. (collectively Jay-Bee), in a two-phase jury trial against Blackrock Enterprises, LLC (Blackrock), resulting in a favorable judgment order for Jay-Bee.
Jay-Bee is a full-service exploration and production company that performs activities associated with drilling and producing oil and gas wells and getting them to market. The company has the equipment to handle almost every phase of well development and has produced more than 500 wells in its 40-year history in the Appalachian Basin.
The dispute concerned an “area of mutual interest” agreement covering over 20,000 acres in oil and gas leases in West Virginia. Blackrock sought over $45 million in damages, claiming it had an interest in the leases and wells drilled on those leases. However, after a 2-week trial in March 2021, the jury found that Blackrock breached the parties’ agreement and could not recover damages from Jay-Bee. Additionally, the Foley team obtained a rare finding during this trial that there was a de facto mining partnership between the parties, and a separate trial was conducted in September 2021 to dissociate the partnership under the Revised Uniform Partnership Act (“RUPA”) and determine an appropriate buy-out price. The Court found that because Blackrock did not contribute any funds towards drilling and developing the acreage, the buy-out price is zero and Jay-Bee is entitled to specific performance to divest Blackrock’s working interest in the disputed acreage and wells. The final judgment order based on these favorable jury findings and the Court’s rulings for Jay-Bee was signed and filed on April 25, 2022.
The Foley team that represented Jay-Bee was led by Partner Geoff Bracken, Senior Counsel Vi Tran, Associate Michaela Bissett, and Paralegal Gaylyn Kinsley.