Russell T. Gips

Partner

Phone: 832-849-1812

Fax: 832-849-1799

rgips@copelandrice.com

I help companies and individuals navigate disputes in the energy industry.  I have successfully represented energy clients in all manner of disputes, including royalty lawsuits, title contests, disagreements between working interest owners, surface use conflicts, business divorce, personal injury, asset acquisition and divestiture, federal regulatory proceedings, and property tax challenges.  I have advised clients with respect to energy issues in Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, California, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Alaska.

Whether I am representing a publicly-traded multinational corporation or a small, privately-held business, I bring the same approach to each case.  I understand that my clients are in the business of energy – not the business of litigation. My job as their lawyer is to thoughtfully analyze their legal situation and make practical recommendations for resolution. Often, the solution is short of the courtroom, but in some cases, trial is the best option.  In either instance, my goal is always to provide representation that makes the most sense for my clients’ business goals.

In addition to maintaining a commercial litigation practice, I have represented pro bono clients in property disputes, property tax litigation, and internal investigations. I have also served as a volunteer prosecutor for the City of Houston in municipal court, where I first-chaired multiple jury trials to verdict.

After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with an advertising degree, I worked as an operations analyst with the Royal Bank of Canada in Houston. I then went to the University of Houston Law Center, from which I graduated summa cum laude and where I served as a member of the Houston Law Review. From law school I joined the international law firm of Vinson & Elkins LLP, where I practiced for close to nine years in the firm’s complex commercial litigation section. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my wife and two sons, fishing, reading, and cheering on UT and Houston sports teams.

Affiliations

  • Houston Bar Association, Oil, Gas & Mineral Law Section, Member
  • State Bar Association, Oil, Gas & Energy Resources Law Section, Member

Publications & Presentations

  • Fracking Decision Strengthens Precedent on Forced Pooling, Law360, Apr. 8, 2020
  • Dealing with the Office of Natural Resources Revenue, Houston, Texas, May 2014 (co-presenter)
  • Energy: Accommodation Doctrine, Texas Lawyer, December 16, 2013
  • Mandatory Stays under Section 3 of the Federal Arbitration Act after Andersen v. Carlisle, in AAA YEARBOOK ON ARBITRATION & THE LAW (Ben H. Sheppard, Jr. & Stephen K. Huber eds., 2011) (co-author)
  • From China with Lead: The Hasty Reform of the CPSC, 46 HOUS. L. REV. 545, 2009

Representative Matters

Oil & Gas Matters

  • Representing Eagle Ford producer in multiple lawsuits concerning calculation of royalties under leases in Webb, La Salle, and Dimmit Counties.
  • Representing royalty interest owner in Harris County and Dallas County lawsuits involving alleged overpayment of royalties (Brookshire Dome leases).
  • Advising international oil and gas company on rights and obligations under Permian Basin leases.
  • Representing carbon dioxide producer in qui tam action filed under the False Claims Act.
  • Representing Eagle Ford producer in discrimination proceeding before the Railroad Commission of Texas.
  • Representing Eagle Ford producer in connection with audits by royalty owners.
  • Advising international oil and gas company on rights and obligations under State of Texas Relinquishment Act oil and gas leases.
  • Represented international oil and gas company in Eagle Ford Shale multi-district litigation proceedings involving deductions, pricing, drainage, and development claims.
  • Represented privately-held operator of Cook Inlet (Alaska) oil and gas leases in lawsuit concerning ownership of overriding royalty interests.
  • Represented international oil and gas company in Reeves County (Permian) title lawsuit concerning alleged underpayment of royalties.
  • Represented NPRI owner in McMullen County (Eagle Ford) lawsuit concerning nature of royalty interests (fixed vs. floating).
  • Advised private equity-backed E&P company on rights and obligations under leases and surface use agreement.
  • Member of arbitration team that procured award recognizing international oil and gas company’s overriding royalty interests in Mongolia.
  • Member of team that successfully resolved claims against international oil and gas company for alleged improper deductions and sales price calculations under oil and gas leases in Piceance Basin, Colorado.
  • Member of team that effectively represented non-operator in dispute with operator concerning improper joint interest billings, resulting in non-operator’s acquisition of operator’s interest (Cook Inlet, Alaska).
  • Assisted in obtaining a summary judgment in bankruptcy court on plaintiff’s trespass to try title claims concerning Barnett Shale leaseholds; summary judgment affirmed by district court and Fifth Circuit.

Other Energy Matters

  • Second-chair representing operator before Office of Hearings and Appeals in appeal of civil penalty levied for alleged failure to permit an audit of royalty payments under New Mexico leases.
  • Represented compression service provider in hundreds of ad valorem tax lawsuits throughout the State of Texas challenging appraisal district’s valuation of compression company’s heavy equipment inventory.
  • Represented international oil and gas company in personal injury lawsuit stemming from accident involving company-owned vehicle.
  • Represented publicly-traded pipeline company in lawsuit challenging appraisal district’s valuation of company-owned office building.
  • Part of litigation team that achieved dismissal of a plaintiff’s inventorship claims concerning deep water drilling technology.
  • Assisted in obtaining res judicata/foreign sovereign immunity dismissal of plaintiff’s civil RICO claims concerning oil and gas concessions in Kazakhstan; dismissal affirmed by Fifth Circuit.
  • Assisted in representation of CEO of oil and gas services company in partnership/fiduciary dispute in Texas state court.
  • Member of litigation team that achieved dismissal of shareholder oppression lawsuit filed against independent oil and gas company operating in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Represented international oil and gas company in personal injury lawsuit related to drilling rig accident.