Dueling mineral leases

“What follows is the tale of competing mineral leases on the Louisiana property of Lee and Patsy Stockman during the Haynesville Shale leasing frenzy.”  Petrohawk Properties v. Chesapeake Louisiana at 1, No. 11-30576 (as rev’d Aug. 2012).  The Fifth Circuit affirmed a finding that one of the dueling leases was procured by fraudulent misrepresentations as to the legal effect of a lease extension, rejecting several challenges to whether such a representation was actionable under Louisiana law, as well as an argument that the fraud had been “confirmed [ratified].”  The Court also rejected a counterclaim for tortious interference with contract, noting that Louisiana has a limited view of that tort and requires a “narrow, individualized duty” between plaintiff and tortfeasor.  Id. at 20-24 (citing 9 to 5 Fashions v. Spurney, 538 So.2d 228 (1989)).

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