Why Oil and Gas Companies Should Include Tolling Provisions in Their Leases

In an issue of first impression, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court unanimously held that the primary term of an oil and gas lease cannot be equitably extended by the courts in cases where the lessor has pursued an unsuccessful lawsuit challenging the validity of the lease. Wayne Harrison and Mary Harrison v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, 2015 Pa. LEXIS 355 (Pa. 2015).

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On March 25, the Definition of "Spouse" Changes

The Department of Labor (DOL) announces that same-sex spouses will be covered under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) regardless of where they reside.

In response to a 2013 Supreme Court decision which struck down the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional, the DOL has issued its final rule revising the definition of spouse under the FMLA. The Department proposed to change the definition of spouse to ensure that all legally married couples, including same sex couples, will have consistent federal family leave rights regardless of where they live.

Effective March 27, 2015, a spouse, for the purposes of the FMLA, means “the other person with whom an individual entered into marriage as defined or recognized under state law for purposes of marriage in the State in which the marriage was entered into or, in the case of a marriage entered into outside of any State, if the marriage is valid in the place where entered into and could have been entered into in at least one State.

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Oil and Gas Drilling

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Ohio Supreme Court’s Preemption Analysis Limits Municipalities’ Power to Regulate Oil and Gas Drilling

In an effort to end growing uncertainty surrounding municipalities’ authority to pass ordinances limiting oil and gas drilling, the Ohio Supreme Court recently upheld existing case law and affirmed that state statutes preempt conflicting local ordinances. In State ex rel. Morrison v. Beck Energy Corp., the court held that the municipality’s ordinances conflicted with rights granted to the operator, and that the state statute’s application prevailed despite the broad power granted to the municipality by the Ohio Constitution. Slip Opinion No. 2015-Ohio-485.

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Medicare:  the “M” word that can instill confusion and raise questions for those unfamiliar with the laws and regulations governing Medicare compliance.

How do I protect myself and my company from fines and penalties Medicare may impose?

What do I need to do to make sure I am protecting Medicare’s future and present interest on this case?

Do I have the right mechanisms in place to ensure that we are Medicare compliant?

Are we properly reporting claims to Medicare?

Where do I go for help … the right kind of help?

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