Year: 2016

Nathan Beaudry Joins Law Firm Babst Calland

PITTSBURGH, PA, December 29, 2016 – Nathan Beaudry recently joined Babst Calland as an associate in the Corporate and Commercial Group. Mr. Beaudry’s practice focuses primarily on representing clients in mergers and acquisitions, negotiating and drafting contracts, real estate matters and general corporate matters. A 2008 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, he previously worked for Solvaire Technologies, L.P., an affiliate of Babst Calland.

Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law Amendments: DGS Online Construction Notices Directory in Effect January 1, 2017

PITTSBURGH, PA – December 1, 2016 – Babst Calland will present an informative and timely session on using the Pennsylvania Department of General Services (DGS) online “State Construction Notices Directory,” which lien claimants will be required to use on all construction projects greater than $1.5 million beginning January 1, 2017.

Attendees will receive hands-on training from Babst Calland construction attorneys in navigating the new online directory, as well as learn about the Mechanics’ Lien Law Amendments and how these changes will significantly impact the rights of contractors, subcontractors and suppliers in filing mechanic’s lien claims. This seminar is endorsed and recommended by the following construction trade associations: Master Builders’ Association Of Western Pennsylvania, Inc., Constructors Association of Western Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Builders Exchange, Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc., American Subcontractors Association of Western PA, and Keystone Contractors Association.

For more information or to register click here.

Babst Calland Ranked in 2017 “Best Law Firms”

PITTSBURGH, PA – November 2, 2016U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers, for the seventh consecutive year, announce the “Best Law Firms” by BL Rankings.

Babst, Calland, Clements and Zomnir, P.C. has been ranked in the 2017 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list nationally in seven practice areas and regionally in 28 practice areas.

Firms included in the 2017 “Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.

The 2017 Edition of “Best Law Firms” includes rankings in 74 national practice areas and 122 metropolitan-based practice areas. Ranked firms, presented in tiers, are listed on a national and/or metropolitan scale. Receiving a tier designation reflects the high level of respect a firm has earned among other leading lawyers and clients in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism and their integrity.

Babst, Calland, Clements and Zomnir, P.C. received the following rankings in the 2017 U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms”:

National

  • Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Land Use & Zoning Law
  • Litigation – Construction
  • Litigation – Environmental
  • Mining Law
  • Natural Resources Law

Metropolitan

Pittsburgh

  • Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Construction Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Employment Law – Management
  • Energy Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Information Technology Law
  • Labor Law – Management
  • Land Use & Zoning Law
  • Litigation – Bankruptcy
  • Litigation – Construction
  • Litigation – Labor & Employment
  • Litigation – Environmental
  • Litigation – Land Use & Zoning
  • Mergers & Acquisitions Law
  • Municipal Law
  • Natural Resources Law
  • Water Law

Charleston-WV

  • Commercial Litigation
  • Environmental Law
  • Energy Law
  • Litigation – Environmental
  • Litigation – ERISA
  • Mining Law
  • Natural Resources Law
  • Oil & Gas Law

Akron

  • Construction Law

Babst Calland Attorneys Selected as 2017 Best Lawyers ® “Lawyers of the Year” and Named to The Best Lawyers in America © List

PITTSBURGH, PA, August 16, 2016 – Babst Calland is pleased to announce that five attorneys were selected as 2017 Best Lawyers® “Lawyers of the Year” by BL Rankings. Only a single lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year,” making this accolade particularly significant.

The 2017 “Lawyers of the Year” in Pittsburgh, Pa. and Charleston, W.Va. include: Kevin J. Garber, Best Lawyers® 2017 Energy Law Pittsburgh “Lawyer of the Year”

Blaine A. Lucas, Best Lawyers® 2017 Litigation – Land Use and Zoning Law Pittsburgh “Lawyer of the Year”

Norman E. Gilkey, Best Lawyers® 2017 Litigation – Bankruptcy Law Pittsburgh “Lawyer of the Year”

Steven B. Silverman, Best Lawyers® 2017 Information Technology Law Pittsburgh “Lawyer of the Year”

Timothy M. Miller, Best Lawyers® 2017 Energy Law Charleston-WV “Lawyer of the Year”

In addition, 27 attorneys were named to the 2017 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America© the most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession, in the following practice areas:

  • Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law: Norman E. Gilkey
  • Bet-the-Company Litigation: Mark D. Shepard
  • Commercial Litigation: Steven F. Baicker-McKee, Timothy M. Miller, Christopher B. Power, Mark D. Shepard, Steven B. Silverman
  • Construction Law: Kurt F. Fernsler, D. Matthew Jameson III, Richard J. Lolli
  • Corporate Law: Frank J. Clements, Bruce F. Rudoy, Laura Stone, Ted Wesolowski
  • Employment Law – Management: Richard J. Antonelli
  • Energy Law: Kevin J. Garber, Blaine A. Lucas, Timothy M. Miller, Christopher B. Power
  • Environmental Law: Chester R. Babst III, Steven F. Baicker-McKee, Donald C. Bluedorn II, Dean A. Calland, Kevin J. Garber, Lindsay P. Howard, David E. Northrop, Christopher B. Power, Joseph K. Reinhart, Robert M. Stonestreet, Michael H. Winek
  • Information Technology Law: Steven B. Silverman
  • Labor Law – Management: Richard J. Antonelli, John A. McCreary, Jr.
  • Land Use and Zoning Law: Blaine A. Lucas
  • Litigation – Bankruptcy: Norman E. Gilkey
  • Litigation – Construction: Kurt F. Fernsler, D. Matthew Jameson III
  • Litigation – Environmental: Chester R. Babst III, Steven F. Baicker-McKee, Donald C. Bluedorn II, Kevin J. Garber, Lindsay P. Howard, David E. Northrop, Christopher B. Power, Joseph K. Reinhart, Mark D. Shepard
  • Litigation – ERISA: Mychal Sommer Schulz
  • Litigation – Labor and Employment: Richard J. Antonelli
  • Litigation – Land Use and Zoning: Blaine A. Lucas, Christopher B. Power
  • Litigation – Municipal: Christopher B. Power
  • Litigation – Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy): Christopher B. Power
  • Mergers and Acquisitions Law: Bruce F. Rudoy
  • Mining Law: Christopher B. Power
  • Municipal Law: Blaine A. Lucas
  • Natural Resources Law: Kevin K. Douglass, Kevin J. Garber, Christopher B. Power, Joseph K. Reinhart
  • Oil and Gas Law: Timothy M. Miller, Christopher B. Power
  • Water Law: Donald C. Bluedorn II, Kevin J. Garber

Best Lawyers® undergoes an authentication process, and inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© is based solely on peer review. The list has published for more than three decades, earning the respect of the profession, the media, and the public as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals.

Babst Calland Report Emphasizes an Unprecedented Time for the Oil and Gas Industry with Legal and Regulatory Perspective for Producers, Midstream Operators

PITTSBURGH, June 16, 2016 – Babst Calland released its sixth annual energy industry report called, “The 2016 Babst Calland Report – An Unprecedented Time for the Oil & Gas Industry: Price Down, Supply Up, Reform Ahead; Legal and Regulatory Perspective for Producers and Midstream Operators.” This annual review of energy and natural resources development activity acknowledges the continuing evolution of this industry in the face of economic, regulatory, legal and local government challenges. To request a copy of the Report, contact info@babstcalland.com.

In this Report, Babst Calland attorneys provide insights on shale development in the Appalachian Basin and beyond with a focus on issues, challenges, opportunities and recent developments relevant to producers and operators. In general, the shale industry is challenged more than ever to operate smarter through efficiencies, improvements in technology and prudent business strategies in order to protect margins and profitability. With production of natural gas in the United States reaching record highs at the beginning of this year, and with the price of gas generally at a five-year low, natural gas producers, particularly in the Appalachian Basin, face significant challenges.

The Report also highlights key business opportunities emerging, including the long-awaited announcement by Shell Chemical on June 7, 2016 that it will construct an ethane cracker plant near Monaca, Pennsylvania, a positive development for the U.S. chemical industry and for downstream business opportunities resulting from shale development.
Joseph K. Reinhart, shareholder and co-chair of Babst Calland’s Energy and Natural Resources Group, said, “This Report underscores the many dynamics at play for the oil and gas industry, including sustained low commodity pricing, increased operating costs driven by federal and state regulation, inadequate pipeline capacity, environmental and litigation challenges, and a growing number of bankruptcies and asset transactions that have taken place during the past year.”

The 68-page Report contains six sections, each addressing key challenges for oil and gas producers and midstream operators.

  • Business Issues: Front and Center in a Tough Commodity Price Environment, such as the increasing number of transactions and operational challenges, an update of developments in the law regarding ownership of mineral estates, and the validity and interpretation of oil and gas leases, the rights of creditors in bankruptcy proceedings and the opportunities and risks of acquiring assets from bankruptcy debtors. According to industry sources, 70 North American oil and gas exploration and production companies filed for bankruptcy protection since the beginning of 2015. The insolvency of some production companies is likely to present good opportunities for new players to enter the market. Also, the industry continues to confront workforce issues in the areas of employee health and safety, wage and hour regulation, and employee classification.
  • Pipeline Safety Developments noted in this Report focus on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) pipeline safety program. On April 8, 2016, PHMSA issued a long-awaited notice of proposed rulemaking asserting new safety and regulatory requirements for energy operators in response to congressional mandates. More than four years in the making and published against the backdrop of dramatic changes in the natural gas industry, the comment period for these proposed rules is scheduled to end in July. Early in 2016, Babst Calland opened an office in Washington, D.C. where its national pipeline safety practice is led by three Former PHMSA attorneys.
  • State and Federal Governments Revise, Expand Environmental Regulatory Requirements including the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board’s anticipated Chapter 78 and Chapter 78a regulations that remain the focal points of an increasingly stringent regulatory landscape for the oil and gas industry in Pennsylvania. Also, during the past year, significant changes have been made or proposed to federal and state environmental protection standards concerning air, water, and waste management that will affect significant aspects of production and midstream operations.
  • Local Government Regulation continues to increase throughout the Appalachian Basin. Municipalities in Pennsylvania continued to take advantage of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s invalidation of Act 13’s statewide zoning limitations by enacting more expansive stringent local oil and gas development regulations in 2015. In West Virginia, industry prevailed in a significant federal court case ruling on June 10, 2016, that an ordinance enacted by the county commission preventing the disposal of oil and gas wastewater through underground injection, is preempted by state and federal law and therefore unenforceable. In Ohio, courts continued to restrain local government regulation of oil and gas production.
  • Energy Litigation Developments are more important than ever given the unprecedented economic challenges facing the industry. While Pennsylvania and Ohio have seen a plateau in new suits being filed claiming nuisance and contamination from gas development activities, West Virginia has seen an increase in the number of nuisance suits filed against both upstream and midstream companies. Issues around lease interpretations, forced pooling, and pending royalty cases remain active in the Appalachian Basin. Pipeline construction projects present significant potential exposure in high-stakes construction disputes between project owners, contractors, and suppliers.
  • Looking Forward – Our Perspective anticipates that cost control and operational efficiency are likely to remain critical to upstream success in the near term given significant gas reserves in the Appalachian Basin and a significant inventory of gas in storage across the U.S. Pipeline build-out is critical to the Appalachian Basin while downstream opportunities emerge in electricity generation, manufacturing and ethylene production, including the recent announcement of the development of the ethane cracker plant near Monaca, PA, with others under consideration in Ohio and West Virginia.

As market conditions evolve for the oil and gas industry in the Appalachia Basin and throughout the United States, Babst Calland’s Energy and Natural Resources Group continues to stay abreast of the many current legal and regulatory challenges facing producers and midstream operators.

Note to Media: Attorney Joseph Reinhart, Co-Chair of Babst Calland’s Energy and Natural Resources Group and other attorneys in the Firm are available to comment on this report.

The Babst Calland Report is provided for informational purposes to our clients and friends, and is not intended to constitute legal advice.

To stay on top of these developments, periodic update articles, news and regulatory information can be found on babstcalland.com or at the Firm’s Shale Energy Law Blog shaleenergylawblog.com. Subscribe to receive regular updates.

Industry Regulatory Attorney Brianne K. Kurdock Joins Babst Calland’s Pipeline and HazMat Safety Practice in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, DC and PITTSBURGH, PA, May 11, 2016 – Babst Calland announced today that Brianne K. Kurdock has joined the firm as a shareholder in its Energy and Natural Resources Group and newest member of its Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety practice in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Kurdock joins Babst Calland from the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA), the national trade organization for interstate gas pipelines, where she served as the primary regulatory attorney. Kurdock is reuniting with her former colleagues, energy attorneys James Curry and Keith Coyle, all of whom previously worked together at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), the federal agency that oversees the safety of the country’s vast network of gas and hazardous liquids pipelines. Attorneys Curry and Coyle joined Babst Calland in January of this year when the firm opened its new Washington, D.C. office.

At PHMSA, Ms. Kurdock handled regulatory, enforcement, and litigation matters involving the federal regulation of oil and gas pipelines and liquefied natural gas facilities. She also served as regional counsel in administrative enforcement cases and incident investigations. While at PHMSAMs. Kurdock served as lead attorney for special permit applications and rulemaking initiatives and represented PHMSA in inter-agency meetings with the Department of Justice, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior.

Ms. Kurdock previously represented clients in connection with land use and environmental issues as an associate in a private law firm in New Jersey. She also served as a law clerk in the Superior Court of New Jersey. Ms. Kurdock is admitted to practice in New Jersey and New York. She received her J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law, and a B.A. in Government from the University of Virginia.

“Brianne Kurdock’s addition to our nationally-recognized energy and environmental practice further demonstrates our firm’s commitment to providing industry experience and value to our clients,” said Chester R. Babst III, managing shareholder of Babst Calland. “Together, Attorneys Kurdock, Curry and Coyle add to our energy and environmental capabilities and bring focused training and work experience in compliance, regulatory and legislative affairs, strategic counseling, enforcement, litigation, and audit preparation in the area of pipeline and hazardous materials safety ,” said Babst.

The firm’s new office in the nation’s capital is located at The Southern Building at 805 15th Street NW, Suite 601, Washington, D.C.

Saroj Tharisayi Joins Law Firm Babst Calland

PITTSBURGH, PA, March 1, 2016 – Saroj Tharisayi recently joined Babst Calland as an associate in the Corporate & Commercial Group. Ms. Tharisayi’s practice focuses on providing advice to clients on a broad range of corporate and transactional matters, including financing, mergers and acquisitions, negotiation of commercial contracts and corporate governance matters. A 2011 graduate of Cornell Law School, she previously practiced in the New York office of a London-based law firm.

Bompiani, Hall and Moran Join Babst Calland

PITTSBURGH, PA, February 18, 2016 – Jonathan B. Bompiani, Melissa M. Hall and Meghan A. Moran recently joined law firm Babst Calland as associates in the Firm’s Mineral Title Services and Energy & Natural Resources groups.

Mr. Bompiani’s practice focuses on energy matters, whereby he advises and represents corporate clients with oil and gas matters throughout West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Mr. Bompiani is also a member of the Firm’s Pipeline and HazMat Safety practice. He counsels clients on federal and state pipeline safety issues related to gas and hazardous liquids pipelines and on the regulations for transportation of hazardous materials by other modes. In addition, his experience includes rendering drilling, rights-of-way, and division order title opinions; managing due diligence asset acquisition projects; and resolving title defects, surface damage disputes, rights-of-way issues, administrative permitting issues, and zoning and lease challenges. He also represents his clients in state and federal court upon the initiation of a wide array of industry related litigation.. He is a 2005 graduate of West Virginia University College of Law.

Ms. Hall counsels various energy, oil, gas and mineral-related clients on transaction matters as they relate to gas title issues and opinions. She is a 2006 graduate of Capital University Law School.

Ms. Moran’s practice focuses primarily on counseling oil, gas and mineral-related clients on matters related to ownership of and title to oil and gas, including title examination, title curative, oil and gas title opinions, due diligence, and litigation. She is a 2003 graduate of Duquesne University School of Law.

Hetal Dhagat Joins Environmental Practice at Law Firm Babst Calland

PITTSBURGH, PA, February 17, 2016 – Hetal S. Dhagat recently joined Babst Calland as an associate in the Environmental Group. Ms. Dhagat’s practice focuses on assisting clients on a variety of environmental matters including permitting, regulatory compliance and remediation. A 2005 graduate of Northwestern University School of Law, she was previously with Picadio Sneath Miller & Norton, P.C.

Babst Calland Opens Washington, DC Office

PITTSBURGH, PA and WASHINGTON, DC, January 25, 2016 – The law firm of Babst Calland today announced the opening of a new office in Washington, D.C., and the addition of two experienced energy attorneys, James Curry and Keith Coyle. Attorneys Curry and Coyle represent clients in the energy industry on a variety of matters, particularly in the areas of pipeline safety and the transportation of hazardous materials, and are joining the Firm’s Energy and Natural Resources Practice Group as shareholders. Adding to the Firm’s energy and environmental capabilities, these new attorneys bring deep experience in compliance, regulatory and legislative affairs, strategic counseling, enforcement, litigation, and audit preparation.

Attorneys Curry and Coyle are joining Babst Calland from a prominent D.C. environmental and energy law firm, where they played a critical in role in developing and expanding a nationally-recognized pipeline safety practice group. Both previously served as attorneys for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), the federal agency that oversees the safety of the country’s growing network of gas and hazardous liquids pipelines. Active in several pipeline trade organizations and a frequent speaker at industry events, Curry counsels clients throughout the United States on PHMSA compliance matters and other transportation-related issues. Coyle, a member of the Pennsylvania Governor’s Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force who also specializes in PHMSA and transportation matters, is returning to Babst Calland, where he was an associate attorney earlier in his career.

The opening of the Firm’s new Washington, D.C. office, its sixth location, marks a significant event in Babst Calland’s 30-year history. The new office will be located at The Southern Building at 805 15th Street NW, Suite 601, Washington, DC. Founded in 1986, the Firm has a nationally-recognized environmental practice and is a leading provider of legal services to the energy industry in the Appalachian Basin and beyond.

Commenting on these developments, Chester R. Babst III, managing shareholder of Babst Calland, said, “We are expanding the capabilities of our nationally-recognized energy and environmental practice through the addition of Jim Curry and Keith Coyle, and the creation of a pipeline safety and regulatory practice with a new office in our nation’s capital. We are very pleased to welcome these well-regarded attorneys to our Firm as they share similar values, experience and philosophy for serving clients, some with whom we have shared business relationships,” said Babst.

“It is an exciting time for us to join Babst Calland, a firm with a significant energy and environmental legal practice and reputation that will complement our pipeline safety and regulatory practice in support of clients across the United States,” said Attorneys James Curry and Keith Coyle.

Top