Energy Law Group

Energy Law Group

Levene Gouldin & Thompson attorneys provide legal services in New York and Pennsylvania in all aspects of oil, gas and mineral transactions, pipelines, solar energy, wind energy and cell tower agreements. We are uniquely positioned in the heart of the Marcellus and Utica Shale regions to assist clients with litigation, leasing, pipelines, royalty analysis, estate planning, mineral management and acquisitions and conveyances of mineral estates. Contact one of our experienced attorneys today to arrange a consultation.

Areas Of Expertise

  • Lease Agreements:
    - Oil & Gas
    - Solar
    - Wind
    - Cell Tower
  • Pipelines & Transmission Lines:
    - Right of Way and Option Agreements
    - Condemnation
  • Conveyance of Oil, Gas and Mineral Rights:
    - Acquisition of mineral rights
    - Surface and subsurface deeds
    - Preservation of Development Rights

  • Mineral Management:
    - Division Order Analysis
    - Royalty Analysis
  • Litigation
  • Estate and Financial Planning
  • Environmental


Scott Kurkoski Addresses NARO Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada
10/16/2015 -- On October 16, 2015, Scott Kurkoski was a featured speaker in Las Vegas, Nevada at the National Association of Royalty Owners Annual Convention. Mr. Kurkoski gave a national perspective of municipal efforts to regulate oil and gas development. The National Association of Royalty Owners is celebrating its 35th Anniversary this year, exclusively representing oil & gas royalty owner interests.

Scott Kurkoski Addresses NARO Convention in State College, Pennsylvania
3/27/2015 -- On March 27, 2015 Scott Kurkoski was a featured speaker in State College, Pa. at the Annual Meeting & Convention of the National Association of Royalty Owners, Pennsylvania Chapter. Mr. Kurkoski discussed "Real Property Severances of Oil, Gas & Mineral Rights".

Scott Kurkoski speaks at the Texas State Bar Association's 32nd annual Advanced Oil, Gas, and Energy Resources Law Course
10/3/2014 -- Oil & Gas Chair Scott Kurkoski will be a speaker at the Texas State Bar Association's 32nd annual Advanced Oil, Gas, and Energy Resources Law Course on October 3, 2014.  Mr. Kurkoski will give a presentation on Municipal Home Rule and Zoning as they affect Oil & Gas development throughout the country. more...

Court of Appeals Rules on Municipal Drilling Bans
6/30/2014 -- In a 5-2 decision, New York's highest court ruled that the Oil, Gas, and Solution Mining Law does not preempt municipal zoning laws prohibiting natural gas drilling within municipal boundaries. The Court of Appeals relied upon a previous decision regarding New York State's mining law, ultimately determining that the home rule provisions allow m unicipalities to decide 'where' natural gas drilling can occur, while simultaneously stating that the 'how' of natural gas drilling is preempted by the law and remains in control of the State.

Heather Cornell Speaks for the New York State Bar Association on Oil & Gas Estate Planning
10/10/2013 -- On October 10, 2013, Heather Cornell was a speaker for the New York State Bar Association Trusts and Estate Section meeting in Binghamton, NY.  Ms. Cornell's presentation was entitled: "Representing Clients with Natural Gas Interests - The Marcellus Cases".

Chesapeake And Statoilhydro Settle Force Majeure Appeals with 200 LGT Clients
9/9/2013 -- Levene Gouldin & Thompson is pleased to report that its force majeure litigation against Chesapeake Energy and Statoilhydro on behalf of over 200 landowners has been resolved with an agreement to release all leases. In November of last year, United States District Court Judge David Hurd granted the landowners' motion for summary judgment ruling that a force majeure event had not occurred in New York and that the oil and gas leases were terminated.  Aukema v. Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC, 904 F. Supp. 2d 199 (N.D. N.Y. 2012).  Previously, leases with arbitration clauses were removed from the litigation to pave the way for the favorable ruling. Chesapeake and Statoil appealed the decision. The landowner plaintiffs appealed the portion of the decision that denied their unfair business practice claims.  Chesapeake, Statoil and the plaintiffs have agreed to terminate their appeals in exchange for a complete release of the leases. In addition, the leases previously removed from the litigation will also be released.  The settlement releases over 13,000 acres. 

Cindy Manchester, attorney for the landowners said: "This is a great victory for our landowners. Our clients achieved the right outcome by working together in an impressive collaborative effort. This settlement also preserves the precedential value of Judge Hurd's decision, ruling there is no force majeure in New York solely because of the inability to drill using one type of drilling technique."

Scott Kurkoski Speaks For The American Bar Association
6/13/2013 -- On June 13, 2013, Scott Kurkoski was a speaker for the American Bar Association's webinar: Mineral Law Issues for the Non-Oil and Gas Lawyer.  Mr. Kurkoski's section was entitled "Municipal Home Rule and Bans on Oil & Gas Drilling".  The live webinar was presented to participants from around the country.

Sandra Malkin Is Appointed As Member Of The Pennsylvania Bar Association Shale Energy Law Committee
6/9/2013 -- On July 9, 2013, Sandra Malkin was appointed as a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Shale Energy Law Committee.  Ms. Malkin's appointment will run through the Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania Bar Association in May of 2014.  Please feel free to contact Ms. Malkin directly with regard to any issues or comments you would like her to present to the Committee.

Sandra Malkin Speaks To The National Business Institute On Oil & Gas Leases
2/28/2013 -- On February 28, 2013, Sandra Malkin was a speaker at the National Business Institute's program "Fracking Law: From Land Contract Negotiations to Environmental Disputes".  Ms. Malkin's presentation was entitled Oil & Gas Lease Ownership/Challenges and Disputes.

Levene Gouldin & Thompson Attorneys Receive NARO Accreditation
2/2/2013 -- Scott Kurkoski and Caroline Vadala have achieved their Certificates of Accreditation as Professional Minerals and Royalty Asset Managers from the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO).  Sandra Malkin and Cynthia Manchester received their certifications in 2011.  Mineral managers are certified in the analysis of paystubs and division orders seen in the production phase of oil and gas development.  Through NARO's professional level mineral manager program, professionals are recognized for their skill in the management of oil, gas and other minerals.

Levene Gouldin & Thompson Wins Force Majeure Case Against Chesapeake
11/15/2012 -- On November 15, 2012 United States District Judge David Hurd granted Levene Gouldin & Thompson's motion for summary judgment on behalf of the plaintiffs in Aukema vs Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC and Statoilhydro USA Onshore Properties.  Judge Hurd terminated oil and gas leases that had been extended by Chesapeake on grounds of force majeure.  The motion was argued by Cindy Manchester on August 30, 2012.  See the Resource Links section above for a copy of the decision.

Scott Kurkoski Addresses NARO Convention In Dallas, Texas
11/2/2012 -- On November 2, 2012, Scott Kurkoski was a featured speaker in Dallas, Texas at the National Association of Royalty Owners Annual Convention. Mr. Kurkoski discussed town attempts to ban oil and gas development in New York and other states, the consequences of bans and methods to defend against them.

Al Kukol Discusses Oil & Gas Estate Planning With NY Bankers Association
10/3/2012 -- On October 3, 2012, Albert Kukol was a speaker in Cooperstown, NY, at the New York Bankers Association's 66th Annual Trust and Investment Conference.  Mr. Kukol spoke to trust officers from around the State on Estate Planning issues for Oil and Gas Property Owners, including the use of Limited Liability Companies, Family Limited Partnerships and Trusts as owners of mineral rights.


Scott R. Kurkoski (Chair)

Dorian D. Ames
Holly L. Avery
Heather M. Cornell
Erin E. Donnelly
Philip Grommet
Paul R. Hoffmann
Elizabeth K. Joggerst
Samuel K. Levene
Jamye L. Lindsey
Sandra E. Malkin
Cynthia Ann K. Manchester
Michael R. May
Karen J. McMullen
Howard M. Rittberg
Nicholas J. Scarantino
Lana D. Sturdevant
Caroline A. Vadala
Carrie A. Wenban
Michael R. Wright