Oklahoma Updates

2007 Oklahoma SB 507 helps promote drilling


• In order to commit to a law suit, you should be required to sign on the dotted line and affirm your belief in the lawsuit.

• Oklahoma’s natural resources should not be threatened by lawsuits.

• Many royalty owners are elderly and should be advised that they are committing to a law suit.

• At the present time, Oklahoma law allows you to do nothing and you become a plaintiff.

• The American Royalty Council does not support the McMullen amendment.


Under current law, most potential class action clients don’t get to choose their lawyer, Class Action lawyers choose the clients.  The attorneys and their designated supporters remain firmly in control.  Class members have little or no say over who represents them, or how the case will be handled.

Class Action litigators in the past helped protect royalty owners from abusive practices; but what protects royalty owners from abusive lawyers?

S.B. 507 will put the clients in control of lawsuits, not the lawyers.

Royalty Owners do not lose anything.

The “opt in” language in SB 507 will add accountability, clarity and fairness to the attorney-client relationship.  Lawyers will have to work to gain the support and confidence of their potential clients.  The “opt in” language will allow royalty owners to select from several lawyers, and pick the best one, instead of the present “like it or leave it” system.

The American Royalty Council supports the enhanced notice requirements in the bill.  Too often class representatives claim to represent thousands of people, but make no real effort to try to contact them.

In conclusion, the American Royalty Council supports putting clients in charge of litigation.  After all, it is our money.




For those of you who are watching Oklahoma legislative interim studies, the agendas for the House Judiciary Committee and House Revenue and Taxation committees are below.

The studies on Mineral Deed Conveyance and Indemnification and Hold Harmless Agreements both came from bills introduced during the 50th Oklahoma Legislature. At one point SB 1793 contained an amendment changing the standard of competence for the conveyance of mineral or royalty interests. It was an attempt to halt the practices of a few unscrupulous mineral buyers who disguise mineral conveyances as mineral leases. After discussions with the authors, they agreed to an interim study.

Late in the session, Rep. Danny Morgan, who owns a well servicing company, designed an amendment intended for a conference committee report prohibiting the use of certain “indemnification clauses” in contracts between oil and gas operators and contractors working for them. He indicated that small contractors were having difficulty obtaining insurance with these indemnification clauses in the contracts. After discussions with Rep. Morgan, he withdrew the amendment and the Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association agreed to work with him to try and develop a suitable compromise for this complex problem.

Judiciary Committee
Thursday, October 12, 2006
8:30 a.m., Room 412C, State Capitol Building

8:30-9:25 Interim Study #06-46 – Council on Judicial Complaints; Representative Rob Johnson

9:30-10:25 Interim Study #06-06 – Mineral Deed Conveyance Process; Representative James Covey

10:30-11:25 Interim Study #06-60 – Examination of Oklahoma’s Residency Requirements; Representative Sue Tibbs

11:30-12:30 Interim Study #06-25 – Examination of Indemnification and Hold Harmless Agreements; Representative Danny Morgan