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Practice-Specific Experience
Education
  • Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Louisiana State University, J.D., 1985
  • Tulane University, B.A. in History and Latin American Studies, 1982, with honors
Bar Admissions
  • Louisiana, 1985
  • Texas, 1995
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1990
  • 5th Cir., 1988
  • E.D. La., 1991
  • M.D. La., 1989
  • W.D. La., 1987
  • E.D. Tex., 1997
  • N.D. Tex., 1991
  • S.D. Tex., 1998
  • Fed. Cl., 1998
professionalsBio
Michael Donald
Partner
Suite 2900
811 Main St
Houston, TX 77002
713.437.1824 tel
713.437.1810 fax

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Energy Practice

Michael Donald is partner in the firm's Business & Commercial Litigation Practice Group, and practices from the firm's Houston office. He currently serves as co-chair of the firm's Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Industry Team. Mr. Donald's practice focuses on the areas of energy litigation, with an emphasis on oil and gas matters; environmental litigation and regulation; complex civil litigation and class actions; and other areas of business and commercial litigation.

Mr. Donald serves clients in the oil and gas, electric utilities, natural gas transmission, mining, and transportation industries, and recently served as counsel on several interstate and intrastate pipeline and storage projects that involved salt dome and depleted reservoir matters. He has also served as trial counsel on condemnation/expropriation litigation in Louisiana and Texas.

Representative Matters

Pipeline & Storage Projects

  • Advised Spectra Energy (SESH) concerning project development, ROW acquisition and tried numerous condemnation actions in federal court in support of the construction of more than 350 miles of interstate pipeline from Louisiana to Alabama.
  • Advised Energy Transfer (Tiger) concerning project development, ROW acquisition and tried numerous condemnation actions in federal court in support of the construction of more than 180 miles of interstate pipeline from East Texas across Louisiana.
  • Advised Energy Transfer (Transwestern) concerning project development, ROW acquisition and construction in support of the Phoenix expansion of an interstate pipeline in New Mexico and Arizona.
  • Advised Spectra Energy (Egan Hub & Moss Bluff), AGL Resources (Jefferson Island & Golden Triangle), the McDonald Group (Turtle Bayou), Cardinal Resources (Arcadia & Delhi), and Energy Transfer (Bammel) concerning project development, ROW acquisition and handled litigation, including numerous condemnation actions in state and federal court, in support of the development of several natural gas storage facilities in Louisiana and Texas.
  • Represented a major utility and gas transportation and storage company in major, precedent-setting tax litigation in front of the Louisiana Tax Commission and subsequent appeal.

Commercial Litigation

  • Represented several major gas operators (Chesapeake & QEP) in the Haynesville Shale natural gas field. The matters resulted in dozens of precedent-setting lease cancellation lawsuits and class action lawsuits.
  • Prosecuted a case in Houston seeking more than $70 million based on defective steel pipes that were used in the construction of an oil pipeline of more than 450 miles.
  • Represented clients involving numerous cases involving the prosecution or defense of contractual rights related to distributorship agreements, gas contracts, and employment-related matters, including a successful arbitration for a major pipeline company in Texas.

Other Experience

  • Represented clients involving numerous cases involving private cost recovery and citizen action suits, subsurface trespass, groundwater contamination, migration of hazardous chemicals, property value diminution, environmental audit supervision, and risk-based corrective actions. His experience includes serving as trial counsel in environmental litigation cases involving jurisdictional, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforcement.
  • Advised American Electric Power concerning carbon capture and storage, specifically the geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide, and authored Act 512 (formerly House Bill 661), concerning geological carbon dioxide sequestration, for Louisiana State Representative Jim Morris and sponsored the bill, through testimony, before the Louisiana House and Senate Natural Resources Committees. The bill was signed into law July 10, 2009, establishing the Louisiana Geologic Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide Act.

Noteworthy

  • Recognized in "Chambers USA – America's Leading Lawyers for Business" in the areas of Energy & Natural Resources: Oil & Gas and Energy & Natural Resources: Utilities (listed 2010-2013)
  • Recognized as a "2013 Top Rated Lawyer" in the area of Energy, Environmental and Natural Resources by Corporate Counsel and The American Lawyer Magazines
  • Listed in the 2014 Edition of Texas Super Lawyers in the area of Energy & Resources
  • AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating in Martindale-Hubbell

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Memberships

  • International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (Member)
  • Louisiana Bar Foundation (Fellow)
  • Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute (Member)