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Texas’ First Purchaser Statute Only Has Teeth in Texas

This year, global oil markets experienced a significant surplus of supply over demand for oil, near-record domestic production and a global demand shock brought forth by the coronavirus containment measures. The imbalance between a surplus supply of oil and a historic destruction in demand for oil during the beginning of the year caused the price of WTI crude oil to drop to an historic low of –$37.63 per barrel on April 20, 2020.   Producers, especially those in the U.S., reacted...
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Inactive Wells: Will You Be Left Holding the Bag?

Non-operators may be left holding the bag when it comes to inactive wells. In some cases where an operator files for bankruptcy, Texas law states that non-operators may be responsible for plugging an inactive well.  Failure to comply with this mandate carries a litany of consequences from the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC). Inactive and abandoned wells are governed by Texas Natural Resources Code, Title 16, Part 1, Chapter 3 of the Texas Administrative Code and overseen and enforced by the RRC.  The...
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Save American Vital Energy Jobs Act

On June 23, 2020, United States Senator for Texas, John Cornyn, introduced the SAVE Jobs Act, to assist the American energy sector in retaining jobs during the challenging economic times that have followed the shutdowns caused by COVID-19. Save American Vital Energy Jobs Act, S. 4041, 116th Cong. (2019-2020). The bill aims to provide administrative clarity and short-term regulatory relief to the American energy sector in a time of economic...
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Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Paid Sick Leave

One of the Federal Government’s responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic was the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The FFCRA is a response to the growing need to support families with wage earners who have been affected by the virus, whether directly or through their responsibility for a family member or child affected by COVID-19. The FFCRA requires certain public employers as well as private employers with fewer than 500 employees to extend paid sick leave or expanded family...
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Bankruptcy Protection Tailored for Small Businesses

The Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (SBRA), effective as of February 19, 2020, was enacted to provide Main Street business debtors with a more streamlined path for restructuring their debts. In response to the economic distress caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” (CARES Act; P.L. 116-136)...
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Overtime Payments & the Fluctuating Workweek 

In the COVID-19 era it is more important than ever for employers to understand the workplace and the rules and guidelines that govern it. Employees are working a varied number of hours from week-to-week, and in some cases, workweek hours are based on immediate demand. A recent regulatory decision from the Department of Labor highlights a rule, newly named the Fluctuating Workweek Method of Computing Overtime, that may benefit employers dealing with these circumstances by offering savings on employee overtime payments. Fluctuating Workweek Method of Computing Overtime,...
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Recalling and Rehiring Employees During COVID-19

As businesses slowly resume normal operations and the economy gradually recovers in the wake of COVID-19, many companies will experience increased demand, which translates into an increased need for labor. To meet demand, companies are likely to recall employees that were furloughed or rehire those who were laid off during the pandemic. Companies should observe the following practices during the recall and/or rehiring process to avoid potential liability for claims of discrimination by employees who are not asked to return...
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The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act

On June 4, 2020, Congress passed a bill called the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020, which amended the federal Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”). The PPP was instituted in April to boost small businesses in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic by offering forgiveness-eligible loans to businesses, contingent upon the satisfaction of n requirements. The PPP Flexibility Act was passed to make it easier for businesses to qualify for PPP loan forgiveness by providing additional benefits and/or exemptions...
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Effect of Bankruptcy on Student Loans

Since the changes to the Bankruptcy Code made under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protections Act of 2005, it has generally been thought that discharging student loans in Bankruptcy is nearly impossible; however, in many circumstances that is not the case.   In order to discharge student loan debt under the Bankruptcy Code, a debtor must show that repayment of said loans would impose an “undue...
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