Emily B. Thomas

Counsel

Denver
T +1.303.764.4096
F +1.303.861.7805
Philadelphia
T +1.215.564.8368
F +1.215.568.3439

Overview

A complex commercial litigator in the energy industry, Emily Thomas has extensive experience in trial and case management in both arbitration and traditional court trials. Additionally, Emily has experience in transactional work for energy clients. Her practice has a project-based energy concentration, focusing on her assistance and dedication to the entirety of her clients' projects related to oil and gas production and distribution, which includes litigation, investigations, negotiations, transactions and community involvement. Emily also assists clients in emergency response after catastrophic events, including prevention as well as response in the event of an emergency. Expanding beyond a simple partnership, she considers her relationship with clients to be that of a team that focuses on quality work and results.

Select Experience

  • On behalf of an oil and gas operator, assisted in obtaining a first-of-its-kind mandatory injunction under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, directing the Bureau of Land Management immediately to approve ten applications for permit to drill (APD) or provide substantial evidence supporting the decision to delay. EnerVest Ltd v. Jewell, No. 16-cv-1256-DBP (Memorandum Decision and Order December 30, 2016). As a result, the ten APDs were approved in time for the operator not to lose a four-month drilling window in Utah.
  • Assisting an oil and gas operator acting as a defendant-intervenor in litigation, which was raised by an environmental group to challenge numerous Bureau of Land Management Resource Management Plans in Utah.
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Experience

  • On behalf of an oil and gas operator, assisted in obtaining a first-of-its-kind mandatory injunction under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, directing the Bureau of Land Management immediately to approve ten applications for permit to drill (APD) or provide substantial evidence supporting the decision to delay. EnerVest Ltd v. Jewell, No. 16-cv-1256-DBP (Memorandum Decision and Order December 30, 2016). As a result, the ten APDs were approved in time for the operator not to lose a four-month drilling window in Utah.
  • Assisting an oil and gas operator acting as a defendant-intervenor in litigation, which was raised by an environmental group to challenge numerous Bureau of Land Management Resource Management Plans in Utah.
  • Served as co-counsel for a natural gas producer related to a contract dispute with investing partners, including state, federal district court and bankruptcy court proceedings in Pennsylvania and Texas. 
  • Advises natural gas producers on the procurement of oil and gas rights and the preparation of related agreements. 
  • Served as co-counsel for a prominent natural gas midstream company in administrative hearings as well as in litigation alleging tortious interference with contract and defamation related to the development and installation of a natural gas pipeline.
  • Assisted in the defense of an oil and gas client in a multiplaintiff litigation alleging personal injury and water contamination from drilling activities. 
  • Represented oil and gas companies in broad permitting, regulatory compliance and environmental issues related to oil and gas production and distribution.
  • Served as co-counsel for a leading equipment breakdown reinsurer in a multimillion-dollar reinsurance dispute regarding complicated chemical, fire and explosion issues, which was resolved to a decision in ARIAS reinsurance arbitration.
  • Assisted multiple policyholders in litigation related to insurance coverage for a broad variety of claims including property damage, environmental liabilities and energy production-related accidents.
  • Defended a wood treatment facility against Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice allegations of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act violations, including representation as counsel in successful federal mediation proceedings.
  • Assisted in the defense of a complex federal public services corruption jury trial against the United States government, including related United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals proceedings.
  • Assisted in the project development of a wind farm, including the resolution of a contract dispute related to internationally procured, damaged equipment.
  • Served as lead counsel defending a leading renewable energy construction company in a construction dispute in Pennsylvania federal court. 

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • Pennsylvania Super Lawyers "Rising Star" (2014 to 2017)

Memberships

  • Women's Energy Network 
    • 2015 Biennial Conference
      • Speaker Chair
  • Women's Energy Network, Appalachia Chapter
    • President (2017)
    • Vice President (2016)
    • Chair of Corporate Sponsorship Committee (2015)
    • Director of Communications (2013 to 2014)
  • Allegheny County Bar Association
  • Court of Common Pleas Allegheny County: Civil Division Arbitrator
  • Energy & Mineral Law Foundation
  • Environmental Law Institute
  • Marcellus Shale Coalition
    • Water Sourcing Subcommittee
    • Gas Use Subcommittee
  • Young Professionals in Energy

Community

  • Chi Omega Alumnae Association
  • Duke University Alumni Association

Pro Bono

  • Advises the Women's Energy Network on multiple legal issues.
  • Provides indigent clients with insurance advice. 
  • Assists on copyright issues with Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.

Industries

Prior Positions

  • Reed Smith: Associate (2012 to 2014)
  • Fulbright & Jaworski (2011 to 2012)
  • K&L Gates LLP (2006 to 2011)

Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
  • Utah
  • Pennsylvania
  • [Not admitted in Colorado]

Education

  • J.D., University of Pittsburgh School of Law, 2006; magna cum laude; University of Pittsburgh Law Review, Editor-in-Chief; Order of the Coif; Donald I. Moritz Honor Scholarship; CALI Awards: Legal Process, Estates and Trusts, Cyberspace and the Law
  • A.B., English Major, Chinese Minor, Duke University, 2001; Dean's List; Study Abroad Programs: Capitol Normal University, Beijing, China and Nanjing University, Nanjing, China

Languages

  • Mandarin Chinese

Blog

In The Blogs

Previous Next
Cabot Oil & Gas Continues to Fight $4.24 Million Federal Court Jury Verdict on Landowners’ Nuisance and Negligence Claims
By Emily B. Thomas
August 8, 2016
After a recent round of post-trial motion briefing in Ely v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., Case No. 3:09-cv-02284-MCC (M.D. Pa.), it appears one of the most heavily publicized landowner lawsuits against an exploration and development company in...
Read More ->
Midstream Gathering Agreements Targeted by Recent Oil & Gas Bankruptcies
By Emily B. Thomas
May 12, 2016
Continuing low oil and natural gas commodity prices have led to bargain prices at the pump, but also high tension in many boardrooms. This strain on the industry has resulted in many exploration and production, or “E&P,” companies seeking...
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The Fight to Stop the EPA’s “Clean Power Plan” Continues in the D.C. Circuit, Amid an Uncertain Future for Its Presumed Ultimate Destination – the Supreme Court
By Emily B. Thomas
March 2, 2016
On February 19, 2016, 27 states, the United States Chamber of Commerce, and over 150 different organizations and entities (the “Petitioners”) filed their joint Opening Brief on Core Legal Issues (the “Opening Brief”), related to their...
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Thirty States and Numerous Other Interested Parties Seek an Immediate Supreme Court Stay of the EPA’s “Clean Power Plan”
By Emily B. Thomas
February 5, 2016
On January 26, 2016, 29 states and state agencies, including Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, Ohio, Colorado, and Mississippi (the “29 States”), submitted an application (the “29 States Application”) to the United States Supreme Court...
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Recent Federal Legislation Rings In the New Year With Some Exciting Developments for Both the Renewable and Oil Energy Industries
By Emily B. Thomas
January 5, 2016
On December 18, 2015, the current divided United States Congress, which has not been known for many grand compromises, passed an omnibus spending bill featuring key measures related to renewable energy tax credits and to the export of...
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