L. Poe Leggette

Partner

Denver
T +1.303.764.4020
F +1.303.861.7805

"[Poe Leggette] is absolutely fantastic, he knows all of the technical and procedural aspects of the processes and he can explain it."

— Chambers USA 2017

Overview

Named a 2015 "Colorado Lawyer of the Year" by Law Week Colorado, Poe Leggette co-leads the firm's national energy industry team, which was named a 2015 Practice Group of the Year by Law360. Poe is also the managing partner of BakerHostetler's Denver office.

Addressing the intricate needs of oil and gas companies, Poe focuses his well-established practice on litigation and transactional work in the energy industry. His experience includes four principal areas of representation: onshore shale plays, federal and private mineral royalties, oil and gas companies operating on federal and Indian lands, and companies operating under federal leases in the Gulf of Mexico. Prior to entering private practice, Poe served as assistant solicitor for the U.S. Department of the Interior, advising the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Minerals Management Service (MMS) on their onshore and offshore energy programs, as well as MMS's Royalty Management Program on questions of royalty valuation.

Select Experience

Federal Onshore
  • On behalf of an oil and gas operator, obtained 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 or provide substantial evidence supporting 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.

Federal Royalties
  • Won case of first impression under Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Simplification and Fairness Act. U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed a lower court ruling that had held a lessee’s suit to challenge a federal royalty demand was time-barred. Continental Resources, Inc. v. Jewell, 2017 WL 406183 (D.C. Cir. Jan. 31, 2017).

Shale Development and Private Royalty
  • Successfully defended on appeal a grant of summary judgment against a competitor oil and gas company suing under the Sherman Act for alleged impairment to its ability to develop its leases. Buccaneer Energy (USA) Inc., v. Gunnison Energy Corp., 2017 WL ____ (10th Cir. Feb. 3, 2017).

Gulf of Mexico
  • Represents federal lessees and trade association with respect to federal bonding requirements for platform abandonment.

More »

Experience

Federal Onshore
  • On behalf of an oil and gas operator, obtained 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 or provide substantial evidence supporting 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.

  • On behalf of trade associations, obtained landmark preliminary injunction against BLM’s regulation of hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands and obtained an order (June 21, 2016) setting aside the rule on the merits. State of Wyoming v. United States Department of the Interior, 136 F. Supp. 3d 1317 (D. WYO. 2015)

  • Obtained landmark Tenth Circuit ruling allowing federal unit operator full access to surface of a federal Niobrara shale unit. Entek GRB, LLC v. Stull Ranches, LLC, 763 F.3d 1252 (10th Cir. Aug. 14, 2014)

  • Represented U.S. energy company in first-of-its-kind  litigation over construction of natural gas pipeline in U.S. Forest Service roadless area. Wilderness Workshop v. U.S. Bureau of Land Management, 531 F.3d 1220 (10th Cir. 2008)

  • Before U.S. Supreme Court, represented Independent Petroleum Association of America and Wyoming landowners supporting Amoco’s entitlement to coalbed methane in coal seams on Southern Ute Reservation, favorably resolving issues throughout the West under the Coal Lands Acts of 1909 and 1910. Amoco Prod. Co. v. S. Ute Indian Tribe, 526 U.S. 865 (1999)

  • Represented U.S. energy company in first challenge to an EPA noncompliance order under Sackett v. EPA.

  • Represented U.S. energy company in suit by United States over alleged bid rigging in lease acquisition.

  • Represented non-U.S. energy company in acquisition of oil and gas assets in Utah and New Mexico.

  • Represented non-U.S. energy company in acquisition of oil and gas assets in Wyoming and Colorado.

  • Represented U.S. energy company in review of royalty value of exported coal.

Federal Royalties
  • Won case of first impression under Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Simplification and Fairness Act. U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed a lower court ruling that had held a lessee’s suit to challenge a federal royalty demand was time-barred. Continental Resources, Inc. v. Jewell, 2017 WL 406183 (D.C. Cir. Jan. 31, 2017)

  • Represents upstream and midstream companies in federal investigations of alleged failures to “unbundle” transportation costs when reporting royalties, e.g. Devon Energy Production Co. v. Gould, Civ. No. 16-CV-161-J (D. Wyo.).

  • For federal lessees and interstate pipelines, defeated litigation brought under the False Claims Act for allegedly underpaid royalties on oil and natural gas. In re Natural Gas Qui Tam Litigation, 562 F.3d 1032 (10th Cir. 2009)

  • Advanced the winning argument on behalf of IPAA that U.S. Minerals Management Service had failed to follow its own rules in valuing sales of natural gas to an affiliate. Fina Oil & Chem. Co. v. Norton, 332 F.3d 672 (D.C. Cir. 2003)

  • Successfully represented IPAA in cases overturning federal royalty regulations and interpretations. IPAA v. DeWitt, 279 F.3d 1036 (D.C. Cir. 2002) (deductibility of firm transportation charges); IPAA  v. Babbitt, 92 F.3d 1248 (D.C. Cir. 1996) (no royalty on take-or-pay settlements)

  • Successfully defended operator in appeal of take-or-pay settlement dispute. Murphy Exploration and Production Co. v. U.S. Dept. of the Interior, 252 F.3d 473 (D.C. Cir. 2001)

  • Represented U.S. energy company in dispute with federal government over deduction of compression costs from royalty payments.

  • Obtained only ruling holding U.S. Minerals Management Service to have violated the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Amoco Prod. Co. v. Fry, 118 F.3d 812 (D.C. Cir. 1997)

  • Obtained rare victory before Interior Board of Land Appeals in challenge to MMS’s application of the “marketable condition” rule. Xeno, Inc., 134 IBLA 172 (1995)

Shale Development and Private Royalty
  • Successfully defended on appeal a grant of summary judgment against a competitor oil and gas company suing under the Sherman Act for alleged impairment to its ability to develop its leases. Buccaneer Energy (USA) Inc., v. Gunnison Energy Corp., 2017 WL ____ (10th Cir. Feb. 3, 2017)

  • Represents energy companies in class action and individual suits alleging improper deduction of downstream costs from royalties owed under private leases.

  • Represented U.S. midstream company in litigation over rights of way in Marcellus shale.

  • Represented non-U.S. energy company in litigation over expiration of leases in Marcellus Shale.

  • Represented U.S. energy company in royalty dispute in Bakken Shale.

  • Represented non-U.S. energy company in acquisition of oil and gas assets in Piceance Basin in Colorado.

  • Represented non-U.S. energy company in litigation over access to split estate minerals in Niobrara Shale.

  • Represented U.S. energy company in litigation over preemptive effect of Pennsylvania's Act 13 (2012) as to local zoning power.

  • Represented U.S. energy company in dispute over pipeline operating agreement.

  • Serving as arbitrator in dispute over purchase and sale agreement.

Gulf of Mexico
  • Represents federal lessees and trade association with respect to federal bonding requirements for platform abandonment.

  • Represented geophysical survey companies in acquisition of survey permits in Gulf of Mexico.

  • Represented U.S. energy company in obtaining lease suspensions to develop subsalt oil and gas projects in the Gulf of Mexico.

  • Represented oilfield services company in investigation over testing of blowout preventers offshore.

  • Represented international drilling company regarding approval of deepwater drilling technology.

  • Represented U.S. energy company in obtaining suspensions of operations for deepwater OCS leases.

  • Represented U.S. trade association in dispute with Department of the Interior over CEO certification requirement for offshore leases.

  • Advised U.S. and non-U.S. energy companies in joint operating agreements for oil and gas development.

  • Represented geophysical survey company in dispute over confidentiality of data.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • Chambers Global: Energy: Oil & Gas (Regulatory & Litigation) (USA) (2009, 2011 to 2017)
  • Chambers USA
    • Nationwide: Oil & Gas (Regulatory & Litigation) (2006, 2007, 2013 to 2017)
    • Natural Resources & Environment in Colorado (2017)
    • Litigation: General Commercial in Colorado (2010 to 2012)
  • The Legal 500 United States (2013, 2015 to 2017)
    • Recommended in Industry Focus: Energy – Litigation
  • Who's Who Legal: Energy (2016, 2017)
  • National Law Journal "Litigation Trailblazer" (2016)
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (2006 to 2018)
    • Denver: Energy Law
    • Denver: Natural Resources Law
  • BTI Client Service All-Star (2017)
  • Law Week Colorado:  Lawyers of the Year (2015)
  • Law360: Practice Group of the Year in Energy (2015)
  • Denver Business Journal: Who's Who in Energy (2012 to 2016)
  • Expert Guides "Energy and Natural Resource Lawyer" (2010, 2013)
  • Guide to the World's Leading Energy and Natural Resource Lawyers, 7th Edition: Pre-eminent Practitioner (2007)
  • Lawdragon Magazine: 500 Leading Litigators in America
  • Colorado "Super Lawyer" Energy and Natural Resources (2010 to 2017)
  • Washington, D.C. "Super Lawyer" (2007 to 2008)

Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Ohio Bar Association
  • Wyoming Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Texas Bar Association
  • Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Trustee

News

News

Press Releases

Community

  • Goals Beyond the Net: Principal Donor

Pro Bono

  • Representing U.S. veterans in matters before the Board of Veterans Appeals and the United States Court of Veterans Appeals.

Industries

Prior Positions

  • Norton Rose Fulbright: Partner-in-Charge
  • U.S. Department of the Interior: Assistant Solicitor

Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, District of Wyoming
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • Colorado
  • District of Columbia
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Wyoming
  • Texas

Education

  • J.D., University of Virginia, 1977
  • B.A., Tufts University, 1974, magna cum laude