Johnson & Johnson Law Firm
Legal matters can spring up unexpectedly throughout our lives. Luckily, the attorneys in the Canfield, Ohio law office of Johnson & Johnson provide sound legal guidance to a breadth of individuals, at varying stages of life. Have recent headlines stirred your thoughts about a living will or trust? Are you thinking about buying or selling your home or business property? Have you been approached by a oil and gas company about drilling on your land? At Johnson & Johnson our local attorneys are capable of providing legal assistance to residents throughout Ohio in all matters relating to:
- Estate Planning – creating wills, living wills, revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts, powers of attorney, medicaid planning and other tools.
- Probate – full and partial estate administration, estate inventories, estate valuations and appraisals.
- Real Estate – preparing deeds, purchase and sale agreements, title opinions.
- Business Formation and Organization – Limited Liability Companies (LLC), Partnerships, Corporations, Charitable organizations, litigation.
- Oil and Gas – leases, operating agreements, royalty planning, purchase and sale of mineral rights, litigation.
Johnson & Johnson has been family owned and operated since our founding in 1921. Our attorneys are experienced, and continue to learn as we aim to serve the legal needs of the community, of which we have been a significant part of for more than 90 years. From preparing for a more secure future to the resolution of legal crises that affect you today, a skilled Youngstown, Ohio lawyer will provide your case with the attention and respect it deserves.
Statistics suggest that 75% of landowners will sign the pipeline agreements and negotiate a settlement without getting an attorney involved. The pipeline companies hope that you make that mistake. Be smarter than the 75%– learn about how you can protect your bottom line and your property by joining a landowner group.
Johnson & Johnson has recently teamed up with attorneys Steve Davis and Craig Vandervoort, also known as the Ohio Pipeline Attorneys. Steve, Craig and Molly are currently forming pipeline groups for both the ET Rover and Leach Xpress pipelines. We use our own tried-and-true method of individual representation within a group setting. We believe this gives our clients the best of both worlds.
Overview Ohio’s dormant minerals act (DMA) is designed to rejuvenate abandoned oil and gas reservations by granting them to the surface owner (a more detailed explanation of the DMA can be found here). A basic DMA process with one oil and gas holder: In a very basic scenario, the Surface Owner notifies the oil and gas Holder that their rights will be declared abandoned in 60 days. In order to retain their interests, the Holder must record a claim form prior to the 60th day. A timely filed claim form shuts down the whole process: the Surface Owner cannot re-capture the Holder’s interests. A complex DMA process with several oil and gas holders: In a more typical scenario, there are several oil and gas Holders, frequently the heirs to a very old reservation. Here, the Surface Owner notifies all of the Holders that their rights will be declared abandoned in 60 days. The Holders can preserve their interests by filing a claim form prior to the 60th day, just like described above. However, not each Holder must file a claim form. A single claim form filed by a single Holder preserves all of the rights of the other Holders. Unexpected Benefits to the Mineral Holder That a single claim form preserves the rights of all Holders presents a tall hurdle for the Surface Owner faced with several Holders. It also presents a real opportunity for an individual Holder if all other Holders don’t timely file a claim form. In this situation, the individual Holder might strike a deal with the Surface Owner: the Holder will agree to not file a claim form in exchange for a percentage of the rights Surface Owner obtains at the conclusion of the DMA process. Example: Surface Owner owns 100 acres of property. The property is subject to a one-half mineral reservation (or 50 acres) made many years ago. Surface Owner identifies 10 Holders (heirs) to the one-half reservation, with each Holder entitled to 5 acres (50 acres / 10 Holders). Surface Owner cannot identify the mailing addresses for any of the 10 Holders (this is...Read More
Below are the materials the National Business Institute asked me to prepare for a seminar on Oil and Gas law. LEASE / OWNERSHIP CHALLENGES, DISPUTES AND NEGOTIATIONS A. Recent case law and litigation trends Though Ohio was one of the earliest states to have commercial production of oil and gas, surprisingly, it has not developed much of a body of case law in the field of oil and gas. Frequently, the laws of other states must be reviewed to find cases on point – Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana seem to have the most published opinions concerning oil and gas. The advent of the Utica shale has changed things. Numerous oil and gas cases have been filed in Ohio over the last several years and they are making their way through various levels of appeals. Within the next 10 years or so, it can be expected that Ohio’s case law in the field of oil and gas will have expanded considerably. Some of the recent cases in the pipeline are discussed below. 1. Dormant minerals cases In many oil and gas producing states (e.g., Texas), when a mineral severance is made, it is permanent. If rancher Jones reserves the oil and gas rights on 1,000 acres, that interest remains in his name unless he assigns it of record. It is not unusual, particularly where a mineral interest is inactive (i.e., not generating any income), that the executor of party who dies owning mineral rights is unaware of the asset. When this occurs, things can get a bit complicated. Assume rancher Jones reserves the oil and gas rights on 1,000 acres in 1900 and dies in 1920. No mention of the asset is made in his probate estate. Rancher Jones is survived by his wife and five children. By 1999, when drilling interest has heated back up in the area, there are several generations of Jones’ who have a claim to the oil and gas rights that are still titled in rancher Jones. An oil and gas company interested in drilling on that 1,000 acres must (an often will) go to great...Read More