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.
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
This article discusses situations arising when several people own the same piece of land, and only some of them sign an oil and gas lease. Resolving this issue requires a discussion of basic property ownership principles. Types of Land Ownership Ownership in land takes many forms. Some individuals are the sole owner of their land. Another piece of land could be owned by several people, such as when brothers and sisters inherit land from a parent. This joint ownership of a piece of property is usually called a tenancy in common, with the owners themselves known as tenants in common , or co-tenants. Settling Disputes Between Co-Tenants Owning property with others may very well result in disputes about how the property should be used. For example, what if one co-tenant wants to rent the property for a specific use, and the other co-tenant objects? Similarly, what if one co-tenant wants to sell his interest in the land to a developer and the other co-tenant has no interest in developing the land? By law, these types of disputes are settled according to the duties co-tenants owe to one another. Generally speaking, each co-tenant has an equal right to the possession and enjoyment of the entire property. This essentially means that each co-tenant may do whatever they want with the property, so long as it does not interfere with the other co-tenants right to use or profit from the entire property. So how does this relate to oil and gas leases? Oil and Gas Leases – Non-consenting Tenants Most states (Ohio included) permit one co-tenant (or her lessee) to develop oil and gas without the other co-tenant’s permission. The tenant who develops the land, however, must provide an accounting to the other co-tenants and cannot prevent the other co-tenants from developing the oil and gas or signing an oil and gas lease. This makes sense in light of a co-tenant’s right to enjoy the whole premises while not preventing any other co-tenants from doing so. The developing co-tenant must also share the profits of such development with the non-developing co-tenant. In other...Read More