Energy Law

2nd National Young Energy Professionals’ Law Conference


New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Past Event

MCLE Credit will be available

The Westin New Orleans Canal Place
100 Rue Iberville
New Orleans, LA, 70130

Online registration for the conference is now closed. If you would like to still register for this conference, please register onsite at the registration desk.

Registrar: +1.972.244.3403
IEL: +1.972.244.3421
Fax: +1.972.244.3401


Designed primarily for energy attorneys under 40 years of age, this conference will (1) provide young energy professionals with opportunities to network with their peers from in-house and law firm environments to build relationships that will benefit them professionally, (2) provide significant hours of energy related CLE for a low price, and (3) provide professional development training that will help attendees to be better lawyers and to reach their goals.

Conference Co-Chairs

Kathryn Zainey Gonski
Liskow & Lewis
New Orleans, Louisiana

Kelly Herrera
ConocoPhillips Company
Houston, Texas

Joseph Ope
Exxon Mobil Corporation
Houston, Texas

Download the Brochure (pdf)

For more details, download the online brochure.


  • $325 - Regular Registration Fee
  • $290 - IEL Advisory Board Member
  • $290 - IEL Young Energy Professional Member
  • $290 - IEL Supporting or Sustaining Member Employee
  • $290 - CAIL Member or Member Employee
  • $290 - ABA Young Lawyers Division Member
  • $290 - Government Employee
  • $125 - Full-time Law Professor
  • $125 - Full-time Law Student

Schedule and Faculty

Thursday, April 5

3:00 - 5:00 pm

YEP Committee Meeting (All Welcome)

6:00 - 9:00 pm

Welcome Reception

  • Grande Terrace at Pat O’s on the River, 600 Decatur Street, 3rd Floor, New Orleans, Louisiana

Located on the third floor of the Jackson Brewery Millhouse, Pat O’s on the River offers the same hospitality and deliciousness of the original Pat O’Brien’s and a wonderful terrace overlooking the Mississippi River.  Join your friends (and friends to be) for food and open bar at one of the best locations in New Orleans. This event is included in your conference registration.

Friday, April 6

8:30 am

Introductory Remarks

8:45 am

The Power of an Attorney Enhanced by the Importance of Professionalism

  • Hon. Jay C. Zainey, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, New Orleans, Louisiana

9:15 am

An In-House Perspective: Advice and Guidance for Young Energy Professionals

This panel of in-house counsel will provide advice and guidance to young energy professionals on working with or as an in-house counsel in the energy industry, including improving communications with clients, efficiency and being a respected member of the profession. The panel will also discuss the legal issues they are experiencing and what they expect in the near future. Finally, the panel will discuss the importance and responsibility of attorneys to treat each other, clients, and opposing counsel and their clients with respect.


  • Bradley C. Knapp, Locke Lord LLP, New Orleans, Louisiana


  • G. Kevin Cunningham, Vice President and General Counsel, Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, Houston, Texas
  • Lauren Ford, General Counsel, ARD Operating, LLC, Houston, Texas
  • Kristi McCarthy, General Counsel and Vice President, Land, Chevron North America Exploration & Production Company, Houston, Texas
  • Laura M. Robertson, Deputy General Counsel, Litigation and Arbitration, ConocoPhillips Company, Houston, Texas

10:15 am


10:25 am

A Legal Trip Around the Country

This session will present and discuss important developments in energy law from various regions of the country

  • Aaron K. Friess, Stinson Leonard Street, Bismarck, North Dakota
  • Lucas Liben, Reed Smith LLP, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Melissa A. Munson, Steptoe & Johnson PLLC, The Woodlands, Texas

11:10 am

Assessing Climate Legal Risks

Setting aside the ongoing disagreements on climate change, the energy industry finds itself in the midst of legal risks. These risks include citizen suits and private actions brought by NGOs, citizen groups, and state governments against members of the industry, shareholder demands for corporate climate change policies, and SEC financial filings. The panel will discuss these climate legal risks and provide insight on the legal landscape.


  • Erin Potter Sullenger, Crowe & Dunlevy, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


  • Jeff Civins, Haynes and Boone, LLP, Austin, Texas
  • Sarah E. Fortt, Vinson & Elkins LLP, Austin, Texas
  • Linda Kelly, Senior Vice President, Legal, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary, National Association of Manufacturers, Washington, D.C.

12:10 pm

Legal Leaders in the Energy Industry Series – A Fireside Chat with Dianne B. Ralston

Dianne B. Ralston has over twenty years of combined legal, compliance and business experience in the oil and gas industry, including seventeen years at Schlumberger Ltd. before becoming Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at Weatherford International plc. Currently the Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer & Corporate Secretary of TechnipFMC plc, a global leader in oil and gas projects, technologies, systems and services, Ms. Ralston will share her insights on a successful career in the industry. She will also discuss challenges young energy professionals are likely to face and provide advice on overcoming such challenges and on being professionally successful in the energy industry.

  • Dianne B. Ralston, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary, TechnipFMC plc, Houston, Texas
Luncheon Moderator: Jennifer Walter Mosley, Senior Counsel - Major Transactions Law Group, Chevron, Houston, Texas

1:30 pm


Breakout Sessions

1:45 pm

Room One

Conducting a Large Transaction

The presentation will cover various practical aspects of large, international transactions in the upstream petroleum business. The discussion topics may vary from the obvious to the obscure, with an overarching aim of providing a thought-provoking, interactive session, with frequent audience participation.

  • Miles Prillaman, Assistant Chief Attorney - Development Law, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Spring, Texas

Room Two

An In-House Perspective on the Recent Wave of Coastal Land Loss Litigation and its Effect on Industry

Louisiana governmental entities have unleashed a wave of lawsuits against the industry, alleging that oil and gas companies violated coastal zone management laws and must repair the State’s eroding coastline. This litigation has now spread to encompass 6 coastal parishes, 42 lawsuits, 8 government actors, and more than 200 defendants. With a handful of these cases poised to reach trial in 2019, join us for a Q&A session on the procedural basics, major issues of law, and rulings issued to date.


  • Kelly Becker, Liskow & Lewis, New Orleans, Louisiana


  • Jennifer Ferratt, Senior Counsel, Chevron Upstream, Covington, Louisiana
  • Craig Romero, Senior Counsel, ConocoPhillips Company, Houston, Texas

2:30 pm

Room One

Free Trade Agreements – Opportunities and Pitfalls

The session will provide a general overview of free trade agreements – what they are, how they work, the potential benefits to your client, and compliance pitfalls along the way.

  • F. Amanda DeBusk, Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP, Washington, D.C.
  • Dana M. LeDoux-Cortez, Senior Counsel, Phillips 66, Houston, Texas

Room Two

Frac Hit Litigation: Where Horizontal Meets Vertical

Vertical well owners are filing lawsuits claiming that nearby frac jobs by horizontal drillers flooded their wells. Hear both sides of the bar discuss litigation strategies and approaches to frac hit litigation.


  • Liz Klingensmith, Blank Rome LLP, Houston, Texas


  • L. Vance Brown, Elias, Books, Brown & Nelson, P.C., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Steve McNamara, McNamara, Inbody & Parrish, PLLC, Tulsa, Oklahoma

3:15 pm


3:30 pm

Room One

Evidence of Disaster

The importance of protecting physical and documentary evidence in the face of a disaster cannot be overstated. The title, Evidence of Disaster, refers not to the underlying incident, but to the "disaster" which ensues when evidence is altered, lost or destroyed. The presentation takes the audience through three case studies in "disaster" - cases where evidence was lost or destroyed, and reveals the dire consequences. The audience is then taken through the four or five key components of managing a catastrophic event. Finally, three case studies in success are reviewed to illustrate how these concepts work in real life.

  • Joe Teig, Holland & Hart LLP, Jackson, Wyoming

Room Two

Swerves, Stop Signs, and Collisions – How to Avoid Hazards on the Road to Your Professional Dream Destination

  • Barbara Mayden, Principal, Young Mayden, Nashville, Tennessee

4:15 pm

Room One

You Like Tomato and I Like Tomahto, Tomato, Tomahto, Potato, Potahto

Ashley Nguyen (BHP Billiton, Houston) and Peter Roberts (Orrick, London) will pitch you with their views on the best governing law to choose for your commercial contract – Texas law or English law. In 45 minutes they will cover the ups and downs of each legal code and the key differences you really need to note – and then you decide which is the better way to go.

  • Ashley Nguyen, Senior Counsel, BHP Billiton Petroleum, Houston, Texas
  • Peter Roberts, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, London, United Kingdom

Room Two

Developing an Energy Network – Fuel for a Career


  • Kelly Ransom, Kelly Hart Pitre, New Orleans, Louisiana


  • Jana L. Grauberger, Liskow & Lewis, Houston, Texas
  • George J. Hittner, Major, Lindsey & Africa, Houston, Texas
  • Daniel W. Van Horn, Butler Snow LLP, Memphis, Tennessee

5:00 pm


9:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.

Late Night Social

  • Jazz Parlor and Balcony at Maison Bourbon Jazz Club, 641 Bourbon St. (Upstairs), New Orleans, Louisiana

After individual or group dinners in New Orleans, join other conference attendees for late night fun, networking and refreshments. Included in your conference registration fee, this event will feature a private parlor and large balcony over world-famous Bourbon Street with an open bar and light food.  Mingle with fellow energy attorneys while taking in the sights and sounds of a Friday night in the French Quarter or listen in on the jazz coming from the Maison Bourbon Jazz Club below.  Attendees may come and go while enjoying other venues on or near Bourbon Street.

Saturday, April 7

8:45 am

What Transactional Attorneys and Litigators Wish the Other Knew or Did

“Why did you not think about this?” “If you had only added this provision, we would not be in this situation?” “You can’t make that claim because it will hurt our position in future deals.”

These are common complaints raised by transactional attorneys and litigators regarding the other. This session will explain the concerns and issues of the other side of the legal divide and assist attorneys in working better with and understanding the concerns of the other side of the profession.


  • Garrett A. Gibson, Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP, Houston, Texas


  • Christopher B. Bennett, Latham & Watkins LLP, Houston, Texas
  • Benjamin B. Leibman, Senior Counsel, Director of Legal Contracts, Oilfield Services, Baker Hughes, a GE Company, Houston, Texas
  • Michael J. Nelson, Jenner & Block, Chicago, Illinois
  • Julie S. Stanger, Senior Counsel, Litigation Management Unit, Chevron Upstream, Houston, Texas

9:45 am

Hurricane Cleanup: Life After Bankruptcy

A dynamic panel discussion of lessons learned and what comes next for energy companies emerging from bankruptcy.

  • Sasha Vaikhman, Associate General Counsel, LINN Energy, LLC, Houston, Texas
  • Holly Anderson, Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, LINN Energy, LLC, Houston, Texas
  • Anna G. Rotman, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Houston, Texas
  • Richard Frazier, Lead Counsel – Oil and Gas, TEP Barnett USA, LLC, Houston, Texas

10:30 am


10:45 am

Enterprise Products Partners L.P. v. Energy Transfer Partners L.P.: What This Partnership Dispute Means for Energy Companies in Texas

In July 2017, the Dallas Court of Appeals unanimously reversed a $535 million judgment won by Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. (“ETP”) and rendered judgment in favor of Enterprise Products Partners, L.P. The three-judge panel held that because the parties did not perform the conditions precedent in the parties’ preliminary agreements, partnership was precluded under Texas law.

The presenters will discuss the latest chapter in this hotly-contested partnership formation dispute and its implications for energy companies entering into term sheets, MOUs, HOAs and other preliminary agreements or joint ventures or similar arrangements in Texas.

  • Liam O’Rourke, Baker Botts L.L.P., Houston, Texas
  • Brian Salazar, Senior Counsel, Halliburton, Houston, Texas

11:30 am

From Complaint to Closing, Ethical Issues from the Ely v. Cabot Case (Ethics)
Ethical considerations arise throughout all aspects of a litigation, from the filing of a complaint to closing arguments. During this session, we will address some of the myriad ethical issues that arose during the highly-publicized litigation involving residents in Dimock, Pennsylvania against Cabot Oil & Gas, which has been ongoing since November 2009, and how those issues were addressed by the Court or impacted the litigation.

  • Amy L. Barrette, Blank Rome LLP, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Jeremy A. Mercer, Blank Rome LLP, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

12:30 pm


MCLE Credit

This program is approved by the State Bar of Texas for a total of 9.75 hours, including 1 hour of ethics. Course ID Number: 174010074. Credit hours for other states will vary and are subject to each state’s approval and credit rounding rules.

For this conference, IEL will directly apply (if requested) for course accreditation in the following states: California, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. Some of these states may not approve a program for credit hours before the program occurs. Attorneys may be eligible to receive CLE credit through reciprocity or attorney self-submission in other states. Attorneys filing by self-submission in certain states may be required to pay an additional fee. IEL conferences are typically accredited by all mandatory CLE states.

Hotel Information

The cost of housing is not included in tuition. However, rooms (in limited number) have been reserved at The Westin New Orleans Canal Place, 100 Rue Iberville, New Orleans, LA 70130. Registrants should call 1.504.566.7006  and mention "IEL - Young Energy Professionals Law Conference" to receive a reduced room rate of $219 ++ per night. The last day to obtain this special rate is March 21, 2018. The special room rate is available from April 4 - 8.


Sponsorship Opportunities

Platinum Sponsor & Social Event Sponsor - $5,000 each (limited to four)

  • Recognition as a Platinum Sponsor at all conference events
  • Recognition as a sponsor of the Thursday Night Welcome Reception and the Friday Evening Late Night Reception
  • Recognition in the Conference brochure, which will be electronically mailed to thousands of interested counsel and business leaders and will reach many thousands more through social media and web announcements
  • Company/firm logo prominently displayed in the Conference brochure and final program
  • Recognition on the Conference website.
  • Recognition at the luncheon.
  • 6 complimentary registrants at the Conference
  • 3 complimentary guests at the social events
  • An opportunity to display company/firm materials at the event or at the conference

Gold Sponsor - $3,500 each

  • Recognition in the Conference brochure, which will be electronically mailed to several thousand interested counsel and business leaders and will reach many thousands more through social media and web announcements
  • Company/firm logo prominently displayed in the Conference brochure and final program
  • Recognition on the Conference website
  • 4 complimentary registrants at the Conference
  • An opportunity to display company/firm materials at the event or at the conference.

Wi-Fi Sponsor - $3,000 (exclusive) - SOLD OUT

  • Name/Logo reflected in wifi access code
  • Prominent recognition on the Conference Background Slide
  • Recognition in the Conference brochure, which will be electronically mailed to several thousand interested counsel and business leaders and will reach many thousands more through social media and web announcements
  • Company/firm logo prominently displayed in the Conference brochure and final program
  • 3 complimentary registrants at the Conference
  • An opportunity to display company/firm materials at the event or at the conference.

Silver Sponsor - $2,000 each

  • Recognition in the Conference brochure, which will be electronically mailed to several thousand interested counsel and business leaders and will reach many thousands more through social media and web announcements
  • Company/firm logo prominently displayed in the Conference brochure and final program.
  • Recognition on the Conference website
  • 2 complimentary registrants at the Conference.
  • An opportunity to display company/firm materials at the event or at the conference.

Exhibitor (Non-law Firms only) - $1,500 each

  • Space to display company/firm materials at the conference.
  • Name/logo on Conference website with link to company page

For more information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Lilly Hogarth, IEL Project Manager at +1.972.244.3424.

Other Information

Press Policy

All IEL conferences are held under the Chatham House Rule. Participants, including journalists, are free to use any information received, but comments may not be attributed to any speaker identifi ed by name or affiliation.

Visa Information

If you require a letter of invitation to obtain a visa for this conference, payment of the registration fee must first be made.  If you apply and do not receive a visa, please send us a copy of the rejection letter from the consulate, and we will cancel your registration and issue a refund. Please email for more details.

Nondiscriminatory Policy

The Center for American and International Law does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, veteran status or any other protected status in educational activities, scholarship programs or admissions.

Privacy Policy

We do not sell or rent information to any outside parties. By providing your information, you will receive postal and electronic communications from the Institute for Energy Law (IEL) of The Center for American and International Law (CAIL) in accordance with CAIL's Privacy Policy. If we co-sponsor a program with another organization, information may be shared between the parties. All such co-sponsors will be identified on the event details and registration page. At any point, you can opt-out or unsubscribe by selecting either link at the bottom of each email or call us at 972.244.3400.

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