Cases & Transactions

  • $2,000,000 Wrongful Death Settlement

TISDAL & O'HARA represented the husband and children of a woman whose death resulted from injuries she sustained when a negligently driven delivery truck collided with the bicycle she was riding. The firm's representation resulted in a $2 million wrongful death settlement, including cash payments and trusts established for her children's' education.


  • $350,000 Wrongful Death Settlement

TISDAL & O'HARA represented the children of an elderly farmer/rancher whose death resulted from injuries sustained in a motor vehicle collision. The firm's representation resulted in a $350,000 settlement.


  • $18,000,000 Royalty Owner Settlement

TISDAL & O'HARA recovered $18 million in unpaid royalties plus interest for a royalty owner with interests in oil & gas wells across the state.


  • $25,000,000 Royalty Owner Class Action Settlement

In the case of Glen D. Sacket v. Great Plains Pipeline Co., et al., Case No. CJ-2002-70, District Court of Woods County, State of Oklahoma, TISDAL & O'HARA were appointed lead counsel and achieved certification of a class of royalty owners asserting claims for unpaid royalties on production from wells hooked to a single gathering system located in Woods, Major and Alfalfa Counties, Oklahoma. The royalty owners asserted claims for improper deductions, affiliate transactions and civil conspiracy. After the court order certifying the case as a class action was affirmed on appeal, the firm's representation resulted in a $25 million settlement, which was distributed to royalty owners in the subject wells.


  • $12,700,000 Royalty Owner Class Action Settlement

In the case of Carmikael Dodson v. Phillips Petroleum Co., et al., Case No. CJ-2004-0019, District Court of Beckham County, State of Oklahoma, TISDAL & O'HARA were appointed lead counsel and achieved certification of a class of royalty owners asserting claims for unpaid royalties on the sale of oil produced from wells in Beckham and Greer Counties, Oklahoma. After the court order certifying the case as a class action was affirmed on appeal, the firm's representation resulted in a $12.7 million settlement, which was distributed to royalty owners, local schools and local charities. Read more...


  • Pittsburg County Ad Valorem Tax Litigation Results in $429,000,000 Power Plant Valuation

TISDAL & O'HARA represented the Pittsburg County Assessor in litigation against affiliates of a worldwide energy conglomerate concerning the valuation of a 1250 mw natural gas-fired electric generating plant for ad valorem tax purposes. The firm's representation lead to a judgment that the market value of the plant, known as the Kiamichi Energy Facility, was $429 million. Such valuation resulted in the distribution of millions of dollars of ad valorem tax revenue to area school systems and other facilities dependent on such funds.


  • Multi-County Ad Valorem Tax Litigation Results in $116,000,000 Valuation of Electricity Generating Wind Turbines

TISDAL & O'HARA represented the Assessors of Custer, Woodward and Washita Counties in litigation against affiliates of a worldwide wind energy company concerning the valuation of 120 wind turbines for ad valorem tax purposes. The firm's representation lead to judgments in the three counties of market values of the wind turbines totaling approximately $116 million. Such valuation resulted in the distribution of substantial ad valorem tax revenue to area school systems and other facilities dependent on such funds.


  • $280,000 Recovery Pursuant to the Oklahoma Surface Damages Act

TISDAL & O'HARA represented landowners in litigation seeking damages under the Oklahoma Surface Damages act in connection with the construction of a location for drilling and production equipment. The firm successfully negotiated a settlement with the oil & gas producer, which included a cash payment of $280,000 and additional concessions concerning fencing and gates, road repair and maintenance and electric powered equipment installed at the well site and location of pipelines.


  • Cy Pres Funds Distributed to Educational and Civic Recipients

TISDAL & O'HARA partners Mart Tisdal, Pat O'Hara, and Patrick O'Hara, Jr. recently distributed over $200,000 to various educational and civic recipients, including the Erick, Oklahoma Public Schools; Mangum, Oklahoma Public Schools; Southwestern Oklahoma State University at Sayre, Oklahoma; Beckham County Drug Court; Legal Aid of Western Oklahoma; Sayre Memorial Hospital, Great Plains Regional Medical Center; the Washita/Custer County Drug Court; and the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma for Beckham and Greer Counties. These funds were approved for distribution by District Judge Doug Haught in an Order dated May 23, 2012, as part of a cy pres class action distribution in Dodson v. Phillips Petroleum, Case No. CJ-2004-119, Beckham County, Oklahoma.

The cy pres doctrine originated at common law. Today, the cy pres doctrine is utilized by courts in the class action context to direct funds that are not being distributed to individual class members to their "next best use." These distributions come as a direct result of the resolution of the above captioned case by class counsel Mart Tisdal, Pat O'Hara and Patrick O'Hara, Jr. of TISDAL & O'HARA, PLLC., and by Order of the District Court for Beckham County, Oklahoma.


  • $259,890 Recovery Pursuant to the Oklahoma Surface Damages Act

TISDAL & O'HARA represented Beckham County landowners in litigation against Apache Corporation seeking damages under the Oklahoma Surface Damages act in connection with the construction of a location for drilling and production equipment. The firm successfully negotiated a settlement with Apache Corporation, which included a cash payment of $259,890.


  • Cancellation of Oil & Gas Leases Covering Over 2,000 Mineral Acres

In recent years, TISDAL & O'HARA has represented numerous royalty owners seeking a judicial determination that their oil & gas leases had expired due to insufficient production of oil & gas. The firm's representation is these matters resulted in the release of in excess of 2,000 mineral acres for future leasing and bonus payments of up to $1,500 per acre.


  • Compensation for Gas Pipeline Easement of more than $250,000 Obtained

TISDAL & O'HARA negotiated and obtained a payment of more than $250,000, amounting to $150 per rod, in the construction of a gas pipeline across hunting lands. Terms of the agreement included the requirement that the grantee neither begin construction nor remove the pipeline during white tailed deer hunting season.


  • Beckham County Case Settles Thanks to Firm's Work in Missouri Gas Energy

Occidental Energy Marketing, Inc. v. State of Oklahoma, ex rel. Beckham County Board of Equalization, Case No. CV-2004-44, Beckham County, Oklahoma. In this case, the firm represented Beckham County and the Beckham County Assessor. As a result of the firm's work in the Missouri Gas Energy case (see below), the firm was able to successfully settle this case, resulting in the distribution of over $850,000 in previously protested tax funds to the Beckham County General Fund, the Sayre Public Schools, and other tax recipients


  • Claims Dropped in Cimarron County Case

In the Matter of the Assessment for Tax Year 2010 of Certain Personal Property Owned by JBS Five Rivers Cattle Feeding LLC D/B/A Five Rogers Cattle Feeding and J&F Oklahoma Holdings, Inc., Case No. CV-2010-8, Cimarron County, Oklahoma. In this case, the firm represented Cimarron County and the Cimarron County Assessor. JBS asserted that it came within the Freeport exemption, found in Article 10, § 6A of the Oklahoma Constitution, with respect to its cattle feeding operation. As a result of the litigation, JBS ultimately dropped its claim to the Freeport Exemption, resulting in a payment of $367,000 in previously held tax funds to the Boise City and Keyes Public Schools, and other tax recipients. In addition, JBS had further filed a claim asserting its entitlement to the Freeport Exemption for tax year 2012, which was also dropped without further protest by JBS.


  • Firm Successful in Roger Mills County Case on Appeal to Oklahoma Supreme Court

Assessor of Roger Mills County, Teresa Morris v. Unit Drilling Co., 2011 OK 4, 247 P.3d 1170. In this case, the firm represented Roger Mills County and the Roger Mills County Assessor and successfully argued, through appeal in the Oklahoma Supreme Court, that a law enacted by the Oklahoma Legislature restricting the right of the Assessor to value drilling rigs in Oklahoma for ad valorem tax purposes violated the Oklahoma Constitution.


  • Cases Settle as Result of Firm's Work in Missouri Gas Energy

As a result of the favorable outcome in the U.S. Supreme Court in the Missouri Gas Energy case (see below) in the year 2010, the firm was successful in settling numerous related cases on behalf of counties and their county assessors:

settlements in related gas storage cases filed in the District Court for Beckham County, Oklahoma, resulted in total payments of approximately $4.5 million to the county. The settlement beneficiaries were the Elk City Public Schools, Erick Public Schools, Merritt Public Schools, Sayre Public Schools, Beckham County Vo-Tech, Beckham County General Fund and the Beckham County Health Department;

settlements in related gas storage cases filed in the District Court for Grant County, Oklahoma, resulted in total payments in excess of $3 million to the county. The settlement beneficiaries were the Deer Creek-Lamont Public Schools, Wakita Public Schools, Medford Public Schools, Pond Creek-Hunter Public Schools, Grant County General Fund and the Grant County Health Department; and

settlements in related gas storage cases filed in the District Court for Woods County, Oklahoma, resulted in total payments of approximately $1.4 million to the county. The settlement beneficiaries were the Woods County Public Schools, Woods County Vo-Tech and the Woods County General Fund.


  • Certiorari Denied by U.S. Supreme Court in Woods County Case

Missouri Gas Energy v. Monica Schmidt, Woods County, Oklahoma Assessor, 2008 OK 94, 234 P.3d 938, cert. denied, 130 S.Ct. 2141 (2010). In this case, the firm represented Woods County and the Woods County Assessor. This case of first impression involved, among other things, the issue of whether or not natural gas in storage in Oklahoma could be taxed on an ad valorem basis without running afoul of the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution. The Oklahoma Supreme Court found that it could. Missouri Gas Energy petitioned for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court. After the issues were fully briefed by order of the U.S. Supreme Court, cert. was denied.


  • Royalty Class Action Case Settles in Woods County

Glen D. Sacket v. Great Plains Pipeline Co., et al., Case No. CJ-2002-70, District Court of Woods County, State of Oklahoma (royalty class action settlement for $25 million).