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Vinson & Elkins Wins Complete Take Nothing Defense Verdict for Aera Energy Following Two-Month Trial

On Dec. 11, a Vinson & Elkins trial team received a full defense jury verdict in favor of our client, Aera Energy LLC. Vaquero Partners and Madison Energy sued Aera regarding the parties’ collective ownership of the working interest rights of an oil and gas property located in California (the “Lease”).

Plaintiffs claimed that Aera breached its obligations by failing to drill dozens of additional oil and gas wells on the Lease, failing to protect the Lease from drainage, failing to abide by a vote to remove Aera Energy as operator, and breaching an alleged implied contractual requirement for it to act with good faith and fair dealing. Plaintiffs also claimed that Aera intentionally made false and misleading representations relating to development and operations on the Lease.

After two years of vigorously defending Aera against these unfounded allegations, and more recently, two months in trial, the jury rendered a verdict finding in Aera’s favor on all of Plaintiffs’ claims. Despite Plaintiffs seeking over $100 million in damages, the jury found the Plaintiffs were entitled to zero.

The V&E trial team was led by Houston Partners Jim ThompsonNicholas Shum, and Stephanie Noble and included Associates Leslie Mason, Brooke Noble, Austin Turman, and Paralegal Tony Masington. Partner Mike Heidler argued the jury charge and provided appellate support. The full litigation team also included Counsel Cathy Smith, and Associates Carly Sagehorn and Emily Bamesberger.

About Vinson & Elkins
For more than a century, Vinson & Elkins has provided outstanding client service across important industries that drive the global economy. Built on a strong culture of collaboration across 11 offices worldwide, V&E lawyers are committed to excellence, offering clients decades of legal experience in handling transactions, investments, projects and disputes across the globe. Learn more by visiting or connect with us on LinkedIn.

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