Bailey Glasser Wins Appeal Before West Virginia Supreme Court in Oil and Gas Contract Dispute 


A Bailey Glasser litigation team succeeded in obtaining a reversal in an appeal to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, wiping away a 2022 jury verdict and judgment against BG client Blackrock Enterprises, LLC regarding a dispute related to an oil and gas area of mutual interest agreement. The Bailey Glasser team was led by partner Brian R. Swiger, and included founding partner Brian A. Glasser and lawyers Christopher Smith and John A. Budig.

Bailey Glasser’s appeal stemmed from the April 25, 2022 order by the Circuit Court of Pleasants County, Business Court Division, granting judgment in favor of Plaintiffs Jay-Bee and awarding them legal and equitable relief against Defendant Blackrock. Bailey Glasser lawyer Christopher Smith delivered oral argument on behalf of Blackrock at the West Virginia Supreme Court and argued that the business court committed multiple errors in both phases of the proceedings, including its handling and construction of the jury’s special verdict form and findings, its interpretation of the contractual first material breach doctrine, its determination that the parties were engaged in a common law mining partnership, and its rulings as to damages and partnership valuation.

The Supreme Court of Appeals reversed the lower court’s decision in part and vacated it in part, finding “that the business court erred in its construction of the first material breach doctrine and by granting judgment for Jay-Bee on the basis of clearly erroneous findings” under West Virginia Rule of Civil Procedure 49(a). The Court reversed the final judgment and remanded the case for a new trial.

The case is Blackrock Enterprises, LLC v. BB Land, LLC et al, No. 22-0407. To read the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals decision, please  visit this link. 

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