Ricardo E. Morales
Ricardo has more than two decades of experience successfully representing clients in complex high value oil and gas, land title, personal injury and commercial disputes in both trial and appellate courts throughout the State. He regularly serves as lead counsel in complex multi-million dollar disputes including representing mineral owners in oil and gas royalty audit and underpayment claims, claims for breach of the duty to develop as a reasonably prudent operator, pooling claims, commingling claims, lease termination claims, and surface and subsurface trespass and contamination claims.
His experience includes litigating pipeline condemnation, surface damage, environmental damage, adverse possession, personal injury and commercial disputes. His wide range of clients includes ranchers, landowners and mineral owners in the Eagle Ford counties of Webb, Karnes, Zavala, Dimmit, LaSalle, McMullen, DeWitt, Tilden, Live Oak & Gonzalez as well as the Permian Basin counties, including Reeves. He also represents his clients in negotiating oil and gas agreements and other commercial agreements, including oil and gas leases, pipeline agreements, surface use agreements, facilities agreements, hunting leases and water use agreements and other commercial and real property leases. His other areas of practice include serious personal injury claims including wrongful death claims, medical malpractice and physician employment agreements.
Ricardo has served as the Chairman of the Oil, Gas & Energy Resources Law of the State Bar of Texas and helped create the first ever published pattern jury charges in the United States, as Chairman of the State Bar of Texas Oil & Gas Pattern Jury Charges Committee. Ricardo is a frequent author and speaker, having presented at numerous oil and gas seminars and conferences in Texas and Pennsylvania.
- Oil and Gas Litigation
- Oil and Gas Transactions
- Commercial Litigation & Transactions
- Medical Malpractice Litigation
- Personal Injury Litigation
- Chairman, Texas Pattern Jury Charge Committee of the State Bar of Texas, 2015-2020
- Chairman, State Bar of Texas, Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Section, 2015
- Section Report Editor, State Bar of Texas, Oil, Gas, Energy, Resources and Law Section,2010
- Council Member, State Bar of Texas, Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Section, 2008 – 2016
- Panel Chairman, District 12-A Grievance Committee, 2006
- President, Webb County Bar Association, 2003
- President, Laredo Young Lawyers Association (LYLA), 2000
- State Bar of Texas, Member
- 70% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
Certified Legal Specialties
- Board Certified, Oil, Gas & Mineral Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization
- Texas, 1995
- U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas, 1997
- U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 1998
- U.S. Supreme Court, 1999
- University of Houston Law Center, J.D. – 1995
- Law Journal: Houston Journal of International Law, Research Editor, 1994 – 1995
- Rice University, Houston, Texas B.A. – 1992
Papers, Presentations, & Published Works
- “Cleaning Out the Skeletons In The Closet: Common Affirmative Defenses In Lessor/Lessee Litigation”, presented at the 33rd Annual Ernest E. Smith Oil, Gas & Mineral Law Institute on March 30, 2007, in Houston, Texas (presented and co-authored); This paper was also published in the July 2007 Section Report of the Oil and Gas Section of the State Bar of Texas.
- “Gammill’s Gaps And Robinson’s Requisites: Surviving Challenges To Oil And Gas Experts”, presented at the State Bar of Texas 25th Annual Advanced Oil, Gas & Energy Resources Law Course on October 4, 2007, in Houston, Texas.
- “Navigating the Rapids: Common Claims and Defenses in Lessor/Lessee Litigation” presented at the University of Houston Law Foundation Advanced Oil and Gas Short Course in 2008 and 2009.
- “Challenging Vintage Oil and Gas Leases With Marginal Production” which was presented at the State Bar of Texas 26th Annual Advanced Oil, Gas & Energy Resources Law Course in 2008 in San Antonio, Texas (co-authored).
- “Navigating the Rapids: Issues in Lessor/Lessee Litigation” published in the Section Report of the Oil, Gas and Energy Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, June 2009.
- “Divorce in the Eagle Ford Spuddin’, Drillin’ and Fracin’—What in the Shale is Going on?” presented along with Martha Cigarroa de Llano to the San Antonio Family Law Association, June 2012.
- “Issues Arising from Recent Supreme Court Decisions, Including BP America v. Marshall, Shell v. Ross And Others”, presented along with Michael E. McElroy and Elizabeth “Becky” Miller at the 30th Annual Advanced Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law course in Houston, Texas in October, 2012.
- “Ten and a Half Oil and Gas Cases You Should Know About” presented at the 2012 Oil, Gas & Minerals Seminar sponsored by the Webb County Bar Association, Laredo, Texas and at the Trinity Minerals Management Breakfast Series, San Antonio Petroleum Club, March 2013.
- “Eagle Ford Shale: Boom or Bust?” published in LareDos News, A Journal of the Borderlands, Fall 2013.
- “Texas Oil and Gas Pattern Jury Charges”, 31st Annual Advanced Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law course in Houston, Texas in October, 2013.
- “Running the Austin Gauntlet: The Texas Supreme Court’s Recent and Not So Recent Treatment of Landowner’s Surface and Mineral Rights.” Texas Land and Mineral Owners Association, Annual Meeting, Summer, 2014.
- “Trespass, Subsurface Trespass and the Supreme Court”, 33rd Annual Advanced Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law course in Houston, Texas in October, 2015 (Co-author).
- “Trespass, Subsurface Trespass and the Supreme Court”, State Bar of Texas Oil & Gas Disputes Course in Houston, Texas in January, 2016.
- “Common Claims and Defenses Between Lessors and Lessees”, 34th Annual Advanced Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law course in Houston, Texas in October, 2016.
- “Texas Oil and Gas Pattern Jury Charges” State Bar of Texas Oil & Gas Disputes Course in Houston, Texas in January, 2017.
- “The Commingling Doctrine & Horizontal Wells: Whose Burden Is It Anyway?” 36th Annual Advanced Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Course in Houston, Texas in September 2018.
- “The Commingling Doctrine & Horizontal Wells: Whose Burden Is It Anyway?” AAPL 65th Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in June 2019.
- “The Commingling Doctrine & Horizontal Wells: Whose Burden Is It Anyway?” published in the Landman Magazine September/October 2019 pgs. 73-82.
- “Pattern Jury Charge” Update 37th Annual Advanced Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Course in Houston, Texas in September 2019.
- “Post-Production Royalty Disputes”; presented at the 46th Annual Ernest E. Smith Oil, Gas & Mineral Law Institute on March, 2020.