PMBG Law Prevails in TCPA Dispute

On January 8, 2021, The Texas Supreme Court denied a petition for review submitted by mineral lessees, an operator, and a seismic company that sought to dismiss litigation filed against them by injured mineral owners. In Segundo Navarro Drilling, Ltd., et al., v. San Roman Minerals Partners, Ltd., the mineral owners sought breach of contract and conversion damages arising from the misappropriation and failure to provide seismic data taken from their property. The mineral lessees, their operator, and seismic company immediately moved to dismiss the litigation based on the Texas Citizens Protection Act, claiming that they were engaging in their constitutionally protected right to freely associate amongst themselves concerning their “common interests” as to the mineral owners’ property. San Roman defended by explaining that the “common interests” protected by the TCPA must concern public issues, and not the private, commercial interests between two tortfeasors. The 406th District Court of Webb County denied the motion to dismiss, and this denial was affirmed on August 19, 2020 by the Fourth Court of Appeals sitting in San Antonio, Texas. PMBG partner Baldemar Garcia Jr. was appellate counsel for San Roman Minerals Partners, Ltd.

The lessees, operator, and seismic company then challenged the Fourth Court of Appeals’ Opinion, which the Texas Supreme Court summarily denied. On denial, Law 360 solicited a quote from Baldemar Garcia Jr., “It was a linguistics argument about common interests,” and “the TCPA really wasn’t designed to protect the speech that’s purely private.”

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