Patrick Stein is a trial lawyer whose practice includes a broad range of litigation matters in state and federal courts, with a particular emphasis on representing clients engaged in the agriculture and energy industries. His litigation experience encompasses a wide variety of cases — from disputes between private parties over sales of horses and cattle to class actions and other complex litigation involving Fortune 500 companies — and includes cases involving business disputes, oil and gas law, toxic torts, nuisance law, agricultural law, property rights, real estate, civil rights, and products liability. His clients include individuals, local and family-owned businesses, agricultural producers, private universities, financial institutions, wind farm developers, oil and gas service companies, and oil and gas exploration and production companies.
A significant portion of Patrick’s practice involves the defense of class actions and other complex business litigation, particularly in federal courts. In addition to defending energy producers against class action environmental pollution claims, he has defended a number of oil and gas producers in class actions alleging underpayment of royalties on gas production. In connection with these and other class actions, Patrick has significant experience with the Class Action Fairness Act, a federal law that allows defendants sued in many class actions involving parties from more than one state to have the case determined by a federal court.
As a member of the firm’s Agriculture and Equine Industry Group, Patrick leverages his background and insights into the agricultural industry to help farmers, ranchers, livestock breeders and agribusinesses resolve industry-related disputes, including those involving landowner rights, business transactions, and general commercial litigation. Patrick also dedicates a portion of his practice to general litigation matters on behalf of clients engaged in myriad industries.
Prior to joining McAfee & Taft, Patrick started his legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Joe Heaton, district judge in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma.
Patrick’s achievements have earned him inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch (commercial litigation; energy law; environmental litigation; oil and gas law) and Oklahoma Super Lawyers’ list of “Oklahoma Rising Stars,” which recognizes the state’s top up-and-coming attorneys.
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- Obtained summary judgment in favor of wind farm developer in federal court anticipatory nuisance action in which the plaintiffs sought to enjoin construction and operation of a wind farm.
- Obtained dismissal of federal products liability putative class action alleging an electrical switch controlling the headlights in a certain vehicle was defective.
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of a commercial real estate closing agent in a case involving allegations that the client was negligent in preparing closing documents.
- Defended private university in federal civil rights lawsuit alleging university’s expulsion of student violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
- Defended local wireless internet service provider in business tort lawsuit filed by client’s competitor in state court. Aggressive litigation strategy resulted in trial court lifting temporary restraining order it entered prior to our involvement and the plaintiff dismissing its claims.
- Defended family trust in state court lawsuit concerning the value of certain farmland and oil and gas minerals in Canadian County, Oklahoma. Was second-chair attorney in two-day, non-jury trial and obtained favorable decision from trial judge. Obtained favorable ruling on appeal. Case settled favorably for client after appeal.
- Defended financial institution that serves as a corporate trustee in multiple litigation matters in which the trust beneficiaries allege client breached its duties as trustee. Cases all settled favorably for client.
- Currently defending private university in state court lawsuit alleging that university breached a commercial real estate lease when a contractor allegedly caused a power outage that affected portion of premises leased by the plaintiff. Obtained summary judgment and award of attorney’s fees from trial court and am continuing to represent university on appeal.
Oil and Gas Industry
- Obtained dismissal of federal court putative class action alleging underground injection of produced water from oil and gas operations caused earthquake insurance premiums to increase. Continuing to represent injection well operators on appeal.
- Obtained dismissal of claims asserted against two oil and gas producers in federal court putative class alleging disposal of produced water from oil and gas operations caused certain earthquakes.
- Defended oil and gas producer in federal lawsuit alleging client’s predecessor in interest damaged the plaintiffs’ producing vertical oil and gas well in the course of drilling and completing a horizontal oil and gas well in the adjacent section. Was second-chair attorney in two-day jury trial. The two plaintiffs sought damages in excess of $ 1 million. Obtained judgment as a matter of law as to one plaintiff, and the jury came back with a verdict awarding damages of only $220,000 to the other plaintiff.
- Defended oil and gas operator in state court lawsuit alleging client’s operation of saltwater disposal well contributed to earthquakes near Oklahoma City and Edmond. Litigation strategy caused plaintiffs to dismiss client from case prior to responding to a motion for summary judgment and to ultimately settle their claims on terms favorable to client.
- Defended oil and gas producer in two federal court cases where the plaintiff alleged client’s drilling and completion of horizontal oil and gas wells damaged the plaintiff’s nearby vertical wells. Obtained favorable settlements in both cases.
- Defended oil and gas producer in federal court litigation involving the respective rights and obligations of working-interest owners under the parties’ written agreements. Obtained favorable ruling from Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Defended four oil and gas producers in federal court putative class action involving alleged release of toxic substances from disposal facility. Obtained dismissal of plaintiffs’ claims from district court. Judgment affirmed on appeal by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Currently defending multiple oil and gas producers in putative class actions alleging underpayment or late payment of royalties. Was primarily responsible for removing several of these cases to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA).
- Currently defending several oil and gas injection well operators in more than two dozen cases in state and federal courts alleging the underground injection of produced water has caused an increase is seismicity in certain parts of Oklahoma. Some cases are putative class actions and others are actions where several individual plaintiffs have joined together in the same lawsuit. The plaintiffs generally seek to recover property damages and damages for alleged interference with use and enjoyment of property.
- Currently defending several oil and gas producers in more than 10 cases pending in state and federal courts in which the plaintiffs allege clients’ use of hydraulic fracturing treatment during completion of horizontal oil and gas wells have caused damages to plaintiffs’ oil and gas wells.
- Represented grain and seed company in federal court lawsuit against manufacturer of commercial malting equipment alleging that the manufacturer breached contract by failing to deliver equipment capable of making marketable malt. Obtained favorable settlement for client.
- Represented grain and seed company in arbitration before National Grain and Feed Association. Client alleged seller of rye failed to delivery merchantable rye over several years. Obtained favorable settlement for client.
- Defended horse breeder and horse trainer in state court lawsuit alleging fraud in connection with the sale of a competitive show horse. Was lead counsel for the defense. Case settled favorably for clients.
- Represented large seedstock cattle operation in bankruptcy claims litigation arising out of client’s purchase of a ranch, registered cattle, and other assets. Was third-chair attorney in a four-day, non-jury trial in Nebraska federal bankruptcy court. After trial, client was able to confirm a plan of reorganization.
- Represented horse owner in federal court lawsuit involving the ownership of and breeding revenues from a high-powered barrel horse breeding stallion. Case settled favorably for client.
- Obtained favorable settlement for husband and wife who purchased a lame barrel horse believing the horse to be sound.
- Obtained favorable settlement for cattle purchaser in dispute with ranch owner over summer grazing agreement involving 1,000 head of yearling cattle.
- Meier v. Chesapeake Operating, L.L.C., 324 F. Supp. 3d 1207 (W.D. Okla. 2018)
- Nichols v. Chesapeake Operating, LLC, 718 Fed. App’x 736 (10th Cir. 2018)
- U.S. Energy Develop. Corp. v. Stephens Energy Group, LLC, 662 Fed. App’x 556 (10th Cir. 2016)
- Dinwiddie v. Suzuki Motor of Am., Inc., 111 F. Supp. 3d 1202 (W.D. Okla. 2015)
Honors and Awards
- Selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch (commercial litigation; energy law; environmental litigation; oil and gas law)
- Named to Oklahoma Super Lawyers’ list of “Oklahoma Rising Stars,” which recognizes the state’s up-and-coming attorneys
Professional Organizations and Memberships
- Oklahoma County Bar Association
- Oklahoma Bar Association
- Federal Bar Association
- Oklahoma City Mineral Lawyers Society