Energy slowdown pumps up legal filings

In an article featured in The Journal Record, writer Dale Denwalt reported that the decline in the oil and gas industry has resulted in an uptick in court filings involving energy companies. Eighteen companies engaged in industry have filed for bankruptcy within the past 12 months, and many, many more companies are engaged in civil litigation.

Veteran oil and gas litigator Mark Christiansen was interviewed for the article about the upward trend in civil litigation and its seemingly inverse relationship with the energy industry’s economy.  He noted that companies that might not have chosen to litigate certain matters in better economic times are now open to pursuing those claims in court.

“However, tighter economic times seem to also lead potential litigants to carefully consider whether, given the expense of litigation, particular types of claims are worth taking to trial, or whether settlement is the better economic options,” he said.  “That aspect of distressed economic times can lead to a reduction in the volume of litigation.”