An Efficient and Highly Effective Approach to Trial and Appellate Work
The Firm obtains superior results for its clients in a variety of business arenas by utilizing efficient, creative and effective trial and appellate techniques. Lean staffing for a case enables the selected attorney and paralegal to develop specialized knowledge of the facts and applicable law and encourages them to work efficiently. The Firm accomplishes discovery and pre-trial motion practice in the most cost-effective manner possible, finds the best experts for any given subject matter, and seeks each case’s breaking point either at summary judgment, expert challenges or trial. If cases are not resolved before trial, the Firm stands ready, willing and able to try each case on a thorough and solid record before a jury or trial judge – because the Firm expects to uphold its clients’ trial success on appeal by using the very same attorney and paralegal team who tried the case.
A Need-Driven and Collaborative Approach to Business Transactions
The Firm's business cases and clients have developed a transactional practice involving entity formation, bank and equity financing, contract drafting and negotiation, and regulatory compliance. These various transactional needs often arise from the Firm's litigation practice or provide alternative solutions to wasteful or uneconomical litigation. The Firm works with its clients' in-house attorneys and staff to meet the clients' transactional needs. Also, the Firm will use contract services of transactional law boutiques when and as necessary, depending upon the size and complexity of the transactional need.
Contract & Business Tort Litigation
A competitive business climate creates many incentives not to play fair. Some businesses and business people breach contracts that they should honor. Others encourage companies to breach good contracts, employ deception in their business practices, or take unprincipled actions to disrupt existing business relationships. Still others compete unfairly, over aggressively, and in disregard to the law.
Schmidt and Holmes LLP has the necessary credentials for demanding business cases. The Firm routinely evaluate cases involving various contract issues and business torts and has concluded successfully many business cases. Schmidt and Holmes LLP represent those who sue as well as those who’ve been sued in business litigation. The Firm fully informs each client on all available options. When appropriate, the Firm counsels in favor of resolution, compromise, and cost savings. When appropriate, it counsels in favor of relentless litigation and trial work – right through summary-judgment hearings and/or trials. The Firm responds appropriately to each client’s business needs. Its attorneys make smart litigation moves that are both effective and efficient – its attorneys have many satisfied former business clients who return time and again.
Real Estate Litigation
Disputes frequently arise in the transfer, use, or construction of any real-property interest. Landlords and tenants disagree about the use of the leasehold estate, or about each other’s obligations under the lease. Vendors and purchasers of land frequently clash over hidden, unknown, or undiscovered conditions on the land that become important after the land is sold; also, they battle over the land’s ultimate sales price, their competing obligations for taxes, and their obligations to obtain (or to accept) financing necessary for the sale. Contractors and building owners (or home owners) often collide over the value, quality, and timeliness of constructions or refurbishments.
Real estate litigation is a minefield for the inexperienced – only seasoned attorneys, using great care and drawing on vast experience, can avoid the many challenges that arise when representing a plaintiff or defendant in a real estate case. A successful resolution to a real estate dispute demands innovative thinking, stamina, sensitivity to each case’s peculiarities, and experience – but mostly experience. The attorneys for Schmidt and Holmes LLP have the right experience and have put it to use for their clients over many years.
Partnership Disputes & Shareholder Oppression
Partners owe high duties of loyalty to each other and to their partnership businesses. Officers and directors in small corporations, likewise, owe high duties of loyalty to their corporations and to their shareholders, particularly to their minority shareholders. Many partners, officers and directors disregard their duties of loyalty and seek benefits for themselves – at the expense of their partnerships, their corporations or their shareholders. Such wrongful conduct often results from the desire to make money without having to share it with others or the desire to rid a company of unwanted participants.
Schmidt and Holmes LLP has significant experience in disputes arising within partnerships or within small corporations. The Firm pursues the right strategy for the client – thereby structuring the case for early settlement, preparing the case for summary judgment, or pushing the case to trial.
Oil & Gas Litigation
Schmidt and Holmes LLP has substantial experience in helping royalty owners, non-operating working interest owners, taxing authorities, and smaller producers in a variety of litigation matters.
In an era of unprecedented profits within the oil and gas industry, various stakeholders in oil and gas production, such as royalty owners, non-operating working interest owners, taxing authorities, and smaller producers, remain at risk of being unfairly compensated by large producers that control production and marketing arrangements. Sometimes large producers make underpayments to these various stakeholders simply because of the complexities involved in administering oil and gas leases, attending to necessary land work, and structuring marketing arrangements. However, often large producers blatantly fail to pay what they owe to the various stakeholders. In either case, the stakeholders have legal claims for compensation.
Producers must behave as “reasonably prudent operators” and must adhere to their contractual duties. When they fail to do so, the following consequences occur:
- Royalties, working-interest payments and taxes (severance and ad valorem) worth thousands or millions of dollars go unpaid
- Mineral estates are depleted, wasted or destroyed
- Surface estates are damaged or polluted beyond remediation
- Incestuous marketing arrangements (whereby, for example, a producer cheaply sells to itself the mineral estate’s valuable production) burden mineral estates for decades.
Schmidt and Holmes LLP will investigate large-producer practices that impair the rights of royalty owners, non-operating working interest owners, taxing authorities, and smaller producers to their share of oil and gas production. The Firm will define the underpayment claim and will draw upon its extensive oil and gas expertise to prosecute the claim or provide alternative marketing and operational arrangements to protect its clients' interests.