Partner

717 Texas Ave, Suite 2800
Houston, Texas 77002

+1 713 221 2325

Local Litigation Star


Jurisdiction:

Texas

Practice area:

Commercial
Oil and gas


Annually selected by his peers as one of Texas’ Super Lawyers since 2005, Mr. Veselka has tried sixty or more jury trials to verdict and briefed or argued a similar number of appeals before the Texas Supreme Court, various Texas Courts of Appeals, the Wyoming Supreme Court, and various U.S. Courts of Appeals. 


In May 2021 Mr. Veselka and his SKV team tried a royalty claim for a large South Texas landowner against two Chesapeake Energy subsidiaries and other non-participating interest owners. Originally filed in Texas state court in April 2020 and then removed to Bankruptcy Court in September due to Chesapeake’s bankruptcy, the case claims underpayment of millions of dollars of royalties over the 4 ½ years preceding the bankruptcy filing. Between then and the May 2021 trial the team took or defended 18 depositions in the royalty proceeding as well as monitoring more than a dozen more in the main bankruptcy proceeding. In 2018-19. The Court has preliminarily awarded millions of additional royalty due plus interest and will consider an application for recovery of millions more in attorneys’ and experts’ fees, before finalizing the judgment. 


Roughly contemporaneously with the above matter, Mr. Veselka and another SKV team worked up another multimillion dollar royalty claim for another larger South Texas ranch owner against Sanchez Oil & Gas, which also got removed to the Bankruptcy Court. The matter was prepared, along with some two dozen depositions, and fully teed up for trial when it settled the Saturday before picking the jury on Monday August 2, 2021. 


In 2018-19 Mr. Veselka successfully defended an arbitration brought by a former lessor against a Denver oil and gas producer over the former lessor’s claim to over $100 million in damages from the producer’s $2.5 billion sale of Permian Basin assets, including that lease. The matter was completed from start to finish in sixteen months. 


He has in the last few years twice been brought in to take over oil and gas cases in the Permian Basin after adverse interlocutory rulings. He got brought in against Apache Corporation for family businesses in Montana and Texas and resolved the matter successfully the week before trial in August 2019. The other matter, a dispute between a producer and a gas processor claiming the producer’s prolific production was dedicated to the gas processor, settled favorably as well. 


He also handled two election cases arising out of the November 2019 elections in Harris County; winning an election contest at trial in January 2020 and representing a successful candidate for district judge in another matter that resulted in the Court’s granting his client’s summary judgment motion. 


Mr. Veselka has handled matters in courts and administrative agencies throughout Texas, as well as in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Wyoming and Washington, D.C. 

 

Updated Oct 2021