John M. Wilson Shareholder, New Orleans
Mr. Wilson’s litigation practice spans four decades and has involved many of the key legal issues in oil and gas, expropriation (condemnation), commercial, professional liability, tax and construction contract litigation. The breadth of his litigation experience reaches across state and federal trial and appellate courts throughout Louisiana.
He began handling cases dealing with natural gas contracts and pricing and market value royalty disputes during the early to mid-1970s. Later, Mr. Wilson moved on to the take-or-pay era in the energy industry of the late-1970s and 1980s. In the 1980s and 1990s, his focus expanded to include excess royalty dispute matters as well.
Throughout these periods, he has worked on lawsuits involving contract disputes, exploration and development disputes, land ownership matters, the defense of mineral lessor/landowner/royalty owner suits, marketing issues and environmental/land damage claims.
His experience extends to expropriation (condemnation) suits, including pipeline projects for natural gas, oil and products lines and underground storage projects in the natural gas industry and for liquid hydrocarbons. He was also involved in successfully challenging Louisiana’s statute requiring that producers of natural gas in the state had to first offer the gas for sale to in-state users.
In tax litigation matters, Mr. Wilson was involved in successfully challenging the Louisiana First Use Tax on natural gas before the United States Supreme Court.
Additionally, Mr. Wilson assisted in challenging ad valorem tax rates and valuation procedures used by the State of Louisiana in an effort to increase tax collections from the natural gas pipeline industry. At one time during the challenge, Mr. Wilson had tax refund suits pending in all of Louisiana’s 64 parishes (counties). He has represented a number of clients defending severance tax collection suits brought by the State of Louisiana against crude oil producers.
Beyond his representation of oil and gas clients, Mr. Wilson has represented a diverse group of clients that includes agricultural companies, banks, industrial concerns, insurance companies, lawyers and law firms, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and a number of other commercial entities. He has represented these clients and counseled them in various civil lawsuits, including director and officer and professional liability litigation as well as many commercial disputes and tax suits.
When representing the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, he recovered more than $85 million in various suits. During his prosecution of a director and officer liability suit for the FDIC, he recovered a $60 million settlement, on the eve of trial.
Also included in Mr. Wilson’s litigation experience are class action disputes, suits involving the federal multidistrict litigation procedures and suits brought under the federal False Claims Act. He has been active in various forms of alternative dispute resolution activities, such as arbitration and mediation.
A Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and American and Louisiana State Bar Foundations, Mr. Wilson was on active duty in the United States Army, Judge Advocate General’s Corps serving both as a prosecutor and criminal defense counsel before entering private practice. He was assigned to the Judge Advocate General’s School at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, the Republic of Vietnam and Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia.
He has been selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America.