Image: April Rolen-Ogden
April
April L. Rolen-Ogden
Assistant
822 Harding Street
P.O. Box 52008
Lafayette, Louisiana 70503

Overview

April L. Rolen-Ogden is a skilled litigator. She has experience as a trial lawyer in both state and federal courts, as well as arbitration tribunals. She defends her trial work on appeal through her appellate practice. The array of topics she has litigated is extensive. April defends companies in high stakes commercial and energy litigation matters. She litigates traditional oil and gas disputes involving royalties, servitudes, title disputes, property damage, statutory penalties, joint operations, oil and gas accounting, taking production in kind, the Risk Fee Statute, and complex oil and gas marketing matters.

April defends oil and gas companies in environmental legacy suits seeking damages and restoration for oilfield contamination and coastal loss. She defends companies in personal injury cases, including toxic torts, whether those injuries occur in the oilfield or any other context. She frequently defends companies in disputes involving allegations of fraud, unfair trade practices, and trade secrets.

A sample of recent matters April has handled includes:

  • First chair defense of a client in several complex gas marketing cases by numerous parties regarding the propriety of deducting certain gathering, treating, and transportation costs from revenue
  • First chair defense of an oil and gas company and operator against claims for fraud, statutory penalties, and improper deduction of post-production costs levied by unleased owners and royalty owners
  • First chair defense of an operator against claims relating to its midstream operations, including extensive gathering systems and third-party pipelines
  • First chair litigation of numerous concursus matters to determine title disputes along the Red River for a major operator in the Haynesville Shale, including guidance of complex post-resolution disbursal among numerous claimants and parties
  • Obtaining summary judgment dismissal of claims for a working interest covering deep rights in the Haynesville Shale under an Area of Mutual Interest (“AMI”) and Joint Development Agreement (“JDA”)
  • Obtaining summary judgment dismissal of claims by an unleased mineral owner for contract fraud, penalties, and attorney’s fees under the Mineral Code, La. R.S. 31:212.21 and La. R.S. 31:212.31
  • Defending a major oil and gas company who was alleged to be a servitude owner in a coastal legacy suit involving a history of Sulphur operations by the landowner’s predecessor-in-title
  • Defending enforcement of lien actions by suppliers under the Louisiana Oil Well Lien Act (“LOWLA”)
  • Guiding clients in responding to royalty demands, disputes with joint interest partners, and negotiating the claims
  • Representing clients in negotiations with partners relating to well cost disputes under joint operating agreements and COPAS

Experience

  • ​​​​​​Successful defense at trial (directed verdict at the close of plaintiff’s case-in-chief) and through the Louisiana Supreme Court of claims levied by surface owners against numerous oilfield operators seeking a declaration that alternate unit wells were illegal and seeking damages from the operators for excessive surface use
  • Successful defense from trial court level through the Louisiana Supreme Court of mineral ownership disputes premised on fee title versus servitude of public use for public roadways
  • First-chaired an operator’s response to barrage of royalty demands and threatened class action lawsuit from shale operations involving hundreds of units across thousands of acres, which led to the company being excluded from the class action once it was filed
  • Successful resolution via voluntary dismissal of claim by royalty owner against unit operator under revisions to La. R.S. 30:10 through targeted discovery and negotiations to avoid further litigation cost to the client
  • Successful resolution of unleased owner litigation based on creative argument where there was no law interpreting the extent of obligations of unleased owners under La. R.S. 30:103.1 (since then, April’s argument has been adopted in reported decisions)
  • Obtained summary judgment dismissal of claims relating to an offshore accident for a prominent oilfield operator and the successful enforcement of defense and indemnity for attorney’s fees incurred by the client
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of a commercial company against a vendor for fraud, bad faith and redhibition
  • Obtained summary judgment on ERISA claims for major oil company
  • Successful motion practice on the subsequent purchaser doctrine and third-party beneficiary, which led to resolution of numerous environmental legacy suits
  • Successful enforcement of an operator’s lien under the Louisiana Oil Well Lien Act (“LOWLA”)
  • Defense of manufacturers and distributors against claims for breach of warranty and redhibition
  • Represented BP in numerous claims emanating from the Deepwater Horizon incident, including removal of actions by local municipalities and litigation of personal injury claims by response workers

Involvement

Professional

  • Advisory Board for Institute for Energy Law – Board Member, 2013–2015

  • Lafayette Young Lawyers Association of the Lafayette Bar Association – Member, Board of Directors, 2011–2012

  • Institute for Energy Law – Member

  • Young Energy Law Professionals Committee for Institute for Energy Law – Member

  • Louisiana State Bar Association – Bench Bar Committee Member, 2009–2010

  • Federal Bar Association – Member

  • Lafayette and Louisiana State Bar Associations – Member

  • John M. Duhe American Inn of Court – Member

  • Legal Association of Women – Member

Community

  • Women's Energy Network – Lafayette Program Director, WEN Board of Directors, 2014 to 2017

Recognition

  • Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America

  • Best Lawyers in America, 2019

  • Acadiana Profile “Top Lawyer” in Oil and Gas, 2018

  • Acadiana Profile “Top Lawyer” in Commercial Litigation, Energy Law, 2017, 2018

  • Louisiana Super Lawyers Rising Star 2016-2018

  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Highest Rating by Martindale-Hubbell

Best Lawyers Award Badge

                           
 
                               April L. Rolen-Ogden
Selected in 2018
Thomson Reuters 

 

LCA Fellow Badge

 

Presentations

  • “Oil and Gas Update: Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation 2017 Annual Meeting,” Santa Fe, New Mexico, July 2017
  • “Regulations and More Regulations: The New Norm,” 1st National Young Energy Professionals’ Law Conference, Institute of Energy Law (IEL), April 2017”

  • Louisiana Oil and Gas Update, Liskow & Lewis Energy Law Seminar, Houston, Texas, November 2015

  • “I Wish Someone Had Told Me”: Advice from Energy, Oil and Gas, and Chemical In-House Counsel on Embracing Influence and Power and Contributing to a Successful Legal Department, Moderator of Panel Presentation, 2nd Annual Women Leaders in Environmental and Energy Law, Houston, Texas, November 2015

  • "Reporting Duties Under LA R.S. 30:103.1," Lafayette Association of Professional Landmen Spring 2015 Educational Seminar, Lafayette, Louisiana, May 2015

  • “Reporting Duties Under La. R.S. 30:103.1,” LSU Mineral Law Institute, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, March 2015

  • “Thinking Like a GC: Substantive Legal Developments Affecting Energy Companies in 2015 and Beyond,” Panel Presentation, Women Leaders in Environmental and Energy Law Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, January 2015

  • Louisiana Oil and Gas Update, Liskow & Lewis Energy Law Seminar, Houston, Texas, October 2013

  • Louisiana Oil and Gas Update, Liskow & Lewis Energy Law Seminar, Houston, Texas, October 2009

Publications

  • 2017 Oil and Gas Update, 63rd Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Special Institute, Chapter 10, July 20, 2017

  • ABA Environment, Energy, and Resources Law: The Year in Review 2013, Louisiana Report Contributor (2013 to current).

  • When Administrative Law Judges Rule the World: Wooley v. State Farm: Does a Denial of Agency-Initiated Judicial Review of ALJ Final Orders Violate the Constitutional Doctrine of Separation of Powers? 66 La. L. Rev. 885, Issue 3 (Spring, 2006)

April’s Louisiana Law Review article, “When Administrative Law Judges Rule the World: Wooley v. State Farm,” 66 La. L. Rev. 885 (Spring 2006), has garnered national attention by the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary. The NAALJ reprinted her law review article in the association’s national journal, 26 NAALJ 429, Issue No. 2 (Fall 2006).

After Hours

April's spare-time priorities include her family, the extra-curricular schedule of her three ginger-headed children, and church. April volunteers her time to teach Vacation Bible School one week each summer. Her oldest daughter, Ashlyn, is the pitcher of her school’s softball team, a homerun hitter, and she is a competitive Irish dancer. Her middle daughter, Faith, is an avid softball and soccer player, as well as a dancer and animal-lover. Her youngest and only son, Wade, plays and excels at all sports.