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Posts Tagged ‘Sean Jordan’

Sean Jordan’s Texas Supreme Court Arguments Featured in Law360

Posted on: January 10th, 2014

AUSTIN – Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP partner Sean D. Jordan was quoted extensively by Law360 from his arguments to the Texas Supreme Court that it should reject a trial court’s invalidation of an arbitration agreement in a dispute over a cotton supply contract.

Mr. Jordan argued that the trial court could have rejected problematic provisions involving attorneys’ fees and damages limitations rather than throwing out the entire arbitration clause. The arbitration involved a cotton supply agreement that a group of farmers had sued to change.  Mr. Jordan and Austin partners Kent C. Sullivan and Danica L. Milios represent Noble Americas Corp. and Venture Cotton Cooperative in the dispute.

“This court’s precedent for years … [has] said that any unconscionable provision in a contract must be severed if it is possible,” Mr. Jordan said. “And if it is not possible because that provision is essential to the purpose of the agreement, only then will the entire agreement not be enforced.”

The article, “Cotton Cos. Want Arbitration of Farmers’ Contract Fight,” appeared in the Jan. 9 issue of Law360 (subscription required). The case is Venture Cotton Cooperative et al. v. Freeman et al., case number 13-0122, in the Supreme Court of the State of Texas.



Altered landscape: Pipeline safety agency expands rules to midstream operators

Posted on: November 13th, 2013

The regulatory landscape for midstream gas processing and storage could change significantly, Sutherland’s pipeline attorneys say, thanks to plans by the federal pipeline safety agency, PHMSA, to expand its oversight.

Recently, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) indicated it would require midstream natural gas processors and storage operators to abide by the same rules applied to pipelines that transport natural gas liquids. These midstream facilities traditionally have been regulated by OSHA, not PHMSA.

This expansion would obligate companies to reassess their operations and create new compliance programs, says Rachel Giesber Clingman, partner in the Houston office. It also may cause confusion over which specific regulatory rules or standards will be applied to midstream facilities.

The prospect of simultaneous regulation by PHMSA and OSHA is sure to increase operational uncertainty and compliance costs. In at least one case, PHMSA has fined one operator $800,000 and ordered extensive remedial action after finding its midstream process safety management program didn’t comply with the pipeline agency’s regulations.

The full analysis by Sutherland attorneys can be read here. In addition to Ms. Clingman, other Sutherland attorneys familiar with this issue are Jacob Dweck, Paul F. Forshay, Sean D. Jordan, Susan G. Lafferty, Jack Massey and Mark Thibodeaux.