Melissa M. Baustian
Melissa M. Baustian, Ph.D. is a Coastal Ecologist with The Water Institute of the Gulf and is also the Director of the RESTORE Act Center of Excellence for Louisiana. She has more than 15 years of experience in researching the water quality, benthic ecology, and wetland ecology of coastal ecosystems. She completed her M.S. and Ph.D. at Louisiana State University by researching the ecology of the low oxygen area, known as the Dead Zone, in the Gulf of Mexico. She was a post-doctoral researcher at Michigan State University, where she collaborated with other water researchers to better understand the coupling of socioeconomic and ecological systems in the Great Lakes. Dr. Baustian’s current research includes field and ecosystem modeling assessments of organic matter dynamics in coastal ecosystems including soil carbon accumulation rates in wetlands. More information can be found here.
Michael Brassett currently serves as co-managing member of the firm. Michael has a general oil and gas transactional practice serving producers and others engaged in onshore and offshore operations throughout his state. In his practice, he represents multiple E&P companies in their acquisition, development, and divestment of assets. This includes, but is not limited to, title review including the drafting of drill site and division order title opinions, lease negotiations, and surface use and ROW Agreements, in addition to representation in regulatory proceedings with the Louisiana Office of Conservation. Michael represents service providers in the energy industry, assisting them in the drafting of various commercial agreements, and the drafting and negotiation of master service agreements. His understanding of the legal issues surrounding the oil and gas industry allows for a nuanced, practical and pragmatic approach to clients’ projects throughout all phases of the asset development. His practice also covers general contractors providing guidance across a spectrum of construction-related matters. He also has extensive experience in the drafting of commercial transactions, corporate formation, litigation and environmental regulation and compliance. Michael has represented a major west coast university system in contract and ROW negotiations as well as with various state and local regulatory bodies to install, construct and operate a Biomethane landfill gas collection system. He has also represented a major petrochemical company in site acquisition and title review, permitting, and contract negotiations for a world-class facility in St. James Parish, Louisiana.
Blake Canfield is Executive Counsel for the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (LDNR). He has been in this position since 2013. Mr. Canfield supervises the department’s legal division, represents the department before the Louisiana Legislature, and provides legal counsel to the department’s Secretary and executive staff. His current duties primarily focus on the State’s proprietary interests in minerals, coastal regulation, water resource management, and Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage issues involving the State.
Prior to becoming Executive Counsel for LDNR, Mr. Canfield was Senior Attorney for the Louisiana Office of Conservation, where his duties primarily focused on providing legal advice and representation in oil & gas regulation, including unitization, E&P waste management, injection well permitting, surface mining, groundwater management, and legacy site remediation.
Mr. Canfield is a 2006 graduate of LSU’s Paul M. Hebert Law School. He is currently a member of the Louisiana Mineral Law Institute Advisory Council and a Louisiana appointment to the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission. In addition to being admitted to practice in Louisiana’s state courts, Mr. Canfield is also admitted to practice before Louisiana’s U.S. District Courts and the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
David E. Dismukes
David E. Dismukes is a Professor, Executive Director, and Director of Policy Analysis at the Center for Energy Studies, Louisiana State University. He also serves as a Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences, and as the Director of the Coastal Marine Institute, both of which are in the College of the Coast and the Environment at LSU.
David’s research interests are related to the analysis of economic, statistical, and public policy issues in energy and natural resources. Over the past 33 years, he has worked in consulting, academia, and government service.
David has been on the LSU faculty for 26 years and has led research efforts on energy, economic, and environmental/natural resource-related topics. He speaks regularly to professional, trade, and civic associations on important energy issues, trends, and topics. He serves in numerous advisory positions including serving on the National Petroleum Council, a federally chartered advisory arm to the U.S. Secretary of Energy.
Dr. Dismukes received his M.S. and Ph.D. in economics from the Florida State University.
Keith B. Hall
Keith B. Hall is the Campanile Charities Professor of Energy Law at Louisiana State University, where he serves as Director of the Mineral Law Institute and Director of the John P. Laborde Energy Law Center. He teaches Mineral Rights, International Petroleum Transactions, Energy Law & Regulation, and Civil Law Property. In addition to teaching energy law courses at LSU, Professor Hall has taught: International Petroleum Transactions as a Visiting Professor at Baku State University in Azerbaijan; International Energy Transactions and also Energy & the Environment as a Visiting Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law; and Introduction to Mineral Law as an adjunct professor at Loyola School of Law in New Orleans.
Professor Hall is co-author of three books on oil and gas law—International Petroleum Law and Transactions (2020), Hydraulic Fracturing: A Guide to Environmental and Real Property Issues (2017), and The Law of Oil and Gas: Cases and Materials (2016). In addition, the is co-editor of the book The Regulation of Decommissioning, Abandonment and Reuse Initiatives in the Oil and Gas Industry (2020). His shorter publications have focused on a variety of oil gas issues. He is a frequent speaker at national and international oil and gas conferences. Before joining the LSU Law School faculty, he practiced law for 16 years, with a focus on oil and gas litigation and transactions.
Professor Hall is Editor-in-Chief of the Institute for Energy Law’s Oil & Gas E-Report. He also serves on the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators’ Education Advisory Board, the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation’s Board of Directors, and the Institute for Energy Law’s Executive Committee, and the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation’s Executive Committee. He is a former Chairman of the Oil & Gas Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy and Resources. In addition, he is a registered professional engineer (inactive status) who worked for eight years as a chemical engineer before attending law school.
Hunter Johnston is a Partner in Steptoe & Johnson LLP’s D.C. office. He has over 30 years of experience working with government and industry with a focus on renewable energy, carbon capture and decarbonization policy. Hunter’s legal expertise includes legislative, regulatory and transactional representation of clients engaged in public policy and project finance in energy, tax, and decarbonization practice areas. Hunter has more than a decade of experience developing carbon capture projects and has negotiated tax equity arrangements focused on the Section 45Q tax credit, and he provided public comments and advice regarding implementing regulations and legislative changes to improve the tax credit. He is focused on opportunities for the transition to a blue and green economy through policies to support decarbonization. Hunter was the lead attorney on securing the first conditional commitment of $2 billion with the Title 17 Advanced Fossil Energy Department of Energy Loan Guarantee Program and also led successful efforts to secure Industrial Carbon Capture Funds under the energy provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, as well as other energy tax credits and programs. His deep experience working with the Congress, the Department of Energy, the Department of Treasury, and other agencies provides expertise to guide his clients through a wide range of regulatory and legislative matters. Hunter also retains substantive experience representing clients in his native state of Louisiana, and he has a broad knowledge of Louisiana business and politics.
Stephen “Steve” Lee
Steve Lee is the Injection & Mining Division Director at the Louisiana Office of Conservation. He has been in this position since 2013. The Injection and Mining Division has the responsibility of implementing two major federal environmental programs which were statutorily charged to the Office of Conservation: the Underground Injection Control program with federal oversight from the Environmental Protection Administration and the Surface Mining Program with federal oversight from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Surface Mining.
Mr. Lee earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from Louisiana Tech University, a Juris Doctorate from Southern University, and joined the Louisiana state bar in 2008. Mr. Lee has extensive industry and consulting experience in the private oil and gas sector.
Poe Leggette is a 1977 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law. He is head of the Energy Practice Team at BakerHostetler. He has published articles, authored editorials, and given speeches on renewable and non-renewable energy development. His federal and state litigation experience can be located through a name search on WestLaw.
John Lehrer serves as the Tax group leader for Baker Hostetler’s D.C. office. He provides federal income tax advice focused on domestic and cross-border mergers, business acquisitions and dispositions, joint ventures, spin-offs and tax-free reorganizations. He focuses his practice on the overall corporate structuring (domestic and international) of taxable and tax-free transactions; corporate divisions under IRC Section 355; liquidations; shareholder redemptions; entity selection; basis and E&P calculations; deemed asset purchases; tax due diligence; corporate loss limitation studies (IRC Section 382); the overall tax aspects of bankruptcy and workouts; and the consolidated return regulations. He represents clients before the Internal Revenue Service with respect to private letter rulings and all aspects of dispute resolution, including responses to preliminary information requests, assistance with the audit process and representation in matters before the IRS Appeals Division.
Patrick H. Martin
Patrick H. Martin is Campanile Professor of Mineral Law, Emeritus, at Louisiana State University Law Center. Professor Martin taught at the LSU Law Center from 1977 to 2011, including courses in Jurisprudence, Contracts, and Mineral Law. From 1982 to 1984, he served as the Commissioner of Conservation for the State of Louisiana. Professor Martin holds the B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from Louisiana State University and the J. D. degree from the Duke University Law School. His publications include Pooling and Unitization (with B. Kramer) and Williams & Meyers Oil and Gas Law (update and revision author with B. Kramer) and three casebooks, Jurisprudence: Text and Readings on the Philosophy of Law (with Christie & MacLeod), Oil and Gas Cases and Materials (with Kramer, Hall & Ritchie) and Economic Regulation: Energy, Transportation and Utilities (with Pierce and Allison, 1980) as well as numerous articles on oil and gas law, energy regulation, and early modern English history. McFarland & Company, Inc., published his Elizabethan Espionage: Plotters and Spies in the Struggle Between Catholicism and Crown, in 2015. Professor Martin has served as an arbitrator, mediator, and consultant in the oil and gas industry.
Patrick S. Ottinger
Patrick S. Ottinger is a Partner in the Lafayette law firm of Ottinger Hebert, L.L.C. He has been in private practice in Lafayette since December 1973, with his practice being concentrated in the area of oil and gas, with emphasis on corporate and commercial matters, financial transactions, real estate, regulatory matters, eminent domain, mediation and arbitration, and banking matters, as well as litigation in these areas. He is an experienced arbitrator and mediator in oil and gas matters, rendering such services through The Patterson Resolution Group. He received his Juris Doctorate degree in December 1973 from Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center, where he was a member of the Moot Court Board. Mr. Ottinger is an Adjunct Professor of Law at LSU, teaching the course on Mineral Rights from 1996-2012, and currently teaches an Oil & Gas Seminar.
He is the author of the course materials entitled Ottinger, A Course Book on Louisiana Mineral Rights (12th Rev. Ed., August 2011), and Louisiana Mineral Leases: A Treatise (Claitor’s 2016). He has published numerous articles in the Louisiana Law Review, Mineral Law Institute and the Journal of Energy Law and Resources.
He is the Chair of the Advisory Council for the Institute on Mineral Law at LSU Law Center. He serves on the Advisory Board for the John P. Laborde Energy Law Center at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University. Mr. Ottinger serves as an Editor of the Institute for Energy Law e-reporter, a project of the Institute for Energy Law of The Center for American and International Law.
Mr. Ottinger serves as the Reporter of the Mineral Law Committee and of the Louisiana Risk Fee Act Committee of the Louisiana State Law Institute, and is a member of the Institute’s Mineral Law – Unsolicited Offers Committee, the Counterletter Committee, the Prescription Committee, and the Tax Sales Committee. He served as City-Parish Attorney for the Lafayette City-Parish Consolidated Government from January 2004-February 2011.
Mr. Ottinger served as the President of the Louisiana State Bar Association during the years 1998-99. Mr. Ottinger was recognized as a 2014 Distinguished Achievement Honoree by the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center on September 21, 2014, for “professional achievement and career distinction, service to and support of LSU Law, and service to the community.”
On September 7, 2017, Mr. Ottinger was inducted into the Lafayette Bar Association’s Hall of Fame.
On June 7, 2018, he received the 2018 Curtis R. Boisfontaine Trial Advocacy Award of the Louisiana Bar Foundation, awarded for “long-standing devotion to and excellence in trial practice,” and “upholding the standards of ethics and consideration for the courts, litigants and all counsel.”
Corey Shircliff is a Geologist Manager at the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. Ms. Shircliff earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Beloit College and a Masters in Geology from Louisiana State University. Ms. Shircliff serves with a team of geologists responsible for permitting and compliance of injection wells, underground storage caverns, and other waste injection wells. Prior to joining the Injection and Mining Division, Ms. Shircliff worked in the oil and gas industry in Texas.