Mitchell E. Ayer

Mitchell E. Ayer

  • 713.653.8638
    713.654.1871
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Of Counsel

  • Thompson & Knight LLP
    811 Main Street
    Suite 2500
    Houston, TX 77002-6129 USA
    713.653.8638
    713.654.1871
View Mitchell E. Ayer's
Tabname

Mitchell Ayer's practice currently focuses on oil and gas transactions. He counsels clients in acquisitions and dispositions of properties as well as acquisitions and dispositions of natural resource companies. He works extensively in oil and gas title due diligence in acquisitions of properties.

His practice also encompasses representing creditors, trustees, debtors, and creditor committees in various bankruptcy matters, as well as commercial, oil and gas, and real estate litigation, mediation, and arbitration. Mitchell's oil and gas litigation practice is concentrated in state and bankruptcy courts. His business litigation practice focuses on contract litigation and the related motion practice and appeals.

Mitchell is Board Certified in Oil, Gas, and Mineral Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is also Certified in Business Bankruptcy Law by the American Board of Certification.

Experience

  • Representation of oil company executives in fraudulent conveyance lawsuits and successful appeal of same

  • Representation of operators on complex pooling, unit reduction, and lease construction issues

  • Represented lender in financing underground gas storage facilities

  • Representation of parties in acquisition and disposition of oil and gas properties

  • Argued in state district court and court of appeals the lead case establishing the objectively verifiable prong of the discovery rule in order to bar a royalty owner's claim on the statute of limitations

  • Represented the equity holders in a bankruptcy proceeding involving a $130 million bond offering that provided exit financing for a Chapter 11 debtor, a first for the industry

  • Represented a major service company in claims against working interest owners who had obtained credit through a fraudulent financial statement; jury trial resulted in a verdict for all actual damages plus punitive damages and attorneys' fees
  • Defended a working interest owner in a dispute regarding whether the failure to deliver an assignment due to the pendency of the Texaco bankruptcy triggered contractual rescission; was able to overturn unfavorable summary judgments that were entered during the representation of prior counsel and then obtained a jury verdict in our client's favor that the plaintiff take nothing
  • Represented a tenant in a state court trial regarding the termination of a commercial office lease
  • In re Reliant Exploration, Ltd., Case No. 01-24229-C-11 (Judge Schmidt), in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Corpus Christi Division; filed December 28, 2001; represented Davis Petroleum Corp.; obtained settlement of disputed farmout agreement

  • In re Premiere Holdings of Texas, LP d/b/a Money Mortgage Ltd., d/b/a Lapin & Wigginton, Ltd., Case No. 01-40836-H2-11 (Judge Steen), in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division; filed October 2001; represented David I. Lapin, principal

  • In re Tri-Union Development Corporation, Case No. 00-32498-H4-11 (Judge Greendyke), in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division; represented the equity holders, Tribo Petroleum Corporation and Richard Bowman; substantial participation in $130 million bond offering that provided exit financing for Chapter 11 debtor B, a first for the industry

  • In re Michael Petroleum Corp., Case No. 99-50569-L2-11, in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Laredo Division, Judge Steen; filed December 10, 1999; represented Official Creditors Committee

  • In re Kimball Trading Co., L.L.C., Case No. 99-3383-11 (Judge Steen), in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division; represented liquidating plan trustee in a gas trading company reorganization; plan confirmed by order dated December 28, 1999

  • In re TransTexas Gas Corporation, Case No. 99-21550-C-11 (Judge Schmidt), in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Corpus Christi Division, filed as Case No. 99-889 (MFW), in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware; filed April 19, 1999; represented trade creditors and lien claimants; obtained transfer of case to Southern District of Texas; plan confirmed, February 2000

  • In re Forcenergy, Inc., Case No. 99-11391"A@, in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana; represented trade creditors and lien claimants; plan confirmed

  • In re Paladin-Hayes I and II, Ltd., Case Nos. 98-14550-FM and 98-14548-FM, in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division (Judge Monroe); special litigation counsel to debtors; plan confirmed

  • In re Rand Energy Company, Case No. 398-80004-SAF-11, in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division (Judge Felsenthal); filed October 21, 1998; represented Shell Western E&P Inc., operator and secured creditor; also represented Dresser Industries, secured and unsecured creditor

  • In re Rincon Island, L.P.; Case No. ND-98-14791-RR, in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, Santa Barbara Division; filed August 20, 1998; represented Halliburton Energy Services and Nabors Drilling USA, Inc., both secured and unsecured creditors

  • In re Triangle Production and Operating, L.L.C., Case No. 98-BK-51503, in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Louisiana, filed August 3, 1998; represented Shell Western E&P Inc.

  • In re Midcon Offshore, Inc., Case No. 96-25269-C-11, Chapter 11 in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Corpus Christi Division (Judge Schmidt); filed December 16, 1996; represented Official Creditors Committee; creditors liquidating plan confirmed

  • In re J. E. Marion, Inc. d/b/a Airline Computerized Ticketing, Debtor; Case No. 94-40219-H4-11; In the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas; represented petitioning creditors

  • In re Pharmaceutical Laboratories, Inc.; Case No. 99-37168-H4-11, Adv. Proceeding No. 00-3568; In the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division; represented a trade creditor in adversary proceeding brought by Trustee

  • In re ABN Sports Supply, Inc.; Case No. 00-35907-H2-7; In the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division; represented Trustee

  • In re Bay Area Independent Physicians Association, Inc.; Case No. 00-41417-H3-11; In the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division; represented Trustee

  • In re Clear Lake Physicians Association, Inc.; Case No. 00-40345-H1-11; In the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division; represented Trustee

  • Represented oil producer in dispute over use of seismic data
  • Represented a major service company in claims against working interest owners who had obtained credit through a fraudulent financial statement; first chaired a jury trial which resulted in a verdict for all actual damages plus punitive damages and attorneys fees

  • Represented a purchaser of real estate in Cameron County, Texas in a suit to reform a deed and an attorney malpractice claim; mediated and obtained settlement of same

  • Represented several operators and non-operators in litigation and disputes regarding joint interest audits and COPAS Accounting Issues; maintains a set of the COPAS Accounting Bulletins

  • Represented a working interest owner in an election of operator and disputes regarding same
  • Represented tenant in trial in Harris County District Court and on appeal regarding termination of commercial office lease
  • Defended a working interest owner in the 11th District Court of Harris County, Texas in a dispute regarding whether failure to deliver an assignment due to the pendency of the Texaco bankruptcy triggered contractual rescission; overturned unfavorable summary judgments entered during the representation of prior counsel; obtained jury verdict in clients favor that the plaintiff take nothing

Reported Cases

  • Nancy Sue Davis Trust v. Davis Petroleum Corp., --- B.R. ---, 2009 WL 523096 (S.D.Tex.)

  • H&M OIL & Gas L.L.C. v. Brazos 440 Partners, L.P., 386 B.R. 631 (W.D. Tex. 2008)

  • Nancy Sue Davis Trust v. Davis Petroleum Corp., 385 B.R. 892, 2008 WL 1744732 (Bkrtcy.S.D.Tex.)

  • Funk v. Devon Louisiana Corp., No. 13-04-261-CV, 2005 WL 256017 (Tex. App. -- Corpus Christi Oct., 13, 2005)

  • Bass v. Shell Western E&P, Inc., 957 S.W.2d 159 (Tex. App. B San Antonio 1997, no pet.)
  • Hay v. Shell Oil Co., 986 S.W.2d 772 (Tex. App. B Corpus Christi 1998, pet. denied)
  • North Central Oil Corp. v. Louisiana Land & Exploration Co., 22 S.W.3d 572 (Tex. App. B Houston [1st Dist.] 2000, pet denied)

  • Ambrosio v. Carter's Shooting Center, Inc.; 20 S.W.3d 262 (Tex. App. B Houston [14th Dist.] 2000, pet denied)

  • TransAmerican Energy Ltd. III v. Shell Western E&P, Inc.; 687 So.2d 698 (La. Ct. App. 1997)
  • Rio Gas Co. v. Midcon Gas Services Corp., No. 01-96-00967-CV, 1999 Tex. App. LEXIS 3986 (Tex. App. B Houston [1st Dist.] 1999, pet. denied)
  • Richards v. Suckle, 871 S.W.2d 239 (Tex. App. B Houston [14th Dist.] 1994, no writ)

Prior Experience

  • United States Coast Guard, Electronics Technician, 1970-1974
  • Chief Loan Processing Section, Veterans Administration Loan Guaranty Division for State of Virginia
  • Adjudicator, Cleveland, Ohio and Roanoke, Virginia Veterans Administration Regional Offices
  • Mortgage Loan Officer, 1984-1989

Distinctions/Honors

  • The Best Lawyers in America® by Woodward/White Inc. (Energy Law, Oil & Gas Law); 2012, 2014-2018

  • Texas Super Lawyers® by Thomson Reuters (Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights, Energy & Natural Resources); 2003-2004, 2008-2017

Activities (Memberships/Affiliations)

  • Oil, Gas & Mineral Law Advisory Commission, Texas Board of Legal Specialization

  • Member, Houston Bar Association; Bankruptcy Section; Oil and Gas Law Section, Chair, 2005

  • Member, American Bankruptcy Institute

  • Executive Board, The Arthur L. Moller - David B. Foltz, Jr. American Inn of Court; President, 2013
  • Member, Fifth Circuit Advisory Committee, American Inns of Court

  • Member, Houston Energy Finance Group

  • Member, Greater Houston Partnership, Energy Committee

  • Advanced Open Water, Rescue Diver, Member, Just Us Divers
  • Member, Old West Newfoundland Club

  • Board Member, Journey Church

  • Board Member, Reach India

  • Board Member, Old West Newfoundland Club Rescue