The Texas Supreme Court did not issue any opinions with today’s orders list.
But one order of note was the (unopposed) dismissal of XTO Energy v. Smith Production, Inc., No. 09-0270 (DDB), which the petition described as being “an oil and gas case of first impression, in any jurisdiction, involving the legal construction of the ‘subsequent operations’ clause of the very commonly used AAPL Form 610-1982, Model Form Operating Agreement.”
The Court had recently granted review and scheduled the case for oral argument on September 15, 2010.
One of the reasons that people study the Texas Supreme Court statistics is to understand how their odds change as a petition moves through the process.
While the overall reversal rate for petitions is very low — the odds of the Court even granting review to consider reversal are in roughly the 12% range, according to a recent paper by Pam Baron — those odds change as a case moves through each stage of having a response requested, having briefs requested, and then being chosen for argument.
Sometimes an awareness of the changing odds leads clients and counsel to agree to settlements shortly before oral argument, as may well have happened in XTO Energy.