Texas Appeals Court Guts $40M Energy Trade Secret Verdict

Law360, Houston (July 11, 2013, 7:47 PM EDT) -- A Texas appeals court on Wednesday slashed a $40 million verdict against a unit of Southwestern Energy Co., ruling an engineer and a geologist who say the energy developer stole their research had asserted a faulty legal claim.

The Twelfth District Court of Appeals said that although Toby Berry-Helfand and Gery Muncey sufficiently proved that Southwestern Energy Production Co. used their proprietary geological study without permission to identify prime spots for drilling oil and gas wells in East Texas, they could not prevail on a breach of fiduciary duty claim, requiring reduction of the judgment by $23.8 million.

"Courts may fashion...

Stay ahead of the curve

In the legal profession, information is the key to success. You have to know what’s happening with clients, competitors, practice areas, and industries. Law360 provides the intelligence you need to remain an expert and beat the competition.

  • Access to case data within articles (numbers, filings, courts, nature of suit, and more.)
  • Access to attached documents such as briefs, petitions, complaints, decisions, motions, etc.
  • Create custom alerts for specific article and case topics and so much more!


Hello! I'm Law360's automated support bot.

How can I help you today?

For example, you can type:
  • I forgot my password
  • I took a free trial but didn't get a verification email
  • How do I sign up for a newsletter?
Ask a question!