Texas High Court Ruling Sows Confusion On Mineral Deeds

Law360, New York (July 18, 2017, 11:31 AM EDT) -- In June, a deeply divided Texas Supreme Court — in a surprising turn of events — disturbed long-standing rules for interpreting mineral deeds and conveyances in its 5-4 decision in Wenske v. Ealy (No. 16-0353).

There, when the Wenskes bought a 55-acre mineral estate in Lavaca County in 1998, the sellers kept for themselves a 1/4th non-participating royalty interest (the NPRI). Five years later, the Wenske family sold the land to the Ealys, by way of a deed expressly providing that the sale was “subject to” the following reservations and exceptions:

the Wenskes’ reservation of 3/8ths of the minerals; and, more...

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