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Jeff Kuhnhenn

Biography
Jeff Kuhnhenn is a partner in the firm’s Oil & Gas/Energy section.  He focuses his practice on oil, gas and energy litigation in both state and federal courts.  Mr. Kuhnhenn represents both publicly traded and privately funded oil and gas exploration and production companies, royalty and mineral funds as well as individual mineral owners.  Mr. Kuhnhenn has also represented clients in several non-energy litigation matters.

Prior to joining Kelly Hart, Mr. Kuhnhenn served as a federal law clerk for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, where he worked on numerous trials and complex cases in the Midland-Odessa and Pecos Divisions.  He received his Bachelor of Science in Economics from Arizona State University in 2008 and graduated from St. Mary's University School of Law in 2011, where he served as Executive Editor for The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Minority Issues.

Experience and highlights

REPRESENTATIVE CASES

  • Obtained judgment at trial awarding damages and attorneys’ fees for clients’ enforcement of a non-compete contract with a landman
  • Obtained summary judgment for client on its trespass to try title and declaratory relief claims regarding the proper construction of a lease assignment
  • At summary judgment and appellate levels, successfully defended against a challenge to the validity of a judgment and tax sale, which formed the basis for client’s title
  • Obtained summary judgment on client’s trespass to try title claims regarding the proper construction of mineral deeds
  • Obtained summary judgment dismissing multi-million dollar lawsuit against client regarding the failed sale of oil and gas assets 

OIL AND GAS PRACTICE

  • Represented clients at all state court trial and appellate levels in oil, gas and title-related litigation, including:
    • quiet title and trespass to try title suits
    • recovery of royalty underpayments/overpayments
    • breach of contracts, mineral leases and surface leases
    • mineral liens
    • oilfield accidents
    • claims of damage to wells, mineral estate and surface estate
    • probate and estate-related lawsuits regarding mineral and royalty ownership
    • requests for temporary restraining orders and injunctions
  • Prepared, reviewed, and negotiated a variety of agreements for operators, including master service agreements and drilling contracts
  • Advised clients regarding joint operating agreements, master service agreements and indemnity issues, and drilling contracts
Affiliations and honors

AFFILIATIONS

  • Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Midland County Young Lawyers Association, Board Member, 2014-2018
  • Judicial Clerk for the Honorable Robert A. Junell, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Midland-Odessa & Pecos Divisions

HONORS

  • Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star, Thomson Reuters, 2018-2019
Education
  • St. Mary's University School of Law, J.D., 2011
    • The Scholar: Law Review on Minority Issues, Executive Editor
  • Arizona State University, B.S., 2008
Admissions
  • State Bar of Texas, 2011
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas