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Robert C. Grable


Robert C. Grable is a partner at Kelly Hart, the senior member of its Oil & Gas/Energy practice, and one of the firm’s seven founding members. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts from Southern Methodist University in 1968 and graduated with high honors in 1971 from the University of Texas School of Law, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and Chancellors, an Associate Editor of the Texas Law Review, and Grand Chancellor of his class.

Mr. Grable’s practice encompasses energy transactions and litigation and administrative hearings involving various facets of the oil and gas industry. He has represented independent producers, major oil companies, pipelines, and royalty owners in a wide variety of litigation in state and federal trial and appellate courts and before state and federal administrative agencies. He is counsel of record in over 40 appellate decisions, including six significant oil and gas opinions of the Texas Supreme Court.

Although Mr. Grable’s practice principally involves legal matters arising in domestic on-shore activities, he also has represented clients in certain aspects of U.S. offshore and international oil and gas operations. 

Mr. Grable is a former President and Trustee of the University of Texas Law School Foundation, and a member of the McDonald Observatory and Astronomy Board of Visitors at the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Texas Development Board and the Chancellor’s Council Executive Committee. He also serves on the Board of Directors of ATMOS Energy Corporation. 

Experience and highlights
  • French v. Occidental Permian Ltd., 440 S.W.3d 1 (Tex.2014)
  • Philipello v. Taylor, No. 10-11-00014-CV, 2012 WL 1435171 (Tex. App.-Waco, 2012, pet. denied)(mem. op.)
  • Helmerich & Payne International Drilling Co. v. BOPCO, L..P., 357 S.W. 3d 801 (Tex.App.-Eastland 2011, no pet.)
  • El Paso Natural Gas Co. v. Lea Partners, L.P., 2003 WL 21940729 (Tex.App.-El Paso 2003, pet. denied)
  • In re Bass, 113 S.W.3d 735 (Tex. 2003)
  • Carter Trust ex rel. Fortson v. U.S., 256 F. Supp. 2d 536, 91 A.F.T.R.2d 2003-1946, 2003-1 USTC P 50,418 (N.D. Tex., April 11, 2003)
  • In re Hoover, Bax & Slovacek, L.L.P., 6 S.W.3d 646 (Tex.App.-El Paso 1999, no pet.)
  • Sid Richardson Carbon & Gasoline Co. v. Interenergy Res., Ltd., 99 F.3d 746 (5th Cir. (Tex.) 1996)
  • Harrison v. Bass Enter. Prod. Co., 888 S.W.2d 532, 130 Oil & Gas Rep. 138 (Tex.App.-Corpus Christi 1994, no writ)
  • Texas Water Comm’n v. City of Fort Worth, 875 S.W.2d 332 (Tex.App.-Austin 1994, writ denied)
  • Moncrief v. Louisiana Land and Exploration Co., 861 P.2d 516, 65 A.L.R.5th 707 (Wyo. 1993)
  • Moncrief v. Louisiana Land and Exploration Co., 861 P.2d 500 (Wyo. 1993)
  • Amoco Prod. Co. v. U.S., 852 F.2d 1581 (10th Cir. (Utah) 1988)
  • Sowell v. Natural Gas Pipeline Co. of America, 789 F.2d 1151 (5th Cir. (Tex.) 1986)
  • Sid Richardson Carbon & Gasoline Co. v. Internorth, Inc., 595 F.Supp. 497 (N.D. Tex. 1984)
  • R.R. Comm’n v. Lone Star Gas Co., 587 S.W.2d 110 (Tex. 1979)
  • Exxon Corp. v. R.R. Comm’n, 571 S.W.2d 497 (Tex. 1978)
  • R.R. Comm’n v. Graford Oil Corp., 557 S.W.2d 946 (Tex. 1977)
  • Imperial Am. Res. Fund, Inc. v. R.R. Comm’n, 557 S.W.2d 280 (Tex. 1977)

Affiliations and honors


  • Texas Bar Foundation, Sustaining Life Fellow
  • The University of Texas Law School Foundation, President and Trustee, 2002-2010
  • The University of Texas Development Board, Chancellor’s Council Executive Committee
  • Phi Delta Phi
  • Phi Kappa Phi
  • Board Certified; Oil, Gas and Mineral Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • State Bar of Texas; Oil, Gas and Mineral Law Section Chairman, 1991-1992
  • ATMOS Energy Corporation, Director
  • JAGC, U.S.N.R., Lieutenant, 1971-1974 active duty


  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®, 1995-2021
  • Top Attorney in Government and Administrative Law, 360 West magazine, 2020
  • Top Attorney, Fort Worth, Texas magazine, 2012-2020
  • Named to The 400 by Fort Worth, Inc. magazine, 2018
  • Top Attorney in Oil & Gas Law, 360 West magazine, 2017-2018
  • Selected as an Energy & Environmental Trailblazer by The National Law Journal, 2017
  • Texas Super Lawyer, Thomson Reuters, 2003-2016
  • Named Dallas Best Lawyers® Oil and Gas Lawyer of the Year, 2012
  • Power Attorney, Fort Worth Business Press, 2012
  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D., with high honors, 1971
    • Texas Law Review, Associate Editor, 1970-1971
    • Order of the Coif
    • Chancellors
  • Southern Methodist University, B.A., 1968
  • University of California at Los Angeles, 1964-1965
  • State Bar of Texas, 1971
Speeches & Publications
  • "Frac Water - Regulations of Quantity and Quality."  State Bar of Texas 13th Annual Changing Face of Water Rights, February 2012
  • "Horizontal Oil & Gas Development."  Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, November 8-9, 2012
  • "Operator Liability, Marketing Obligations, Tension Points, and Royalty Calculations Under Joint Operating Agreements,” Dallas Bar Association Energy Law Section Annual Review of Oil and Gas Law, August 2003
  • “The Discovery Rule in Oil and Gas Litigation: A Rematch,” State Bar of Texas 16th Advanced Oil, Gas and Mineral Law Institute, October 1998
  • “The Discovery Rule and How It Applies to Oil and Gas Litigation,” State Bar of Texas Advanced Oil, Gas and Mineral Law Institute, September 1995
  • Author and Lecturer, “Royalty and Division Order Issues,” 15th Annual Oil, Gas and Mineral Law Institute, March 1989
  • “Selected Problems in Split Stream Gas Production,” State Bar of Texas Advanced Oil, Gas and Mineral Institute, September 1987
  • “Panhandle Field Litigation,” Oil, Gas and Mineral Law Section Report, Vol., II, No. 2, Dec. 1985
Mr. Grable previously served as the Chairman of the Oil & Gas/Energy Section of the Texas State Bar