Mr. Ryan P. McAlister
Ottinger Hebert, LLC
Ryan focuses his practice on oil and gas matters and complex litigation.
After graduating from Lafayette High School, Ryan attended the United States Military Academy at West Point where he earned his Bachelor of Science. He then served as an Infantry Officer in the United States Army for over six years, including a year deployment to Iraq.
During law school, Ryan interned with the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. He graduated Cum Laude from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University in 2017, receiving his Juris Doctor, Graduate Diploma in Comparative Law, and the Energy Law and Policy Certificate.
He is admitted to practice law in Louisiana and is also an active member of the Lafayette Association of Professional Landmen.
Mr. Michael L. Platner
Senior Tax Counsel
The Law Offices of Van Ness Feldman, LLP
Michael provides strategic counsel on legal, legislative and regulatory issues, including tax, energy, and international trade. Michael has extensive experience developing and implementing successful government relations programs. He has a refined understanding of the political landscape, supported by technical knowledge and a wealth of experience drafting issue papers, advising on legislative and regulatory matters, and building and advocating winning legislative strategies for participants in energy and related markets.
Prior to joining the firm, Michael was a lobbyist and the Tax Director for the American Petroleum Institute from 1992-2009 and the Tax and International Trade Counsel for U.S. Senator John H. Chafee from 1988 to 1992.
Professor Christina M. Sautter
LSU Law Center
Christina M. Sautter is the Cynthia Felder Fayard Professor of Law, the Byron R. Kantrow Professor of Law, and the Vinson & Elkins Professor of Law at Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center. She teaches Securities Regulation, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Business Associations I & II. Professor Sautter’s research interests lie in mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance. She is the co-author, along with Franklin A. Gevurtz, of MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS LAW, which is part of West Academic Publishing’s legal hornbook series. Her research has appeared in the RESEARCH HANDBOOK ON MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS, Brooklyn Law Review, Case Western Reserve Law Review, Florida State University Law Review, Journal of Corporation Law, and Delaware Journal of Corporate Law. Prior to joining the LSU Faculty, Professor Sautter served as a Westerfield Fellow at Loyola New Orleans College of Law. She also worked in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group of Shearman & Sterling LLP in New York City and clerked for the late Honorable H. Emory Widener, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. She received her J.D., summa cum laude, from Villanova University School of Law and her B.S., summa cum laude, from Florida State University.
Mr. Patrick "Rick" M. Shelby
Phelps Dunbar, LLP
Rick has over 20 years of professional experience. He practices at Phelps Dunbar LLP in New Orleans, primarily in the areas of bankruptcy law, commercial litigation and corporate governance . During that time he has acted as counsel in various capacities on several Chapter 11 proceedings including Castex Energy Partners, LP; Falcon V, LLC; Whistler Energy II, LLC; ATP Oil & Gas; Shoreline Energy; Energy XXI; Harvest Oil & Gas; Port Aggregates, Inc.; A&B Valve and Piping Systems; Pel-Tex Oil Company, LLC; FEC Lafayette, LLC; Advocate Financial, LLC; Bourbon Saloon, Inc.; New Orleans Paddlewheels; Legends Gaming of Louisiana; Mirant and Virgin Offshore USA, Inc. Rick is also an experienced litigator with an emphasis on contractual disputes and oil, gas and energy litigation. Rick is licensed to practice law in Louisiana and Florida. Prior to practicing law, Rick worked as a transportation engineer and technical sales representative for the largest producer of crushed aggregates in the United States, Vulcan Materials Company. Rick also has a bachelor and masters degree in engineering. Rick is a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of business and for over 10 years, he has used this knowledge to counsel corporate clients in all aspects of restructuring and bankruptcy.
Rick was named as the 2013 and 2019 "New Orleans Magazine" Top Lawyer, Louisiana Super Lawyer for 2014-2020, and Best Lawyers (2018-2020). Rick also supports the New Orleans Pro Bono Project and received the 2014 Honor Roll and 2011 Century Award for donating over 100 hours of pro bono service. Rick has been asked to speak at several seminars including seminars for the New Orleans Bar Association, Mineral Law Institute and Professional Landman Association of New Orleans.
Mr. Thomas G Smart
Onebane Law Firm
Thomas G. Smart received his Bachelor’s of Science from Louisiana State University in 1979. He went on to Louisiana State University Law Center where he earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1982. Tommy is licensed to practice in Louisiana and Texas. He is Vice President of the Mineral Law Section of the Louisiana State Bar Association, and a member of the Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Section of the Texas Bar Association. He is a frequent speaker at various legal, land and industry seminars, including the Louisiana Mineral Law Institute, and is a guest lecturer for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette PLRM Program.
Tommy is a shareholder at the Onebane Law Firm, where he has practiced in its oil and gas section since 1982. He has a general oil and gas transactional practice serving producers and others engaged in onshore and offshore operations, including title examination, the structuring, drafting and negotiation of complex agreements, the acquisition, sale and/or financing of oil and gas properties, due diligence for property acquisition, serving as local counsel for purchase and financing transactions, 3-D seismic permit and license agreement advice, and general advice.
Tommy began practicing Oil and Gas Law because his dad, Holmes Smart, has enjoyed a long career as a consulting and unitization geologist in Lafayette. Tommy enjoys LSU sports of all kinds and is a season ticket holder to five sports. In fact, Tommy is featured prominently at most LSU home baseball games as his season tickets are directly in line with the batter television cameras. He also enjoys a view of Tiger Stadium from the balcony of his “camp” in Baton Rouge, located adjacent to the LSU campus. Tommy also enjoys reading and travel.