Mr. Austin Brister
Austin Brister represents oil and gas companies and landowners in upstream oil and gas litigation, including mineral and leasehold title disputes, surface trespass and damages, royalty calculation and payment disputes, operator/non-operator disputes, removal of operator, lease termination/perpetuation disputes, retained acreage and proration unit issues, and an array of other issues in the upstream oil and gas sector. Austin has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in courtrooms across Texas. Austin strives to find practical business solutions, but if necessary he works hard to implement aggressive strategies in the courthouse. Austin is licensed in Texas, Wyoming, Colorado, and North Dakota.
Austin is an active member of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, where he serves as Vice-Chair of the Young Professionals Committee. Austin frequently publishes articles and gives presentations on oil and gas issues, including articlces and presentations for the Texas Oil and Gas Law Journal, Law360, Texas State Bar, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Wyoming Bar Association, Houston Bar Association, Dallas Bar Association, Wyoming College of Law, University of Texas, South Texas College of Law, American Association of Petroleum Landmen, Landman Magazine, National Association of Division Order Analysts, National Association of Least and Title Analysts, and numerous local chapters of landman and lawyer associations.
Austin also serves as editor of “Producer’s Edge” and OilandGasLawDigest.com, which seeks to provide the Firm’s clients in the oil and gas industry with information on recent cases and timely articles.
Mr. James Blake Canfield
La Dept Of Natural Resources
J. Blake Canfield is Executive Counsel for the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (LDNR). In this role Mr. Canfield manages LDNR’s Legal Division, is responsible for certain legislative matters involving LDNR, and advising the Secretary and staff of LDNR on administrative and operational functions of the Department, as well as matters concerning LDNR’s regulation of Louisiana’s abundant natural resources, including but not limited to regulation of activities which impact the state’s Coastal Resources, management of the State’s mineral property, water resources, and promotion of energy conservation. Prior to becoming Executive Counsel of LDNR in 2013, Mr. Canfield was Senior Attorney for the Louisiana Office of Conservation. As Senior Attorney for the Office of Conservation, Blake represented the agency in litigation and administrative matters and provided legal counsel to the Commissioner of Conservation regarding his office’s regulation and conservation of oil, gas, lignite, and other mineral resources in Louisiana. Mr. Canfield is a graduate of LSU’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center. Blake is currently a member of the Louisiana Mineral Law Institute’s Advisory Council, is a past representative to the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission, has previously served on the Expropriation Committee of the Louisiana State Law Institute, and he recently chaired the legislatively created Public Recreational Access Task Force.
Mr. Hunter A Chauvin
Liskow & Lewis, APLC
Hunter Chauvin is a litigator that assists major oil and gas companies in environmental litigation, with a concentration on legacy lawsuits and coastal land loss issues. He has worked with experts across the globe to defend environmental lawsuits, which has allowed him to develop a deep working knowledge of the complex scientific issues underpinning these cases. He has been entrusted to represent clients in major bellwether environmental cases. Hunter’s practice also includes working with regulators at the department of natural resources and other agencies on behalf of oil and gas companies to resolve regulatory disputes.
Hunter teaches Trial Advocacy for LSU’s Paul M. Hebert law school and is a board member for the Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel. He is an active member of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI), Louisiana Oil and Gas Association (LOGA), and the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association (LMOGA).
Mrs. Katherine Guidry Douthitt
Maven Royalty Partners
After practicing for twelve years at Blanchard, Walker, O’Quin & Roberts in energy and business matters, Katherine recently became General Counsel at Maven Royalty Partners. MRP specializes in acquiring mineral and royalty interests in unconventional resource plays throughout the United States.
She is a proud LSU tiger and her education at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana — including a law degree, M.B.A., and an undergraduate degree in accounting with a concentration in internal auditing. She joined Blanchard Walker in 2008, and she became a Director at Blanchard Walker in 2016.
Katherine serves on the board of directors of the Ark-La-Tex Association of Professional Landmen and is a member of the Louisiana Land Title Association and the Louisiana Association of Independent Land Title Agents, as well as the American, Louisiana State, and Shreveport Bar Associations.
She is the immediate past President of the Junior League of Shreveport-Bossier, Inc. She and her husband Jeff are the proud parents of sons Cook and Whit.
Judge Meredith S. Grabill
United States Bankruptcy Judge
US Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Louisiana
The Honorable Meredith S. Grabill currently serves in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Prior to taking the bench in September 2019, she practiced primarily in the areas of bankruptcy, commercial, and oil-and-gas litigation in New York and Louisiana. In her practice, she served on bankruptcy teams representing publicly traded, closely held, and individual chapter 11 debtors; official unsecured creditors’ committees; and corporate creditors. Outside of bankruptcy court, she has represented large and multinational corporations in antitrust proceedings, labor and contract disputes, and insurance and reinsurance disputes.
Judge Grabill served as a judicial clerk to The Honorable Edith Brown Clement in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, The Honorable Martin L.C. Feldman in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, and The Honorable Martin Glenn in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. She earned her J.D. from Tulane Law School, where she served as Editor in Chief of the Tulane Law Review, and received a B.A. from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.
Prior to earning her law degree, Judge Grabill worked for years in the juvenile justice field in Washington State, providing direct treatment services and administering state-wide programs for offenders with mental health issues, chemical dependency issues, and developmental delays.
Congressman Garret N. Graves
United States Representative, Louisiana 6th Congressional District
United States House of Representatives
CONGRESSMAN GARRET GRAVES represents Louisiana’s Sixth Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. More than 750,000 people live in the 13 parishes that make up the sixth district, which includes most of Garret’s hometown of Baton Rouge, the bulk of the Capital City’s suburbs, parts of parishes along both sides of the Mississippi River to the western shores of Lake Pontchartrain and continues south through Thibodaux to Houma. Garret is Ranking Member for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation for the 116th Congress and continues to serve on the House Natural Resources Committee. He was also selected to lead the Republican effort on newly established House Select Committee on Climate. Last Congress, Graves chaired the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment and was instrumental in the development, passage and enactment of a range of policy wins on rivers, levees, flood protection, coastal issues and Corps of Engineers reforms. He also brought about critical upgrades to federal disaster response and recovery programs, streamlining FEMA operations, creating faster recoveries and helping make communities across the nation more resilient to disaster. In his short time in office, Garret and his team have established a record of advancing Louisiana’s priorities through Congress – making a positive difference here at home. A few more examples:
• The Washington St. Exit reconfiguration, I-10 expansions and other road improvements underway are happening because of legislation Garret wrote, helped negotiate, and enacted in 2015.
• Garret fought to change federal law to fix the so called “duplication of benefits” fiasco for thousands of 2016 flood victims; and,
• He secured full funding for the Comite River Diversion, West Shore and other major flood protection projects that had been stalled for decades. Now they are fast-tracked for completion – which means better protection and lower flood insurance rates for all of us.
Garret’s leadership on transportation, infrastructure, energy, maritime, fisheries, coastal restoration, disaster and other issues critical to our state’s economy and way of life are an asset in Congress. He is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he resides with his wife Carissa and their three children.
Professor Richard Hughes
Professor in Residence
Louisiana State University, Craft & Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering
Dr. Richard G. Hughes is a Professional-in-Residence and the Campanile Charities Professor of Petroleum Engineering at Louisiana State University. He earned a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and held various production, reservoir and IT positions with Tenneco Oil Company, Dwights EnergyData and Amerada Hess. He then obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. in Petroleum Engineering from Stanford University prior to joining the University of Oklahoma as an Assistant Professor and has been at LSU since 2005. His research interests include utilizing CO2 for EOR and carbon sequestration, modeling of multiphase flow in porous media, rock fractures and pipes, reservoir surveillance, production data analysis, and geothermal and unconventional field reservoir engineering.
Professor Christopher S. Kulander
Director and Professor, Oil & Gas Law Institute
South Texas College of Law Houston
Professor Christopher Kulander teaches at the South Texas College of Law Houston and serves as Director of the Harry L. Reed Oil & Gas Law Institute. He has taught Domestic Energy Law, Property, Mining Law, and beginning and advanced Oil & Gas Law courses. In addition, he teaches International Energy Law at Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania, as a permanent visiting professor. He is licensed in Texas and New Mexico. A leading expert in oil & gas and property law, Dr. Kulander has published over twenty law review articles, as well as many other articles with a more practical focus in the industry literature, on diverse topics including energy lending, finance, oil & gas law, land use control, American Indian law, as well as on geology, and petroleum seismology. He is a prolific speaker and expert witness. He received his J.D. with distinction from the University of Oklahoma, where he was managing editor for the Oklahoma Bar Mineral Law Newsletter and note editor and assisting managing editor for the American Indian Law Review. Before teaching, Professor Kulander practiced for four years in the Houston office of Haynes and Boone, LLP, focusing on energy lending, finance, and bankruptcy. Prior to that, he practiced for two years with Cotton & Bledsoe in Midland, Texas, focusing on oil and gas title, leasing, and litigation support. Before law school, he received his B.S. in geology and M.S. in geophysics from Wright State in Dayton, Ohio, and his Ph.D. in geophysics (petroleum seismology) from Texas A&M University, after which he worked for the U.S. Geological Survey as a geophysicist.
Mr. Robert A. Kutcher
Kutcher Tygier & Luminais, LLP
ROBERT A. KUTCHER is a partner in the law firm of Kutcher Tygier & Luminais, LLP. He is currently President of the Louisiana State Bar Association. He is a past Chairman of the Louisiana Disciplinary Board, past President of the N.O. Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and past Chair of the Louisiana Advisory Committee, U.S. Civil Rights Commission. Mr. Kutcher graduated from Cornell University in 1972 and received his J.D. from Loyola University (Cum Laude) in 1975.
Mr. Andrew D. Martin
Davidson Summers, APLC
Andrew focuses largely on oil and gas litigation, with a wide range of trial court and appellate experience in complex mineral law cases. In these lawsuits, he has primarily represented landowners and independent oil companies. Andrew also has extensive practice in drafting and negotiating mineral leases and reviewing title to ascertain the ownership of mineral rights.
He also has significant litigation experience in non-mineral law matters ranging from contract disputes to real estate actions. Further, he has participated in collection efforts for a variety of creditors, facilitated timber and real estate transactions, and assisted in business formation and dissolution.
He has published three articles with LSU's Journal of Energy Law and Resources, most recently a 2020 submission entitled "What is the Appropriate Time Period for a Paying Quantities Analysis." He has also presented at numerous mineral law conferences in the past few years.
He and his wife Heidi Kemple Martin are married with one daughter, Anayansi Martin.