On the eve of a scheduled federal trial, events unfolded that led to a tentative settlement in a case about oil leases that involved three big Texas firms: Baker Botts; Susman Godfrey, and Gruber Hurst Johansen & Hail.
On Jan.7, U.S. District Judge Terry R. Means of the Northern District of Texas in Dallas issued an order in MC Asset Recovery, LLC v. Castex Energy, Inc et al, denying the corporate defendants’ attempt to quash a subpoena aimed at getting on the stand lawyers from Baker Botts who had provided counsel to those defendants for the transactions invloved in MC Asset Recovery.
On Jan. 9, according to the PACER record of the case, at a hearing before Means, both sides read and agreed to the terms of their proposed settlement. Court approval of that settlement is still pending. Did the pre-trial proposed settlement hinge on the failure to quash the subpoena of Baker Botts lawyers? No one was available to answer that question. G. Michael Gruber, a partner in Dallas’ Gruber Hurst, who represented the plaintiffs, declined to comment, citing, through his assistant, the terms of the settlement bar his publicly commenting on it. Neal Manne, a partner in Susman Godfrey, who represented the defense, writes in an email: "The parties agreed that there would be no comment, other than that it was an amicable settlement."