Michelle P. Scheffler

Michelle P. Scheffler

Partner, Complex Litigation and Trials
Michelle Scheffler is an experienced trial lawyer who represents energy clients in high-stakes litigation, from bet-the-company civil cases to personal injury matters in state and federal courts nationwide.

Bio

Ms. Scheffler advises major integrated oil and gas companies, publicly traded and privately owned independents and equity investors on a wide range of matters, including cases arising under mass and class action royalty litigation, operating agreement and title disputes, and leasing conflicts, among other areas. She has also led trials and appellate cases related to corporate disputes, business torts and property rights for clients outside of the oil and gas industry.

Prior to joining Skadden, Ms. Scheffler’s representations included:

Royalty Disputes

  • negotiating a dismissal for a producer client in a putative class action alleging royalty underpayment on oil royalties in North Dakota (U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Dakota)
  • securing a favorable settlement for a producer client in a putative class action alleging gas royalty underpayment on a leasehold in Oklahoma (U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado)
  • representing a producer client in alleged royalty underpayment claims by the state of North Dakota (Supreme Court of North Dakota and District Court of McKenzie County, North Dakota)
  • representing a producer client in multidistrict litigation by plaintiffs alleging royalty underpayment (96th Judicial District Court of Tarrant County, Texas)

Joint-Interest Disputes

  • representing an operator against a nonoperating working interest owner for breach of a joint operating agreement and defending against various tort claims by the nonoperator (112th Judicial District of Upton County, Texas)
  • negotiating a favorable settlement for a nonoperating working interest owner defending against an operator for negligence in the operation of a well that allegedly caused saltwater migration and damage to adjacent wells (441st District Court of Midland County, Texas)
  • representing a producer client in a dispute with a municipality over a drilling commitment (236th Judicial District Court of Tarrant County, Texas)
  • negotiating a favorable settlement for a producer client in a joint development dispute (96th Judicial District Court of Tarrant County, Texas)
  • securing a favorable settlement for a nonoperating working interest owner in a partner dispute under a participation agreement (District Court of Dallas County, Texas)
  • defending an international oil and gas company against an area of mutual interest claim (District Court of Robertson County, Texas)
  • obtaining summary judgment for oil and gas clients on an area of mutual interest claim (U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado) and obtaining an affirmance (U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit)
  • defending an international oil and gas company in a dispute over an alleged farmout brokerage agreement (District Court of Harris County, Texas)

Other Energy Disputes

  • representing a major oil and gas company in a mass action personal injury case resulting from a plant explosion (295th District Court of Harris County, Texas)
  • representing a midstream company in an adversary trial to uphold its gas gathering agreements with a bankrupt producer (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware)
  • negotiating a favorable settlement for an independent oil and gas company against a retail electric provider in recovering under-usage credits as a result of a major winter storm (118th Judicial District of Howard County, Texas)
  • representing multiple energy generator and producer clients against personal injury and property damage claims in multidistrict litigation arising out of a major winter storm
  • obtaining summary judgment for an international oil and gas company in a complex title case affirming the client’s title to mineral interests in Tyler County, West Virginia (Second Judicial Circuit of West Virginia) and obtaining an affirmance (Supreme Court of West Virginia)
  • defending a producer in a lease termination dispute (District Court for Arapahoe County, Colorado)

Ms. Scheffler has been recognized repeatedly by Chambers USA in its Nationwide Oil & Gas Litigation category and The Legal 500 in its Energy Litigation: Oil and Gas category. She also was named a Thomson Reuters Stand-Out Lawyer in 2023 and one of the nation’s top energy attorneys under 40 by Law360 in 2021. In addition, she has been honored by Benchmark Litigation as part of its Under 40 Hot List and as a Future Star, as well as by the National Diversity Council as one of the Top 50 Women in Oil and Gas.

Credentials

Education

  • J.D., University of Houston Law Center, 2006 (magna cum laude; Order of the Barons; Notes and Comments Editor, Houston Law Review)
  • B.S., University of Houston, 2003 (summa cum laude)

Admissions

  • Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern, Northern, Southern and Western Districts of Texas

Michelle P. Scheffler

Partner, Complex Litigation and Trials
michelle.scheffler@skadden.com