SERVICES

INDUSTRIES

ADMISSIONS

  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. District Court - Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court - Middle District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court - Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court - Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court - Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court - Western District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • West Virginia

MEMBERSHIPS

  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Washington County Bar Association

EDUCATION

  • Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, JD, with honors
  • Youngstown State University, BA, summa cum laude
JMercer@BlankRome.com
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Jeremy A. Mercer

Partner

Pittsburgh, PA v. +1.412.932.2732 f. +1.412.592.0959

Jeremy Mercer is an experienced litigator who focuses his energy industry practice on oil and gas counsel and litigation.

Mr. Mercer has extensive experience in the shale and hydraulic fracturing arena, including counseling on challenges regarding local zoning ordinances, defending against lease invalidity claims, and defending litigation matters alleging contamination and health effects from drilling operations, to name a few. Additionally, he has significant experience with rights-of-way and easements and has counseled clients on their obligations relative to government agencies and regulations.

Mr. Mercer’s experience also includes real estate, employment, and healthcare litigation, as well as arbitrations (both international and domestic). He has represented client interests before administrative agencies, including zoning board of adjustment hearings, township supervisor meetings, historic review commission hearings, and unemployment hearings. He has wide-ranging experience in state and federal courts, including trials and preliminary injunctions. He also has experience at all levels of the federal courts and at the trial and intermediate appellate levels of the Pennsylvania courts.

In addition, Mr. Mercer has experience with AAA and ICC arbitrations as well as court-specific arbitration programs. He has been involved in a number of arbitrations, ranging from defending a U.S. subsidiary of a foreign company against multimillion dollar claims under Swiss and Pennsylvania law arising under a distributorship agreement to defending a nonprofit entity in an insurance dispute.

Further, Mr. Mercer has significant experience managing the discovery phase of litigation and arbitrations, including advising clients on their obligations relative to paper and electronic records.

Mr. Mercer previously served as a law clerk to United States Magistrate Judge Nancy A. Vecchiarelli in the United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio. He also served as law clerk to the Franklin County (Ohio) Municipal Court. He frequently writes and speaks on industry-related events and topics for leading legal publications and conferences.


REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS

  • Defense of an E&P company against a multi-plaintiff litigation alleging environmental contamination, breach of contract, personal injury, negligence, strict liability, nuisance, and medical monitoring:
    • obtained a first-in-the-nation summary judgment decision finding that hydraulic fracturing is not subject to strict liability; and
    • obtained summary judgment on claims of breach of contract, personal injury, negligence, nuisance, and medical monitoring.
  • Representation of E&P companies in state and federal courts involving claims of environmental contamination, breach of contract/lease, declaratory judgment, breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing, personal injury, negligence, negligence per se, strict liability, nuisance, slander of title, trespass, loss of consortium, medical monitoring, lease invalidity, ejectment, quiet title, and force majeure issues:
    • obtained a defense verdict in a jury trial alleging claims of fraud, fraudulent inducement, negligent inducement, tortious interference, and other tort claims related to an oil and gas lease;
    • obtained an appellate victory overturning a summary judgment order in an oil and gas lease validity dispute;
    • obtained a dismissal of declaratory judgment (the court refused to read the Pugh clause into the lease), slander of title (the statute of limitations had expired and the recording of the Memorandum of Lease did not result in an on-going tort), and breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing claims (not an independent cause of action);
    • obtained a dismissal of an entire case on the basis that shut-in payments on vertical, non-fraced, and non-producing wells perpetuated the lease into the secondary term (affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit);
    • defended against a class action case and a multi-plaintiff case claiming a breach of lease for the failure to pay bonus payments where drafts were issued but not funded and leases were surrendered;
    • defended against claims that a preexisting lease precluded enforcement of an oil and gas lease with an E&P company (the plaintiff voluntarily withdrew the case);
    • obtained a dismissal of all contract claims as well as anticipatory trespass, negligence per se, and gross negligence claims in a contamination and nuisance-type case related to the development of Marcellus wells near the plaintiff’s property;
    • obtained a summary judgment on private nuisance, negligence, and strict liability claims related to injuries allegedly suffered as a result of nearby gas development operations;
    • obtained a summary judgment on a breach of contract action where a right-of-way holder attempted to prevent the use of a pipeline to transport non-native gas across the property;
    • obtained a voluntary dismissal of a lawsuit challenging post-production expenses;
    • prosecuted and defended quiet title actions; and
    • obtained a voluntary dismissal with prejudice of a lawsuit challenging the validity of an oil and gas lease (dismissal before the decision on a pending motion to dismiss).
  • Obtained a preliminary injunction on behalf of an E&P company against an environmental activist preventing interference with operations or the entering of well sites, well pads, or access roads:
    • obtained an enforcement of stipulated injunction over the activist’s subsequent objections; and
    • obtained a decision by the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirming the trial court’s enforcement of the stipulated injunction.
  • Advise and represent E&P and service companies regarding various issues related to seismic testing, including:
    • alleged damage to township roads during seismic testing using a vibrosis truck;
    • interactions with townships (ordinance reviews, demonstrations of equipment, road usage, etc.);
    • challenges to and suit regarding denial of permits; and
    • interactions with landowners relative to seismic access and damage claims.
  • Representation of E&P companies relative to zoning-related issues:
    • lawsuit against a township seeking damages for constitutional taking as a result of an oil and gas ordinance that prevented development within the township;
    • representation before various zoning hearing boards relative to permit applications and challenges to validity of zoning ordinances;
    • appeals of zoning hearing board decisions into courts of common pleas;
    • lawsuit challenging the procedural validity of a township ordinance; and
    • advice regarding the impact of traditional zoning principles on the township’s attempted enforcement of special exception requirements for use of impoundment.
  • Representation of E&P and other companies before administrative bodies:
    • Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board:
      • defended a permit holder in an action by a landowner against the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection alleging the DEP’s conclusion that the operator did not contaminate the landowner’s water supply was erroneous:
        • quashed a subpoena by the landowner to the E&P company’s expert for records related to work done at the sight;
        • defeated a motion for reconsideration of an order quashing the subpoena;
        • defeated a motion by the landowner for reconsideration and for sanctions;
        • defeated preliminary objections filed by the landowner to preliminary objections filed by the E&P company; and
        • obtained a dismissal of various claims asserted by the landowner and the striking of various allegations in the petition.
    • Ohio Environmental Protection Agency:
      • represented a client in an investigation related to releases at an impoundment site.
  • Defense of an electric company in a multi-plaintiff litigation seeking to invalidate easements as a result of alleged non-use.
  • Represented a plaintiff healthcare company involving wound care solutions in a federal court commercial litigation case against a competitor and former employees of the plaintiff.
  • Defend financial institutions in numerous legal actions against them in Pennsylvania, ranging from document subpoenas to depositions and defending actual lawsuits.
  • Obtained a dismissal with prejudice of a product liability action against an Australian part manufacturer based on lack of personal jurisdiction.
  • Conducted an environmental due diligence and contract review for a buyer in a transaction involving natural gas properties in Pennsylvania and other states.
  • Provide advice on Pennsylvania law and procedure:
    • new Oil and Gas Act, including aftermath of various court decisions related thereto;
    • Dormant Oil and Gas Act;
    • Oil and Gas Conservation Act;
    • title issues associated with land potentially to be leased;
    • monitor all Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia legislative action on bills that may impact oil and gas development within those states; and
    • advise natural resources company on requirements contract under Pennsylvania law.

COMMUNITY SERVICE & AFFILIATIONS

Mr. Mercer is a Zone 12 Delegate to the Pennsylvania Bar Association House of Delegates for the Allegheny County Bar Association (and former Zone 6 Delegate for the Washington County Bar Association); a member of the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee and the Civil Litigation, Environment and Energy Law, and Federal Court Sections for the Allegheny County Bar Association; a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Judicial Administration Committee, Shale Energy Law Committee, Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, and Federal Practice Committee’s Executive Council; and a member of the Practical Law Company’s Advisory Board.


RECOGNITIONS

  • 2014–2016, “Who's Who in Energy,” listed in the Pittsburgh Business Times


A description of the standard or methodology on which the accolades are based can be found here.
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