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Jeremy A. Mercer

Biography

Jeremy Mercer is an experienced litigator who focuses his energy industry practice on oil and gas counsel and litigation. His extensive experience in the shale and hydraulic fracturing arena includes

  • counseling on challenges regarding local zoning ordinances
  • defending against lease invalidity claims
  • defending litigation matters alleging contamination and health effects from drilling operations
  • rights-of-way and easements
  • counseling clients on their obligations relative to government agencies and regulations

Jeremy is experienced in all levels of state and federal courts, including trials, preliminary injunctions, and appeals.

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

In 2017, Jeremy received the David T. Stephens Outstanding Alumni Award from the Youngstown State University Geography Department. He is an Honorary Member of Gamma Theta Upsilon.

Outside the Firm

When not working, you can find Jeremy spending time with his wife and two young children, whether at a park or playground, an amusement park, the backyard, or, on occasion, a cruise ship.

Experience

  • 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,
    • obtained summary judgment on claims of breach of contract, personal injury, negligence, nuisance, and medical monitoring,
    • obtained directed verdict on negligence claims that went to trial, and
    • obtained new trial through successful post-trial motion.
  • Representation of E&P companies in state and federal courts across Pennsylvania:
    • 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
    • successfully defended trial court decision in Pennsylvania Superior Court.
  • 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.

News & Views

See all News and Views

Recognitions

  • 2018, “Pennsylvania Super Lawyer” in Energy & Natural Resources, listed in Super Lawyers
  • 2014–2016, “Who’s Who in Energy,” listed in the Pittsburgh Business Times

Affiliations

Memberships

  • Allegheny County (PA) Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Washington County Bar Association
Professional Activities

Jeremy is an active member of the Pennsylvania, Federal, and local bar associations.

  • Allegheny County Bar Association:
    • Zone 12 Delegate to the Pennsylvania Bar Association House of Delegatesformer Zone 6 Delegate for the Washington County Bar Association);
    • Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee
    • Civil Litigation Section,
    • Environment and Energy Law, and
    • Federal Court Sections
  • Washington County Bar Association
    • Former Zone 6 Delegate to the Pennsylvania Bar Association House of Delegates
    • Professionalism Committee
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
    • Judicial Administration Committee,
    • Shale Energy Law Committee,
    • Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, and
    • Federal Practice Committee
      • Member of the Executive Council
  • Federal Bar Association, Western District of Pennsylvania chapter

Credentials

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

Education

  • Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, JD, with honors
  • Youngstown State University, BA, summa cum laude