The Journal of the Energy Law Practitioner (JELP), which was founded in 2022, is a student-run publication at Texas Tech University School of Law.
Energy is the business that runs every other business, which makes practicing law in this area just as important for a dynamic and robust economy. Our purpose is to publish content related to issues relevant and useful to those interested in the area of energy law and provide practical articles, which discuss current trends and inspire new ideas to address today’s complex challenges.
JELP is committed to the publication of impactful energy-related articles by knowledgeable scholars and practicing attorneys in the field, as well as emerging scholars and attorneys, who will advance discussion and analysis of timely issues in energy law. It is also the goal of this journal to sustain and strengthen Texas Tech University School of Law’s energy-law program, in order to cultivate legal expertise in this field and develop critical learning for all its members.
2 issues per year – Spring & Fall
Board of Advisors
Todd Spake is the chair of Kelly Hart’s Oil & Gas/Energy group and represents operators and interest owners in his broad-based energy practice. Todd’s primary focus is on transactional matters, including the acquisition and divestiture of working interests, mineral interests and midstream assets. He also has experience guiding clients through a variety of energy-related litigation matters. Todd has served as an adjunct professor in the TCU Energy MBA program since 2014. Todd graduated summa cum laude from Texas Tech School of Law in 1996, where he was an associate editor for the Texas Tech Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif.
Curtis N. Leonard is currently President/General Counsel for ICA Energy, Inc. in Odessa, Texas. He has been with ICA for 28 years and before that he worked for Exxon Company USA for 15 years. Curtis earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Texas Tech University in 1976 and his J.D. from Texas Tech Law School in 1979. He has been a member of the Texas State Bar since 1979.
Curtis has traveled extensively and appeared as a witness at the International Peace Court at The Hague, Holland in 2010. Curtis is married to Renata Marie Leonard and has four sons and three grandsons. Curtis and Renata have made Midland, Texas their lifetime home for over 40 years.
Craig Adams serves as Executive Vice President, Co-Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Staff of Matador Resources Company. He joined Matador in September 2012 as its Vice President and General Counsel and was promoted to Executive Vice President— Land, Legal and Administration in July 2013. He assumed the role of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer— Land, Legal & Administration in April 2019. Before joining Matador, Mr. Adams was a partner with Baker Botts L.L.P. from March 2001 to September 2012 where he focused his practice on securities, mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance matters. He was a partner with Thompson & Knight L.L.P. from January 1999 to February 2001 and an associate from September 1992 to December 1998. Mr. Adams received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance from Southern Methodist University in 1988 and his law degree in 1992 from Texas Tech University School of Law, where he graduated magna cum laude and was a member of the Order of the Coif, a Comment Editor on the Texas Tech Law Review and a member of Board of Barristers.
Michael Cuda is a partner in the Dallas and Houston offices of K&L Gates, where he is a member of the banking and asset finance and energy, infrastructure and resources practice groups. Michael has more than 25 years of experience in business and banking transactions. His practice focuses on domestic as well as international energy and oil and gas industry financing transactions, including upstream through downstream operations, offshore production, and equipment and oilfield services finance. Additionally, Michael represents clients as developers, investors and offtakers in the wind and solar energy arenas with respect to financing transactions, PPAs and VPPAs, tax equity issues, land development issues and local and state regulatory issues. Michael also negotiates a wide range of industry documents, and works in various capacities on financial derivatives transactions and Dodd-Frank issues.
M.C. Cottingham (“Cottie”) Miles is the Managing Partner at Martin & Drought, P.C. in San Antonio, Texas, and is board certified in both Oil, Gas & Mineral Law and Commercial Real Estate Law, by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Mr. Miles is a 1994 graduate of Washington and Lee University, and a 1997 graduate of Texas Tech University School of Law. He is a Texas Bar Foundation Life Fellow, and also a frequent speaker/ author at numerous continuing legal education seminars regarding Texas oil and gas law, and a former Council Member, Editor, and Chair of the State Bar of Texas Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Section among numerous other achievements and accolades, including without limitation, the 2015 Rising Star Award given by Texas Tech University School of Law.
Jon Platt is a Corporate Partner in the Dallas office of Baker Botts. Jon manages a broad transactional practice, representing public and private companies and private equity funds in mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, commercial transactions and general corporate matters. Jon has broad experience representing clients across the energy industry, including upstream, midstream, and renewables. Jon is a graduate of Texas Tech University’s Rawls College of Business and the Texas Tech University School of Law. He resides in Dallas with his wife, Sara (TTU ’06), and three kids (Sloane, Margot and Hayes).
William R. Keffer
Before joining the faculty in 2014, Bill Keffer was in practice for thirty years. After obtaining his BA in History from SMU in 1981 and his JD from the University of Texas in 1984, Mr. Keffer’s first position was with the Dallas law firm of Vial, Hamilton, Koch & Knox, where he had a general litigation practice. His next position was as in-house litigation-management counsel with ARCO Oil & Gas Company, where he presided over a national docket of over 120 cases. While at ARCO, he began specializing in oilfield-pollution cases and handled all kinds of environmental claims in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, California, Kansas, and offshore Gulf of Mexico. After leaving ARCO and joining the Dallas law firm of Gardere & Wynne (now Foley & Lardner), Mr. Keffer’s practice focused exclusively on oilfield-pollution litigation, and he represented various energy companies, such as ARCO, ConocoPhillips, Chevron, and Vastar. Mr. Keffer also, on occasion, successfully represented various landowners in prosecuting their oilfield-pollution claims, including ranch families in the Permian Basin and South Texas, as well as rural landowners in the Barnett shale in North Texas. After leaving Gardere, Mr. Keffer had his own practice in Dallas for thirteen years, where he continued to focus on environmental matters involving the oil-and-gas industry. During that time, he also served in the Texas legislature for two terms from 2003 to 2007, representing House District 107 in Northeast Dallas County.