Current association: Member, Frost Brown Todd
Law School: Duquesne University, J.D., 1997; Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Masters of Laws (LL.M.), 2020.
Undergraduate: Indiana University of Pennsylvania, B.A., magna cum laude, 1994
Spouse: Recently Engaged
Home: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Favorite restaurant in Pittsburgh: Off The Hook is really great. As someone who likes to cook, I really appreciate seafood prepared well.
EMLF Involvement: Past President, Member of the Executive Committee; frequent speaker at EMLF’s Kentucky Mineral Law Conferences and at EMLF’s Annual Institutes and Special Institutes.
You have lived in Pittsburgh for a number of years. How has the city changed over that time? I’ve lived in and around Pittsburgh nearly all of my life. At the turn of the century, the region transformed from an industrial identity to education, medicine, and technology, and in 2010 along came the Marcellus Shale development. Pittsburgh was so fortunate to be well-positioned to take advantage of shale.
During the time that you have practiced law, the level of oil and gas activity has increased dramatically in Appalachia. How has that affected your practice? Prior to 2009, I did some work for coal clients, but not much. When I made the decision to align my practice with the oil and gas industry, it was said that I “couldn’t spell oil and gas unless somebody bought me the vowels.” In all seriousness, the advent of Marcellus Shale development completely upended my practice. I’ve learned so much and met a countless number of interesting people over the past 13 years in oil and gas.
You have been extremely involved in the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation, as well as similar groups. How have you benefited from that involvement? For me it’s the camaraderie of the energy bar that makes it so worthwhile. The universe of lawyers actually practicing in this space is pretty small, especially in Appalachia. It’s a challenging practice that evolves around technology, markets, geopolitics, and local government. The lawyers who practice this stuff take it very seriously and coming to EMLF, IEL, and other events is part of the commitment required to master this craft.
I see you at a lot of energy law conferences, but do you find time to travel for fun? Do you have a favorite place to visit? I take as many fishing trips as I can. I’ve flyfished lots of places; New Zealand was definitely a highlight for me.
Any pets at home? My German Shorthaired Pointer is named Scout (after Scout Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird). She keeps me very busy, especially in fall when it’s time to go bird hunting.
We are in the holiday season now. Do you have any favorite holiday traditions or foods for Christmas and New Year? I’m fortunate to be the host for the holidays. I love to cook and hate to travel for holidays, so it works out well for me.
You have been practicing law for a while and have had success. Is there any advice you would give to new lawyers and law students who are about to become lawyers? Law school is this country’s last bastion of truly liberal education – thinking to learn and learning to think. Take advantage of it. Too many become concerned about “specializing” in law school and miss out on the great courses, like Estates and Trusts and Conflicts of Law. For me, practicing law hasn’t become easier with age and experience – just the opposite really. But, that’s what makes it great – the challenges you face every day you walk into the office.