Article Authored by Professor Tara Righetti Cited in West Virginia Supreme Court Opinions

Professor Righetti is appointed to the faculty of the University of Wyoming in a joint capacity with the College of Law, the College of Business, and the School of Energy Resources. As a certified professional landman, she also serves as the Director for the Professional Land Management Program for the School of Energy Resources and sits on the Executive Committee of Wyoming Association of Professional Landmen (WAPL).

A recent publication by Professor Tara Righetti was cited by the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia in two different cases that appeared before the court in early June. The article referenced, “Contracting for Sustainable Surface Management, was published in the Arkansas Law Review in December of 2018, and examines the surface damage agreement as an instrument of private governance.

Righetti’s law review article served as a valuable point of authority on the matter of split-estate ownership in the case Andrews v. Antero Res. Corp. where Justice Margaret Workman referenced Righetti’s work in her dissent, as well as the case EQT Production Company v. Crowder, where Justice John Hutchison cited the same article in the delivery of the opinion of the court for the matter.

A well-known expert of oil & gas law in the rocky mountain region, Professor Righetti’s scholarship focuses on legal issues related to split estate issues, royalty payments, subsurface trespass, and energy development on public land. Her expertise and counsel is often sought from a variety of media outlets including US News, Wyoming Public Media, the Casper Star Tribune, Earth & Space Science News, CAP∙impact, as well as from local law makers, attorneys, members of the oil & gas industry, and academics.

Appointed as a trustee-at-large by the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation in 2018, Righetti was recently reappointed to the position for her continued distinction in the area of oil & gas law and her dedication to educating the community of oil and gas professionals and landmen. Additionally, she is an integral part of the multi-million dollar Wyoming CarbonSAFE Feasibility Project in which she is tasked with overseeing the legal portion of the project.

Prior to her career in academia, Righetti served as CEO and general counsel of a privately owned upstream oil and gas company. Since joining the University of Wyoming in 2014, Professor Righetti has been diligently working to provide important research for her discipline, informative resources for the Wyoming natural resources community, and educational opportunities for students.

The College of Law is extremely pleased to see the reach of her knowledge and professional credibility in other states throughout the nation. We are excited to see the impacts of her forthcoming publication “The Incidental Environmental Agency,” that will appear in the Utah Law Review in 2020.


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