For more information about the proposed Class Settlement in the Demchak Partners case, see the page titled "How Does the Proposed Class Settlement in the Demchak Partners Class Action Affect Me?" in the FAQ section of this website.
If you are a lessor party, or the successor-in-interest to a lessor party, to an oil and gas lease that (a) covers a leasehold in Pennsylvania, (b) contains a Market Enhancement Clause (as that term is defined in the Amended Settlement Agreement, and quoted in the Order), and (c) is or has been owned, in whole or in part, by Chesapeake as a lessee, then you fall within the definition of the Settlement Class for purposes of the proposed Class Settlement. This means that, if the Court grants final approval to the proposed Class Settlement, you will be bound by the terms of the proposed Class Settlement -- including the releases of claims given as part of the Amended Settlement Agreement -- unless you timely opt-out of the Settlement Class.
The Order states that "Any member of the Class who wishes to exclude himself or herself from the Class Settlement must postmark and mail the exclusion request to Lead Class Counsel and Defendant’s counsel at the addresses provided above [in the Order] no later than Thursday, December 17, 2015."
The Order also requires the Claims Administrator to complete the mailing of Settlement Notices to members of the Settlement Class by November 2, 2015, establishes December 17, 2017 as the deadline for any member of the Class who wishes to object to or comment on the proposed Class Settlement, or object to Class Counsel's request for attorneys' fees and costs, to postmark and mail any such objections or comments to Class Counsel and the Court by December 17, 2015. The Court scheduled a hearing to consider final approval of the proposed Class Settlement, and Class Counsel's request for attorneys' fees and costs, for February 2, 2016, and also set deadlines by which anyone who wishes to appear and be heard and the hearing to postmark and mail notice of intention to do so by January 18, 2016.
If you hold royalty interests pursuant to a lease in which Chesapeake holds or previously held a working interest, and the lease contains a Market Enhancement Clause, the clock is now ticking; you have only until December 17 to evaluate the proposed Settlement and your potential alternatives, and to decide whether it is in your best interests to participate in, and be bound by the terms of, the proposed Settlement, to comment on or object to the proposed Settlement, or to opt-out of the proposed Settlement Class and separately pursue any claims and rights you may have.
We welcome and invite inquiries from royalty interest owners seeking legal representation to assist them in understanding and evaluating the proposed Class Settlement and their alternatives and options.