Dore Law - April 2019

THE D or É R eport

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APRIL 2019


Howdy, and welcome to our first newsletter! We hope you find it interesting, informative, and even a little fun. I often receive questions about what trends we see in a particular industry. So that’s where I’ll start, and I invite you to email me with your own recent experiences, thoughts, and concerns. This area of our practice is quite different from our energy practice despite the fact that we live in the energy capital of the world. Everything is full speed ahead with our clients. The large, unleased commercial space is gradually being eliminated as companies expand and develop. Our firm has seen an increase in the creation of new corporate entities, which often precedes economic expansion and goodwill. It has been said that the advent of the corporate entity was the greatest pro-wealth creation invention. When people see an opportunity, one of the first things they do is form an LLC or corporation. REAL ESTATE SECTOR:

1. Actual job disputes are causing a little concern, but many could be better characterized as a failure to

2. Made-up job disputes are the fastest growing area. We are coming across operators building AFEs too tight with no contingency protection and under- capitalized investors, resulting in an inability to pay the service provider when the job comes in over budget. The only option in the minds of some E&P companies is to generate a dispute that will delay the inevitable and maybe create some time to find the money. 3. Just out-of-money issues are sometimes the cost of doing business. No one likes to talk about it, but many service companies are pushing to find the “next great customer” and are willing take a risk on credit extension. Several law firms have generated some statistically “You cannot live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” –John Wooden, U.S. basketball coach (1910–2010) -Carl Doré sound solutions that just might be enough to keep you in this game.

communicate. For example, coil tubing technology is being stressed to the point that it is having difficulty keeping up with drilling technology, with its longer laterals. When a coil tubing failure occurs, the operator immediately concludes that the failure is the fault of the service provider. Often, though, it is simply that the operator has requested actions at the well site that are beyond the equipment’s capability or beyond the recommendations of the field supervisor. An example is a recent request to file suit on an operator for failure to pay for five frack jobs. When we pulled the production history, we found that these five wells had only produced 82,000 barrels of oil in 10 months and that the geologic literature expressed that the particular area was “improbable” for economic production. When confronted with the failure of the geologists — not the frack work — the situation was resolved.


We have seen a significant recent uptick in the number of mineral lien requests. These requests generally fall in to the categories of actual job disputes, made-up job disputes, and just out-of-money issues.

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‘THE SCORE TAKES CARE OF ITSELF’ The Philosophy of Bill Walsh

The term “game changer” gets tossed around so much these days that it no longer seems to hold enough weight to describe a legendary coach like Bill Walsh. But how do you describe someone who quite literally changed the way football is played on the highest level? It takes incredible willpower to defy conventional wisdom and turn a struggling team into a powerhouse. In Walsh’s memoir on leadership, “The Score Takes Care of Itself,” he explores the philosophy that guided him through his coaching career and led him to success. Working with award-winning author Steve Jamison, the two distill Walsh’s decades of experience into a comprehensive guide that can be used by coaches and CEOs alike. One theme throughout the book is the idea that sound fundamentals trump instincts. As Walsh aptly puts it, “Hearing someone described as being able to ‘fly by the seat of his pants’ always suggests to me a leader who hasn’t prepared properly and whose pants may soon fall down.” For long-term success, you have to have a game plan.

For Walsh, preparation for leadership begins by bracing yourself for the worst. A mantra repeated throughout the book is “expect defeat.” In business and in football, losses are just a fact of life; how you prepare for and respond to these crises will determine your team’s success. But the most valuable element of leadership in Walsh’s eyes is how you treat the members of your team. You need to have the courage to let them know you believe in them. Using simple but earnest positive reinforcement, this legendary coach turned the 49ers into an incredible team, and the benefits show. Segments of the book contain anecdotes and reflections from players such as Joe Montana and Randy Cross, whose deep admiration for their former leader speak volumes. “The Score Takes Care of Itself” was published posthumously. Walsh’s son, Craig, did much of the legwork to piece this definitive portrait together. What we are left with is a truly insightful read from one of the most innovative, inspiring minds in sports history. It will be a long time before a book like this comes around again.


March kicks off annual spring-cleaning. Whether you enjoy this type of cleaning or despise it, you can at least view it as a chance to get both your personal and professional lives organized more efficiently. As we plan for the upcoming months, we decided to take this opportunity to concentrate on our clients here at Doré Law Group. For the past 30 years, we’ve prided ourselves on being “a professional law firm with a personal touch,” a quest that essentially means that, while we always aim for the utmost professionalism, we still remember to keep a personal connection with our clients. For example, you can fully expect us to keep you apprised of each step involved in the legal work you give us, but you can also expect us to take a vested interest in your business and career success. After all, it’s the relationships we forge with clients that make our firm as successful as we are.

Even though we are the largest business firm on the energy corridor in West Houston, we don’t have the name recognition of the huge downtown law firms with offices around the globe. By concentrating on companies in real estate and the oil and gas services industries, we do have a big footprint in our niche — and a lot of experience.

Whether we are protecting our clients by collecting for their work through liens and litigation or handling other business matters, the Doré Law Group’s lawyers have the knowledge to give you sound advice. As you take the time to organize the most important aspects of your own work operations, we encourage you to make sure you have all your legal bases covered as well. Maybe we can help.


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WHAT’S HAPPENING AT DORÉ LAW GROUP Our Attorney Team Grows From 9 to 10!

With the start of spring, all of us at the Doré Law Group are celebrating the newest additions to our team of attorneys: Christina Heeth and Will Rutledge.

Christina focuses on real estate matters and business disputes. She grew up in The Woodlands, has a pet chinchilla, and boasts a grandfather who was a college professor of organic chemistry. During her first couple of months, Christina helped our clients with over $1 million in collections. Will brings a lot of experience to the firm, from sales management in a Fortune 500 company to his master of divinity degree. Will was called to this profession by his wife, a tenured law professor. Will is active in collections, litigation, and post-judgment recovery for our clients. When he is not at the office helping his clients, Will stays busy helping others with the volunteer work he does with his wife and daughter. Both our firm and our clients are lucky to have Christina and Will in their corner. With 10 attorneys, the Doré Law Group is the largest firm in the energy corridor of West Houston. We are a business law firm that represents clients in the oil and gas services sector and in real estate matters. In spite of our growth, we have had relationships with most of our clients for decades. Please contact us if you have a question or problem with which we can help.

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Inspired by Food & Wine magazine


• 3/4 cup popcorn kernels • 2 tablespoons flaky sea salt • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds • 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic

• 2 teaspoons granulated onion • 1/3 cup canola oil • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


1. In a small skillet over medium heat, toast sesame seeds. Shake skillet often and cook until white seeds are golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and add garlic, onion, and salt. 2. In a large saucepan, combine popcorn kernels and oil. Cook over medium- high heat, covered, until popcorn kernels start to pop. Once popping, continue cooking and shaking the pan intermittently until popping ceases, about 3–5 minutes. 3. Transfer popcorn to a large mixing bowl. Pour in butter and toss to coat. Finally, add seasoning, toss again, and serve.




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Industry Trends

The Philosophy of Bill Walsh The Basis of Our Firm

What’s Happening at Doré Law Group Everything Popcorn

Why Acknowledging Customer Churn Is Key to Success in 2019


You’re looking over last year’s numbers, feeling pretty satisfied

can also be measured by the value of recurring business lost or as a percentage of recurring value lost. Choose the measurement that makes the most sense for your business. Why is this number so important? Think about it this way: Beyond representing how many customers flew the coop in 2018, churn represents an exponential loss of profit. Each year those lost clients don’t do business with you, you lose a year’s worth of potential revenue. By tracking customer churn throughout the year — ideally quarterly — in addition to end-of-year churn, you’ll begin to notice trends that you can address. Does the highest churn always happen in the third quarter? Did you sell more subscriptions in 2018 but lose more longtime customers in the course of chasing those leads? Noticing how these threads lead back to your losses is the first step in decreasing your churn rate. Of course, it’s impossible to calculate your customer churn if you haven’t been tracking and measuring it throughout the year. If you haven’t, you now have the opportunity to do so for the coming year. Add monitoring these numbers to your resolutions for 2019.

about the results for 2018. Production increased and you have a lot to feel proud of overall. But what about those customers or subscribers who said goodbye to you in 2018? If you haven’t yet calculated your end-of-year churn, you should feel a little less comfortable. Looking at that churn rate is key to your business’s success. Most business owners say that if they could change one thing about their business, it would be their customer churn rate. Retention is key to success because it almost always costs less to retain a client than it does to attract a new one. Increasing client retention and reducing churn in the coming year can only happen if you know what your churn rate was last year. CALCULATING CHURN It’s not rocket science! One of the most straightforward ways to express yearly churn is to calculate it as a percentage of customers lost: Divide the number of customers you started with in 2018 by the number of customers you lost in 2018. Churn


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