Michael J. Wozniak
- Of Counsel
While no longer actively practicing on a day-to-day basis for the firm, Mike Wozniak has been involved in the energy and natural resources industry for more than 40 years. He is the former managing shareholder and a co-founder of the firm. Mike previously served as Partner-in-Charge of Dorsey and Whitney LLP's Denver office and head of its Denver Energy Regulatory Group. Prior to that, he practiced for 20 years with the Clanahan, Tanner firm, where he was managing partner and chaired their Natural Resources Practice Group.
Over his career, Mike has been actively involved in every phase of natural resource exploration, development, transport, and finance. Notable accomplishments include the representation of industry clients in literally hundreds of hearings before the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) and the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Division (WOGCC); along with his representation of numerous private and public E&P companies in acquisitions and divestitures of Rocky Mountain producing properties. Mike has acted, and continues to act, as outside general counsel to both private equity backed E&P and midstream companies, from formation through successful exit strategies, and has also served as chair and lead director of a public E&P company and a board advisor to others.
For each year from 2006 through 2021, Mike was named a Colorado Super Lawyer in Energy/Oil & Gas Law. He was also selected by The Best Lawyers in America 2006 through 2021 as a top lawyer in the Energy Law, Natural Resources Law and Oil and Gas Law categories; and also as the "Oil & Gas Lawyer of the Year" in Denver for 2011.
Active in community and governmental affairs, Mike was elected to City Council followed by three terms as Mayor of the City of Cherry Hills Village. He has been a Trustee for the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation and a former member of the Energy Innovation Advisory Board of the University of Colorado School of Law.
Mike Wozniak has been a frequent lecturer on matters relating to energy law and has presented numerous papers before Annual Institutes of The Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, has chaired and presented at the Foundation's short course on Federal Oil & Gas Leasing multiple times and addressed the IOGCC convention; among many other speeches and presentations. He is licensed to practice law in the states of Colorado and Wyoming, and is a member of the Colorado and Wyoming Bar Associations.
- Mr. Wozniak has represented producers in hundreds of hearings and all significant rulemakings before Conservation Commissions over the past 40 years including: DJ Basin producers in multi-day hearings to adopt and revise Rule 318A directional, horizontal, and wellbore unit rulemakings, and 318B at the COGCC.
- Represented multiple natural resources companies in numerous spacing, pooling, unitization and all related types of hearings before the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
- Represented numerous E&P and midstream companies in acquisitions and divestitures of in the Piceance Basin, the Delaware Basin, the Jonah Field in Wyoming, the Bakken Field in North Dakota, the San Juan Basin, the Permian Basin and in the DJ Basin.
- Represented management of multiple midstream private equity companies from formation through ultimate sale.
- Testified as an expert witness in oil and gas law interpreting instruments and conveyances on behalf of the Ute Indian Tribe in the United States District Court for the District of Utah, Becker v. Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation; Case Nos. 2:16-cv-00579 and 00958. Also retained as expert witness on behalf of Kerr-McGee Rocky Mountain Corporation in City and County of Denver et al. vs. Kerr-McGee et al., Weld County District Court, 2017 CV 30894 regarding oil and gas spacing, pooling and operational issues. Mr. Wozniak was also qualified as an expert witness on behalf of Crestone Peak Resources in Board of County Commissioners of Boulder vs. Crestone Peak Resources Operating LLC, Boulder District Court, 2018-CV-30924 regarding custom and usage of terms in oil and gas leases and whether leases remained in full force or effect.
- Acted as both arbitrator and mediator in natural resource disputes in both the E&P and the midstream sectors.
- University of Colorado School of Law, Boulder, Colorado
- J.D. - 1980
- Indiana University
- B.A. - 1976
- Honors: With Distinction
- Honors: Double Major
- Honors: Phi Beta Kappa
- Colorado, 1980
- U.S. District Court District of Colorado
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court Colorado
- U.S. District Court District of Wyoming
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court Wyoming
- Southern Ute Tribal Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit
- Colorado Super Lawyers, 2006-2021
- Best Lawyers in America, 2006-2021
- 15th consecutive year award -- Best Lawyers in America -- for Energy Law, Natural Resources Law, and Oil and Gas Law, The Best Lawyers in America
- World’s Leading Practitioners, for the Energy field, one out of six awarded in Colorado, Who’s Who in America-Legal, 2014-2021
- Lawyer of the Year, for Oil & Gas Law, Best Lawyers in America, 2011
- American Bar Association, Natural Resources Section
- Colorado Bar Association, Natural Resources & Energy Law Section
- Denver Bar Association, Natural Resources & Energy Law Section
- Federal Energy Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- City of Cherry Hills Village, City Council, 2004
- Cherry Hills Village Planning and Zoning Commission, Commissioner, 1994 to 2000
- Board of Adjustment and Appeals, City of Cherry Hills Village, Chair, 2000
- Holly Mutual Water District, President, 2000
- Holly Mutual Water District, Board Member, 2000
- Colorado Bar Association, Mineral Law Section, Executive Council, 2002
- IPAMS, Board of Directors, 2002
- Pinnacle Club, Board of Directors, 2001 to 2004
- City of Cherry Hills Village, Mayor, 2006
- Home Court Advantage? – Local Government Jurisdiction Over Oil and Gas Operations, 48th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute, (2002)
- Co-Chair, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Special Institute regarding Horizontal Development, (November, 2012)
- Fundamentals of Drilling and Spacing Units and Statutory Pooling, Nuts and Bolts of Mineral Title Examination Special Institute, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, presenter (co-author with Matthew Lepore), (February 2012)
- Horizontal Drilling: Why it’s Much Better to ‘Lay Down’ Then to ‘Stand Up’ and What’s an 18° Azimuth Anyway?, 57th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute, (July, 2011)
- Chair and presenter at the Law of Federal Oil & Gas Leasing – Short Course, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute, (2005, 2007 & 2009)
- Surface Management Requirements and Special Stipulations - Limitations on Lessee’s Right to Develop; ‘Access to Leasehold;’ and ‘State and Local Regulations of Activities on Federal Oil and Gas Leases', Federal Oil and Gas Leasing – Short Course, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute
- Expanding Authority of Oil and Gas Conservation Commissions, 52th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute, (July, 2006)
- Local Government Jurisdiction over Oil and Gas Operations: Is there still a Home Court Advantage?, Denver Association of Petroleum Landmen, (2003)
Expert Witness Cases
- Expert witness for The Ute Indian Tribe in Becker v. Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation; Case Nos. 2:16-cv-00579 and 00958, United States District Court for the District of Utah
- Expert witness for Kerr-McGee Rocky Mountain Corporation in City and County of Denver et al. vs. Kerr-McGee et al., Weld County District Court, 2017 CV 30894
- Expert witness for Crestone Peak Resources in Board of County Commissioners of Boulder vs. Crestone Peak Resources Operating LLC, Boulder District Court, 2018-CV-30924