Kathryn Gonski is an associate in the firm's litigation practice, and she focuses her work on appellate and energy-related issues. She obtained her Juris Doctorate, summa cum laude, from the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law in 2010. At Loyola, Ms. Gonski served as the Practicum Editor for the Loyola Law Review, was recognized as a William L. Crowe Scholar, and received the 2010 Spirit of Ignatian Award. Prior to joining Liskow & Lewis, Ms. Gonski served as a law clerk to the Honorable Ivan L.R. Lemelle, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
Significant representation in appellate and oil and gas matters by Ms. Gonski include:
•Represented BP in a legacy case and secured (i) unanimous opinion from the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal affirming a jury verdict in favor of BP, Houssiere v. ASCO USA, 12-791 (La. App. 3 Cir. 1/16/13), 108 So. 3d 797, and (ii) denial of Plaintiff-landowners' writ application to the Louisiana Supreme Court. The Houssiere plaintiffs brought breach of contract and tort claims against BP under Act 312 for alleged contamination of property caused by historic oil and gas operations. The jury rejected Plaintiffs' claims, finding that BP did not cause environmental damage to Plaintiffs' property. The Third Circuit affirmed the jury's findings and also held that the trial court properly applied Act 312 to Plaintiffs' claims as presented at trial.
•Represented Monsanto in seeking appellate review of denial of enforcement of an arbitration agreement. After the Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal denied Monsanto's writ application, Ms. Gonski assisted in obtaining a writ grant from the Louisiana Supreme Court with an order that the Second Circuit issue a decision on the matter. Hanlon v. Monsanto AG Prods., LLC, 2013-0169 (La. 3/1/13), 108 So. 3d 781. Following remand from the Louisiana Supreme Court, the Second Circuit reversed the trial court and ruled in favor of Monsanto, finding the arbitration clause valid and enforceable. Hanlon v. Monsanto AG Prods., LLC, 48,010 (La. App. 2 Cir. Oct. 9, 2013), 2013 La. App. Lexis 2019.
•Represented Dow Chemical Company as appellate counsel to assist trial counsel in seeking discretionary review by the Louisiana Supreme Court of an intermediate appellate court decision that had reversed a district court judgment dismissing class action plaintiffs' claims for punitive damages. The Louisiana Supreme Court granted the writ application and, with an accompanying order, reinstated the district court decision. Thomas v. A. Wilbert & Sons, Inc, 2012-1534 (La. 10/12/12), 98 So. 3d 879.
•Represented Cimarex Energy Company against a claim by a lessor seeking profits from the financial trading activities Cimarex used to hedge against price fluctuations of its oil and gas production as royalties under the lease. The United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana granted summary judgment in favor of Cimarex, and the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed. Cimarex Energy Co. v. Chastant, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180815 (W.D. La. Dec. 18, 2012), affirmed by 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 16030 (5th Cir. Aug. 2, 2013).This decision is believed to be the first of its kind expressly recognizing that royalty owners have no claim on profits made from financial trading activities used to hedge against price fluctuations.