136 F.2d 1 (5th Cir. 1943), 10513, Acadian Production Corp. of Louisiana v. Land

Docket Nº:10513.
Citation:136 F.2d 1
Case Date:June 01, 1943
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

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136 F.2d 1 (5th Cir. 1943)




No. 10513.

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.

June 1, 1943

Rehearing Denied June 29, 1943.

Samuel J. Tennant, Jr., of New Orleans, La., for appellant.

Joseph H. Jackson, of Shreveport, La., and George S. Graham, of New Orleans, La., for appellee.

Before SIBLEY, HUTCHESON, and McCORD, Circuit Judges.

McCORD, Circuit Judges.

John R. Land, Jr., a lawyer, filed action for appointment of a receiver for a certain oil, gas, and mineral lease covering property

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situated in St. Martin Parish, Louisiana. He also asked to be adjudicated owner of an undivided interest in the lease by virtue of two contracts for professional services entered into with Acadian Production Corporation of Louisiana. By final judgment, unappealed from, appointment of a receiver was denied. This appeal by Acadian Production Corporation is from a summary judgment which determined that Land was the owner of an undivided .17858886 interest in the lease.

It is first contended that the District Court for the Western District of Louisiana was without jurisdiction to determine the question of ownership of the lease for the reason that the domicile and principal office of Acadian Production Corporation is at New Orleans, Louisiana, in the Eastern District of Louisiana. In the proceedings below it was stipulated that there was a diversity of citizenship and that the amount in controversy was in excess of $3, 000.00. The essential elements being present, the general jurisdiction of the trial court was established. No plea or objection of improper venue was entered by the defendant corporation and any right it may have had to be sued in another district may be considered waived. Northern Indiana R. Co. v. Michigan Central R. Co., 56 U.S. 233, 241, 15 How. 233, 241, 14 L.Ed. 674; Alexander v. Hillman, 296 U.S. 222, 240, 56 S.Ct. 204, 80 L.Ed. 167, 128 A.L.R. 1437.

The facts were not fully developed below, but from the record before us it appears that on May 23, 1940, Iberia Petroleum Corporation instituted Suit No. 13, 707 in the Louisiana State Court against Acadian Production Corporation. This suit involved the title to the oil and gas lease under which Acadian was allegedly claiming a 68 3/4% interest in 7/8ths of the oil, gas and minerals in and under the lands covered by the lease. By contract dated May 28, 1940, Acadian employed Land to 'prosecute or defend any and all claims * * * in connection with the property. ' As compensation for rendering such legal services Land was to receive 'a sum equal to twenty-five (25%) percent of the amount received in any compromise or settlement. ' Under this contract neither party was to have the right to settle, compromise, or discontinue any claim without written consent of the other party.

On May 22, 1940, Acadian instituted Suit No. 13, 706 against Alex W. Swords and others. This suit involved title to a 3/16ths part of the 68 3/4% of the 7/8ths portion of the oil, gas, and other minerals which had been assigned to Acadian by Iberia Petroleum Corporation. By employment contract dated May 20, 1940, Land and another lawyer had been employed by Acadian to prosecute this claim. The lawyers...

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