656 Fed.Appx. 885 (10th Cir. 2016), 15-3242, Zenith Petroleum Corp. v. Steerman

Docket Nº:15-3242
Citation:656 Fed.Appx. 885
Opinion Judge:Timothy M. Tymkovich, Chief Judge.
Party Name:ZENITH PETROLEUM CORPORATION, Plaintiff - Appellant, v. DAVID R. STEERMAN, Executor for the Deceased Earlene H. Steerman, Defendant Third-Party Plaintiff - Appellee, v. VERNON L. SMITH & ASSOCIATES, INC., Third-Party Defendant - Appellee
Attorney:For Zenith Petroleum Corporation, Plaintiff - Appellant: Randall K. Rathbun, Depew Gillen Rathbun & McInteer, LC, Wichita, KS. For DAVID R. STEERMAN, Executor for the Deceased Earlene H. Steerman, Defendant Third-Party Plaintiff - Appellee: Kelsey Frobisher, Jim H. Goering, Darrell L. Warta, Rach...
Judge Panel:Before TYMKOVICH, Chief Judge, BACHARACH and MORITZ, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:July 11, 2016
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
 
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Page 885

656 Fed.Appx. 885 (10th Cir. 2016)

ZENITH PETROLEUM CORPORATION, Plaintiff - Appellant,

v.

DAVID R. STEERMAN, Executor for the Deceased

Earlene H. Steerman, Defendant Third-Party Plaintiff - Appellee,

v.

VERNON L. SMITH & ASSOCIATES, INC., Third-Party Defendant - Appellee

No. 15-3242

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

July 11, 2016

UNPUBLISHED OPINION

(D.C. No. 6:13-CV-01175-JTM). (D. Kan.).

For Zenith Petroleum Corporation, Plaintiff - Appellant: Randall K. Rathbun, Depew Gillen Rathbun & McInteer, LC, Wichita, KS.

For DAVID R. STEERMAN, Executor for the Deceased Earlene H. Steerman, Defendant Third-Party Plaintiff - Appellee: Kelsey Frobisher, Jim H. Goering, Darrell L. Warta, Rachel Wetta, Foulston Siefkin, Wichita, KS.

For Vernon L. Smith & Associates, Inc., Third-Party Defendant - Appellee: LeAnne Burnett, Scott A. Butcher, Crowe & Dunlevy, Oklahoma City, OK.

Before TYMKOVICH, Chief Judge, BACHARACH and MORITZ, Circuit Judges.

Page 886

ORDER AND JUDGMENT[*]

Timothy M. Tymkovich, Chief Judge.

Zenith Petroleum Corporation appeals the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of David Steerman and Vernon L. Smith & Associates on its complaint arising out of an oil-and-gas-lease title dispute. Zenith contends the district court abused its discretion in ruling Zenith had not alleged a breach-of-contract claim in the Pretrial Order. We exercise jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291 and find no abuse of discretion.

I.

Earlene Steerman, a retired schoolteacher, entered into an oil-and-gas lease with Explore Energy Corporation, who recorded the lease and later assigned it to Zenith. That lease agreement (the Zenith Lease) included a warranty-of-title provision. Shortly before the Zenith Lease expired, Ms. Steerman and Zenith agreed to a two-year extension, but Zenith did not record the extension. A year and a half later, Ms. Steerman entered into an oil-and-gas lease on the same tract of land to Smith. Zenith eventually learned of this second lease when trying to sell the Zenith Lease.

Zenith filed a complaint against Ms. Steerman alleging slander of title and breach of the Zenith Lease's warranty-of-title provision. It is undisputed that Zenith's complaint did not allege any breach...

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