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John M. McCollam (1933-2014)

Tulane University, J.D., 1959
University of North Carolina, A.B., 1954

John McCollam dedicated almost his entire career to the practice of oil and gas law. He had extensive experience litigating all types of oil and gas disputes, including those arising from take-or-pay gas purchase and sale contracts, onshore and offshore operating agreements, mineral leases, gas balancing agreements, farmout agreements, preferential purchase rights, purchase and sale agreements, pipeline transportation agreements, and unit agreements.  John regularly appeared before the Louisiana State Mineral and Energy Board, the Louisiana Office of Conservation, and the Louisiana Public Service Commission.  He also represented clients before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

John often served as an arbitrator in domestic and international oil and gas disputes, including disputes involving North Slope production from Alaska's Prudhoe Bay Field. He gave expert testimony on U.S. oil and gas law in several Australian arbitrations involving production from the Bass Straits, and he was frequently called upon to mediate complex oil and gas disputes. He also served as a Special Master appointed by the federal court in New Orleans in a complex gas balancing dispute.

Additionally, John had broad experience defending class action litigation in state and federal courts, including tobacco products liability actions, actions involving oil and gas pricing and gas measurement practices, and pharmaceutical products liability actions. He also handled matters involving trademark infringements, commercial real estate disputes, and telecommunication licensing and permitting.

John served on the Dean's Council and was Professor Emeritus of Tulane University School of Law, and taught courses there on basic and advanced oil and gas law from 1963 to 1987. He also earned his J.D. at Tulane where he served on the Board of Editors and was Editor-in-Chief of Tulane Law Review. Upon graduating, he was inducted into the Order of the Coif.

Throughout his career, John received many awards and honors for his work including the Curtis R. Boisfontaine Trial Advocacy Award.   Most notably, his article, "A Primer for the Practice of Mineral Law Under the New Louisiana Mineral Code" is recognized as an authoritative guide in the oil and gas industry.

In Memoriam - John McCollam 6/19/1933 - 1/13/2014

We at Gordon Arata are saddened by the passing of our beloved John McCollam, a founding member of our firm and one of the true masters of the law. John dedicated 55 years to practicing and teaching law, and his legacy of oil and gas scholarship will long endure. We are honored to have worked with him, and we will miss him.


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