Michael Sherman

Michael Sherman

Michael Sherman focuses his practice on land use, transactional, and federal and state wildlife issues for developers, farmers, and mining and oil and gas companies. His experience includes examining title for unpatented mining claims, negotiating mining leases, conducting acquisition due diligence, permitting new mines and expansions under SMARA, and resolving compliance issues and enforcement actions by local lead agencies, the SMGB and OMR. Michael also represents upstream oil and gas companies with operations in California, addressing land use, endangered species and regulatory issues and assisting clients with oil and gas title issues, including resolving disputes with mineral and royalty owners and issuing drilling title opinions and division order title opinions.

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Another George Clooney Film in the Making? Nevada Supreme Court Rejects Rule Against Perpetuities Argument for Mining Agreement

The Nevada Supreme Court recently decided that the rule against perpetuities does not apply to area-of-interest provisions in commercial mining agreements. While you should not expect this case to become a summer blockbuster starring George Clooney, it nonetheless provides certainty for area-of-interest provisions in older mining agreements in Nevada (and lends insights into how other … Continue Reading

The Early Bird Catches the Worm: A Lesson in Submitting Drilling Applications Early to Avoid Expiration of Federal Oil and Gas Leases

As many of you know, permitting delays are not only frustrating but can have real consequences for project applicants with contractual deadlines. In the case of a federal oil and gas lease, operators should be mindful of the primary term in their lease as recently highlighted by the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA) in … Continue Reading

Zinc: It’s Not Just for Lifeguards

Minerals Make Life – an initiative created by the National Mining Association – has recently developed an infographic explaining the importance of the mineral zinc. Many consumers do not know it, but minerals are present in products we all use on a regular basis. That includes the mineral zinc, which is used in sunscreen, swimming … Continue Reading

Construction Aggregate Production Rebounds in California; Gold Production Declines

On April 29th, the California Geological Survey (CGS) released production data from 2012 indicating that the production of construction aggregate (sand, gravel and crushed stone) increased for the first time since 2007 in California.  Construction aggregate production increased by 7.3 percent to 121.3 million tons (valued at $1.162 billion).  Portland cement production also increased by … Continue Reading

Proposed Sage-Grouse Protections May Impact Mining Along the California-Nevada Border

Via my colleagues Barbara Craig, Ryan Steen and Sarah Stauffer Curtiss: On October 28, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) proposed to list the Bi-State distinct population segment (“Bi-State DPS”) of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) and to designate critical habitat for the Bi-State … Continue Reading

Leniency for California Miners — And a Call for “Top to Bottom” Reform of California Surface Mining Law

California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 447 on Saturday, September 28, 2013, which modifies the Office of Mine Reclamation’s (OMR) authority to list or delist a mine from its list of “good mines” under Cal. Public Resources Code Section 2717 (more commonly referred to as the AB 3098 List).  Mines on the AB 3098 List … Continue Reading

Construction Aggregate Shortage Continues in California

On March 1st, the California Geological Survey (CGS) released information forecasting a continuing shortage of permitted aggregate resources (sand, gravel and crushed stone) in California.  According to CGS’s Map Sheet 52 and accompanying report, California only has permitted resources to meet approximately one-third of aggregate demand over the next 50 years.  Aggregate is essential for … Continue Reading
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