Course Description

This course offers a detailed look at the landscape of unitization and cross-unit oil and gas drilling after the implementation of Act 85 and Briggs v. Southwestern Energy Production Company, along with a discussion of the current state of the Rule of Capture in PA.

This course includes video recorded from a Zoom-based CLE presentation for the Washington County Bar Association in May of 2020.

Your purchase includes access to the course and course materials for 90 days.


CLE Credit:

1.0 PA Substantive CLE

This course contains approximately 60 minutes of content, all of which is required for course completion.

Your certificate of completion will be issued automatically after all elements of the course have been viewed/completed.  Credits will be reported to the CLE Board within 30 days of your completion of the course and your completion date will be reported as the day on which you actually finished the course.


Minimum System Requirements:

This course includes downloads of PDF documents (Portable Document Format) and streaming video. Viewing the documents will require Adobe Acrobat Reader or other PDF viewing software.  Adobe Acrobat Reader is available for free from the Adobe website.

The video player will run on Mac OS, Windows and Linux as well as most mobile devices and tablets on any browser that supports Adobe Flash and/or HTML5.  Supported browsers include Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer 9,10,11, and Microsoft Edge.  Internet Explorer 8 is not supported on Windows XP for security reasons, but is supported on Windows 7 or higher operating systems.

An internet connection with a minimum speed of 768 kilobits per second is required.  At least 5MB/sec is recommended to stream video in full HD quality.  Please note that the video player may downgrade the quality of the video to accommodate lower connection speeds.

Course Presenters

  • Brendan O'Donnell, Esq. and Steven Silverman, Esq.

    Brendan O'Donnell, Esq. and Steven Silverman, Esq.

    Brendan A. O'Donnell, Esq.
    An attorney in the Oil and Gas Law practice at Houston Harbaugh, Brendan represents landowners and royalty owners in a wide variety of matters, including the preparation and negotiation of leases, pipeline right of way agreements, surface use agreements, and oil, gas and mineral conveyances. Brendan also has experience with the evaluation of deeds for oil and gas ownership, analyzing royalty payments and preparing documents to cure title deficiencies.

    Along with his representation of private landowners, Brendan has counseled municipal and school officials regarding a broad spectrum of oil and gas related issues that include leasing, surface disturbance, zoning and land use.

    Complementing his oil and gas transactional work, Brendan has actively represented clients in oil and gas related litigation matters before trial and appellate courts in Pennsylvania in proceedings that involve Actions to Quiet Title, Declaratory Judgment Actions, Breach of Contract claims, and other suits involving trespass, conversion and property damage. Brendan also has experience representing and appearing before municipal bodies, such as Zoning Hearing Boards and Boards of Supervisors.


    Steven B. Silverman, Esq.
    Steve Silverman is a shareholder in the Litigation, Energy and Natural Resources, and Mobility, Transport and Safety groups of Babst Calland. His practice focuses on commercial litigation, with an emphasis on natural gas title and lease disputes and other energy-related cases. He also devotes a significant amount of his practice to the defense and prosecution of theft of trade secret and non-compete suits. Another significant part of Mr. Silverman’s practice involves Information Technology Law, including licenses, data and document management, and labor and employment matters surrounding the information technology industry.

    Mr. Silverman also heads up the firm’s E-Discovery group and devotes a portion of his practice to risk management and cost control issues in that area. He frequently advises companies on the creation of litigation hold policies and data preservation and collection practices. Mr. Silverman has been appointed as an E-Discovery Special Master by the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and also assisted in the creation of that program by serving on its advisory committee.

    Mr. Silverman also regularly serves as a mediator, early neutral evaluator and arbitrator in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Course curriculum

  • 1
    Course Materials
    • How to Navigate This Course
    • Unitization Course Materials
    • Unitization Part One
    • Unitization Part Two
    • Course Evaluation (Required)