SHARON T. THOMAS
Practicing law for over 35 years, Sharon is one of the most experienced appellate attorneys in the state of Oklahoma. She uses her decades of expertise in private practice to advise clients on best practices and legal solutions, produce some of the most respected briefs and legal writing in Oklahoma, and offer opinions on the law based on a career’s worth of expertise.
Sharon enjoys an outstanding reputation in the legal community in Oklahoma. She began practicing law in 1981 at Watson & McKenzie in Oklahoma City where she was an Attorney and Shareholder for eleven years. Following this, she spent over 24 years as a Partner at Hall Estill in Oklahoma City before joining The Rudnicki Firm in the first year it opened as Appellate Counsel.
While she has experience in a vast array of litigation, Sharon has focused her career on the following areas:
Served as counsel of record on over 50 published decisions from the Tenth Circuit and Oklahoma appellate courts.
Served as counsel of record in appeals in federal and state court finding statutes, which had an adverse impact on the energy industry, were unconstitutional or unconstitutional as applied.
Served as counsel of record in an appeal succeeding in reversing judgment on a jury verdict with directions to enter judgment for the defendant oil company.
Served as counsel of record in an appeal addressing the sovereign immunity in a surface damage action.
Served as counsel of record for an amicus curiae in a Tenth Circuit appeal involving the Mineral Management Service’s demand for royalties.
Served as counsel of record in an appeal in which the Oklahoma Supreme Court determined that the implied covenant to market did not extend to an overriding royalty interest owner.
Authored the briefs in an appeal that reversed an order certifying a class of royalty owners against an operator.
Served as counsel of record in numerous original action proceedings before the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
Defended companies in cases alleging groundwater and surface pollution from oil and gas operations and from use of disposal facilities, including cases filed as class actions.
Defended companies in cases alleging air pollution from a coal-fired power plant.
Assisted in obtaining Board of Adjustment exceptions for disposal wells alleged to cause risk of earthquakes
Represented company in obtaining partial dismissal of tort action seeking damages alleged to be caused by earthquakes
Analyzed complex issues involving rights to various minerals such as iodine and silica
Oil & Gas
Defended companies in lease cancellation suits
Defended companies in royalty owner class actions alleging improper payment of royalties
Represented companies in condemnation proceedings under both state and federal law.
Defended companies in cases seeking damages to wellbores, property or persons based on various theories including products liability, breach of warranty, negligence, nuisance, and trespass
Defended companies in election disputes under force pooling orders
Represented companies in disputes involving joint operating agreements and COPAS accounting procedures
Provided analysis of easement rights and regulations applicable to various facilities such as pipelines, gathering lines, and compression facilities.
She is licensed to practice in Oklahoma and before the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Western Districts of Oklahoma, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.
Sharon is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Law where she was a Note Editor on the Law Review and a recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award in Labor Law. Sharon has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report Best Lawyers® since 2013. Most recently, Sharon is recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019 for Oil & Gas and Energy Law.