Earl E. DeBrine - Modrall Sperling

Earl E. DeBrine

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2007

Earl DeBrine concentrates his practice in oil and gas, railroad, product liability and commercial litigation. For twenty-six years, he has represented major energy companies, railroads and manufacturers in lawsuits and negotiations ranging from preferential purchase rights and other disputes under joint operating agreements, environmental and title disputes to oilfield wrongful death claims.  He also regularly advises oil and gas producers concerning development transactions and appears before the Oil Conservation Division and Commission in a variety of regulatory matters pertaining to oil and gas development.  He co-chairs the firm's Oil and Gas Practice Group. Earl joined Modrall Sperling in 1987 after receiving his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

University of New MexicoBBA 1984Georgetown University Law CenterJ.D. 1987
Institute for Energy LawNational Association of Railroad Trial CounselAmerican Bar AssociationIndependent Petroleum Association of New MexicoRocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation

Case History

Baker v. BP America Production Co.
  • Represented BP America and argued before the New Mexico Supreme Court in a case establishing the proper venue for suits against foreign corporations.  See Baker v. BP America Production Co., 137 N.M. 334, 110 P.3d 1071 (2005).
Manzano Oil Corp. v. Chesapeake Operating, Inc.
  • Obtained summary judgment for an operator who had commenced drilling on an adjacent surface tract prior to the expiration of an oil and gas lease, defeating ownership claims of a lessee who had acquired a top lease.  See Manzano Oil Corp. v. Chesapeake Operating, Inc., 178 F. Supp. 2d 1217 (D.N.M. 2001).
Stark-Romero v. Amtrak
  • Succeeded in sustaining federal jurisdiction over a railroad crossing wrongful death suit which plaintiffs sought to bring as a complaint in intervention in a pending state court lawsuit involving a different accident at the same crossing.  See Stark-Romero v. Amtrak, 763 F. Supp. 2d 761 (D.N.M. 2011).

Client Comments

"Earl DeBrine is attentive, polite, diligent, and knowledgeable."

Office Location

500 Fourth Street, NW, Suite 1000
P.O. Box 2168
Albuquerque, NM 87103
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2016 Lawyer of the Year in Oil and Gas Law of the Albuquerque Metro Area2014 Lawyer of the Year in Railroad Law of the Albuquerque Metro Area
Earl E. DeBrine has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2016!Earl E. DeBrine has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2014!

Practice Areas

Oil and Gas Law
Railroad Law