Steven Lautt, May 2012 Graduate, Wins North Dakota Supreme Court Case

Photograph: Steven Lautt.Steven A. Lautt, May 2012 graduate, argued his first case before the North Dakota Supreme Court 22 days after being sworn in and won the case when the Court issued its opinion in Hamilton v. Woll on November 27.

At issue was the important oil and gas principle of whether certain conveyance language creates a "royalty" interest or a "mineral" interest; the distinction can have significant financial and development ramifications. Lautt was successful for his client by convincing the Court to overturn an adverse summary judgment to allow consideration of extrinsic evidence to interpret an oil and gas conveyance. As a result of the Court's remand, Lautt will be handling his first trial in district court.

He now works at the Pringle & Herigstad Law Firm in Minot. While attending Washburn Law, Lautt was a staff writer for the Washburn Law Journal (see his article "Sunlight Is Still the Best Disinfectant") and president of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies.