Poe Leggette joined the Washington, D.C., office of Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. as a partner in 1998. He is now partner in charge of the firm’s Denver office.
Poe is co-chairman of the firm’s Energy Practice Group and heads the firm’s Western Lands and Energy Practice. His practice focuses on judicial and administrative litigation concerning natural resources development on federal and Indian lands. He has extensive experience in deepwater oil and gas operations and regulation, including permitting delays and lease suspensions. He counsels oil and gas and wind energy companies on obtaining and operating leases on federal and Indian lands. He also defends oil and gas companies under investigation by the Office of the Inspector General or who are accused of violating the False Claims Act.
Prior to his private practice, Poe served as Assistant Solicitor for the U.S. Department of the Interior, advising the Bureau of Land Management and the Minerals Management Service on their onshore and offshore energy programs, and MMS’s Royalty Management Program on questions of royalty valuation. While with the Department, he authored or co-authored virtually all briefs filed in the federal courts on outer continental shelf issues, obtaining, among other things, two Supreme Court reversals of unfavorable Ninth Circuit decisions.
During and after his government service, Poe has been involved in many significant cases at the trial, appellate and Supreme Court levels regarding ownership of mineral rights, royalty disputes and compliance with environmental statutes such as the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Coastal Zone Management Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, the Mineral Leasing Act, the various Indian mineral development statutes, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and the National Forest Management Act. These include recent decisions in In re Natural Gas Royalties Qui Tam Litigation, 562 F.3d 1032 (10th Cir. 2009) cert. den. 130 S. Ct. 301 (2009); Kerr-McGee Oil & Gas Corp. v. Dep’t of the Interior, 554 F.3d 1082 (5th Cir. 2009) cert den. 130 S. Ct. 236 (2009); and Wilderness Workshop v. Bureau of Land Management, 531 F.3d 1220 (10th Cir. 2008).
Poe’s experience also includes counseling American companies on the legal issues they face doing business in Libya. He has spoken on this subject at conferences in Valleta, Malta, and Tripoli, Libya. Poe has also presented at conferences in Vancouver, St. John’s and Halifax on the policy and history of the American offshore energy program for Canadian government and business leaders.