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Martens PLLC Blog

Estate Planning & Long Term Care

While flying by the seat of your pants can be fun, most of us would agree that planning for the future is the best route to go.  Many of us have benefits that come with our jobs that include savings for retirement - 401K, IRA, pension plans - or we've taken our own initiative and set up an IRA or invested in the market with the eventual goal of sitting somewhere warm in the winter, enjoying our later years.  And a number of us take the basic step of having a will prepared to make sure our worldly possessions pass to the right people when we're gone.  But the one issue some of us overlook in estate planning is the potential of needing long-term care at some point toward the end of our life.

Can hunting violations lead to felony charges?

North Dakota hunters understand that game and fish laws govern their actions. They dictate where, when and what you are able to hunt. Violating these laws can come with fines and misdemeanor charges. But did you know that House Bill no.1188 made it possible for you to face felony charges for violating hunting laws?


Marijuana and the law in North Dakota

Marijuana law reform has been getting a lot of publicity over the last few years and for good reason. Even though cannabis remains illegal according to federal law, the majority of states in the United States have some kind of legal marijuana program. However, the tension between federal and state law can be confusing for citizens.

Even though there is a growing trend of legalization, some forms of marijuana use can result in serious legal consequences. Knowing the rules and regulations regarding cannabis and its use will make it easier for people to follow the law.

Martens Named To Super Lawyers 2016 Great Plains Rising Star List

James W. Martens has been selected to the 2016 Great Plains Rising Stars list for North Dakota. This is an exclusive list, recognizing no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in North Dakota. Super Lawyers, part of Thomson Reuters, is a research-driven, peer influenced rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Attorneys are selected from more than 70 practice areas and all firm sizes, assuring a credible and relevant annual list. The objective of Super Lawyers is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys to be used as a resource for both attorneys and consumers seeking legal counsel. The Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines and newspapers across the country. Super Lawyers Magazines also feature editorial profiles of attorneys who embody excellence in their practice of law. For more information about Super Lawyers, go to 

Hess Completes Sale, Establishes Bakken Midstream Joint Venture Valued At $5.35 Billion

Hess Corporation completed the previously announced sale of a 50 percent interest in its Bakken midstream assets to Global Infrastructure Partners for cash consideration of $2.675 billion. As planned, Hess and Global Infrastructure Partners have created a premier midstream joint venture -- Hess Infrastructure Partners. The joint venture has incurred $600 million of debt through a 5-year Term Loan A facility with proceeds distributed equally to both partners, resulting in total after-tax cash proceeds net to Hess of $3.0 billion. In addition, the joint venture has independent access to capital including a fully committed $400 million 5-year Senior Revolving Credit Facility. As previously announced, the joint venture plans to proceed with an initial public offering of Hess Midstream Partners LP common units. The Hess midstream assets included in the joint venture are:
• Natural gas processing plant in Tioga, North Dakota
• Rail loading terminal in Tioga and associated rail cars
• Crude oil truck and pipeline terminal in Williams County, North Dakota
• Propane storage cavern and rail and truck transloading facility in Mentor, Minnesota
• Crude oil and natural gas gathering systems in North Dakota Read more at BusinessWire

Is North Dakota's Economy Really Oil-Rigged?

After staging a significant rally since U.S. crude tested the low $40s earlier this year, WTI crude has traded in a narrow range, and there is potential for more downside-Saudi Arabia recently said it plans to raise output to new highs. On Wednesday, U.S. crude settled at $60.27. 

Judge Blocks Onset Of New Fracking Rules On Federal Public Land

A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked the Bureau of Land Management from putting into effect the government's new rules for fracking on federal public land.U.S. District Judge Scott W. Skavdahl of Wyoming granted a request by oil-producing states Colorado, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming to temporarily delay the rules until the court has a chance to review whether they are legal.Read more in The Denver Post. 

SCOTX Rules For Gas Royalty Owners In Chesapeake Case

In oil and gas lease negotiations, there's usually some horse trading between the mineral estate owners and the exploration and production companies about how certain production costs will be allocated. Sometimes, however, serious conflicts can erupt over interpreting vague contractual terms. 


Contango Oil & Gas Company announced today the discovery and successful completion of the Elliott #1H well in the Muddy Sandstone formation in Weston County, Wyoming. The well tested at a maximum 24 hour rate of 907 Boepd (98% Oil, 39 degree API) from a 6,601 foot completed lateral section using 25 stages of fracture stimulation. Total measured depth was 13,116 feet (6,235 feet true vertical depth). The Elliott #1H is Contango's initial well in the N. Cheyenne Prospect and is located between two legacy vertical Muddy Sandstone oil fields, being the Fiddler Creek Field to the north and the Clareton Field to the south. Both fields were discovered in the 1940's and have a combined cumulative production in excess of 50 million barrels of oil.Read more at PennEnergy