Darin is a Wyoming native who concentrates his practice on natural resource-related matters and general commercial litigation. In addition to his litigation practice, Darin represents clients in a wide variety of business transactions, negotiating agreements to acquire and divest oil and gas assets and other commercial properties worth tens of millions of dollars. He also represents clients in connection with large natural resource development projects in the Mountain West, including oil and gas, wind, and solar.
Over the course of his career, Darin has worked on lease priority disputes, surface use agreements, farmout agreements, joint operating agreements, unit operations, royalty disputes, drilling contracts, joint interest accounting, NEPA compliance, and various other aspects of oil and gas operations in the Rockies, in addition to general commercial litigation. He has participated in briefing to district courts in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah, the Colorado Court of Appeals, the Colorado and Wyoming Supreme Courts, the U.S. District Courts for the Districts of Wyoming and Utah, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.
In his free time, Darin enjoys a variety of outdoor activities with his kids, including skiing, hunting, fishing, and camping. He is also a private pilot and raft guide who loves to explore backcountry airstrips and rivers throughout the western United States.
-Lead transactional counsel in the negotiation of more than 2 GW of renewable energy projects in Wyoming and Texas.
-Lead trial and appellate counsel in defense against $30 million claim regarding construction and operation of industrial gas plant.
-Trial and appellate co-counsel representing oil and gas company in multi-million dollar dispute arising from mine-through efforts by large coal company.
-Lead trial and appellate counsel in obtaining and upholding complete defense jury verdict against claim for more than $90 million in oil and gas farmout contract damages.
-Lead trial counsel in obtaining judgment against federal unit operator in Utah for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty.
-Lead trial counsel for industrial client in defeating speculative railroad condemnation action in multi-phase trial in Wyoming federal district court.
-Arbitration co-counsel in successful defense against $45 million contract claim regarding midstream issues in Texas.
-Trial and appellate co-counsel in obtaining and upholding $3 million jury verdict in contract damages regarding purchase of an Alaskan fishing lodge.
- Business Organizations
- Mergers, Acquisitions & Other Business Transactions
- Commercial Litigation
- Energy & Minerals Projects & Transactions
- Pipelines, Transmission Lines and Other Linear Facilities
- Mergers & Acquisitions
- Renewable Energy
- Oil and Gas
- Mergers and Acquisitions
- Lobbying, Regulatory and Administrative Affairs
- Oil and Gas Conservation Commission
- Oil Gas Exploration Equipment
- Regulatory and Administrative Affairs
- Natural Resources and Environmental Law
U.S. District Court, District of Wyoming
U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
2000 – J.D., with honors – University of Washington
1997 – B.S. in Political Science, with honors – University of Wyoming
Prior Experience (Employment)
15 years with Bjork Lindley Little PC, a Denver-based natural resources firm
Law Clerk to Justice Richard Sanders, Washington Supreme Court
Honors & Awards
Martindale Hubble Rating: AV
Phi Beta Kappa, University of Wyoming
Order of the Barristers, University of Washington Law School
Member, Board of Trustees, National Conference of Bar Examiners, 2018-Present
Member, Wyoming Board of Law Examiners, 2014-Present
Chair, Wyoming Board of Law Examiners, 2017
Wyoming State Bar Delegate, ABA House of Delegates, 2014-Present
Chair, Energy & Natural Resources Section, Wyoming State Bar, 2019-2020
Chair, NCBE Multistate Essay Exam/Multistate Performance Test National Committee, 2018-19
Member, NCBE Uniform Bar Exam National Committee, 2017-2019
Member, NCBE Multistate Bar Exam National Committee, 2019-Present
Wyoming State Co-Chair, Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, 2017-Present
Editorial Committee, Wyoming Lawyer Magazine, 2015-present
Fellow, American Bar Foundation, 2014-present
Volunteer Firefighter, Farson, Wyoming, 2007-Present
School Advisory Board, Farson, Wyoming, 2012- Present
Board of Directors, Central Wyoming College Foundation, 2006-2008
Wyoming Bar Association
American Bar Association
American Bar Foundation
Fellows of the American Bar Foundation
Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
National Conference of Bar Examiners
Presentations & Publications
Guest Lecturer, “Joint Operating Agreements,” University of Wyoming College of Law, April 2020
Presenter, “Multiple Mineral Conflicts,” 2018 ENR Section Summit
Presenter, “The Future of the Legal Profession,” ABA YLD Mountain West States Regional Summit, April 2018
Presenter, “Taking and Defending Depositions,” ABA YLD Mountain West States Regional Summit, April 2018
“ABA Resolution 109: ‘A Speech Code for Lawyers,’” Wyoming Lawyer, December 2016
“The Rule of Law: A Discussion with Two of Wyoming’s Elder Statesmen,” Wyoming Lawyer, October 2016
“Would You Pass the Morality Test?” Wyoming Lawyer, April 2016
Presenter, “Innovation in the Legal Profession,” Wyoming State Bar Pathways to Professional Practice, Spring 2016, Fall 2016
“A Change is Gonna Come: Is the Legal Profession Up to the Challenge?” Wyoming Lawyer, October 2015
“Why the ABA Matters to Me,” Wyoming Lawyer, April 2014
Presenter, “The Nuts and Bolts of Surface Use Agreements,” 2014 Wyoming State Bar Annual Convention
Presenter, “The Wyoming Split Estate Act: More Questions Than Answers?” 2005 AAPL Santa Fe Land Institute
“Drill First, Ask Questions Later: The Remedies Available to Non-Operators Under Joint Operating Agreements,” 20 DAPL Rocky Mt. Landman 8 (2002)
“Rogers v. Westerman: ‘At the Well’ Just Ain’t What it Used to Be,” AAPL Landman, (March/April 2002)
Reported Decisions / Cases
Downs v. Homax Oil Sales, Inc., 2018 WY 71 (2018)
Berenergy Corporation v. BTU Western Resources, Inc., et al., 2018 WY 2 (2018)
Black Diamond Energy, Inc. v. Encana Oil and Gas (USA) Inc., 2014 WY 64, 326 P.3d 904 (Wyo. 2014)
Veys v. Applequist, 2007 WY 60, 155 P. 3d 1044 (Wyo. 2007)