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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Union Gas entered into multiple oil and gas leases with members of the Gisler family and several other adjoining landowners in 1999. The leases included pooling clauses, and further stated that the lessor in the pooled unit was entitled to receive a pro rata share of royalty fees from production anywhere in the unit. The provision stated, “Lessee shall exercise said option as to each desired unit by executing an instrument identifying such unit and filing it for record in the public office in which this lease is recorded.” Union Gas finished the Watts-Gisler No. 1 well as part of a pooled unit on March 27, 2000. The company did not, however, file a designation of the pooled unit until Aug. 7, 2000. The designation purported to retroactively set the date of pooling to March 27. The Gislers sued for breach of contract, saying the retroactive designation was improper. They sought 100 percent of their royalties from March 27 to Aug. 7. Union Gas added the adjoining landowners as third-party defendants, on the theory that their royalty rights under the pooling clauses could be affected by the Gislers’ suit. Union Gas sought a declaration to establish the rights of the parties to the royalties, and to establish an effective date of the pooled unit. One of the adjoining landowners, Evelyn Tittizer, filed a counterclaim against Union Gas, seeking a declaration that the effective date of the pooled unit was the first day of production. Union Gas thus added an interpleader action to its case, complaining that the claims of the Gislers and Tittizer could subject Union Gas to double liability. Union Gas tendered $1.3 million to the court registry, an amount equal to 100 percent of the royalties from March 27 to Aug. 7. The Gislers filed a motion for partial summary judgment, asking for 100 percent of the royalties. All of the adjoining landowners filed a motion for summary judgment saying they were entitled to pro rata shares of the royalties. The trial court granted both motions. The trial court also severed the Gislers’ breach-of-contract claim and several of the claims, leaving 11 different cases among the Gislers and the adjoining landowners and Union Gas. The trial court granted final judgment for Gislers on the contract claim for $1.3 million, plus attorneys’ fees. Judgment was entered for the adjoining landowners, too. Impliedly rejecting Union Gas’ interpleader action, the trial court also awarded Tittizer her pro rata share of the royalties, plus $150,000 in attorneys’ fees. On appeal, the appellate court reversed the part of the trial court’s judgments in favor of the adjoining landowners and ordered that only the Gislers were entitled to the disputed royalties. The trial court affirmed the rest of the trial court’s judgment. The appeals court did not review the reasonableness of the $150,000 in attorneys’ fees awarded to Tittizer, finding Union Gas failed to attack the award. HOLDING:Affirmed in part; reversed and remanded in part. Rejecting Tittizer’s argument that Union Gas was allowed to make the effective date of the pooled unit retroactive by the language in the designation, the court finds that under the leases’ terms, pooling could only be effectuated upon recordation of an instrument identifying the pooled unit. While the lease allows Union Gas to pool by recording at any time, it does not allow Union Gas to pool on a date other than that of recordation of the designation. The court thus affirms the appeals court’s conclusion that the effective date of the pooled unit was the date of recordation and that Tittizer is therefore entitled only to her pro rata share of the royalties earned after that date. The court then rejects Tittizer’s argument that Union Gas is estopped from arguing that the effective date of the pooled unit is the date of recordation because Union Gas filed a third-party claim seeking a declaration that the effective date was March 27. The court agrees with Union Gas that it is not raising a point of error inconsistent with its position at trial. Though Union Gas did seek such a declaration, it also argued below that it was seeking a declaration because of the potential double liability. Union Gas’ argument that it had the power to pool the unit retroactively was contingent on the retroactive application being uniformly applied to all parties. The trial court’s rulings � one for Tittizer and one for the Gislers, each with a different effective date � demonstrate why there was a need for uniformity. Union Gas did not, therefore, invite error by asking for one date at trial and then contesting the setting of another date on appeal. “At the trial court, Union Gas sought to obtain a uniform determination applicable to all royalty owners to avoid double liability, and its position on appeal is the same.” The court then agrees with Union Gas that the court of appeals erred in holding that Union Gas did not appeal the reasonableness of Tittizer’s attorneys’ fees. The context of the litigation, as well as the text of the argument in its brief to the court of appeals, indicates that the intent of Union Gas was to appeal the award of attorneys’ fees to Tittizer, even though its point of error erroneously mentioned the Gislers. OPINION:Per curiam; Willett, J., did not participate in the decision.

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