James M. Gaitis - International Arbitration Chambers

JAMES GAITIS—Texas Oil & Gas Arbitrations

 James M. Gaitis commenced his professional legal career in the oil & gas industry when, immediately following his graduation from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1978, he went to work at El Paso Natural Gas Company’s Office of General Counsel as a 23-year old lawyer. As a law student at Iowa, he  had been the first (and he quite possibly is the only) Iowa law student to be appointed as an editor of The Iowa Law Review prior to completing a full year of freshman law studies. From 1978 through the present, he has been continuously involved in the oil and gas business, first as in-house counsel with responsibilities relating both to deep onshore oil & gas exploration and development and with respect to federal regulatory matters associated with the passage of the Natural Gas Policy Act, then as outside trial counsel representing various oil & gas industry players involved in upstream, midstream, and down stream disputes, then as Special Counsel responsible for the management and coordination of natural gas contract litigation valued in the billions of dollars, and finally as an arbitrator and academic working in the oil & gas field. During the course of his career, Mr. Gaitis has worked with senior partners from many of Texas' leading law firms. He has been a member of the State Bar of Texas since 1979, of the Montana State Bar since 1993, and for many years was also a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association.

From 1990 through the present, Mr. Gaitis has served as an arbitrator in dozens of oil & gas arbitrations that were located in Texas, that involved the application of Texas substantive law, that were prosecuted and defended by Texas attorneys, and/or that involved fellow arbitrators from Texas. During the course of his career, Mr. Gaitis has served on domestic and international arbitration panels with former justices and judges of the Texas Supreme Court, the Texas Court of Appeals, and Harris County District Court, and with some of Texas' most prominent domestic and international energy arbitrators, including former presidents of both the ITA and the AIPN. 

Mr. Gaitis has served in Texas arbitrations involving some of the largest energy companies in the world and is a member of the ICDR’s prestigious Energy Arbitrators List, the AAA National Energy Panel, and the CPR Oil & Gas/Energy Panel. He has served as the chair, list-appointed arbitrator, emergency arbitrator, and party appointed arbitrator in ICDR arbitrations, AAA arbitrations, UNICTRAL arbitrations, and CPR arbitrations. At the invitation of the Hon. Frank Evans, he served for a number of years on the Arbitration Council at the Center for Professional Responsibility at the South Texas School of Law in Houston. He joined a number of Texas’ most distinguished international oil & gas arbitration practitioners on the faculty for the 2016 ICDR/AIPN International Oil & Gas program in Houston, where he spoke on a variety of procedural issues affecting international oil & gas arbitration and at the 2014 ICDR/AIPN International Oil & Gas program in Calgary, Alberta, where he spoke on the subject of international gas processing disputes and offshore production handling disputes. In January 2015 he appeared as one of the two luncheon speakers at the annual two-day Texas State Bar CLE program on Oil & Gas Disputes. He is the Editor of The Leading Practitioner’s Guide to International Oil & Gas Arbitration  (Juris 2015), which features many of Texas' leading Texas practitioners in the field of international oil & gas arbitration.

As a result of Mr. Gaitis’ long career as an oil & gas attorney, oil & gas arbitrator, and oil & gas/ADR academic, he has substantial experience with, and background in all three sectors of the domestic and international oil and gas industry—upstream, midstream, and downstream. Mr. Gaitis closely follows and studies developments across the globe in the oil & gas industry and maintains a sophisticated understanding of many of the most significant technological and legal developments relating to such matters as domestic and international oil & gas arbitration; conventional and offshore drilling; well servicing; fracking; completions; subsea systems; oil & gas intellectual property and trade secrets; onshore and offshore exploration and development; gas gathering, processing, and production handling; pipeline operations; delivery and receipt obligations; and price and fee re-openers.
Mr. Gaitis is also a recognized authority in the field of arbitration and is frequently praised for his high legal acumen, organizational and analytical skills, and reliability. As a result, he has repeatedly served as the Editor-in-Chief of, and the leading author of, The College of Commercial Arbitrators Guide to Best Practices in Commercial Arbitration and his law journal articles on the subject of domestic and international arbitration are frequently cited to some of the highest courts in the United States, including the United States Supreme Court, the Texas Supreme Court, and the Texas Court of Appeals. Mr. Gaitis is a Fellow and former Director of the College of Commercial Arbitrators and a Fellow and Chartered Arbitrator of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. In 2006-2007 he served as the Director of the LLM International Dispute Resolution Program at the Centre for Energy, Petroleum & Mineral Law & Policy (CEPMLP), University of Dundee and, from 2007-2013 as a Global Faculty Member and Honorary Lecturer at CEPMLP. At CEPMLP he taught a full semester course on international dispute resolution in the energy and resource extraction industries and he designed and/or directed other significant programs and classes relating to those subjects.

Rates:  Mr. Gaitis’ rates for arbitration services for Texas cases are competitive with the rates typically charged by his Texas peers.

 For more information, contact:
James M. Gaitis, Esq.
International Arbitration Chambers
P.O. Box 1213
Whitefish, MT 59937


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