License Required to Broker Oil-and-Gas Leases in Ohio

Those who help obtain oil-and-gas leases in Ohio for oil-and-gas development companies must be licensed real-estate brokers, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled today (9/25/2018).

The Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of Thomas Dundics’ lawsuit against Eric Petroleum Corp. and its owner for nonpayment after Dundics found property owners, negotiated gas leases, and worked with Eric Petroleum to obtain leases. Dundics did not have a real-estate broker license and claimed that negotiating subsurface leases did not require a license.

Writing for the Court majority, Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor stated that nothing in Ohio’s real-estate broker law — R.C. 4735.01 — excludes oil-and-gas leases.

Justices Judith L. French, Patrick F. Fischer, and R. Patrick DeWine joined the opinion, as did First District Court of Appeals Judge Beth A. Myers, sitting for Justice Mary DeGenaro. Justices Terrence O’Donnell and Sharon L. Kennedy concurred in judgment only.

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