Jeffrey Schulein, et al. v. Petroleum Development Corporation et al.

8:11-cv-01891-AG-AN, United States District Court, Central District of California

FBBC secures preliminary approval of a $37.5 million settlement for nationwide class of investors in lawsuit against large domestic oil company

FBBC and its co-counsel represented a nationwide class of limited partners that invested millions of dollars in limited drilling partnerships managed by PDC Energy (formerly Petroleum Development Corporation), a large, publicly traded domestic oil company. When PDC began acquiring the partnerships in 2010, purchasing the limited partners’ interests for a fraction of their true value, FBBC took action to protect the limited partners’ rights. On behalf of its clients, FBBC and its co-counsel filed a class action lawsuit in federal district court for the Central District of California for violations of federal securities laws and for breach of fiduciary duty.

From the beginning of the lawsuit, PDC fought to have the investors’ lawsuit dismissed, engaged in procedural battles involving discovery, opposed the certification of the investors’ class, and attempted to obtain a summary judgment prior to trial. Over the course of the lawsuit — which lasted more than three years — FBBC and its co-counsel devised and implemented a comprehensive strategy for overcoming PDC’s defense tactics. Because of this strategy-driven approach, FBBC and its co-counsel obtained an order compelling PDC to produce millions of pages of documents relevant to its client’s claims, prevailed in certifying the investors’ class, and defeated PDC’s attempt to obtain a judgment in its favor before trial. Ultimately, FBBC and its co-counsel obtained a $37.5 million settlement from PDC on behalf of its clients.