JurisdictionUnited States
Nuts & Bolts of Mineral Title Examination
(Apr 2015)


George A. Snell III
Of Counsel
Steptoe & Johnson PLLC
Amarillo, Texas

[Page 2-i]

GEORGE A. SNELL is Of Counsel at Steptoe & Johnson PLLC in The Woodlands, Texas, but lives in Amarillo, Texas. He focuses his practice in the area of energy law, specifically oil and gas and real property, focusing primarily on the preparation of title opinions for all purposes. George is a nationally recognized author and speaker. His industry knowledge is sought by organizations such as the American Association of Professional Landmen and the National Association of Division Order Analysts. His published works have appeared in the Gas and Mineral Law Sections of various bar associations including the State Bar of Texas, the Dallas Bar Association, and the Houston Bar Association. Snell has also been a featured author and speaker for the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation in Denver, Colorado, as well as the University of Texas Oil, Gas and Mineral Law Institute. He is licensed in both Oklahoma and Texas. George is a graduate of Baylor University.;

GEORGE A. SNELL, III (806) 359-8611; 355-3339 (FAX)
2201 Civic Circle, Ste. 508 E-Mail -
Amarillo, TX 79109


EDUCATION: J. D. Baylor Law School, Waco, Texas - 1972

B.A. Baylor University, Waco, Texas - 1972


Member of the following bar associations: Texas, Oklahoma, Amarillo, Austin, Houston and Tarrant County
Member of the following professional landman associations: American, Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Fort Worth, Dallas, Denver and Permian Basin
Member of the National Association of Division Order Analysts (NADOA), the Oklahoma City Chapter (CAPDOA) and the Tulsa Chapter (SADOA)
Member of the State Bar of Texas Title Standards Joint Editorial Board (1992 - Present)
Member of the National Association of Scholars


Significant Differences in Oil and Gas Principles between Producing States: From the Landman's Perspective - Texas and Oklahoma - Co-author - published in The Landman, 11-12/89 and 1-2/90 issues;
Title Examination of Fee Lands (Constructive Notice Revisited) Author/speaker- Mineral Title Examination IN (1992) Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Denver, Colorado;
Probate Estates in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana Author/Speaker - 19th Annual NADOA Institute (1992), Dallas, Texas;
A Comparative Review of Oil & Gas Law: Texas-Oklahoma-Arkansas -Co-Author/Co-Speaker- Natural Resources Law Institute (1993), Hot Springs, Arkansas;
Revenge Against the Title Nerds! (How Texas' proposed title standards can help you avoid technical title objections)-Author/Speaker - Review of Oil and Gas Law VIII(1993)- Energy Law Section of the Dallas Bar Association;
Due Diligence Title Review: The Problem Areas, Where to Look and How to Solve. -Author/Speaker - Sixth Annual Dallas Energy Symposium (1994), Dallas, Texas;
Suspense Issues that Affect the Division Order Analyst. - Author/Speaker - 21st Annual NADOA Institute (1994), San Antonio, Texas;
Non-Consenting Mineral Owners. -Author/Speaker - 24th Annual NADOA Institute (1997), New Orleans, Louisiana;
Drafting Tips For Oil & Gas Leases and Conveyance - Author/Speaker - University of Texas 24th Annual Oil, Gas and Mineral Law Institute (1998), Houston, Texas;
State Royalty Payment Statute - State Check Stub Requirement Statutes - Author/Speaker - 2nd Annual National Oil & Gas Royalty Conference (1998), Houston, Texas;
A Model Form Title Opinion Format - Is it Possible? Is it Practical? - Author - Vol. 25, No. 2 - Oil, Gas and Mineral Law Section Report (December, 2000) - State Bar of Texas;
Shut-In Gas Royalty - How to Avoid a Train Wreck - Author/Speaker - St. Mary's University School of Law Mineral/Royalty Owners & Producers Institute (2002), Midland, Texas;
Constructive Notice (A Multi-state perspective)- Author/Speaker-20th Annual Advanced Oil, Gas & Energy Resources Law Institute (2002), Dallas, Texas;
Pooling - From A to Horizontal - Author/Speaker - St. Mary's University School of Law, Mine Fields & Minerals Institute (2003), Midland, Texas;
Accessing Local Records - Preparing the Chain of Title - Author/Speaker - Mineral Title Examination IV (2007) Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Denver, Colorado;
Legal Descriptions and Wellbore Assignments - Co-Author/Speaker - 25th Annual Advanced Oil, Gas & Energy Resources Law Institute (2007), Houston, Texas.
Basics of Oil & Gas Conveyances - Speaker - 29th Annual Advanced Oil, Gas & Energy Resources Law Course (2011), Houston, Texas.

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Tom Daily

Daily & Woods

58 South 6th Street

Fort Smith, AR 72902-1446

Stephens Building

(479) 782-0361


Greg Danielson

Davis Graham & Stubbs, L.L.P.

1550 17th Street, Suite 500

Denver, CO 80202

(303) 892-9400

Firm Website:


Richard W. "Rick" Revels

Liskow & Lewis

P. O. Box 52008

Lafayette, LA 70505

(337) 232-7424

Firm Website:


W. Eric West

McDavid, Noblin & West, PLLC

248 E. Capitol Street, Suite 840

Jackson, MS 39201

(601) 948-3305

Firm Website:


James M. Day, Jr.

Day, Carter & Murphy, L.L.P.

3620 American River Drive, Suite 205

Sacramento, CA 95864

(916) 570-2500

Firm Website::


Chris Steincamp

Depew Gillen Rathbun & McInteer, L.C.

8301 E. 21st Street North, Suite 450

Wichita KS 67206-2936

(316) 262-4000

Firm Website:


Susan Hlywa Topp

Topp Law PLC

213 East Main

Gaylord, Ml 49734

(989) 731-4014

Firm Website:


Brian R. Bjella

Crowley Fleck, PLLP

P. O. Box 2798

Bismarck, ND 58502

(701) 223-6585

Firm Website:


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Craig C. Smith

Crowley Fleck, PLLP

P. O. Box 2798

Bismarck, ND 58502

(701) 223-6585

Firm Website:

New York

John H. Heyer

Attorney at Law

604 Exchange National Bank Bldg.

P. O. Box 588

Olean, NY 14760

(716) 372-0395

Firm Website:


Timothy M. McKeen

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC

1233 Main Street, Suite 3000

Wheeling, WV 26003

(304) 233-0000

Firm Website:


Russell L. Schetroma

Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC

201 Chestnut Street, Suite 200

Meadville, PA 16335

(814) 336-6400

Firm Website:

New Mexico

Greg Nibert

Hinkle, Hensley, Shanor & Martin, L.L.P.

P. O. Box 10

Roswell, NM 88202-0010

(575) 622-6510

Firm Website:

North Dakota

Brian R. Bjella

Crowley Fleck, PLLP

P. O. Box 2798

Bismarck, ND 58502

(701) 223-6585

Firm Website:


Timothy C. Dowd

Elias, Books, Brown, & Nelson

211 N. Robinson

Suite 1300

Oklahoma City, OK 73102-7114

(405) 232-3722

Firm Website:


George A. Snell, III

Snell Law Firm

2201 Civic Circle, Suite 508

Amarillo, Texas 79109

(806) 359-8611

Firm Website:


[Page 2-iv]

Angela L. Franklin

Holme, Roberts & Owen, LLP

299 South Main Street, Suite 1800

Salt Lake City, UT 84111-2263

(801) 323-3267

Firm Website:


Craig Newman

Attorney at Law

P.O. Box 2310

123 W. 1st Street, Suite 675

Casper, WY 82602

(307) 237-9588

West Virginia

Richard L. Gottlieb

Lewis, Glasser, Casey, & Rollins, PLLC

300 Summers Street, Suite 700

Charleston, WV 25301

(304) 345-2000

Firm Website:


[Page 2-v]




I. The Plan

A. The Common Law Background
B. The Statutory Purposes
C. The Statutory Definitions

II. The Pattern

A. Race
B. Notice
C. Race-Notice

III. The Procedure

A. Instruments not required to be Recorded
B. Constructive Notice
1. From proper recording
2. From improper recording?
3. From possession?
C. Actual Notice/Implied Notice-Duty to Inquire/Imputed Notice
D. How They Operate
E. Taking Notice to the Extreme in Texas (and your state too?)
1. The Duhig Rule - Ignoring Notice
2. Westland Oil - Pushing Duty to Inquire off the Page

IV. The Problems

Situation A - Deed from a Stranger to Record Title
Situation B - Does a Purchaser have Notice of Easements Created by Instruments Covering Adjacent Lands that Affect his Land?
Situation C - Does a Purchaser have Actual Notice of an Instrument in his Chain of Title that is Unrecordable but which he or his Agent Personally Examines?
Situation D - Does a Purchaser have Notice of a Deed by his Grantor Executed before his Grantor Acquires Record Title?
Situation E - Multiple Conveyances by a Record Owner while he is a Record Owner
Situation F - Conveyance by a Grantor after he has already conveyed the Land to a Third Party

V. The Protestation

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Part II

VI. The Practice

New Mexico
New York
North Dakota
West Virginia

Exh. A. The Recording Statutes

Exh.B. The Smart Chart


Table of Articles/Secondary Materials

[Page 2-viii]


Part I of the article (Chapters I to V) contains the substantive discussion of the recording acts and how they function in eighteen states...

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