Lori A. Dawkins


Lori Dawkins focuses her practice on complex litigation and regulatory issues for energy companies. Lori has more than twenty-five years of litigation experience and has tried more than fifty cases in front of juries in state and federal court. Ms. Dawkins previously served on the firm’s Executive Committee and served as Practice Group Leader of the firm’s Energy Litigation Practice Group.

A former officer in the United States Air Force, she was appointed as the lead search and recovery officer at a major Strategic Air Command base and she served in Saudi Arabia for a year during Desert Storm. She was named Strategic Air Command’s Military Manager of the Year and received the Medal of Commendation, the Air Force Achievement Medal, and the Southwest Asia Service Medal.

Lori is a former Drum Major of the West Virginia University Marching Band (“The Pride of West Virginia”). She enjoys camping, classical guitar, and hiking with her three rescue dogs throughout Maine.

Representative Experience

  • As lead counsel, represented major energy companies in complex litigation involving allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duties, breach of implied covenants, right-of-way disputes, breach of lease agreements, breach of implied covenants, injunctions against landowners, royalty disputes, and all types of energy-related cases in numerous states throughout the country
  • As lead counsel, represented several of the nation’s largest interstate natural gas pipeline companies in eminent domain proceedings in federal court
  • Represented oil and gas operators in contested administrative hearings in front of the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission and the Wyoming Oil & Gas Conservation Commission
  • As lead counsel, prosecuted a claim in excess of $24 million on behalf of a coal operator in an eminent domain matter that went to verdict in a jury trial
  • Responded to emergency incidents for oil and gas operators and clients in the chemical industry, conducted on-site investigations, and coordinated responses to regulatory agencies in matters involving on-site fatalities
  • Represented oil and gas operators in state and local rulemaking affecting oil and gas operations in Colorado
  • Represented energy companies in complex condemnation actions involving permanent easements for the storage of natural gas, permanent well road easements, and permanent pipeline easements
  • As lead counsel, defended claims premised on adverse possession and prescriptive easements that went to verdict in a jury trial
  • Handled the litigation of property cases involving express and implied easements, partition actions, missing heir petitions, boundary disputes, property damage, and title disputes
  • Litigated a case for a public utility natural gas company involving allegations of carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Represented a public utility natural gas company in several cases involving questions regarding the duty to re-inspect appliances after they are red-tagged
  • Litigated an antitrust action for a dominant health care provider in Pennsylvania involving a battle for the control of a major hospital
  • Represented a large multi-national pharmaceutical company in litigation to recover for the faulty design, construction, and installation of a $4.3 million wastewater treatment plant
  • Defended a preliminary injunction action brought by an unsuccessful bidder on a $30 million construction project for a state university
  • Handled multiple appeals to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, the Pennsylvania Superior Court, and the Third and Fourth Circuit Courts of Appeal
  • Defended national oil and gas companies in litigation over the validity of oil and gas leases and deeds
  • Represented producers in suits for excessive surface use, ownership, drilling rights, and pooling
  • Prosecuted partition actions to acquire fractional, unleased mineral interests
  • Defended lessees against claims of lease forfeiture arising from nonproduction and/or abandonment

Licensed In

  • Maine
  • West Virginia


  • J.D. West Virginia University College of Law
  • J.D. West Virginia University College of Law
  • M.S. State University of New York
  • B.S. West Virginia University


  • Successful completion of Pipeline Emergency Response Course focusing on incident planning and communication (2018)
  • Maine State Bar Association
  • Colorado Energy Coalition
  • The Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law
  • Energy & Mineral Law Foundation
  • Advisory Committee, Institute for Energy Law
  • Western Energy Alliance
  • Women in Energy
  • Denver Petroleum Club
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • Adjunct Professor, West Virginia University College of Law
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit


  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Commercial Litigation (2018-Present)
  • Who’s Who In Energy
  • Top Women in Energy selected by the Denver Business Journal and Women in Energy
  • Super Lawyers®

Speaking Engagements

  • “Surface Use in the Age of Horizontal Drilling,” North Dakota Law Review (2013)
  • “Surface Use in the Age of Horizontal Drilling,” North Dakota Energy Symposium (2013)
  • “Surface Use in the Age of Horizontal Drilling,” Texas Wesleyan Law Review Energy Symposium (2013)
  • “Shareholders’ Preemptive Rights,” West Virginia Law Review
  • “Litigating Title Disputes,” AAPL
  • Litigation Updates, Steptoe & Johnson Second Annual Appalachian Oil & Gas Roundtable – Shaping the Law We Need

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