By April Rolen-Ogden

In Mayne & Mertz, Inc. v. Excalibur, et al., the issue presented was whether damages for loss of a lease opportunity were too speculative to survive summary judgment. The case involved a claim for misappropriation of trade secrets, in this case seismic data. The landowner, Excalibur, received the data but was required to maintain its confidentiality. Mayne & Mertz claimed that Excalibur violated those terms by using the seismic to obtain lease bids from competitors of Mayne & Mertz. Mayne & Mertz sued, contending that, but for the misappropriation of the seismic, Excalibur would have granted the lease to it. No well was ever drilled, and the lease granted by Excalibur expired. Accordingly, Excalibur sought summary judgment, claiming that Mayne & Mertz could not prove the value of an undrilled mineral lease. The Court disagreed. Citing the experts’ opinions and testimony, as well as the applicable jurisprudence, the Court held that a jury could conclude that Mayne & Mertz was entitled to damages for the value of the undrilled mineral lease. The decision can be found at 2007 WL 2900510 (W.D. La.)