A rant about something that happened

Something happened yesterday that made me less willing to be so free with my knowledge.

A woman called and started bombarding me with questions. It's hard for me to say no, so I answered a few, then a PAYING CLIENT buzzed in and I told her that I would call her after lunch.

Apparantly, I did not call her back quick enough, so she called me and I was at the Post Office. When I returned I gave her a call (after lunch, well before closing). She immediately wanted me to listen to all of her oh so important problems.

When she took a breath, I stopped her and asked her if she had been to my website. She said yes. I asked if she understood what I did for a living? She said yes.

I asked her if she would call an attorney and ask him questions without the hope or promise of compensation? She said "No" I told her that there was no difference.

She loudly told me that she was told, blah, blah, blah. That there was a difference, blah, blah, blah.

I told her that I found her to be rude and I did not want to talk to her anymore. After that call, she called me back to tell me that she was NOT rude. My reponse was "As you say. I am more than a bit amazed that you called me back." Then she hung up on me.

I doubt that she has read 1 Timothy 5:18

Actions speak much louder than words, no?

Well Mr. Cotten…Do you remember the rude rant you made to my comments a few months ago? Instead of using scripture to judge, you might check your own spiritual condition and integrity…“What goes around, comes around”.

You sure don’t want her as a paying client either!

Dear Mr. Howell,

I have the luxury to pick and choose my clients. There are some people and companies that I choose to not deal with. Some on this board, even.

Just out of curiosity Mr. Cotten, how much do you charge for your services?

Dear Lacy,

I do not want to discuss in a public forum. Please e-mail me through my website and I will be happy to discuss.

The woman assumes that she is entitled to Mr. Cottens intellect and experience. She didn't want to treat him with respect, much less, pay him for what he does very well. It is shameful that people act this way more often than not.

I've had similar experiences lately and am not sure how much longer I will be so gracious. I respect Mr. Cottens long record of generous behavior.

From the community I am from, too, I was imposed upon often for "advise" from neophyte land/mineral owners who want to forego the "pay at the door" policy of the local status-qou of attorney and I was usually altogether forgiving of myself to assist people of their needs on the reasoning that "what comes around goes around" and there may be the day when they may assist me with a lease/negotiation/referral or whatever. Often they were kind to offer a token payment, I declined in favor of goodwill and a reputation in the community. Soon I found myself with a steady line of "advise" seekers who were predicated with knowledged they'd picked up on the street. Regretfully, I had to take a posture of "I'm a 36 year practicing landman, a recognized/certified professional among my peers and upholding of a code of ethics and personal conduct ... if you want "advise", there is a table of wise owls at the Dairy Queen coffee bar that can offer "advise"; if you want my consultation, it comes with a professional fee schedule. Too, often when I found these owners/lessors to favor the gypsies of the carpetbagging "resource" players rather than my representation of respected clients for the matter of a few bucks often with the "sign now or we'll walk" overture ... then when the fit hits the shan and the landman/gypsy is nowhere to be found and their cell phone is out of service, am I to blame? I always told my client that it's my business card on the refrigerator door and I meet their owners/lessors in the community every day. I once had a "resource" broker solicit my services, given that I was known in the community, have an office across from the courthouse to offer all the infra-structure, etc. and when I quoted a day-rate he laughed with "I can get "people" for half that rate". Granted, my required day-rate was quality/results proven and was without added 3M expenses (mileage/meals/motel, for which his client was withstanding an easy $200 per day per person). Within a month a saw "people" at the courthouse, and this is no exaggeration, that the prior week were shampooing dogs and the vet clinic! That was the persuation for me to seek a respected in-house/contract that eventually resulted in my current employment.

I, too, have been called upon by readers of this forum for "advise", and I've offered it to the length my conscience will allow me. One particular was kind to ask about a fee and I responded that I'd leave that to their conscience as to the value of my consultation ... which was much enlightening to their plight, even to the manner of merely dropping a dining/debit card in the mail. I've now withstood 3 hours of personal visit/consultation from them and 4 phone calls apparently with no weight on their conscience.

... and "we're the badguys" portrayed by the landowner community?

'sic 'em Buddy!

Dear Mr. Cotten,

The demands for service without compensation is a malady of our society and I agree with you 110%. The woman you write about lacks simple common sense and someone you would most likely regret signing a contract of service with anyway. She did you a favor by flaming out prior to agreeing to pay you money..... you know what the rest of the story would be if you had.

If you had been quick on your feet you could have refered her to Washinton DC; I'm sure that's where she got the idea that everyone should work for free in the first place.

BTW: I'm fairly new and have been reading you for @18 months and you have given out a "TON" of very valuable technical advise for free. And this is an understatement. But this is still a free country so far and you can be generous if you choose to be or not; It's still your choice not someone elses.

Thanks for all your contribution to this forum. I have been amazed at how much expert advice you and some others continue to provide daily in the education and problem solving for others.

You may consider the sage advice of Matthew 7:v5 for her and v6 for you.

Thank you again for your service,

Mark Bondiett

I met this woman who I could tell had a chip on her shoulder the day she walked in my office.

Still, I took her in as a client & we went in a little deal together.

The other day she came in the office bitching, bitching, bitching, because it wasn't going exactly as she wanted.

And, get this, amazingly, I was mad at...HER.

Well, I will tell you this! I agree with you 100% and I do plan to hire you in the future when it comes time for me to sign a lease - right now it’s not at that point for me - but you have answered some questions for my family in the past and we appreciated it and have the greatest respect for you. I think when people are new at dealing with O&G, in the beginning they are very intimidated and don’t understand how important an attorney is - then eventually we all discover Buddy Cotton and think we have died and gone to Heaven! We all just need to take a step back, take a deep breath and remember that you are a business man making a living. I always try to start “Is it OK for me to ask you this question?” You’ll either answer or you will say (politely) I charge for that service. And, I now know how much you charge for your services!

Dear Ms. Nolen,

You are very kind. I really don't remember helping you in the past (because my memory, like my hair, is going quickly), but if I did, thank you for remembering.

You explained to my sister what non-participating heirs were and how that worked. Your willingness to help can save a lot of us “new ones” a lot of frustration!

You may advise or offer advice. Sorry, had to throw it in. People have been improperly substituting “advise” when it should say “advice”. Ha. I do it too. I guess we are all fallible as human beings. Some more than others, huh?

Dear Stephanie,

I agree. I also believe since it was in quotes, he was winking at the IQ of those seeking "advise" in his previous (or maybe current) location in Cuero, Texas.

I just had to put my two cents worth in on this one. These forums are great information gathers and I enjoy the open discussions; but, I always have to remind myself that "free" brings in the free crowd. And with the free crowd comes the "you owe me" attitude. That's why I prefer an open forum with limited personal information and contact information.

How does a novice go about finding a Landman or Oil Company that might be interested in their oil rights. Mine are located in Arapahoe County in the following area: Township 4 South; Range 60 West. I do have the deed in hand for the mineral rights, but am not owner of the surface rights. Floyd

To start with Mr. Holmes, I would start my own thread so my question didn't get buried in someone elses. I would list my mineral rights at the bottom of the home page of this site and I would join the most appropriate county group and post my minerals there, read the previous posts, and ask if anyone knows who is leasing in the area my minerals lay. Beyond this there are other forums ( not as good as this one in my opinion ) and I have even heard mention of listing minerals on Mineral Hub. I also recommend that you make certain that you have a deed in your name or a recent statement of claim with up to date contact information in the county courthouse, so those who might be searching for minerals in your area can easily contact you. Good luck.

floyd holmes said:

How does a novice go about finding a Landman or Oil Company that might be interested in their oil rights. Mine are located in Arapahoe County in the following area: Township 4 South; Range 60 West. I do have the deed in hand for the mineral rights, but am not owner of the surface rights. Floyd

Lacy said:

Just out of curiosity Mr. Cotten, how much do you charge for your services?

I paid $60 in Dec 2011 and by The middle of January 2012 he had done nothing and wouldn't even reply to my inquiries about what progress had been made. I finally sent an email basically telling him I would be no longer needing his services and I hired an attorney, David Hermanson, in Williston to do what I paid him to do and I got nothing in return for. Isn't it odd how someone can cause you to trust them just because they answer questions on this blog?