To all our current and potential clients, we hope you and yours are in good health. Given the current state of our economy and the fight against the COVID-19 virus, many are under significant amounts of stress. Cotton Bledsoe is committed to do its best to help minimize that stress. The Firm is taking significant measures to protect the health of its personnel and many are now working remotely – this includes our attorneys, paralegals and legal secretaries. Our remote capabilities give us access to our systems and we are able to do everything for you that we could prior to this new (temporary) reality. Where appropriate, we have the ability to conduct most meetings virtually.

We will get through this time together. Thank you for your continued trust and please do not hesitate to contact any of our firm’s attorneys directly or through this website. We appreciate all of you and wish you the best as we navigate these unprecedented challenges together.

Eric C. Schmalbach
  • Shareholder







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Eric is a shareholder in the firms Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Section. He is Board Certified in Oil, Gas and Mineral Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
His practice primarily consists of advising exploration and development companies with their upstream operations in Texas. Eric provides counsel to oil and gas companies of all sizes relating primarily to transactional related matters. Prior to his experience as an attorney, Eric worked as an independent landman, where he performed due diligence, title research, and lease acquisition in Oklahoma and Texas.


Oil and Gas Title Examination

Eric spends a significant portion of his time on oil and gas title examination. His title examination work involves all types of opinions, including drilling title opinions, division order title opinions, right-of-way opinions, and acquisition title opinions. Title opinions may be based on abstract examination or done by "stand-up" examination in the county clerk's office.

Oil and Gas Transactional Work

Eric also spends a portion of his time counseling oil and gas companies in negotiating and documenting oil and gas transactions. He prepares many different types of purchase and sale agreements, assignments, leases, seismic option agreements, farmout agreements, participation agreements, joint operating agreements, and other documents relating to exploration and development of oil and gas reserves. He assists clients in curative work, and drafts stipulation of interests and cross-conveyances, deeds, royalty assignments, ratifications, and other relevant documents, and conducts mineral receivership proceedings. In addition, he also counsels clients in development and operations of producing properties, including unit formation and maintenance, leasing matters, and surface use.


Areas of Practice

  • Oil and Gas Title Examination
  • Oil and Gas Transactional Work

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Board Certified in Oil, Gas and Mineral Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization

Bar Admissions

  • Texas
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office


  • University of Oklahoma College of Law, Norman, Oklahoma
    • J.D. - 2006
  • University of Oklahoma
    • B.S. - 2002
    • Major: Mathematics

Published Works

  • Surface Use by Mineral Owners: The Title Insurance Solution, 2009 TEXAS LAND TITLE INSTITUTE, November 2009, Co-Author with Celia Flowers and Melanie Reyes


  • Speaker, Now That There Is No Standard Lease Form – What Provisions Can We Expect to See Mineral Owners Negotiate?, EAST TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF PETROLEUM LANDMEN, 03/20/2014

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • State Bar of Texas, Member
  • Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, Member
  • Texas Young Lawyer’s Association, Member
  • East Texas Association of Petroleum Landmen, Member
  • Permian Basin Landmen’s Association, Member


  • Phi Delta Phi