Arkansas Court of Appeals Dismisses Appeal Because Order was Not Final.

In this case, the property owners signed a 10-year oil and gas lease with the lessee, believing it to be a five-year lease. Two months later, the lessee informed the owners that the lease was invalid because a third party had owned a life estate in the subject property. The third party immediately conveyed her interest to the owners and the owners and the lessee entered into a  second oil and gas lease, this one for a five-year term.  One year later, the lessee assigned its interest in the first lease to an energy company. The company recorded its interest. When the energy company asserted that the first lease was valid and would not expire for another five years, the owners sought a declaratory judgment, asking the court to determine which of two oil and gas leases was valid. The owners also filed a breach of contract claim against the lessees, and the energy company filed a counterclaim against the owners, alleging that they had breached their warranty to defend title. The district court granted the motions to dismiss filed by the lessee and the energy company on statute of limitations grounds, but did not rule on the counterclaim. The owners appealed, but the appellate court dismissed the appeal, finding that the order was not a final appealable order since the district court had not disposed of the counterclaim.  McDougal v. Sabine River Land Co., No. CV-13-894, 2014 Ark. App. 210, 2014 Ark. App. LEXIS 246 (Ark. Ct. App. April 2, 2014).