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  • J.D., St. Mary’s University, 1984
  • B.A., Trinity University, 1980

License to Practice

  • Texas

Specialties and Courses

  • Oil and gas
  • Property


Burney began teaching at St. Mary’s Law School in 1985, and was the Albert and Helen Herrmann Professor of Natural Resources Law from 1993 to 2004. She has written extensively on oil and gas law issues, and is a frequent speaker at energy resources conferences and courses for attorneys and other professionals in the industry.

She continues to serve as a mediator and arbitrator in oil and gas and other disputes, and has worked as an advocate or expert in oil and gas cases in several states. Cases she has argued before appellate courts and the Supreme Court of Texas include Concord Oil Co. v. Pennzoil and Lesley v. Veterans Land Board.

Burney served on the Oil, Gas & Energy Resources Law Council of the State Bar of Texas for nine years, completing her tenure as chair in 2005. She currently serves on the State Bar’s Pattern Jury Charge Committee for oil and gas disputes. After six years in private practice, Burney returned to the faculty in 2010.

In addition to oil and gas law, Burney teaches first-year property law, serves as adviser to the students’ Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Club, and as director of student and academic affairs. Burney is married to attorney Frank Burney, and has three children and grandchildren.


  • Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation: Trustee;
  • Faculty Member: Annual Oil and Gas Law Course for Professionals, 2004 to present; Chair: 2008-2010 Programs.


Articles in a Periodical

  • The Texas Supreme Court’s Evolving Mineral-Deed Jurisprudence in the Shale Era: The Implications of Wenske v. Ealy,” 14 Tex. J. of Oil, Gas and Energy Law 1 (2019)(University Texas School of Law lead article).
  • The “Post-Production Costs” Issue in Texas and Louisiana: Implications for the Fate of Implied Covenants and Pro-Lessor Clauses in the Shale Era Oil and Gas Lease, 48 St. Mary’s L.J. 101 (2017)
  • The Legacy of the 1/8th Landowner’s Royalty and the Texas Supreme Court: Has Hysaw v. Dawkins Resolved the “Double Fraction” Dilemma?, 58 S. Tex. L. Rev. 115 (2016)
  • Oil, Gas, and Mineral Titles: Resolving Perennial Problems in the Shale Era, 62 U. Kan. L. Rev. 97 (2013).
  • The Texas Supreme Court and Oil and Gas Jurisprudence: What Hath Wagner & Brown v. Sheppard Wrought?, 5 Texas Journal of Oil, Gas, and Energy Law 220 (2010)(University of Texas School of Law);
  • Interpreting Mineral and Royalty Deeds: The Legacy of the One-Eighth Royalty and Other Stories, 33 ST. MARY’S L.J. 1 (2001);
  • Hydraulic Fracturing: Trespass or Rule of Capture? ; 44 ROCKY MT. MIN. LAW INST. 19-1 (1998)(technical aspects co-author, Professor of Geology Norman J. Hyne );
  • The Interaction of the Division Order and the Lease Royalty Clause, 28 St. Mary’s L. J. 353 (1997)(Sponsored by grant awarded by the Oil, Gas & Mineral Law Section of the State Bar of Texas)
  • A Pragmatic Approach to Decision Making in the Next Era of Oil and Gas Jurisprudence, 16 University of Utah J.N.R.L. 1 (1996)
  • The Regrettable Rebirth of the Two Grant Doctrine in Texas Deed Construction, 34 South Texas Law Review 73 (1993)
  • Just Compensation and Condemnation of Future Interests: Empirical Evidence of the Failure of Fair Market Value, No. 3 Brigham Young Law Review (1989);
  • The Legal Implications of Express Lease Obligations: Do the Rules of Document Interpretation Provide Predictability? , 19 Eastern Mineral Law Institute 86 (1998)
  • “Oil, Gas, and Other Minerals” Clauses in Texas: Who’s On First?, 41 Southwestern Law Review 695 (SMU) (1987)
  • Note, Constitutional Law – Presidential Immunity – The President Is Absolutely Immune From Civil Damages Liability For Acts Done Within The “Outer Perimeter” of His Official Capacity, 14 St. Mary’s Law Journal 1145 (1983).
  • The Texas Supreme Court’s Evolving Mineral-Deed Jurisprudence in the Shale Era: The Implications of Wenske v. Ealy,  14 TEX. J. OIL, GAS & ENERGY L. 4 (2019)(University of Texas School of Law)


  • Annual Ernest E. Smith Advanced Oil, Gas and Mineral Law Institute, Houston, Texas, March 2019 (Oil and Gas Deed Issues)
  • Natural Resources Section, San Antonio, May 9, 2019 (Case Law Update)
  • State Bar of Texas Oil, Gas & Mineral Title Examination Course, Houston, Texas, June 2018 (review of recent title issues)
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