Dorothy London (defendant) owned two adjacent tracts of land. She owned a three-sixteenth royalty on the eastern tract and a one-eighth royalty on the western tract. She held the executive right on both tracts. The Merrimans (plaintiffs) owned a nonparticipating one-sixteenth royalty on the western tract. London leased both tracts in a single oil and gas lease. The lease contained a pooling clause. The eastern tract produced gas, but there were no wells built on the western tract. On July 14, 1983, the Merrimans sought, and by order of the Texas Railroad Commission (Commission), obtained pooling of their royalty interests with London’s. This pooling allowed them to share in the royalties from the eastern tract beginning March 7, 1984, the date of the Commission’s order. The Merrimans then brought suit based on the Commission’s order to obtain a share in the royalties that were accrued before the order was issued. The trial court held in favor of the Merrimans, finding that their bringing suit before the Commission ratified the lease and made them a party to it. London appealed.