Questions from Tiffany’s Desk: If My Landlord Sells The Property During My Lease Term, Does The Lease Continue?

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Question   I currently have a pasture lease that lasts through the end of the year.  My landlord just sold the property to someone else.  Does my lease continue on with the new owner? Answer   This is a great question, and one that I frequently get asked at presentations.  There are, surprisingly, few Texas cases that have addressed this issue.  Nevertheless, the law appears to be fairly settled on this point.  As with most legal questions, the answer depends on the facts. First, if the original lease… Read More →

May 22, 2015 Weekly Round Up

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Happy Friday!  This week I was able to visit with the Camp County Cattleman’s Association via the internet at their monthly meeting about some Frequently Asked Ag Law Questions.  I thank Spencer Perkins for the chance to visit with that group and welcome those new readers joining from that event!  It has been a busy ag law week, with lots of Texas-specific stories in the news. *Governor Abbott Signs “Local Fracking Ban Ban” Into Law.  On Monday, I blogged about the bill on Governor Abbott’s desk that would… Read More →

Washington Court Holds Manure Subject to Federal Regulation, Parties Agree to Settle

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A couple of months ago, I wrote an article for Dairy Herd Management magazine discussing an important court decision in Washington that could have wide-ranging implications on agriculture. Community Association for Restoration of the Environment v. Cow Palace, LLC, was filed by two environmental groups (Community Association for the Restoration of the Environment and the Center for Food Safety) against a Washington state dairy.  The Cow Palace Dairy ran a herd of 11,000 cows in the Lower Yakima Valley of Washington.  A decision was issued in January by the… Read More →

State Law Banning Local Fracking/Oil and Gas Ordinances on Governor’s Desk

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If you have read this blog for any period of time, you know that local fracking and oil and gas production bans, such as the one passed by Denton voters last November, are a frequent topic of discussion.  Now, the Texas Legislature has passed a bill that would prevent these type of local production bans.  The bill is now on the desk of Governor Abbott for his signature. The Bill House Bill 40, called by many the “Denton Fracking Bill” was passed by the House (vote of 26-5)… Read More →

May 15, 2015 Weekly Round Up

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Last week, I found myself all over the state at various meetings.  I kicked things off in Ft. Worth, where I spoke on agricultural law at Annie’s Project.  Next up, I discussed wildlife leases at a program sponsored by the Texas Parks and Wildlife in Bonham.  Finally, I wrapped things up speaking at a Landowner Rights Seminar in College Station.  To those of you new to the blog from these presentations, welcome! Here are some of the ag law stories recently in the news. * Groundwater Continues in… Read More →

Texas Legislature Considering Important Eminent Domain Bill

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Last week, I spoke at a Landowner Rights Conference in College Station along with attorneys Luke Ellis and Justin Hodge.  Luke and Justin outlined several pending bills in the Texas Legislature that aim to change the law related to eminent domain.  The most important of these bills, in my opinion, is Senate Bill 474, which was introduced by Senator Lois Kohlkhorst. Background Although both the United States and Texas Constitutions require that landowners be paid adequate compensation for private property that is taken for public use, this “adequate… Read More →

Texas Supreme Court Will Not Hear Bragg v. Edwards Aquifer Authority

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On Friday, the Texas Supreme Court denied petitions to consider appeals from both sides in Bragg v. Edwards Aquifer Authority.  This result is surprising to many legal scholars who have been watching this high-profile case for years.  In light of the Court’s refusal to consider the case, the opinion of the San Antonio Court of Appeals will stand.  [Read full Court of Appeals Opinion here.] Background The Braggs own property that sits above the Edwards Aquifer on which they have two pecan orchards:  The Home Place orchard and the… Read More →

May 1, 2015 Weekly Round Up

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Last week I made the journey to the Hill Country for the Bennett Trust Land Stewardship Conference, held in Kerrville.  Many kudos to organizer, Larry Redmond, for putting together an outstanding program!  To those of you new to the blog from the Conference, welcome! Here are some ag law stories in the news this week. *Texas Supreme Court Will Not Hear Bragg v. Edwards Aquifer Authority.  Big water law news happened today when the Texas Supreme Court denied petitions to consider an appeal in Bragg v. Edwards Aquifer Authority.  Stay… Read More →

Overview of Federal Estate Tax for Farmers and Ranchers

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I recently wrote a brief article for Progressive Cattleman magazine offering a basic overview of the federal estate tax, and specifically how it impacts farmers and ranchers.  The results of failing to analyze the potential liability and plan accordingly can be catastrophic for a farm or ranch that is required to pay the steep 40% federal estate tax.  To learn more, read my article by clicking here.  

Texas Supreme Court: Duty of Executive Rights Holder to Non-Participating Royalty Owner

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Recently, the Texas Supreme Court clarified the duty owed by an executive rights holder to a non-participating royalty owner when negotiating an oil and gas lease.  KCM Financial LLC v. Bradshaw is an important opinion as it makes clear what obligations the executive rights holder has, and does not have when negotiating and signing mineral leases.  [Read full opinion here.] Basic Legal Background Generally, if not severed, a mineral owner possesses certain rights as part of mineral ownership.  These rights include the executive right, which is the right to… Read More →