Monthly Archives: August 2013

August 30, 2013 Weekly Round Up

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** Although several of this week’s major Texas court cases were discussed in yesterday’s blog post, here are some additional ag law stories making headlines this final week of August. 1.  Even Congressmen are confused over the EPA’s plans to enforce the Spill, Prevention, Containment, and Countermeasure (“SPCC”) rule against farmers.  Senators Inhofe and Pryor recently wrote a letter to the EPA “requesting clarification” of the EPA’s interpretation of its own authority to begin retroactive enforcement of the SPCC rule on… Read More →

Decisions, Decisions

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** This week brought forth several major Texas court decisions that are related to agriculture.  Here are brief (at least in lawyer terms) summaries of those cases.  1.  On Wednesday, the San Antonio Court of Appeals issued its decision in Edwards Aquifer Authority v. Bragg. The Braggs own property that sits above the Edwards Aquifer on which they have two pecan orchards:  The Home Place orchard and the D’Hanis orchard.  Beginning in the late 1970′s, the Braggs irrigated the Home… Read More →

August 23, 2013 Weekly Round Up

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** It was a busy week for ag law news.  Here are a few of the stories making headlines this week. *  This week Governor Perry announced his three appointees to the Texas Water Development Board.  The make-up of the Board changed after the passing of House Bill 4, which modified the board from 6 volunteer members to 3 members employed by the state.  Each member will be paid $150,000 per year.  Governor Perry’s appointees are Chairman Carols… Read More →

Breaking News: AQHA Ordered To Pay Nearly $900,000 In Attorney’s Fees

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** The American Quarter Horse Association has been ordered by Federal District Judge Mary Lou Robinson to pay $891,387 in attorney fees to the plaintiffs who successfully sued the AQHA for violating antitrust laws.  (To read more about the lawsuit, click here.) Generally, attorney fees are not recoverable under Texas law unless they are permitted by statute or by contract.  The federal antitrust statute that the jury found was violated by the AQHA provides that anyone “injured in… Read More →

Tennessee Right to Farm Ruling: Music Concerts Not Protected

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** An interesting decision interpreting the Tennessee Right to Farm Act was issued by the Tennessee Supreme Court yesterday. The Lawsuit The lawsuit, Shore v. Maple Lane Farms, LLC, was based on an issue that arose between neighbors in rural Blount County.  Maple Lane Farms began in the mid-1980′s as a family operation raising cattle, corn, vegetables, strawberries and pumpkins.  Over the years, Maple Lane diversified their operation and began to offer various activities for visitors of the farm. … Read More →

Surface Owners Beware!

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** As the oil and gas boom continues across Texas, many surface owners are surprised at the rights that mineral lessees (usually oil or gas companies) have to use the surface of the land without any input, consent, or permission of the surface owner.  It is critical for all landowners, but in particular for those surface owners who do not own the mineral rights underlying their property, to understand the implied rights of mineral lessees.  (For purposes of simplicity and… Read More →

August 16, 2013 Weekly Round Up

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** Here are a few ag law items making the news this week.   * AQHA Case Update.  Many of you were interested in the blog post last week discussing the recent jury verdict against the American Quarter Horse Association’s ban on registration of cloned animals.  This week, the judge in that case entered an injunction that requires the AQHA to begin registering clones and their offspring.  The judge also considered the plaintiffs’ claim seeking to recover nearly $900,000 in attorney fees from… Read More →

Texas Water Wars: Oklahoma Victorious Over Texas

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** We are moving on to the second of our three part Texas Water Wars blog series today.  As you recall, last Monday the blog focused on the dispute over a 1944 treaty between Mexico and the United States.  Today, we turn our attention north and look at the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Tarrant Regional Water Board v. Herrmann. As Justice Sonya Sotomayor pointed out, there is a long history of battles involving the Red River–a Civil… Read More →

August 9, 2013 Weekly Round Up

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** Earlier this week I participated in the Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course here in College Station.  It is an amazing event and it was great to see so many cattle producers (and cowboy hats!) around campus.  For new readers joining us from Short Course, welcome!  Here are a few ag law stories making headlines this week. * Whopping Cranes Could Harm Water Supply.  On Thursday the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Court… Read More →

Jury Finds AQHA Clone Ban Violates Antitrust Laws

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** Last week a federal jury found that an AQHA rule prohibiting registration of cloned horses violated state and federal antitrust laws.  The AQHA has announced that it will appeal this decision. The AQHA Rule REG 106.1 The AQHA is the world’s largest equine breed registry and membership organization, having more than 5 million registered horses and over 280,000 members.  The AQHA allows registration of quarter horses that are conceived by live cover, artificial insemination, and embryo transfer.  In 2004, however,… Read More →