Category Archives: Drones

Overview of Amendments to Use of Unmanned Aircraft Statute

The 85th Legislative Session brought an amendment to the law related to use of unmanned aircraft in Texas.  Importantly for agriculture, the amendment adds confined animal feeding operations (“CAFOs”) to the list of “critical infrastructure” facilities to which additional flight limitations apply for many drone operators.  The amendment will go into effect on September 1, 2017. This post will review, in detail, the current Use of Unmanned Aircraft statute and discuss the most recent amendment.  For those of you not concerned with the specific details, the “Take Away… Read More →

May 26, 2017 Weekly Round Up

Hello from lovely Lubbock, Texas!  I’m here for the always fantastic Texas State Bar Agricultural Law CLE for attorneys.  A huge thanks to course directors, Trace Blair and David Waggoner, for all of their hard work to make this such a great conference.  As always, I’ve enjoyed great presentations, visited with old friends, and even drummed up some new topics for the blog and guests for upcoming podcasts.  Stay tuned for that! Here are some ag law stories in the news this week. *  Federal court finds FAA… Read More →

April 28, 2017 Weekly Round Up

It’s an uncommon occurrence for me, but this week I’ve not been on the road!  I did make a presentation via internet technology to a great group of East Texas producers at the Select Beef Producers Meeting on Wednesday.  To those of you joining from that group, welcome! Here are a few ag law stories in the news this week. * President Trump Issues Executive Order “Promoting Agriculture and Rural Prosperity in America.”  On Tuesday, President Trump signed an executive order creating the “Interagency Task Force and Agriculture… Read More →

The UAS (“Drone”) Rules Are Here

The long-awaited Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) rules for the operation of small unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS” or “drones”) are here and in effect.  The rules are codified at 14 CFR part 107. History You may recall that back in February 2015, the FAA released its proposed rules, which apply to all UAS weighing between .55 pounds and 55 pounds used for commercial purposes.  [Read prior blog post here.]  After collecting and considering public comment, the FAA issued its final rules on June 21, 2016, which became effective August 29, 2016.  Prior… Read More →

July 8, 2016 Weekly Round Up

Here are some of the agricultural law stories in the news this week. * NM Supreme Court Holds Agricultural Exemption to Workers Compensation Law Unconstitutional.  Last week, the New Mexico Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals holding that an exemption excluding farm and ranch laborers from mandatory workers compensation coverage was unconstitutional.  [Read full opinion here.]  I previously wrote a blog post explaining this issue and outlining the Court of Appeals opinion.  To read that, click here.  Although the Court agreed that the provision was unconstitutional, it… Read More →

Federal Lawsuit Seeks Ruling on Drone Rights

You may recall from this prior Weekly Round Up post that a federal lawsuit has been filed in Kentucky seeking to adjudicate rights of drone operators versus neighboring landowners. Today, we will take a closer look at details from that suit. Background In July 2015, Mr. Boggs was flying his drone for recreational purposes near his home in Kentucky.  His drone contained an onboard camera that could capture video and photographs.  After about two minutes of flight, Mr. Merideth shot down the drone with a shotgun. Mr. Boggs… Read More →

January 29, 2016 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  Last week I made the drive to Muncy, Texas for the Caprock Crops Production Conference to chat about hot topics in agricultural law.  There was a great turn out and excellent questions, which always makes a presentation more fun.  Kudos to county extension agents Caitlyn Jackson and Cristen Brooks on a great conference.  To those of you joining the blog, welcome! Here are some ag law stories in the news this week. * Texas database to identify entities with eminent domain power.  Last term, the Texas… Read More →

Drones & Privacy (Part II): Texas Privacy Act

Today we continue with Part II of our Drones and Privacy series by reviewing the Texas Privacy Act.  If you missed Part I, click here. In the absence of federal regulations regarding drones and privacy, states have been left to draft their own legislation.  Thus far, only about 13 states have drone privacy laws on the books.  Texas passed its own law, the Texas Privacy Act (Texas Government Code 423), in 2013.   [View full statute here.]  According to the bill’s sponsor, Lance Gooden, the bill was passed… Read More →

Drones & Privacy (Part I): Potential Common Law Claims

Drones are a hot topic in many circles, including the agricultural industry.  However, as often happens, the law has fallen behind the technology leading many people to question (or incorrectly assume they understand) how private property rights and the use of commercial drones will co-exist.  This blog series will focus on the law potentially applicable in situations where drones fly over the property of another without permission. Today, we will focus on two potential common law claims, trespass and nuisance.  The second post will focus on the Texas… Read More →

January 15, 2016 Weekly Round Up

This week I made the drive to Lubbock to speak at the “Seeking Solutions” extension meeting.  It was a great program and I really enjoyed the opportunity to visit with producers about agricultural law.  To those of you joining the blog from that event, welcome!  Here are some ag law stories in the news this week. * What You Need To Know About Selling Your Oil and Gas Interests.  Texas attorney Aimee Hess recently wrote a great blog post discussing the sale of mineral interests.  She offers some… Read More →