Category Archives: Regulatory Takings

2016 Ag Law Year in Review: State Level

Happy New Year!  We are back with Part II in our series looking back at the biggest agricultural law issues of 2016.  If you missed Part I, which focused on federal issues, click here.  Today, we will be focused on Texas-specific issues. *Jury issues $2.4 million verdict in Bragg v. Edwards Aquifer Authority.  The seemingly unending saga of the Bragg case came to an end in 2016.  On remand, a Medina County jury issued a judgement in the amount of $2.5 million (exclusive of interest) in favor of the Braggs as… Read More →

July 29, 2016 Weekly Round Up

I’m not sure how it can possibly be the end of July already, but here we are!  Hope everyone had a great week.  Here are some of the ag law stories in the news. * Edwards Aquifer Authority To Pay $4.5 Million Settlement to Braggs.  After 10 years of litigation, the Medina County pecan farmers at the center of one of the biggest water law cases in Texas will be paid by the Edwards Aquifer Authority for a taking of their private property.  As you have read about… Read More →

February 26, 2016 Weekly Round Up

Hello and welcome to the last Friday in February!  Earlier this week, I was in College Station speaking along with my friend and colleague, Shannon Ferrell, at a program called Petroleum Production on Agricultural Lands in Texas:  Managing Risks and Opportunities.  We had a great turn out and want to welcome those of you joining us from that presentation!  Now, on to the agricultural law news of the week, much of which is water related today. * Breakdown of the Bragg verdict.  As you read earlier this week, a… Read More →

Jury Awards $2.5 Million to Braggs

A jury ruled on Monday that the Edwards Aquifer Authority owes $2.5 million in compensation to the Braggs because groundwater permit denials resulted in a regulatory taking. For those of you who might not have been following along, the Braggs filed suit against the EAA back in 2004 after they were denied permits to pump groundwater to irrigate their pecan orchards.  The trial court found in favor of the Braggs initially–agreeing that the denials constituted a regulatory taking of the Bragg’s property interest in groundwater–and awarded $732,493.40.  Both sides… Read More →

2015 National Agriculture Law Year in Review (Part II)

Today we continue in our review of national agricultural law developments in 2015.  If you missed Part I of this series, click here. EPA Revokes Approval for Suloxaflor and Enlist Duo.  Just a few weeks ago, the EPA announced it would revoke approval for suloxaflor (active ingredient in Transform) and withdraw its approval for the Enlist Duo.  Both were a result of litigation filed by environmental groups challenging the approval of these products.  Dow Chemical has stated it is confident that the EPA’s concerns can be addressed quickly… Read More →

United States Supreme Court Finds for Raisin Farmers in Takings Case

It is not that often that an agricultural law issue is before the United States Supreme Court.  Yesterday, however, the Court sided with raisin farmers who claimed that a government ag marketing order constituted a taking of their private property for which just compensation was owed.  [Read full opinion here.] Factual Background This case involves a claim by the Horne family against the United States Department of Agriculture.  The Hornes are raisin farmers and raisin growers in California.  In addition to raising their own raisins, they serve as sort… Read More →

Case Offers Example of Regulatory Takings Analysis

Last week, an interesting opinion was issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit involving a takings claim.  In Lost Tree Village Corporation v. United States, the court analyzed whether a Lucas takings claim occurs where the regulation deprives the property of 99.4% of value, but the property could still hypothetically be sold.  [Read full opinion here.] Basic Regulatory Takings Law In order to understand the Lost Tree case, it is important to have a basic understanding of regulatory takings law in the United States. The US… Read More →

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

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 →

Local Fracking Laws Could Impact Ranchers

I recently wrote an article for Progressive Cattleman magazine discussing how local fracking bans that are popping up across the country could impact ranchers. These laws are being passed by counties, such as Mora County, New Mexico, and cities, such as Denton, Texas, across the country.  Frequently, laws banning fracking (or some written even more broadly to prohibit all oil and gas production) are challenged in court by the oil and gas industry and mineral owners who wish to lease their mineral rights to an oil or gas… Read More →