Category Archives: Texas Supreme Court Decisions

Texas Supreme Court Rules in Subsurface Trespass Case

Where an oil and gas production company seeks to drill a  horizontal well through the mineral interest of another, in order to produce oil and gas from a lease held by the driller, does trespass occur?  Since 2014, we have been following the Lightning Oil Company v. Anadarko case through various levels of the Texas court system, which involves this very question.  Last week, the Texas Supreme Court issued a decision upholding the lower court opinions in the case and making clear that in this situation, trespass does not… Read More →

Texas Supreme Court Holds RRC Does Not Have Exclusive Jurisdiction Over Contamination Claims

The Texas Supreme Court issued an important ruling a couple of weeks ago in Forest Oil Corp. v. El Rucio Land and Cattle Company.  [Read full opinion here.]  This case addresses important issues regarding a landowner’s right to sue an oil and gas company for contamination on his or her property and offers a good reminder that parties agreeing to arbitration need to carefully consider and understand what rights they give up in making that agreement. Background James McAllen owns the McAllen Ranch, consisting of over 27,000 acres.  The… Read More →

February 3, 2017 Weekly Round Up

I’m not quite sure how we are already a month into 2017, but here we are.  In the last couple of weeks I have traveled to speak at Extension meetings in Dumas and Lubbock.  Welcome to those of you joining from those meetings! Here are some of the ag law stories in the news. *10 Texas oil and gas cases to watch.  Chris Halgren compiled a list of 10 Texas Supreme Court cases dealing with oil and gas law worth watching in 2017.  His post provides a short… Read More →

Texas Supreme Court Issues Ruling in Denbury Green

Although the Texas Supreme Court decision in Denbury Green Pipeline-Texas, LLC v. Texas Rice Land Partners, Ltd. has put an end to the litigation, there are a number of unanswered questions and potential issues that remain in the opinion’s aftermath.  [Read full opinion here.]  This case will continue to have serious impacts on landowners and pipeline companies dealing with the use of eminent domain in Texas. Factual Background When the Denbury Green Pipeline project planned to build a C02 pipeline from Missisippi to Brazoria and Galveston Counties in Texas,… Read More →

Texas Supreme Court Addresses Nuisance Law

Last week, the Texas Supreme Court issued its opinion in Crosstex North Texas Pipeline, L.P. v. Gardiner.  [Read full opinion here.]  In doing so, the Court took the much-needed opportunity to address and clarify the law of nuisance in Texas.  The 54-page opinion walks through a detailed discussion and analysis of nuisance law in Texas. Factual Background Crosstex operates a natural gas pipeline running from Tarrant County to Lamar County.  Along this route, in Denton County, Crosstex bought a 20 acre tract of land midway along the pipeline that… Read More →

Texas Supreme Court: Accommodation Doctrine Applies to Groundwater

On May 27, 2016, the Texas Supreme Court issued its opinion in Coyote Lake Ranch, LLC v. City of Lubbock.  Many Texas agricultural and water law attorneys were in Lubbock attending the State Bar of Texas Agricultural Law Continuing Legal Education Seminar.  As soon as the opinion was released, you should have seen everyone scurrying around! This case (on which I have previously blogged here) is extremely important for Texas landowners and groundwater owners.  For the first time, the Texas Supreme Court announced that the accommodation doctrine, previously applied… Read More →

April 8, 2016 Weekly Round Up

It has been a busy week around here!  On Monday, I was a co-presenter on a Right to farm webinar.  On Tuesday, I offered a water law webinar for Texas extension agents.  On Thursday night, I spoke on agricultural law hot topics to a great group in Denton.  And, finally, today I am giving three presentations at the Texas & Southwest Cattle Raisers Convention in Ft. Worth.  To all of you new faces joining the blog, welcome! * Right to farm webinar recording available.  If you missed the… Read More →

March 4, 2016 Weekly Round Up

It’s been a busy week around here!  On Tuesday I spoke on surviving undercover video investigations at the High Plains Diary Conference in Lubbock.  It was a great turn out and I really enjoyed the chance to visit with folks about this topic.  Thanks to Ellen Jordan for the invitation.  On Thursday, I was in Abilene to speak with the Master Marketer class.  I appreciate Mark Welch inviting me to attend.  To those of you joining from these events, welcome! It has been a busy ag law week,… Read More →

BREAKING NEWS: TX and NM Supreme Court Rulings Impact Agriculture

Well it turned into a busy week for ag law right at the last minute and after I posted the weekly round up.  Major actions from the Texas and New Mexico Supreme Courts that have major impacts on the agriculture industry in both states. First up, the Texas Supreme Court will NOT hear the appeal in Texas Farm Bureau v. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.  This case arose during the drought of 2012 when there was a shortage of water on the Brazos River.  Dow Chemical had a 1942 water right… Read More →

What Constitutes Gross Negligence Under the Recreational Use Statute?

The Texas Supreme Court recently analyzed an important question for Texas landowners:  What constitutes gross negligence under the Recreational Use Statute?  The court’s opinion in Suarez v. City of Texas City focuses on other issues such as governmental immunity as well, but also offers insight into how gross negligence is analyzed under the Recreational Use Statute. [Read full opinion here.] Legal Background As you may recall from this prior blog post, Texas has a Recreational Use Statute which essentially shields Texas landowners from liability if a person is injured on agricultural land while… Read More →