Texas Landowner Liability Statutes

Ag Law CLE

Recently, I had the honor of speaking at the 10th Annual John Huffaker Agricultural Law Course.  This event, put on by the Texas State Bar, is a continuing education event for attorneys.  My task was to provide an overview of limited liability statutes in Texas.  Three statutes (Recreational Use Statute, Agritourism Act, and Farm Animal liability Act) offer limited liability to Texas landowners if the requirements are met.  It is critical that Texas landowners be aware of these statutes and seek to comply to protect their operations in… Read More →

June 17, 2016 Weekly Round Up

Texas A&M Agrilife Extension photo by Robert Burns

It’s been a hot one around here this week!  Hope you all have a safe, cool weekend.  Here are some of the agricultural law stories in the news this week. * Texas Lawmaker Asks for Decision in Eminent Domain Authority for High Speed Rail.  State Representative Byron Cook is seeking an opinion from the Texas Attorney General as to whether Texas Central Partners, a private company planning a high speed train project from Dallas to Houston has eminent domain power for this endeavor.  In 2015, a Senate bill… Read More →

Unanimous Victory in United States Supreme Court for Landowners

Supreme Court Building

Last week, Chief Justice Roberts wrote a unanimous opinion in the case United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes, holding that landowners do have the right to challenge jurisdictional determinations by the EPA that water on their lands is governed by the Clean Water Act.  This decision is extremely important for landowners across the country.  [Read full opinion here.] Background The full factual background of this case was set forth in this prior blog post.  Essentially, the Corps of Engineers (COE) determined that waters on land owned by… Read More →

June 10, 2016 Weekly Round Up

Baracho

We have several new blog readers this week thanks to several presentations I’ve given recently.  Two weeks ago, I was in Lubbock for the 10th Annual State Bar of Texas John Huffaker Agricultural Law Course.  In my book, this is absolute must-attend for any agricultural law attorneys!  Kudos to course directors David Waggoner and Trace Blair for all of their hard work.  Last week, I traveled to Stillwater, Oklahoma and Ft. Worth, Texas for our Ranchers’ Leasing Workshops, funded by the Southern Extension Risk Management Education Center.  We… Read More →

Texas Supreme Court: Accommodation Doctrine Applies to Groundwater

Texas A&M University Agrilife Extension photo by Steve Byrns

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 →

Private Property Rights on the Ranch

Texas A&M Agrilife Extension photo via Blair Fannin

I recently wrote an article for Progressive Cattleman Magazine looking at legal options for producers who face trespassers or people seeking employment using false credentials to gain access to agricultural facilities.  This is certainly an important issue for our industry, and being aware of our rights, potential legal claims, and training to ensure careful animal handling policies is key. To read my article, click here.

Key Solar Lease Considerations for Landowners

Fritz Farm

In the last few months, I have heard from several Texas landowners who have been contacted by solar companies seeking to lease agricultural land for solar projects.  There is surprisingly little information available for landowners considering the pros and cons of entering into a solar lease agreement.  This article outlines some of the key considerations for landowners considering and/or negotiating a solar lease. As always, I highly recommend that landowners consult an experienced attorney to review any lease agreement before it is signed.  As Stamford, Texas attorney James… Read More →

May 27, 2016 Weekly Round Up

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It has been a busy couple of weeks around here, sorry for the delay in Weekly Round Up posts!  Recently, Atascoca County Extension Agent, Dale Rankin, had me present online to a couple of different extension meetings in south Texas.  Next up, I traveled to Austin to attend the Stiles Farm Legislative Field Day.  There were a number of legislators and their staffers at this event, where we were able to showcase and educate about agriculture and issues important to the industry.  Kudos to Ryan Collett and his team for… Read More →

Extension Fact Sheet: Child Labor Law & Agriculture

Red

I recently published an Extension Fact Sheet on the subject of child labor laws and agriculture.  This is a complex topic and one of which many producers need to be aware.  To download a copy of the fact sheet, click here.

Pesticide Drift Liability (Part 3): Practical Advice for Farmers & Ranchers Using Pesticides

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Today we will conclude our three part series on pesticide drift liability.  In case you missed them, Part 1 focused on potential legal claims that could be made against a landowner and Part 2 looked at whether a landowner could be liable for the acts of an independent contractor.  This post will wrap things up with some practical advice for those landowners who spray pesticides as part of their farming or ranching practices. Use common sense when spraying. Using simple common sense can avoid numerous issues when it… Read More →