Texas Supreme Court Finds for Royalty Owners in Hyder Case

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In June, the Texas Supreme Court issued a 5-4 opinion in a much-watched dispute between royalty owners and oil and gas producer, Chesapeake Exploration, LLC.   [Read full opinion here.] This case is extremely important for all Texas royalty and overriding royalty owners to be aware of as it illustrates contractual language sufficient to prevent the production company from deducting post-production costs from royalty payments, and that which is not sufficient to prevent such deductions.  There is a fine line between sufficient and insufficient language, which can have… Read More →

July 10, 2015 Weekly Round Up

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We’ve made it to another Friday!  Here are some of the interesting ag law stories in the news this week.  Also, for those of you on Twitter, be sure to follow me @Tiff Dowell for more ag law news throughout the week! * Oklahoma Supreme Court Allows Suits by Property Owners Against Oil and Gas Companies for Earthquakes.  An Oklahoma property owner who claims her home was damaged due to an earthquake she claims was caused by a saltwater disposal well can pursue her legal claim  against numerous… Read More →

Texas Legislative Review: Bills Related to Agricultural Law

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Now that the 2015 Texas Legislative Session has ended, I wanted to highlight some agricultural-related bills considered in Austin this session.  For those of you not familiar with Texas politics, our legislature meets only every-other year.  At the close of the session, there are three things that can happen to any bills on the governor’s desk:  (1) the governor has 20 days to sign the bill, making it law; (2) the governor has 20 days to veto the bill; or (3) if no action is taken within the 20 day… Read More →

New Mexico Court of Appeals: Agriculture Exclusion to Workers’ Compensation Act Unconstitutional

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A recent decision by the New Mexico Court of Appeals is receiving much attention from the agricultural industry.  In Rodriguez v. Brand West Dairy, the New Mexico Court of Appeals held that a provision excluding  farm and ranch laborers from coverage is  unconstitutional as it violates the Equal Protection Clause of the New Mexico Constitution.  [Read full opinion here.] Factual Background Two agricultural laborers were injured during their employment in the New Mexico agriculture industry.  Aguirre was injured while picking chile for M.A. & Sons Chili Products.  Rodriguez was… Read More →

July 3, 2015 Weekly Round Up

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Happy July to everyone!  Yesterday, I participated in the Texas Range Webinar Series and gave a presentation on water law.  We had a great turn out for the webinar and fantastic questions! To those of you joining us from the webinar, welcome! The month kicked off with a bang as far as ag law in the news is concerned.  Here are some of the key stories making news this week. * TCEQ Files Petition for TX Supreme Court Review in Surface Water Case.  The TCEQ is seeking review… Read More →

Farm Transition Webinar

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Paul Goeringer, legal specialist at the University of Maryland does a great job of putting together ag law webinars, free of charge, on important issues.  Earlier this month, Shannon Ferrell, an ag law professor at Oklahoma State University, did a webinar on transitioning the family farm between generations. This is an extremely important issue and Shannon is a nationwide expert in this area. To listen to Shannon’s presentation (it lasts just over 1 hour), just press play on the video screen below.

June 26, 2015 Weekly Round Up

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It was a busy week for ag law!  In addition to the United States Supreme Court’s decision in the “raisin case” (read my summary here in case you missed it), here are some of the other ag law stories in the news this week: *United States Supreme Court Will Not Hear Appeal in Whooping Crane Case.  The US Supreme Court has denied a petition for certiorari filed by The Aransas Project seeking review in “the whopping crane case” as it has become known.  The case involved a claim… Read More →

Happy Birthday To The Blog!

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Today is the 2nd birthday of the Texas Agriculture Law Blog. When I began this project in June 2013, I never imagined the growth, support, and contacts that this website would generate! As of June 1, we nearly 750 subscribers and nearly 18,000 page views per month.  Last year, this blog was named one of the Top 100 Legal Blogs (Blawgs) by the American Bar Association.  My favorite accolade, however, is when readers let me know that something they found here was useful for their operation and family! As always,… Read More →

United States Supreme Court Finds for Raisin Farmers in Takings Case

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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 →

June 19, 2015 Weekly Round Up

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Congratulations, we have made it to another Friday!  Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. *  TCEQ Seeks Texas Supreme Court Review of Decision in Texas Farm Bureau v. TCEQ.  You may remember from this prior blog post that the the Corpus Christi Court of Appeals recently sided with the Texas Farm Bureau and member farmers against the TCEQ in a case posing the question of whether the TCEQ can ignore priority and allow exemptions from priority calls for certain types of… Read More →