Texas Supreme Court: Duty of Executive Rights Holder to Non-Participating Royalty Owner

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Recently, the Texas Supreme Court clarified the duty owed by an executive rights holder to a non-participating royalty owner when negotiating an oil and gas lease.  KCM Financial LLC v. Bradshaw is an important opinion as it makes clear what obligations the executive rights holder has, and does not have when negotiating and signing mineral leases.  [Read full opinion here.] Basic Legal Background Generally, if not severed, a mineral owner possesses certain rights as part of mineral ownership.  These rights include the executive right, which is the right to… Read More →

April 17, 2015 Weekly Round Up

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This week I traveled to Andrews, Texas to speak at the Sandhills Beef Conference.  Thanks to Caleb Eaton for the invitation to come and speak on grazing leases.  To those of you joining the blog from that presentation, welcome!  Here are a couple of at law stories in the news this week. * Texas Legislators Eye Gulf To Solve Water Issues.  The Texas Tribune published a great article discussing proposed bills in Austin related to turning to the gulf and desalination to solve Texas’ ongoing water problems.  As… Read More →

Texas Supreme Court: What Happens When Deed Descriptions Differ?

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When the metes-and-bounds description in a deed conflicts with another, more general description in the deed, which controls?  The Texas Supreme Court recently answered this question in Stribling v. Millican DPC Partners, LP.  [Read full opinion here.] Background Millican and McGregor are neighboring landowners in Brazos County.  They are at odds over which of them owns a 34.28 acre tract. Tracing this back in the deed records, there is a 1945 deed that, using metes-and-bounds identifies 202 acres, including the 34 acre tract in dispute, as being deeded from… Read More →

April 10, 2015 Weekly Round Up

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Yesterday found me in Menard, Texas talking to local landowners about hunting leases.  Thanks to Lisa Brown for the invitation and welcome to those of you joining the blog from that presentation! Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. * Midland County to Purchase Land for Groundwater Rights.  Midland County officials recently approved the purchase of land to secure additional groundwater for the county.  [Read article here.] * USDA Proposes Modifications to “Actively Engaged in Farming” Definition.  The USDA has proposed changes to… Read More →

Syngenta Corn Lawsuits: Answers to Producers’ Questions

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As we have previously discussed in several Weekly Round Up Posts, there have been numerous lawsuits filed across the county related against Syngenta related to a genetically modified corn seed that resulted in China rejecting shipments of US corn.   After receiving questions from numerous corn producers and agribusiness owners about exactly what was going on with these lawsuits, I have worked with attorneys William Chaney and Mitch Carthel to put together a Fact Sheet answering many of the questions frequently asked by producers. In order to obtain a… Read More →

April 6, 2015 Weekly Round Up

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Because of the Corpus Christi Court of Appeals opinion last week in TCEQ v. Texas Farm Bureau, the weekly round up blog for last Friday got pushed to today. Last weekend, I attended my first Texas & Southwest Cattle Raiser’s Conference in Ft. Worth.  I was honored to give three presentations on grazing leases and pipeline easements and had an absolute blast!  To those of you joining from the Convention, welcome! Here are some ag law stories in the news this week. * Texas Supreme Court Hears Chesapeake… Read More →

Court of Appeals Sides with Farmers in Surface Water Case

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Today, the Corpus Christi Court of Appeals issued a major decision in TCEQ v. Texas Farm Bureau regarding surface water rights in Texas. [Read full opinion here.]   Background In late 2012, Dow Chemical Company, a water rights holder on the Brazos River notified the TCEQ it was making a “priority call” on the Brazos.  Essentially, this means that Dow requested TCEQ to curtail water withdrawals from users with water rights junior to Dow, whose right was granted in 1942.  The TCEQ issued a priority call, suspending the use… Read More →

Tx Supreme Court Holds Recreational Use Statute Does Not Apply to Spectators at Sporting Events

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A question had arisen in Texas appellate courts over the last several years:  Would attending a sporting event as a spectator fall under the definition of “recreation” thereby allowing the defendant to raise the Recreational Use Statute as a defense? Last week, the Texas Supreme Court answered this question in University of Texas at Arlington v. Williams.  [Read full opinion here.] Background The plaintiff attended her daughter’s high school soccer game at the University of Texas at Arlington football stadium.  She watched her daughter’s game through completion.  After… Read More →

March 27, 2015 Weekly Round Up

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I spent this week on the road in San Angelo speaking at county programs in four different locations.  The turn outs were  great, participation was excellent, and I really enjoyed my trip.  Big thanks to County Extension Agents Raymond Quigg, Chase McPhaul, Josh Blanek, and Morgan Runyan for the invitation to present at these meetings.  To those of you new to the blog from these presentations, welcome! Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week * Cantaloupe Lawsuits Settled.  You likely recall from… Read More →

Texas Landowner Liability Part IV: Liability of Landlord During Lease Term

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Another important consideration for any landowner looking to lease land is the issue of what liability he or she may be subject to if someone is injured during the term of the lease agreement. In Texas, the general rule is that a landowner is not liable to the tenant or to others on the land for physical harm caused by any dangerous condition that existed at the time the lessee took possession of the land. As with most laws, however, there are several exceptions to this rule. A landowner… Read More →