March 11, 2016 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday to everyone!  There were lots of interesting ag law stories in the news this week.  Let’s take a look. * Mexico Complies with Rio Grande Treaty Obligations.  You may remember from this prior post the long running dispute between Texas and Mexico regarding water owed to the US under the 1944 Rio Grande Treaty.  For several years, Mexico had been behind on the required water delivery.  As of January 25, the International Boundary and Water Commission confirmed that Texas had delivered all water owed under the… Read More →

Review and Update Your Estate Plan Now!

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Although not as exciting as some other ag law issues we discuss on this blog, this topic is one of the most important for folks to consider.  I recently wrote an article for Dairy Herd Management discussing this topic.  While creating an estate plan is a very important step, it is not the end of the journey.  It is critical that once an estate plan has been created, it is reviewed and updated periodically.  I recommend that folks review estate plans at least once a year (your birthday… Read More →

March 4, 2016 Weekly Round Up

Photo by Wyman Meinzer

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 →

Texas Oil & Gas Leasing Handbook Available

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Last week, my colleague from Oklahoma State University, Shannon Ferrell, and I put on an oil and gas leasing workshop in College Station.  The program was well attended, participants asked excellent questions, and the final evaluations and comments were very positive from those who attended. The funding for this project was provided by the Southern Risk Management Education Center and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.  We would also like to say a special thank you to Dr. Mark Waller, Tracy Davis, and Dusty Tittle for their… Read More →

February 26, 2016 Weekly Round Up

San Antone Hose

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 →

Federal Lawsuit Seeks Ruling on Drone Rights

You may recall from this prior Weekly Round Up post that a federal lawsuit has been filed in Kentucky seeking to adjudicate rights of drone operators versus neighboring landowners. Today, we will take a closer look at details from that suit. Background In July 2015, Mr. Boggs was flying his drone for recreational purposes near his home in Kentucky.  His drone contained an onboard camera that could capture video and photographs.  After about two minutes of flight, Mr. Merideth shot down the drone with a shotgun. Mr. Boggs… Read More →

Jury Awards $2.5 Million to Braggs

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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 →

SCOTUS Watch 2016: Murr v. Wisconsin

Supreme Court Building

Welcome to Part II in our SCOTUS Watch blog series where we are looking at US Supreme Court cases this term that could have affect agriculture.  If you missed Part I, click here. Today, we will take a look at Murr v. Wisconsin, a case involving how separate parcels of land should be treated when conducting a regulatory takings analysis. Legal Background The US Constitution provides that private property may not be “taken for public use, without just compensation.”  A government regulation constitutes a taking under the Fifth Amendment… Read More →

BREAKING NEWS: TX and NM Supreme Court Rulings Impact Agriculture

Agrilife Extension

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 →

February 19, 2016 Weekly Round Up

Texas A&M Agrilife Extension photo by Robert Burns

Happy Friday!    Before we get started, one last reminder of the Oil and Gas Leasing Seminar we will be putting on on Monday from 9-12 noon in College Station at the Hildebrand Equine Center (3240 F&B Road, College Station).  There is no required registration, no fees, and we will have parking passes for everyone.  So feel free to join us! Here are some of the agricultural law issues in the news recently. * Bragg case back in court.  The high-profile Texas water law case, Bragg v. Edwards Aquifer Authority, is… Read More →