June 13, 2014 Weekly Round Up

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Last night I spoke in Sherman, Texas on mineral rights, eminent domain, and pipeline easement negotiations.  Grayson County Extension agent Chuck Jones planned this seminar after receiving numerous questions from landowners in the area related to these topics.  There was a great turnout and I enjoyed the chance to visit with everyone! Here are a few stories ag law stories in the news this week. * Oil and gas industry highlights alternatives to freshwater use in fracking process.  At the Texas Oil and Gas Water Conservation and Recycling Symposium,… Read More →

Breaking News: Lawsuit Challenges Lesser Prairie Chicken Listing

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As many expected, a lawsuit has been filed challenging the Fish and Wildlife Service’s recent listing of the lesser prairie chicken as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”).  (Read more about the listing here.) The Permian Basin Petroleum Association, along with four New Mexico counties (Chaves, Roosevelt, Eddy, and Lea), filed suit this week against the Department of the Interior, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and certain of their employees claiming that the decision to list the lesser prairie chicken as threatened under the ESA violated the Administrative… Read More →

Upcoming Presentations in the News

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Several of my upcoming presentations have made the news as of late.  In order to enjoy my 15 minutes of fame and be sure that you are all aware of these seminars if they are in your area, I am sharing more details about several of these upcoming programs.  To view a complete list of my upcoming speaking engagements, click here.   Grayson County:  This Thursday, June 12, 2014, I will be speaking in Sherman, Texas, at the Grayson County Courthouse.  This program, Mineral Rights and Pipeline Negotiations,… Read More →

Briefing Complete in AQHA Cloning Appeal

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*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* The parties have completed briefing before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in the much-watched case involving claims that the AQHA’s rule banning registration of cloned horses violates state and federal antitrust statutes.  A federal jury found in favor of the plaintiff’s last summer and the AQHA has now appealed that decision.  [Read more about the jury verdict here.]  An overview of the parties’ arguments is below.  If anyone would like a copy of the briefs, please call or… Read More →

June 6, 2014 Weekly Round Up

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*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* This week I was able to visit with the Taylor County Marketing Club about the current hot topics in agricultural law.  We talked about several pending Texas cases involving water law and oil and gas law, the GMO labeling debate going on across the nation, and the pending AQHA appeal in the cloning lawsuit.  They were a great group and I enjoyed the chance to chat with them about these important issues.  Thank you to Robert… Read More →

Average Land Rent Prices in Texas

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*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* During the leasing presentations that I’ve given in the past year, I have been frequently asked what a landowner should charge when leasing his or her land.  Even though I jokingly tell people that I can’t help them because they did not teach me that in law school, I have done some research and wanted to share some useful resources and information. First, I would recommend that any landowner seeking to determine what to charge to talk to the County Extension… Read More →

Texas Supreme Court Considering Important Oil and Gas Case

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*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* The Texas Supreme Court is currently considering Key Operating & Equipment Co. v. Hegar, a case that will have important implications for both the oil and gas industry and surface owners across Texas.  Oral argument was held in February and the case is now pending decision by the Court. Background This dispute involves two adjacent tracts of land in Washington County known as the Rosenbaum-Curbo tract and the Richardson tract.  Key operating began production on the… Read More →

May 30, 2014 Weekly Round Up

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*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* This week I made the trip to Lubbock, Texas to attend the 8th Annual John Huffaker Agricultural Law Course.  The program has been excellent and I’ve had the opportunity to meet with several ag law attorneys from across the state.  As a member of the planning committee, I know the work that goes into this program and want to thank directors David Waggoner and Trace Blair for allowing me to be a part of this event.  For… Read More →

Railroad Commission Sides with Oil Company Against Groundwater Conservation District

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* Last week, the Texas Railroad Commission heard an important dispute regarding whether local groundwater conservation districts have the right to protest disposal well permits.  Background In order to drill a disposal well, a company must obtain a permit from the Railroad Commission of Texas.  Frequently, local Groundwater Conservation Districts challenge these permits, citing concerns about contamination of groundwater.  This is particularly true in the Eagle Ford Shale region, where some GCDs challenge every disposal well petition in their area seeking to… Read More →

Texas Fence Law: Open Range….Or Not? (Part 2)

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*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* Today we have Part 2 in this series providing an overview of Texas fence laws.  Last Monday, we walked through the laws pertaining to fence law and liability in Texas.  Today, we will look at examples of how these laws are applied.  How Does This All Work? Let’s use a hypothetical example to help explain how the law works in the different areas.  Assume that a horse was grazing in a pasture next to a roadway… Read More →