Avoid and Survive Undercover Video Investigations on the Farm: Hiring Practices


Recently, I did a three-part series for Dairy Herd Management magazine discussing avoiding and surviving undercover video investigations on agriculture operations.  Particularly in light of the Idaho “ag gag” statute being stricken as unconstitutional, this is an important and timely issue.  We will be sharing the articles over the next couple of weeks and will address hiring practices, training procedures, and what to do if a crisis does occur. Importantly, an initial disclaimer.  I, along with the vast majority of folks involved in production agriculture am adamantly against… Read More →

August 14, 2015 Weekly Round Up


Last Friday I visited with a group of West Texas landowners at the Permian Basin Oil and Gas Conference.  Thank you all for your great questions and for those of you new to the blog, welcome!  Here are some ag law stories in the news this week. * EPA To Blame for Catastrophic Spill on Animas River.  One of the biggest national news stories this week, unfortunately, involved a catastrophic spill of contaminated water out of the Gold King Mine into the Animas River.  The spill of over… Read More →

Fixed v. Floating Royalty Clauses


Earlier this month, the San Antonio Court of Appeals issued two opinions in cases where the dispute centered around whether mineral reservations in a deed reserved a fixed or floating royalty.  These cases offer important illustrations of the care that must be used when negotiating not only mineral leases, but also when negotiating the sale or reservation of mineral interests. Legal Background A mineral owner may create a royalty interest out of either the total production achieved under a lease or based upon the landowner’s royalty interest. A… Read More →

Federal Judge Finds Idaho “Ag Gag” Law Unconstitutional

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In a much anticipated decision from the United States District Court for the District of Idaho,  Idaho Code Section 18-7042, which is commonly referred to as an “ag gag law” (hereinafter “the Statute”) has been deemed unconstitutional, specifically violating the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Background After a secret, undercover investigation by the animal rights group Mercy for Animals was released and showed abuse of cows at an Idaho dairy, a bill was introduced by several ag groups to criminalize… Read More →

August 7, 2015 Weekly Round Up

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Last night I spoke at the Amarillo Ag Club meeting and really enjoyed the great discussion with everyone in the group!  To those of you new to the blog from that meeting, welcome!  Here are some ag law stories in the news this week. *  Idaho “Ag Gag” Law Held Unconstitutional.  A federal judge in Idaho has ruled the state’s “ag gag” law, which was passed last year to prohibit persons obtaining access to ag operations through false pretenses or recording ag operations without consent, violates the United… Read More →

Drones & Agriculture: Where Are We Now?


I write a monthly legal column for Progressive Cattleman Magazine, a great publication that you should definitely be subscribing to!  Last month, my article focused on drone use in American agriculture.  This is an extremely hot-button issue and a technology that could have great impacts on our  industry.  The article outlines current drone law, proposed FAA regulations, and the pros and cons of this technological advancement. To read my article, click here.

Questions from Tiffany’s Desk: Is that liability release worth more the paper it’s written on?

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Question:  This is one I get a lot when I give presentations suggesting the use of liability releases before allowing people on your property to undertake certain activities like hunting or riding horses.  Are these releases enforceable?  As one gentleman put it, “Is a liability release worth any more than the paper it’s written on?” Answer:  If drafted correctly, a liability release is enforceable under Texas law and may allow the released party to avoid liablity.  Releases, however, are not favored and are narrowly construed against the released… Read More →

July 31, 2015 Weekly Round Up

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*Don’t forget to nominate the Texas Agriculture Law Blog as one of the Top 100 Legal Blogs, click here.* The summer sure seems to be flying by and here we are at the end of July!  Here are a few ag law stories in the news this week. * Investigation into whether Big Bend Pipeline Should Face Federal Regulation.  You may remember from this prior blog that a pipeline is proposed to transport natural gas between the Permian Basin and Mexico, through Big Bend.  This week, the Federal… Read More →

It’s ABA Top 100 Blawg Nomination Time!


Now that we are in the heat of summer, it’s time to nominate your favorite legal blogs for the American Bar Association’s list of the Top 100 legal blogs (creatively called “Blawgs”). To nominate the Texas Agriculture Law Blog, just click here and fill out the quick nomination form.  The deadline for submissions is August 16, 2015.   Last year, we were extremely honored to be recognized as one of the Top 100 legal blogs in the nation, and the only agricultural law blog to receive recognition.  This… Read More →

Texas Exempt Wells: Where Does Fracking Fit?

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I am excited to have an article, “Texas Exempt Wells: Where Does Fracking Fit?,”  published in the current issue of the Natural Resources Journal.  This issue of the NRJ focuses on water and offers articles in a variety of topics.  To view the current issue, click here. In our article, Lubbock-based agricultural law attorney Amber Miller and I offer an in depth analysis of the Texas exempt well statute and ask the important question of where water used for hydraulic fracturing fits under this statutory provision.  Here is a… Read More →