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 →

Texas Landowner Liability Part III: Recreational Use Statute

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There is an important statute that limits liability of certain property owners who open their land up for recreational uses.  Understanding that the vast majority of Texas land is privately owned, and hoping to encourage landowners to allow recreation on their land, the Texas Legislature passed the Recreational Use Statute.  This statute may be found at Civil Practice and Remedies Code Chapter 75.   Essentially, where the statute applies, the landowner, lessee, or occupier owes the plaintiff the same duty as a trespasser–meaning that the landowner, lessee, or… Read More →

March 20, 2015 Weekly Round Up

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Spring is in the air!  Hope you are all enjoying some warmer temperatures, and hopefully, some rain!  Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. *Briscoe County Will Not Become Part of High Plains Water District.  Despite a TCEQ recommendation that the High Plains Water District annex Briscoe County under its jurisdiction, the District Board voted unanimously not to do so last week.  Numerous Briscoe County residents spoke against the annexation, claiming they were perfectly happy being unregulated by a groundwater conservation district…. Read More →

Texas Landowner Liability Part II: Premises Liability – Legal Status and Duty Owed

rice field

As we discussed in Part I of this series, when a plaintiff is injured due to a condition on the defendant’s land, he or she may recover only under a premises liability claim.  In analyzing this type of claim, the first question to ask is what duty was owed by the landowner.  The answer to this question generally depends on which of the three the legal categories the plaintiff fits: invitee, licensee, or trespasser. Invitee A person who enters the land with the owner’s knowledge and for the mutual… Read More →

Texas Landowner Liability Part I: Negligent Act v. Premises Liability

turbines and cotton

One of the most common questions I get from Texas landowners is under what circumstances they might be held liable is another person is injured on their land.  This is an important, and somewhat complex, issue that is very important for all landowners to be aware of.  In light of this, we will begin a multi-part series on Texas landowner liability that will continue for the next couple of weeks. Negligent Act v. Premises Liability When a plaintiff is injured on a defendant’s land, he or she has… Read More →

Questions from Tiffany’s Desk: Set Back Rules for Pipelines and Oil Rigs

Rig Hotel

Question:  Is there a rule requiring a certain setback distance between a home and an oil or gas well or pipeline? Answer:  There is no state-wide setback rule for oil and gas wells or pipelines in Texas.  The state agency charged with governing oil and gas production, the Texas Railroad Commission, has passed no such state-wide regulation.  According to the Texas Railroad Commission website, “The Railroad Commission does not regulate how close a gas or oil well can be drilled to a residential property.” Instead, the RRC has… Read More →

Impact of Pipelines and Powerlines on Ranches

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Recently, I was interviewed by Larry Stalcup for an article that just ran in The Cattleman magazine discussing how easements can impact ranchers.  Larry did a great job discussing many of the issues that landowners need to consider when negotiating easement agreements.  To read the article, click here.    

March 6, 2015 Weekly Round Up

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*  Farm Bill Deadlines Extended Until March 31.  Last week the USDA announced the extension of farm bill deadlines, making all decisions due by March 31.  [Read article here.]  Producers will be allowed to make three decisions in connection with the Farm Bill:  whether to reallocate base acres, whether to update yields, and then elect between two payment programs–ARC or PLC.  To read more about these decisions, click here. * Article Discusses Underground Trespass Issue.  You likely recall from this post that the Texas Supreme Court recently avoided… Read More →

Free Ag Law Resources: Ag Law Blogs

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I’m going to start a new multi-part series that will last throughout the year highlighting free, useful agricultural law resources on a variety of different topics.  We will kick things off with my favorite agricultural law blogs. There are several great ag law blogs that offer excellent information about various ag law issues.  Because several new ag law blogs  have started in the last year or so, I thought it might be useful to provide a list of my favorites.  As you will see, these blogs are from attorneys… Read More →

Cotton Contract Clause Dispute Offers Important Reminders

turbines and cotton

Once again, a Texas court has issued an opinion regarding whether an arbitration provision in a cotton sales contract is enforceable.  The Amarillo Court of Appeals issued its opinion last week in Ecom USA, Inc v. Clark, which offers some lessons and reminders to parties entering contractual agreements and attorneys litigating these cases.  [Read opinion here.] Background This case was filed by a number of cotton farmers who contracted to deliver cotton they grew in 2010 and 2011 to the U.S. Cotton Growers Association, a marketing pool owned by… Read More →