May 7, 2021 Weekly Round Up

Happy May!  Here are a few of the ag law stories in the news over the past couple of weeks.   *Three laws every rural landowner in Texas should know.  I recently chatted with Texas Standard and offered three key laws I think that every rural landowner should know.  See what made my list here. *President Biden mentions exception for farms in proposal to increase capital gains taxes and do away with stepped up basis.  There have been numerous articles discussing President Biden’s proposal to increase the capital gains… Read More →

Court Analyzes TX Farm Animal Liability Act When Horse Injures Bridesmaid at Wedding Venue

Lobue v. Hanson, a case involving a wedding venue, a bridesmaid, a horse, and the Farm Animal Liability Act recently caught my attention.   [Read case here.] Background Todd Hanson owns a fifty-six acre property in Crosby, which he rents as a wedding venue called The Barn at Four Pines Ranch.  The weddings are held in a barn on the property.  Cattle and horses are on the property, but there is a fence separating the livestock from the barn. When the bride and groom arrived on their wedding day,… Read More →

Case Addresses Requirements for Valid Codicil to Will

A recent Houston Court of Appeals (1st District) case, In re the Estate of Billy Joe Wlecyk, offers some important considerations to consider with regard to executing a will and codicil. Background Billy Joe Wleczyk died on January 30, 2018.  Two days later, his daughter, Sharon Reed,  filed an Application for Probate of Will and Letters Testamentary stating that Billy Joe resided in Brazoria County at the time of his death.  The Application further provided that he executed a will in 2001, which was ratified in July 2016, and… Read More →

April 23, 2021 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  It’s sure been a week around here.  I hope we all get some rest this weekend. Here are some of the ag law stories in the news the past couple of weeks. *Important property tax deadlines coming up for rural Texas landowners.  Many property tax deadlines are coming up, requiring that paperwork be submitted by rural landowners to County Appraisal Districts before May 1.  This includes the deadline to submit an open space valuation application and a wildlife management valuation application.  Keep in mind, anyone who… Read More →

Texas Supreme Court Addresses Postproduction Costs

A recent Texas Supreme Court case, BlueStone Natural Resources II, LLC v. Randle, addressed a dispute over postproduction cost allocation for royalties.  I thought this Opinion offered a good explanation of postproduction costs generally, and comparison of the two clauses at issue in the leases, which made it worth taking a look at on this blog.  [Read Opinion here.] Background In 2003, several mineral owners (“lessors”) executed oil and gas leases with Quicksilver Resources.  Each of the leases contain a 2-page Printed Lease and an attached Addendum.  The… Read More →

SCOTUS Rules for Georgia in Water Dispute with Florida

The United States Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision on April 1, 2021, ending a water dispute between Florida and Georgia. Background  Florida filed an original suit against Georgia in 2013 claiming that Georgia consumes more than its fair share of water from the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin (“ACF”). The basin consists of three rivers: the Flint, the Chattahoochee, and the Apalachicola.  Both the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers start in Georgia and empty into Lake Seminole, which sits on the Florida/Georgia border. Both are critical water sources for Georgia,… Read More →

April 9, 2021 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  Spring has sprung here in the Texas Panhandle and I’m enjoying the green grass and warmer weather.  Here are few of the ag law stories in the news over the past couple of weeks.   * Farm Animal Liability Act bill moves forward as amended.  You may recall from our post a week ago that HB 365 is currently pending and would modify the Texas Farm Animal Liability Act to ensure application to working farms and ranches.  For more detail, click here.  The bill continues to… Read More →

Ag Law in the Field Podcast: Episodes 91-100

Can you believe we’ve hit 100 episodes of the Ag Law in the Field Podcast?  It’s crazy to think it was 5 years ago when I set out to start this show with an idea, some good friends who agreed to be guests, and Google to teach me what to do.   Every episode I interview an ag lawyer or other expert on an important agricultural law topic.  Over the first 100 episodes, I’ve been fortunate to have some of the best in the ag law world join me… Read More →

TX House Bill to Modify Farm Animal Liability Act Unanimous Out of Committee

A bill that would seek to essentially undo a 2020 Texas Supreme Court decision limiting the scope of the Texas Farm Animal Liability Act (FALA) has been unanimously passed out of the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee.  For farmers and ranchers, this is an important issue as it relates to their legal protection from liability for injuries caused by horses or livestock. Statutory Background The Texas Equine Act was passed in 1995.  The scope of the statute was amended in 2011 to expand the scope of the… Read More →

March 26, 2021 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  Here a few of the ag law stories in the news the past couple of weeks. *Maryland trial court ruling on ammonia emissions and the Clean Water Act draws concern.  A recent case decided in Maryland has resulted in nationwide discussion over agriculture and the intersection of the Clean Air and Clean Water Act.  Essentially, the circuit court judge ruled that Maryland must regulate air pollution–ammonia, in particular–under the state’s implementation of the federal Clean Water Act.  This raises concern for livestock producers, who are exempt… Read More →