Monthly Archives: May 2014

May 30, 2014 Weekly Round Up

*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)

*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 →

May 23, 2014 Weekly Round Up

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* Last week, I spoke to a large group of West Texas ranchers at the 5th Annual NRCS Rancher’s Workshop in Mertzon about key oil and gas and pipeline easement concepts for landowners.  It was a great program and I appreciate Jaime Tankersley inviting me to participate!  Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week.  Welcome to those of you joining from that presentation. *  TCEQ Proposal Could Further Limit Water For Rice… Read More →

San Antonio Court of Appeals Analyzes Shut In Royalty Clause

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* The San Antonio Court of Appeals issued an opinion yesterday addressing the scope and meaning of a shut-in royalty clause contained in an oil and gas lease.  The case, PNP Petroleum I, LP v. Taylor, provides a good illustration of how shut-in royalty clauses work and how modifying just two words can significantly change the meaning of an oil and gas lease.  [Review opinion here.] Background On June 1, 2009, Ms. Taylor and Ms. Herbst (“the mineral… Read More →

Texas Fence Law: Open Range….or Not? (Part 1)

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* Most Texans are quick to note that Texas is an “open range” or a “fence out” state, meaning that a livestock owner does not have a legal duty to prevent animals from getting onto the roadway.  Technically, this is a true statement of the common law in Texas.  There are, however, two major exceptions to this rule that are extremely important for livestock owners to be aware of. Today, we will review the general fence law in Texas and the… Read More →

May 16, 2014 Weekly Round Up

Last week I spoke to a group of landowners at the Western Navarro Bobwhite Recovery Initiative Spring Meeting in Blooming Grove.  Blake Alldredge planned a great meeting at a wonderful location and I enjoyed the opportunity to attend.  On Tuesday, I was in Simonton to present on leasing issues at the Upper Gulf Coast Ranch Exposition.  I appreciate all of the hard work that Greg Kaase put in to get this program put together and enjoyed the chance to visit with the producers.  To those of you joining from these presentations,… Read More →

Public Right of Use for Texas Waterways

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* Two weeks ago, I wrote about a New Mexico Attorney General opinion dealing with the right of the public to fish on streams running across private land in New Mexico.  Today, we will look at this issue under Texas law. The Question Does someone in Texas have the right to fish (or canoe, kayak, etc.) on a stream or other body of water flowing across private property? The Law Regarding Ownership of Streambeds The answer to this… Read More →

Texas Hunting Lease Checklist Available

Last week I completed a Texas Hunting Lease Checklist to provide landowners and hunters a list of some terms to consider when negotiating hunting leases. The checklist has been published by Texas A&M and is now available for free in the Agrilife Bookstore. In order to obtain a copy, click here.  This will take you to the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Bookstore.  From there, just click “add to cart” and then “proceed to checkout.”  You will be asked to enter your contact information, but you will see that there… Read More →

May 9, 2014 Weekly Round Up

Things continue to be busy around here with lots of programs going on.  Last week, I spoke on grazing leases and the Texas Right to Farm Act at an Agribusiness 101 session for Travis and Bastrop Counties in Austin.  Thank you to County Extension Agents Julie Ansley and Rachel Bauer for the invitation!  Last Friday, I made the drive to Nacogdoches to speak on basic estate planning at a Value of Land Seminar hosted by the Nacogdoches and Angelina County Extension Offices.  Jamie Sugg and Cary Sims did a great… Read More →