June 26, 2015 Weekly Round Up

It was a busy week for ag law!  In addition to the United States Supreme Court’s decision in the “raisin case” (read my summary here in case you missed it), here are some of the other ag law stories in the news this week:

*United States Supreme Court Will Not Hear Appeal in Whooping Crane Case.  The US Supreme Court has denied a petition for certiorari filed by The Aransas Project seeking review in “the whopping crane case” as it has become known.  The case involved a claim by the environmental group, The Aransas Project, against the TCEQ, essentially arguing that by issuing surface water use permits, the TCEQ caused the death of 23 whooping cranes, constituting a “take” under the Endangered Species Act.  You may remember from this blog post, that the 5th Circuit found in favor of the TCEQ in July 2014.  The 5th Circuit reasoned that the plaintiffs failed to explain the connection between the permitting process and the death of the cranes.  Without this proof of proximate causation, said the court, the TCEQ did not commit a take under the Endangered Species Act.  The Supreme Court’s denial of the petition for review means that the 5th Circuit opinion will stand.  [Read article here.]


Farm Bill Program Enrollment Now Open. – Now is the time for producers to enroll in either the  ARC or PLC programs with FSA.  Earlier this year, producers had to select which of the programs they wanted to participate in, but now step two requires farmers actually enroll in the program they selected.  The enrollment period is open from now through Sept. 30, 2015.  [Read news release here.]

*Estate Planning Doesn’t Have to be Complicated.  Dee Lee, a certified financial planner, published a short article this week explaining that estate planning does not have to be complicated.  She does a great job offering advice on how to get the process started and outlines the basic documents that should be considered.  [Read article here.]

* Lending Terminology.  My colleagues at the University of Maryland published a blog post this week outlining and defining common terminology found in lending documents.  If you have purchased property lately, you know how complicated the forms and documents can be.  These definitions may be able to help give you a place to start when reviewing those legal documents.  [Read blog post here.]

* Free Water Law Webinar July 2, 2015.  For those of you interested in Texas water law, I will be giving a free webinar next Thursday, July 2, 2015 at noon CST.  I will be covering basic Texas water law as well as going over several important water law cases and current controversies.  For more information on this webinar or to sign up, click here.  This webinar is part of the Natural Resource Webinar Series by Texas A&M Agrilife Extension series.   To see other upcoming webinar topics, click here.


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