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 States Constitution. Specifically, the law violates the Equal Protection Clause and the Free Speech Clause. Next week I will have a full blog discussing the Court’s ruling and potential impact. Stay tuned for that. [Read opinion here.]
* Understanding the Condemnation Process. I’ve been getting lots of phone calls lately from folks who have been approached by oil and gas companies or transmission line companies seeking an easement across the landowner’s property. Braun & Gresham law firm published a three-part blog series answering common questions about the eminent domain process for landowners. These blog posts outline the condemnation process, offer advice for negotiating terms and compensation, and discuss when it might be necessary to proceed to a commissioner’s court. [Read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here.]
*Legal Issues in Animal Agriculture Webinar Available for Free! If you missed the fantastic webinar put on yesterday by Paul Goeringer and Shannon Ferrell discussing legal issues in animal agriculture, fret not! The recorded webinar is now available online. Shannon did a great job discussing several issues and cases going on right now involving animal agriculture and spent the majority of his time offering a great discussion of the Cow Palace case from Washington where manure was found to fall under federal RCRA jurisdiction. To view the webinar in its entirety, click here.
* Your Most Important Estate Planning Questions. Farm Futures ran two articles outlining the most important estate planning questions that should be asked. These questions include the size of the estate, what assets will pass outside the estate, what circumstances exist that might require specialized advice, and more. [Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.]
* ABA Blawg Nomination Reminder. Last but not least, just one more reminder that the American Bar Association is currently taking nominations for the Top 100 legal blogs in the country. Last year, the Texas Agriculture Law Blog was the only agriculture-oriented blog to make the list and we’d love to be included again this year. To fill out the quick, painless nomination form, click here.