February 19, 2016 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!    Before we get started, one last reminder of the Oil and Gas Leasing Seminar we will be putting on on Monday from 9-12 noon in College Station at the Hildebrand Equine Center (3240 F&B Road, College Station).  There is no required registration, no fees, and we will have parking passes for everyone.  So feel free to join us!

Here are some of the agricultural law issues in the news recently.

Bragg case back in court.  The high-profile Texas water law case, Bragg v. Edwards Aquifer Authority, is headed back to court this week.  You may recall from this blog post that the San Antonio Court of Appeals found that the Braggs suffered a taking when the EAA denied their groundwater pumping permits.  The Texas Supreme Court refused to hear the case on appeal.  The case was sent back to the trial court for the proper calculation of adequate compensation due to the Braggs for the taking.  The issue will be heard by a Medina County jury, which was selected this week.  [Read article here.]

* Should you make copies of employee I-9 documents?  I recently wrote an extension fact sheet on agricultural employers and I-9 compliance.  (If you missed that, click here.)  This week, the Society for Human Resource Management published an article discussing the pros and cons for making copies of the I-9 documents presented by employees.  The article discusses this issue at length, but in my mind, the most important point here for employers to remember is to be consistent!  If an employer makes copies of documents for one worker, the employer needs to make copies for all workers so as to avoid any discrimination claims.  [Read article here.]

* Is your land lease fair?  Southeast Farm Press published an article discussing how to analyze whether your land lease is fair.  It offers some great information on analyzing lease rates and various set ups including cash leases, flex leases, and crop-share lease agreements.  [Read article here.]

Texas A&M Agrilife Extension photo by Robert Burns

Texas A&M Agrilife Extension photo by Robert Burns

* Retirement investment tips.  Retirement savings is a topic everyone thinks about.  This article offers tips for determining how much money you will need to retire and how to start saving for that goal to day.  [Read article here.]

* Eminent domain informational meeting in Waller.  For those of you in Central Texas interested in eminent domain issues, there will be a meeting on Saturday, February 27, 2016 at the Waller High School Auditorium.  My friend and outstanding Texas eminent domain attorney, Luke Ellis, is one of the speakers that will help explain eminent domain law, condemnation rules and procedure, and offer  negotiation tips for folks dealing with the potential condemnation of their property for projects like transmission lines, pipelines, or the high speed rail.  For more information, click here.

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