I’m not quite sure how we are already a month into 2017, but here we are. In the last couple of weeks I have traveled to speak at Extension meetings in Dumas and Lubbock. Welcome to those of you joining from those meetings!
Here are some of the ag law stories in the news.
*10 Texas oil and gas cases to watch. Chris Halgren compiled a list of 10 Texas Supreme Court cases dealing with oil and gas law worth watching in 2017. His post provides a short summary of the issues before the court, including a variety of topics from the definition of “production in paying quantities,” to limitations on remediation of property damage, shut in wells to pooling, and much more. As always, I’ve got my eye on the opinions and will share news with you as they are released. [Read article here.]
* TX Supreme Court holds that joinder of adjacent parties not “necessary” under Texas civil procedure. Speaking of Halgren’s list of cases to watch, the Texas Supreme Court actually ruled on one of these today. In Crawford v. XTO Energy, the Supreme Court reversed both the trial and appellate courts and held that a mineral owner suing for underpayment of royalty is not required to join adjoining landowners to his or her case against the oil company. [Read opinion here.]
*Importance of estate planning. The New York Times recently ran a great article on the importance of estate planning. Unfortunately, the death of a spouse is something that over 800,000 Americans will face this year. It is critical to have an estate plan in place to ease the burden on those left behind. [Read article here.]
* Monsanto to appeal California Roundup labeling ruling. Monsanto will appeal a trial court decision in California that would require the company to label Round Up as having a possible cancer threat. Monsanto argues that the requirement to list is based upon information from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is contrary to numerous other scientific studies finding no cancer-causing danger. Monsanto argues that California cannot delegate its authority to determine required labels to this unelected, foreign body with no accountability. The trial court sided with California, holding that they are able to require such labeling of Roundup products. [Read articles here and here.]