Monthly Archives: June 2017

June 30, 2017 Weekly Round Up

This week I spoke to a great group in Sweetwater about leases and estate planning.  Welcome to those of you joining from that meeting! There has been so much ag law news happening in the last couple of weeks that my head is still spinning.  Here are the highlights. * Jury verdict for Kansas farmers in first Syngenta Viptera/Duracade class action trial.  A Kansas jury awarded nearly $218 million to Kansas farmers in this much-watched class action suit, finding that Syngenta was negligent.  Syngenta has already said it plans… Read More →

Business Entity Selection Series: 3 – General Partnership

Today we continue on in our Business Entity Selection Series.  If you missed any prior posts, click here. What Is a General Partnership?  Texas law defines a general partnership as “an association of two or more persons to carry on a business for profit as owners…regardless of whether the persons intend to create a partnership or whether the association is called a ‘partnership.’”  See Texas Business Organizations Code Section 152.051.  Importantly, the definition of “persons” is not limited to individuals, meaning that other legal entities such as an… Read More →

Breaking News: Jury Awards $217 Million to KS Corn Farmers in Syngenta Class Action

Big news came out of Kansas this morning with regards to the class action lawsuit pitting Kansas corn farmers against Syngenta.  A jury has awarded $217 million to a class of Kansas corn farmers.   Background We have discussed the factual background of the case in far more detail on prior blog posts (click here), but the basic facts are set forth below.  In 2010, Syngenta released Viptera and Duracade seed varieties, which were approved to be grown in the United States, but were not approved for export to… Read More →

Ag Law in the Field Podcast – Episodes 1-10

It seems like yesterday we launched the Ag Law in the Field Podcast, but we’ve already posted 10 episodes!  I am so grateful to all of my guests for being willing to share their expertise on various legal issues affecting agriculture. In case you may have missed them, I wanted to give a rundown of the first ten episodes, along with links to the website and show notes for each one as well.  Remember, you can listen to the podcast on iTunes, your phone’s podcast app, or online… Read More →

Business Entity Selection Series: 2 – Sole Proprietorship

We will kick off this series with the simplest, most widely used business structure, the sole proprietorship. What Is a Sole Proprietorship?  A sole proprietorship is simply a single individual engaged in business activity.  The  2012 U.S. Census of Agriculture reports that nationwide, just over 86% of farms are sole proprietorships.  In Texas, that number is even higher at 90%. Governing Law:  Unlike the other entities we will discuss in this series, the sole proprietorship is not governed by statute.  There is no provision in the Business Organizations Code to govern sole proprietorships…. Read More →

June 16, 2017 Weekly Round Up

How is it already the middle of June?  Time flies when you are having fun, I suppose!  I’ve been on the road as usual and have made stops for programs in Lufkin, Goldthwaite, and Denton over the last couple of weeks.  It was great getting the chance to meet some new folks in person and I’d like to welcome all new readers to the blog. Here are some ag law stories in the news recently. * First Syngenta class action trial begins in Kansas City.  The first class… Read More →

Business Entity Selection Series: 1 – Introduction

Today I am excited to kick off a new blog series that provides an overview of different business entity options for farmers and ranchers.  This was a topic that Amber Miller and I recently discussed on the Ag Law in the Field Podcast #5.  At presentations, people often ask me whether having a general partnership is a good idea or whether an LLC is the best business entity.  I wish it were that simple, but as with most legal questions, there is no magic answer to the question… Read More →

What Is the Dairy Pride Act and What Legal Issues Could It Face?

“Only actual milk should be called milk in order to avoid misleading consumers.”  “It should not be called milk because it is not milk.”  This is the basic premise behind a bill (S. 130) pending before the United States Senate titled the “Defending Against Imitations and Replacements of Yogurt, Milk, and Cheese To Promote Regular Intake of Dairy Everyday Act” or abbreviated as the “DAIRY PRIDE Act.” This bill was introduced by Senator Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat from Wisconsin. [Read full text here.]  Citing findings of the U.S…. Read More →