Monthly Archives: July 2018

How Can Landowners Protect Themselves from Liability?

A common concern for landowners across the country is how to ensure they are protected from liability if someone is injured on their property.  In fact, in one morning last week, I got three emails from landowners asking what they could do now to be in a position to best defend themselves in the event an injury does occur on their land. Importantly, there is no silver-bullet that will ensure a landowner will not ever be liable for anything.  Additionally, there is nothing a landowner can do to… Read More →

July 27, 2018 Weekly Round Up

Hello there!  The last couple of weeks have been crazy and I’ve been able to speak to a number of great groups across Texas.  Last Monday, I was in Cat Spring speaking with my friend Stephanie Fryer on estate planning.  Then Tuesday, I spoke in Fredericksburg at the Texas Extension Specialist Association meeting on using blogs, podcasts, and social media.  Wednesday, I headed to Georgetown for a great meeting with landowners discussing grazing leases.  This week, I virtually appeared in Montague County to talk agricultural lease agreements.  Welcome… Read More →

American Bar Association Web 100 Nominations Open

Hi friends!  I’m here to ask a little favor.  The American Bar Association has opened up nominations for their 2018 Web 100 list, which recognizes the top 100 legal websites. As you may know, our Texas Agriculture Law Blog has been named to the list three times.  We’d love to make it four! This year, they’re also including podcasts on the list, so Ag Law in the Field could make its initial appearance. Here’s where you come in…in order to get recognized, we need folks to nominate the… Read More →

Questions from Tiffany’s Desk: How Can I Access Landlocked Property in Texas?

Question:  I own property that is landlocked–I’ve got no way to access my land from a public road without crossing over private property owned by someone else.  What can I do to access my property? Answer:  Despite many people thinking that landowners always have an automatic right to access their landlocked property, under Texas law, that is not always the case.  A landlocked landowner has a number of options to consider. Obtain an express easement from a neighbor.  Likely the easiest way to obtain access to landlocked property… Read More →

Texas Court Limits Width of Old, General Transmission Line Easement

A new case from the Texarkana Court of Appeals could prove extremely useful for landowners dealing with old, blanket easement agreements on their property.  In Sothwestern Electric Power Company v. Lynch, the court held that the general easement at issue, which was silent as to width, limited the allowable width of the easement to 30 feet, which was the width historically used by the transmission line company. [Read full opinion here.] Background Three landowners in Bowie County own land burdened by a utility easement held by Southwestern Electric Power… Read More →

July 13, 2018 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday from the Panhandle!  This week I traveled to Lubbock to speak at the Plains Cotton Growers Board Meeting on legal issues surrounding pesticide drift.  I really enjoyed the conversations at that meeting and want to welcome any new readers joining us from that meeting. Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. * President Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh.  On Monday, President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.  [Read article here.] *President Trump pardons Oregon ranchers.  President… Read More →

Fall Ranchers Leasing Workshop Dates Set!

The Ranchers Leasing Workshop will be back this fall!  This free, award-winning program, made possible by grant funding from the Southern Extension Risk Management Education Center, focuses specifically on grazing, hunting, and livestock leases.  In the half-day seminar, participants will be able to ask questions,  interact with attorneys and economists, and will receive their own copy of the Ranchers’ Agricultural Leasing Handbook, which contains checklists and sample lease language.  Of the over 500 Texans who have participated in these programs over the past two years, 100% would recommend… Read More →

NM Land Commissioner Sues NM State Engineer Over Water Permits

A new water battle is brewing in New Mexico, but this time, it is between elected officials.  New Mexico State Land Commissioner, Aubrey Dunn, filed suit against the New Mexico State Engineer, Tom Blaine. [Read Complaint here.] The Land Commissioner is charged with jurisdiction over state trust lands to generate support for public schools and other state institutions.  In the Complaint, filed in the First Judicial District Court, the Commissioner asserts that he has “an interest in the appropriation of water on and off of state trust lands… Read More →

July 6, 2018 Weekly Round Up

I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Independence Day!  My family celebrated with a small town parade here in the Texas Panhandle, which our two little ones really enjoyed! Despite the day off, it has been a busy news week for agricultural law. *Concho River Watermaster warns permit holders that curtailments may occur.  The Concho Watermaster sent letters to water rights holders this week that if drought conditions persist and a senior water rights holder makes a priority call, curtailment could occur.  Further, the letter requires receiving approval prior… Read More →

Ranchers Leasing Webinar – August 2, 2018

For those of you interested in agricultural leases–grazing, hunting, and livestock–we are hosting a brief, one-hour webinar to answer some of the most common questions we get from landowners and producers related to these leases.  No fee and no registration required, just click here shortly before noon on August 2.  See you there!