Monthly Archives: February 2019

Court Rules for Oil Operator in Accommodation Doctrine Case

Last summer, a case from the El Paso Court of Appeals, Harrison v. Rosetta Resources Operating, raised interesting arguments regarding water use and the accommodation doctrine. Background The Harrison Trust owns 320 acres in Reeves County.  Mr. Harrison is the trustee of the Harrison Trust.  The minerals beneath the land are owned by the State of Texas. In 2009, Harrison executed an oil and gas lease on behalf of the State with Eagle Oil & Gas, as is allowed by the Natural Resources Code on certain lands.  Eventually, the… Read More →

February 22, 2019 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday and happy FFA week!  I, like many of you, credit FFA for so much of my success in my life and career.  I hope you take a moment to think back on what FFA has given  you and think about ways you might be able to give back to the organization. I also want to say a special welcome to those of you who are joining us after attending the Central Texas Farm Credit diner in Haskell this week.  It was an honor to speak with… Read More →

Missouri Court Holds Crop Dusting Not Inherently Dangerous Activity

A case out of Missouri, Keller Farms, Inc. v. Stewart,  recently caught my attention as it addressed an interesting question, is crop dusting an “inherently dangerous activity?”  This is an important question as the answer can greatly impact the potential liability of a landowner or producer hiring someone to apply pesticides. Why do we care? Why do we care if a court considers aerial application of pesticide to be “inherently dangerous?”  The reason is that a person is generally not liable for the acts of his or her independent contractor. … Read More →

2019 Ranchers Leasing Workshop Events Announced

The Ranchers Leasing Workshop programs are my most popular events of the year.  To date, we have had over 850 Texans attend these half-day seminars and 100% of them would recommend this program to a friend.  We focus on legal issues related to grazing, hunting and livestock leases, including why leases should be in writing, how to determine the payment structure and rate, key terms to include, and spend about an hour on landowner liability and how to protect one’s operation.  Importantly, we work hard to be really… Read More →

February 8, 2019 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  I want to say a quick welcome to those of you who I met last week in East Texas when I spoke in Quitman, Hallsville and Kilgore.  We’re excited to have you here. Here are a few of the ag law stories in the news over the last couple of weeks. *MFP Program deadline sign up extended through February 14.  The deadline to signup for the Market Facilitation Program, frequently referred to as the tariff payment, at the FSA Office has been extended through February 14.  Then,… Read More →

Agricultural Tenants and Eminent Domain Proceeds

In Texas, a good deal of agricultural land is leased out to tenants that either farm or raise livestock on the land.  Recently, I’ve received a number of questions from agricultural tenants related to their rights in the event some portion of the leased property is impacted by eminent domain. A condemning entity, like a pipeline company, is required to pay just compensation in order to condemn the property needed for the project.  Just compensation is defined as the fair market value of the property at the time… Read More →