Monthly Archives: March 2020

Texas Supreme Court Ruling in Spider Bite Case Important for Rural Landowners

The Texas Supreme Court recently issued an opinion in a case involving a spider bite.  That may sound strange, but it is an important case for rural landowners when it comes to liability for injuries caused by wild animals. Background Mr. Hillis owns a bed and breakfast in Fredericksburg that he uses mostly for weekend rentals.  He also owns a cabin on the property.  Hillis leased the cabin to Mr. McCall and McCall offered to “open up” the bed and breakfast building for guests and others needing access… Read More →

Case Illustrates Law Regarding Challenge to Testamentary Capacity

A recent case illustrates the law related to testamentary capacity and shows the kind of testimony that is relevant in cases where a challenge to capacity occurs. Background Ava Mahaffey signed a will and a self-proving affidavit on October 25, 2016.  The will was witnessed by Morgan Wayne Dale and Elizabeth Jesko, the attorney who drafted the will.  The affidavit was notarized by Jesko’s assistant. The will made bequests to three of Mahaffey’s sister, but excluded the fourth sister, Ms. Crosswhite.  The residuary clause left Mahaffey’s residual estate… Read More →

March 20, 2020 Weekly Round Up

Well…a lot has happened since our last Weekly Round Up.  Currently, all of my programs scheduled through March 31 have been postponed, including our Ranchers Leasing Workshop in Abilene.  We have also postponed our Ranchers Leasing Workshop scheduled in La Vernia.  I will ensure that my “Upcoming Presentations” page remains up to date, so to check on the status of any program, click here.  We are working on some potential online programs, including launching our online Ranchers Leasing Workshop course soon. Here are some of the ag law… Read More →

Eminent Domain in Texas: A Landowner’s Guide

Eminent domain is one of the most controversial issues facing Texas landowners.  The key to protecting one’s property is to understand a landowner’s rights, to be familiar with the condemnation process, and to know what steps to take when facing a taking of private property. In order to help educate landowners, I am thrilled to announce my latest handbook, Eminent Domain in Texas: A Landowner’s Guide, is now available.  It is my hope that this handbook will help educate and empower landowners to make the best decisions they can… Read More →

Hard Copies of Handbooks Now Available!

Over the last few years, I have written several handbooks related to agricultural law. Each of these books are available to download for free on the “Published Materials” page of this blog. I’ve had several requests from folks who (like me!) prefer hard copies rather than reading on the computer screen.  We are happy to announce that we now have hard copies of each of these handbooks for sale.  The Owning Your Piece of Texas book is $30 and the Ranchers Leasing Handbook and Petroleum Production on Ag… Read More →

Texas Supreme Court Reverses Ruling for Landowner in Easement Width Case

The Texas Supreme Court recently reversed two lower court decisions in Southwestern Electric Power Co. v. Lynch, involving a question of the allowable width of a general easement.  Although both the trial court and appellate court sided with the landowner and would limit the width of the easement, the Supreme Court disagreed and ruled in favor of the transmission line company, refusing to limit the allowable width of the general easement. Background Three landowners in Bowie County own land burdened by a utility easement held by Southwestern Electric… Read More →

Ag Law in the Field Podcast: Episodes 61-70

If you haven’t listened to our award-winning Ag Law in the Field Podcast yet, you are missing out!  Every episode I interview an ag lawyer or other expert on an agricultural law topic.  These audio files are free to listen and hear my chats with some of the absolute best in the business of ag law. Don’t let the technology scare you–I promise it’s not hard to listen in.  You can listen on your smart phone’s podcast app or on iTunes, or you can listen on your computer. … Read More →