July 24, 2020 Weekly Round Up

We’ve made it to another Friday!  Many of you saw my post on Twitter a couple of weeks ago about how dry we were back at my parents’ ranch.  I’m happy to report they’ve received 3″ of rain in the last week.  You’ll see water standing in the rows in the photo below.   It was a sight for sore eyes, for sure!


* US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upholds registration for Enlist Duo herbicide.  In a much-anticipated decision, the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion on Wednesday upholding the federal registration for the Corteva Enlist Duo herbicide, used to kill weeds in corn, soybeans, and cotton.  The majority opinion rejected all but one of the plaintiffs’ claims against the EPA regarding the Enlist registration.  The court did, however, determine that the EPA failed to adequately consider the use of Enlist on milkweed’s impact on monarch butterflies.  The court essentially sent this issue back to the EPA for consideration, but determined it was unnecessary to vacate the registration while that EPA consideration took place.   [Read Opinion here.]

*New lawsuit filed by multiple states challenges Navigable Waters Protection Rule.  Another lawsuit has been filed challenging the Trump Administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule (defining “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act). This lawsuit was filed by 21 states in the Northern District of California.  [Read Complaint here.]  This lawsuit focuses on the impact on the rule on State’s rights and is a different lawsuit than one challenging the scope of the rule filed by many of these same states earlier this year.

*Don’t let your bank account contradict your will.  There was a great Q&A exchange recently on My SA addressing the question of what happens if a person’s bank account signature cards contradict their will.  This is a critical estate planning consideration that is so easy to overlook.  How bank accounts are structured absolutely will govern how those assets are distributed at death, and that distribution will be done regardless of what the person’s will provides for. For example, if a person’s will gives all of his assets to his wife, but the person had a bank account designated as joint tenants with right of survivorship with his son, the son would receive the assets in the bank account, despite the will’s provisions.  [Read article here.]

*Defendants ask US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to re-hear challenge to dicamba registration.  The Ninth Circuit litigation over three over-the-top dicamba formulations continues.  Bayer, BASF, and Cortvea have each filed petitions seeking an “en banc” review of the case, in which a three-judge panel vacated the products’ registration.   If these motions are granted, all Ninth Circuit judges would review the case. If the motions are denied, then the companies only remaining review would be to seek appeal from the US Supreme Court.  [Read article here.]

*NM town fights oil company over water use. The US News & World Report featured small town Jal, New Mexico this week.  The article highlighted a water fight going on between the city and two oil and gas companies that purchased nearby ranch land and are seeking to increase the amount of water they can pump from beneath the ground.  [Read article here.]

*Three estate planning techniques to protect assets from creditors.Professor Gerry Beyer from Texas Tech shared an article on his Wills, Trusts, & Estates Prof blog looking at three planning techniques to protect your assets from creditors.  These include funding a protective trust at death, transfer assets in return for an interest in an entity like an LLC or LLP, or a transfers assets for an annuity or other interest that offers creditor protections.  [Read article here.]

Upcoming Programs 

On August 4, I’ll be presenting at the virtual Beef Cattle Short Course event.  Our Landowner Rights Session will feature Jim Bradbury, Stephanie Fryer, and myself talking fence law, estate planning, and landowner liability.  For more info on Beef Cattle Short Course, click here.   Additionally, even though it is a couple of weeks out, on August 18, I’ll be doing an online estate planning program hosted by Brazos and Washington Counties.  For more info or to register, click here.

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