Author Archives: tiffany.dowell

Texas Case Offers Good Analysis of Enforceability of Liability Release

One way that Texas landowners can protect themselves from liability is to ensure that guests sign liability waivers before engaging in certain activities.  For example, oftentimes hunters that plan to hunt on the property of another are asked to sign a liability waiver (also called a release of liability).  A recent Texas case, Quiroz v. Jumpstreet8, Inc., the court addressed whether a liability waiver was valid when a plaintiff was injured at a trampoline park.  The court addressed several issues, including the question of whether a release can… Read More →

2018 Year in Review – Texas

*If you missed our 2018 Year in Review post focusing on the national level, click here.* As compared to the national year in review, things were a bit quieter this year here in Texas.  That said, there were a few important cases decided in 2018 that I want to highlight and bring to your attention. Court addresses applicable standard when bull is hit on the highway. In Garcia v. Pruski, an important case out of Wilson County, the San Antonio Court of Appeals addressed legal issues related to a… Read More →

2018 Ag Law Year in Review

Well, it’s been quite a year for agricultural law!  Looking back, it has been interesting to see the variety of legal issues that have come up in the last 365 days.  From a major class action settlement by Syngenta to new electronic logging device rules to nuisance litigation in North Carolina, there are numerous issues of which agricultural producers should be aware. If you want to hear more about these topics, Paul Goeringer and I did a Year in Review joint podcast.  You can listen here.  {Since we… Read More →

December 14, 2018 Weekly Round Up

I didn’t think it was possible, but this may have been the busiest week for ag law news of the entire year!  Here are some of the major stories making headlines this week. * Congress passes Farm Bill, now on President Trump’s desk.  Congress has passed a new Farm Bill.  The bill was approved by the Senate on Tuesday and was passed by a landslide–the most votes ever in favor of a Farm Bill–in the House on Wednesday.  The bill is now on President Trump’s desk, and it is… Read More →

Ag Law in the Field Podcast – 2018 ABA Web 100 Honoree

We are thrilled to announce that our Ag Law in the Field Podcast has been named to the Web 100 list of the best online legal resources by the American Bar Association.  Only 20 podcasts were selected, so we are very honored and excited to be included. To read more about this recognition and the Podcast, click here. Listening to the Ag Law in the Field Podcast is easy!  You can do so online by simply clicking this link.  Once you’re on the Podcast page, you can just select… Read More →

Clean Water Act Application to Groundwater: Keeping Score

A major issue with regard to the scope of the Clean Water Act is popping up in courtrooms across the United States.  Are point source discharges into groundwater, that eventually reach a “water of the United States”, within the scope of the Clean Water Act’s jurisdiction?  This issue is growing and has been decided differently by courts across the country.  The legal question is teed up and could potentially reach the United States Supreme Court next year.  Let’s take a look at this issue and the results from… Read More →

December 7, 2018 Weekly Round Up

This week, I spoke at my last event for 2018, the Swisher County Ag Day in Tulia.  I want to thank all of you who have come to my programs this year–having the opportunity to speak with you is something I do not take for granted.  To see where I’m headed in 2019,  click here. Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. *Second judge finds EPA’s postponement of the 2015 WOTUS rule violates Administrative Procedures Act.  Recall that the Environmental Protection Agency… Read More →

Unanimous Supreme Court: “Critical Habitat” Under Endangered Species Act Must Be Habitat

The United States Supreme Court issued a decision last week in Weyerhaeuser Co. v. USFWS, addressing whether the Endangered Species Act allows for the government to designate an area to be “critical habitat” when it is not currently suitable for the particular species to reside.  [Read Opinion here.] Factual Background In 2001, the dusky gopher frog was listed as endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).  This frog historically had been found along the coast of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi in the forested areas.  However, at the… Read More →

November 30, 2018 Weekly Round Up

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!   Welcome to another Ag Law Round Up. This week, I traveled to Victoria, Texas to visit with landowners there about eminent domain and fence law.  Welcome to those of you joining from that program. Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. *US Supreme Court rules on Endangered Species Act case.  The US Supreme Court issued a ruling in a case asking whether, in order to be designated as “critical habitat” under the Endangered Species… Read More →

Texas Mineral Owner’s Implied Right to Use the Surface

*Portions of this blog post were excerpted from the handbook Petroleum Production on Agricultural Lands in Texas: Managing Risks and Opportunities, available here.* One of the most surprising pieces of Texas oil and gas law may be the dominant estate rule.  What does this rule mean and how does it impact surface and mineral owners in the state? Severance of the Mineral and Surface Estates In Texas, and most other states, the ownership of the mineral estate can be separated (severed) from the surface estate.  Put another way, one… Read More →