Author Archives: tiffany.dowell

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 →

February 28, 2020 Weekly Round Up

As usual, there have been a number of ag law stories in the news the past couple of weeks.  Here’s this week’s round up. *USDA delays enforcement of two major portions of hemp Interim Final Rule.  This week, the USDA announced that it will temporarily delay enforcement of two provisions of the Interim Final Rule on hemp production until October 31, 2021 or the publication of the Final Rule, whichever is earlier.  First, the DEA will delay enforcing the requirement that THC testing must be conducted at DEA… Read More →

TX Attorney General Opinion: Estray Laws Apply in All Counties

Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, issued an opinion in December on an interesting issue related to fence law.  Do the statutory estray laws apply in both open and closed range counties?  According to the Attorney General, he believes that Texas courts would rule that estray laws apply in all counties, whether open or closed range.  [Read full Opinion here.] Legal Background There are several legal issues important to understanding the AG’s Opinion. Open versus closed range: There are generally two approaches to Texas fence law: open range and… Read More →

Landowner Liability Protection Resources

One of my favorite topics is landowner liability protections.  This is an area of the law where landowners can take affordable steps before any incident occurs to protect themselves, their operations, and their livelihood. Here are some of my favorite resources related to landowner liability protection. I put together a Fact Sheet on “How Landowners Can Protect Themselves from Liability.”  Click here to download. I recorded an episode of Ag Law Today with Cari Rincker on this very topic.  Click here to view. I’ve done blog posts on… Read More →

February 14, 2020 Weekly Round Up

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. *USDA unveils two new risk management options for hemp producers.  For producers considering hemp production, there are now three potential risk management tools available.  Nationwide, producers will be able to enroll in the Whole Farm Revenue Protection program or the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) program. In 21 states, producers may take part in a multi-peril crop insurance pilot program.  Texas is not one of the states where this is available…. Read More →