Author Archives: tiffany.dowell

Will Texas Courts Enforce Liability Waivers Signed on Behalf of Minor Children?

For landowners who allow minor children to come onto their property and partake in activities like hunting, swimming, fishing, or riding ATVs, there is an interesting question that remains unanswered by the Texas Supreme Court: Are liability waivers signed by a parent on behalf of a minor child enforceable in Texas? The Texas Supreme Court has never directly addressed this issue.  There are however, a handful of lower court cases indicating these waivers may not be enforceable. Background Landowners who allow minor children to come onto their property… Read More →

Will Dispute Arises Over Definition of “Personal Effects”

A recent case involving a will devising “personal effects” to a family member is a good reminder of the need to be detailed and complete when drafting a will, and the importance of residuary clauses. Background In 1990, Mildred Ethridge drafted a will that included the following provisions: I, MILDRED L. ETHRIDGE, (femme sole) of Midland County, Texas, for the purpose of the distribution of my entire estate, real, personal and mixed, which I wish to have take effect at my death, do make, publish and declare this… Read More →

January 10, 2020 Weekly Round Up

We’re here with our first Round Up of 2020!  We hope you all had a wonderful holiday.  Here are a few of the ag law stories in the news over the past couple of weeks. *Man arrested for hauling marijuana, turns out it was legal hemp.  The Texas Tribune recently published a story about a man who was arrested for hauling what authorities suspected as being marijuana.  After testing was completed, it turns out that the plants were, as the man claimed, legal hemp.  [Read article here.]  A… Read More →

Easements 101

This blog post is an excerpt from the Owning Your Piece of Texas: Key Laws Texas Landowners Need to Know handbook, which is available for free download by clicking here.  If you are interested in purchasing a hard copy, please contact me at tdowell@tamu.edu. An easement is a means by which a landowner grants another person the right to use the landowner’s property for a specific purpose.  The land on which the easement is granted is referred to as the “servient estate”, and the land the easement benefits… Read More →

2019 Year in Review – Texas

Once again, it’s been a busy year for agricultural law in Texas. There were a number of potential cases that I could have included on this list, but I’ve decided to focus on three key agricultural law cases for which the Texas Supreme Court granted petitions for review in 2019. Garcia v. Pruski (Fence Law) In this important fence law case out of Wilson County, the San Antonio Court of Appeals addressed legal issues related to a bull getting hit on the highway.   [Read prior blog post here.]  Two key… Read More →

December 20, 2019 Weekly Round Up

One last ag law fix before we head off into the Holidays!  Here are some of the ag law stories making news over the last couple of weeks. *WOTUS: The gift that keeps on giving.  As has become tradition around here, Shannon Ferrell and I close out the year writing about the current status of WOTUS.  If you’re curious where things currently stand, we’ve got you covered.  Just click here for our recent article in Southwest Farm Press. *Comment period for USDA Final Interim Hemp Rule extended.  The… Read More →

2019 Year in Review

Each December, we look back at the biggest ag law developments for the year.  It was another busy year in the agricultural law realm.  Here were some of the key stories. Also, if you’d like to listen to Paul Goeringer and I discuss these issues and more, be sure to check out our 2019 Ag Law Year in Review podcast episode here. Hemp. The big story for 2019 is hemp.  The 2018 Farm Bill paved the way for legal hemp production in the United States.  Most individual states… Read More →

December 6, 2019 Weekly Round Up

Happy December!  It’s hard to believe we are already into the last month of the year.  I’ve presented in several locations recently, so welcome to all of you joining us from Val Verde County, Swisher County, and Goliad County. Here are a few of the top ag law stories in the news from the past couple of weeks. * Texas High Plains agriculture publications released.  Several of my colleagues were involved in drafting and publishing two new publications: The Impact of AgriBusiness in the High Plains Trade Area and… Read More →

2020 Ranchers Leasing Workshop Dates

We are so excited to continue offering our Ranchers Leasing Workshops around the state in 2020.   Dr. Greg Kaase and I will be hitting the road and hosting 5 workshops in 2020.   These half-day programs feature information on grazing, livestock, and hunting leases; economic resources available through Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, and landowner liability. All attendees receive a copy of the Ranchers Leasing Handbook and lunch will be sponsored by Ag Workers Insurance (Palestine, Abilene, LaVernia, and Brenham) and the Bennett Trust (Fredericksburg).  The cost of the… Read More →

Enhanced Life Estate Deeds (aka Lady Bird Deeds)

We recently discussed Transfer on Death Deeds in Texas.  If you missed that blog post, click here. Today, we will turn our attention to enhanced life estate deeds, also known as “Lady Bird Deeds.”  Unlike Transfer on Death Deeds, Lady Bird Deeds (“LBD”) are not a statutory creation, meaning there are no set statutory guidelines regarding these documents.  Instead, it is Texas case law that governs the interpretation of LBDs, and there are actually very few cases on this topic. What is a LBD?  A LBD is a deed… Read More →