Category Archives: Contracts

January 5, 2024 Weekly Round Up

Hello and Happy New Year!  We’re back with our first Ag Law Weekly Round Up of 2024.  Here are some of the biggest ag law stories in the news over the past few weeks. *State of Texas responds in Tofurkey lawsuit challenging meat labeling law.  You may recall our Thanksgiving blog post highlighted a lawsuit challenging Texas’ new labeling law requiring analogue, plant based, and cell-cultured meat to be labeled in the Lone Star State.  The State of Texas has now filed a Motion to Dismiss in that… Read More →

July 28, 2023 Weekly Round Up

We’ve reached the end of July!  Here are some of the ag law stories in the news. *Court rules that challenge to EPA dicamba registration brought by farm groups belongs in district court.  The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia recently ruled that a lawsuit filed by the American Soybean Association against the EPA should have been filed in the district court (trial level court) rather than at the court of appeals level.  Because of this, the court dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction…. Read More →

Thumbs Up Emoji Costs Canadian Farmer $82,000

A recent lawsuit involving a Canadian farmer and a “thumbs up emoji” has generated a good deal of media attention.  The court’s opinion in South West Terminal v. Achter Land & Cattle is an interesting look at contract law meeting new technology. Background South West Terminal (“SWT”) is a grain and crop input company.  Kent Mickleborough is a grain buyer for SWT.  Achter Land & Cattle (“the Farm”) is a farming operation owned by Chris Achter and his father, Bob. Since 2012, SWT purchased grain from the Farm through… Read More →

Neighbor-to-Neighbor Farm Sale Leads to Lawsuits

*NOTE:  In August 2023, the Amarillo Court of Appeals withdrew its initial opinion and issued a new Opinion in the case.  The outcome and most of the analysis was the same.  The only change was based on why the court dismissed the promissory estoppel claim.  The blog post has been edited to reflect the revised Opinion.* When a dispute arose related to a neighbor-to-neighbor farm sale, two lawsuits were filed.  The Amarillo Court of Appeals’ decisions in both Barkley v. Connelly cases offer important reminders for anyone entering into… Read More →

“If one asks why agreements should be memorialized in writing, this case illustrates why.”

“If one asks why agreements should be memorialized in writing, this case illustrates why.”   With an opening sentence like that, I knew I had to write a blog post about the Amarillo Court of Appeals’ decision in Kongvongsay v. Sayasane.  Although it is not related to agricultural property, the lessons learned are still important for all landowners, sellers, and purchasers. Background In September 2012, Sayasane and Kongvongsay entered into an oral agreement that Sayasane would buy a commercial building in Amarillo from Kongvongsay for $110,000.  Sayasane made a… Read More →

Case Addresses Requirements to Exercise Right of First Refusal

An El Paso Court of Appeals case, Mr. W Fireworks, Inc. v. NRZ Investment Group, LLC, offers important information for anyone seeking to exercise a right of first refusal. [Read opinion here.] (If you’ve been here for a while, you may remember this is not Mr. W’s first case this year involving problems with a right of first refusal.  Click here to read about a case in the Panhandle from last year.) Background  This case involves a lease between landowner, Nathan Lee, and Mr. W Fireworks, Inc. (“Mr…. Read More →

Case Explains Why Livestock Sales Contracts Should Be in Writing

The Texarkana Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion in Lee v. Jorgenson, which offers a critical reminder about the need to have all livestock sales contracts in writing. [Read opinion here.] Background Ralph Lee sold Waygu cattle to TJ’s Land and Cattle Company, LLC, (“the LLC”) of which Tom Jorgenson was a member.  Lee alleges this was a “handshake deal” that was memorialized in a Cattle Purchase Agreement (“CPA”).  The CPA was not signed by Jorgenson or anyone representing the LLC, but did include price terms for Waygu… Read More →

Case Offers Important Reminder that Real Estate Contracts Must Be in Writing

A recent Ft. Worth Court of Appeals case, In the Estate of Terry Lynn Banta, Deceased, offers an important reminder of why it is critical to have any contracts regarding the purchase of real estate in writing.  [Read Opinion here.] Statute of Frauds This case revolves around the “statute of frauds.” Generally speaking, a verbal contract is enforceable under Texas law.  There are certain types of contracts, however, that are required to be in writing to be legally enforceable pursuant to the statute of frauds.  One such contract for which… Read More →

Rights of First Refusal and the Importance of Record Notice

A right of first refusal can be a good way to ensure a person has an option to purchase property before it is sold to another.  However, as the Amarillo Court of Appeals recently considered in Mr. W. Fireworks, Inc. v. 731 Properties, LLC, certain steps must be taken to ensure enforceability of this right.  [Read opinion here.] Background Mr. W Fireworks, Inc. (“Mr. W”) owns fireworks stands across Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.  One of its stands is on Soncy Road in Amarillo on land that it leased… Read More →

Force Majeure

It is rare seemingly obscure phrases from law school find their way to the news, but recently, that was the case with the phrase “force majeure.” When Bayer announced it would be declaring force majeure in contracts related to glyphosate, there were many questions about what these words meant and the legal impact of a force majeure clause in a contract. Emily Unglesbee from DTN Progressive Farmer interviewed me on this topic and wrote a great article offering the details about force majeure clauses in contracts. To read… Read More →