Category Archives: Estate Planning

Family Dispute Leads to Litigation Over Handwritten Will

This case, In the estate of Marilyn Frances Martinez, pits father against daughter in a dispute over whether language in a handwritten will is a valid devise of property under Texas law. Background Marilyn Martinez died of COVID in November 2020.  Less than 5 days later (117 hours, to be precise), her second husband, Raymond Martinez, died as well. She was survived by her son, Clifton, his daughter (her granddaughter) Desiray, and Desiray’s two siblings. After Marilyn’s death, Desiray, found a handwritten document among her belongings.  The first page… Read More →

March 1, 2024 Weekly Round Up

It has certainly been a challenging week here in the Texas Panhandle.  Thank you to everyone who checked on me and my family.  Things got pretty intense for us on Tuesday as an evacuation order was issued.  We were able to get our cattle out of the pasture closest to the fire.  The fire missed our property, but so many others were not as fortunate.   The fires continue to burn. Many of you have asked how you can help.  Here is information on the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension… Read More →

February 16, 2024 Weekly Round Up

There has been no shortage of agricultural law news in the last two weeks!  Here are some of the biggest stories from around the country. *Court revokes over-the-top dicamba registration; EPA issues existing stocks order.  In a situation similar to what cotton and soybean growers faced in 2020, a federal court has revoked the FIFRA registration for three dicamba products, XtendiMax, Enginia, and Tavium.  [Read Order here.]  On Wednesday, the EPA issued an existing stocks order which will allow “existing stocks” that were in the United States and… Read More →

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 →

December 15, 2023 Weekly Round Up

Here we are with our final Weekly Round Up of the year.  Thank you so much for reading! *Defendants file counterclaims in show goat lawsuit.  One of our most popular posts of the year was discussing a lawsuit involving a show goat in California.  [Read post here.]  Recently, two defendants have filed a countersuit against the goat owners.  [Read Answer & Counterclaim here.  Specifically, the CEO and the Superintendent of the livestock show filed five counter claims.  Essentially, they allege that Jessica (the mother of the goat exhibitor)… Read More →

December 8, 2023 Weekly Round Up

We’ve made it to December!  While many people are slowing down as we head into the holidays, agricultural law is not!  Here are a few stories recently in the news. *US Supreme Court will hear Texas property owners’ takings claims against DOT.  The US Supreme Court has granted the Petition for Certiorari in Devillier v. State of Texas, a case involving a lawsuit by property owners to cover flood damages they claim were caused by a DOT highway project.  [Read Petition here.] *Second marriages and farm transition planning publication… Read More →

August 25, 2023 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  Once again, we’ve had a number of ag law issues in the news the past couple of weeks. * Bipartisan group of lawmakers ask House Agriculture Committee Chairman not to include EATS Act in the next Farm Bill.  A letter signed by more than 170 lawmakers asks House Ag Committee Chair Glenn “GT” Thompson not to include the EATS Act in a new farm bill.  The Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression Act was proposed after the Supreme Court upheld California’s Proposition 12 and would prohibit such measures in… Read More →

August 11, 2023 Weekly Round Up

It has been an unbelievably busy week around here, I bet the same is true for many of you.  Welcome to those of you joining from the Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course and the Southern Family Farmers and Food Systems Conference.  Here are some ag law stories recently in the news. * Podcast episode recapping Texas Legislative Session for agriculture.  Yesterday, we released a podcast episode with J. Pete Laney recapping the 88th Texas Legislative Session and the key bills related to agriculture.  It’s become a tradition for… 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 →

What Happens if the Original Will Is Missing?

What happens when the original of a will goes missing and there is no evidence of what happened?  That was the issue recently addressed in In the estate of Myrtle Dell Brown. Background Myrtle Brown died in June 2018 at 93 years old.  She was not married and had no children.  The value of her estate was approximately $750,000. Ms. Eriks filed an application for probate of a copy of a will seeking to introduce a will dated October 1, 2009 that named the Humane Society as the sole… Read More →