Texas Supreme Court Addresses Postproduction Costs

A recent Texas Supreme Court case, BlueStone Natural Resources II, LLC v. Randle, addressed a dispute over postproduction cost allocation for royalties.  I thought this Opinion offered a good explanation of postproduction costs generally, and comparison of the two clauses at issue in the leases, which made it worth taking a look at on this blog.  [Read Opinion here.] Background In 2003, several mineral owners (“lessors”) executed oil and gas leases with Quicksilver Resources.  Each of the leases contain a 2-page Printed Lease and an attached Addendum.  The… Read More →

SCOTUS Rules for Georgia in Water Dispute with Florida

The United States Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision on April 1, 2021, ending a water dispute between Florida and Georgia. Background  Florida filed an original suit against Georgia in 2013 claiming that Georgia consumes more than its fair share of water from the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin (“ACF”). The basin consists of three rivers: the Flint, the Chattahoochee, and the Apalachicola.  Both the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers start in Georgia and empty into Lake Seminole, which sits on the Florida/Georgia border. Both are critical water sources for Georgia,… Read More →

April 9, 2021 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  Spring has sprung here in the Texas Panhandle and I’m enjoying the green grass and warmer weather.  Here are few of the ag law stories in the news over the past couple of weeks.   * Farm Animal Liability Act bill moves forward as amended.  You may recall from our post a week ago that HB 365 is currently pending and would modify the Texas Farm Animal Liability Act to ensure application to working farms and ranches.  For more detail, click here.  The bill continues to… Read More →

Ag Law in the Field Podcast: Episodes 91-100

Can you believe we’ve hit 100 episodes of the Ag Law in the Field Podcast?  It’s crazy to think it was 5 years ago when I set out to start this show with an idea, some good friends who agreed to be guests, and Google to teach me what to do.   Every episode I interview an ag lawyer or other expert on an important agricultural law topic.  Over the first 100 episodes, I’ve been fortunate to have some of the best in the ag law world join me… Read More →

TX House Bill to Modify Farm Animal Liability Act Unanimous Out of Committee

A bill that would seek to essentially undo a 2020 Texas Supreme Court decision limiting the scope of the Texas Farm Animal Liability Act (FALA) has been unanimously passed out of the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee.  For farmers and ranchers, this is an important issue as it relates to their legal protection from liability for injuries caused by horses or livestock. Statutory Background The Texas Equine Act was passed in 1995.  The scope of the statute was amended in 2011 to expand the scope of the… Read More →

March 26, 2021 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  Here a few of the ag law stories in the news the past couple of weeks. *Maryland trial court ruling on ammonia emissions and the Clean Water Act draws concern.  A recent case decided in Maryland has resulted in nationwide discussion over agriculture and the intersection of the Clean Air and Clean Water Act.  Essentially, the circuit court judge ruled that Maryland must water air pollution–ammonia, in particular–under the state’s implementation of the federal Clean Water Act.  This raises concern for livestock producers, who are exempt… Read More →

Case Addresses Mineral Reservation Language Dispute

The Austin Court of Appeals recently addressed the issue of mineral reservation in a deed in Ross v. Flower, offering important reminders for Texas landowners and property purchasers. Background This case revolves around the interpretation of a paragraph in a deed for 20-acres of land in Fayette County. In 1999, the Rosses owned the surface and mineral interests for the 20-acre tract at issue.  In April 1999, the Rosses executed a General Warranty Deed conveying the property to Richard & Patricia Church.  Specifically, the Deed stated that the… Read More →

Have You Checked Your Beneficiary Designations & Account Details?

Anyone who has attended farm or ranch educational programs around the country have likely heard talk of the importance of having an estate plan.  Certainly, every person should have a will, power of attorney, healthcare power of attorney, and advanced healthcare directive.  These are the basic building blocks of any estate plan.  [To read more about these documents, click here and see Chapter 14.]  Also critical to a successful estate plan is reviewing beneficiary designations and account signatory cards/creation documents to ensure these are up to date and… Read More →

March 12, 2021 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  We’re back with some more of the ag law stories in the news over the past couple of weeks. * Bill would modify Texas Farm Animal Liability Act to ensure applicability to working ranches.  You may remember last year that the Texas Supreme Court issued a ruling in Waak v. Zuniga holding that the Texas Farm Animal Liability Act does not apply if the injured party is a rancher or ranch hand. [Read prior post here.]  There are a couple of bills in the Texas Legislature seeking… Read More →

Hemp Education Video Series: Economic & Legal Considerations for Production in Texas

We are thrilled to roll out a project we’ve been working on the for the last year.  Thanks to a grant from the Southern Extension Risk Management Education Center, I’ve worked with my colleagues in the Ag Economics Department at Texas A&M to pull together legal and economic resources related to hemp production.  You can find the website here. Specifically, this project is designed as a series of short video presentations (three hours in total) to address the major issues facing Texas hemp producers. When you visit our… Read More →