2019 Ranchers Leasing Workshop Events Announced

The Ranchers Leasing Workshop programs are my most popular events of the year.  To date, we have had over 850 Texans attend these half-day seminars and 100% of them would recommend this program to a friend.  We focus on legal issues related to grazing, hunting and livestock leases, including why leases should be in writing, how to determine the payment structure and rate, key terms to include, and spend about an hour on landowner liability and how to protect one’s operation.  Importantly, we work hard to be really… Read More →

February 8, 2019 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  I want to say a quick welcome to those of you who I met last week in East Texas when I spoke in Quitman, Hallsville and Kilgore.  We’re excited to have you here. Here are a few of the ag law stories in the news over the last couple of weeks. *MFP Program deadline sign up extended through February 14.  The deadline to signup for the Market Facilitation Program, frequently referred to as the tariff payment, at the FSA Office has been extended through February 14.  Then,… Read More →

Agricultural Tenants and Eminent Domain Proceeds

In Texas, a good deal of agricultural land is leased out to tenants that either farm or raise livestock on the land.  Recently, I’ve received a number of questions from agricultural tenants related to their rights in the event some portion of the leased property is impacted by eminent domain. A condemning entity, like a pipeline company, is required to pay just compensation in order to condemn the property needed for the project.  Just compensation is defined as the fair market value of the property at the time… Read More →

Questions from Tiffany’s Desk: Eminent Domain and the Right to Survey

Question:  If a company with eminent domain power has contacted me about obtaining an easement across my property and now wants access to survey, can I keep them off of my land? Answer:  No. In Texas, courts have held that by granting condemning entities the right to condemn land, this includes the right to enter onto the property to conduct surveys to select lands to be acquired.  Of course, this means that surveys may be conducted prior to the property actually being condemned. “Ancillary to the power of… Read More →

January 25, 2019 Weekly Round Up

Hello there!  I’m not sure how it happened, but the month of January got away from me and I apologize for the lack of Weekly Round Up Posts.  Several readers have contacted me to ask if I would be continuing these and the answer is yes, but they will likely be bi-weekly.  Thank you for your kind comments about how you enjoy these posts. So far, January has been a fun month with several speaking events.  I kicked things off lecturing at the King Ranch Institute for Ranch… Read More →

“Ag Gag” Litigation Update

From a recent finding of unconstitutionality in Iowa, to an award of attorney’s fees in Idaho, to a new legal challenge in Kansas, “ag gag” laws have continued to be in the news recently.  Let’s take a look back at recent legal decisions and where pending litigation currently stands. Background “Ag gag” laws are generally designed to prohibit a person from entering an agricultural operation without permission or by fraudulent means and obtaining video or photographs of the operation.  Although nearly half of the states have attempted to… Read More →

Texas Case Offers Good Analysis of Enforceability of Liability Release

One way that Texas landowners can protect themselves from liability is to ensure that guests sign liability waivers before engaging in certain activities.  For example, oftentimes hunters that plan to hunt on the property of another are asked to sign a liability waiver (also called a release of liability).  A recent Texas case, Quiroz v. Jumpstreet8, Inc., the court addressed whether a liability waiver was valid when a plaintiff was injured at a trampoline park.  The court addressed several issues, including the question of whether a release can… Read More →

2018 Year in Review – Texas

*If you missed our 2018 Year in Review post focusing on the national level, click here.* As compared to the national year in review, things were a bit quieter this year here in Texas.  That said, there were a few important cases decided in 2018 that I want to highlight and bring to your attention. Court addresses applicable standard when bull is hit on the highway. In Garcia v. Pruski, an important case out of Wilson County, the San Antonio Court of Appeals addressed legal issues related to a… Read More →

2018 Ag Law Year in Review

Well, it’s been quite a year for agricultural law!  Looking back, it has been interesting to see the variety of legal issues that have come up in the last 365 days.  From a major class action settlement by Syngenta to new electronic logging device rules to nuisance litigation in North Carolina, there are numerous issues of which agricultural producers should be aware. If you want to hear more about these topics, Paul Goeringer and I did a Year in Review joint podcast.  You can listen here.  {Since we… Read More →

December 14, 2018 Weekly Round Up

I didn’t think it was possible, but this may have been the busiest week for ag law news of the entire year!  Here are some of the major stories making headlines this week. * Congress passes Farm Bill, now on President Trump’s desk.  Congress has passed a new Farm Bill.  The bill was approved by the Senate on Tuesday and was passed by a landslide–the most votes ever in favor of a Farm Bill–in the House on Wednesday.  The bill is now on President Trump’s desk, and it is… Read More →