March 18, 2022 Weekly Round Up

It has a been a wild couple of weeks around here with seven presentations since the last Weekly Round Up.  Like my schedule, it’s been a busy couple of weeks in the ag law realm as well. * Parties continue settlement discussions in Texas v. New Mexico.  As noted last week, the Special Master overseeing the litigation in Texas v. New Mexico postponed the trial date and gave the parties until March 1 to report back on settlement negotiations.  The parties have asked for additional time to continue ongoing negotiations and will… 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 →

Case Outlines Texas Requirements for Executing Valid Will

An opinion from the Corpus Christi Court of Appeals last year is a great review of the legal requirements to execute a valid will in Texas. Background Pedro Vera passed away in August 2018.  In October 2018, his former neighbor, Mr. Sanchez, filed an application for probate of Mr. Vera’s holographic (handwritten) will.  Sanchez produced a holographic will purportedly drafted and signed by Mr. Vera on November 25, 2010, during a Thanksgiving dinner. Mr. Vera’s brother, Hector, contested the probate application, claiming that the signature on the holographic… Read More →

March 4, 2022 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  There have been a number of agricultural law stories in the news over the past couple of weeks. *Texas Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Hlavinka v. HSC Pipeline Partnership.  The Texas Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in an important eminent domain case analyzing what a pipeline must show in order to claim common carrier status and the ability of a landowner to testify regarding other pipeline easement values.  To read my summary of the court of appeals’ decision being reviewed by the Supreme Court, click… Read More →

Eastland Court of Appeals Rules Oil Company Not Liable for Dead Cows

When over 100 cattle died after exposure from oil and saltwater from oil and gas operations, their owner sued the oil company.  The Eastland Court of Appeals affirmed a take nothing judgment and dismissal in Foote v. Texcel Exploration, Inc. Background Mr. Foote leased property in Knox County, Texas on which he grazed 650 head of cows.  He hired Mr. Cypert to care for the cattle on the lease. Foote traveled to Knox County, met with Cypert, and went to look at Cypert’s facilities and operations.  Foote did not… Read More →

Who Determines Ownership of Water Rights in Texas?

The Texas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on March 24, 2022 in Pape Partners, Ltd. v. DRR Family Properties LP, a case posing the question of who determines ownership of water rights in Texas, the courts or the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality? Background In 2014, the Papes purchased farmland. As part of the purchase, sellers conveyed surface water rights to the Papes.  The Certificates of Adjudication for the surface water rights was originally in 1986 as part of a judgment in a lawsuit under the Texas Water… Read More →

February 18, 2022 Weekly Round Up

It has been another busy couple of weeks in the agricultural law world.  Here are a few of the stories in the news recently. *Bayer declares force majeure in glyphosate contracts.  Earlier this week, Bayer announced it would declare force majeure in glyphosate contracts due to mechanical issues.  A supplier of an ingredient used in glyphosate is facing mechanical difficulties, which Bayer says it expects to take three months to remedy.  The declaration of force majeure typically excuses the declaring party’s obligations under a contract due to an… Read More →

Ft. Worth Court of Appeals Decides Dispute Over Cow Sale

Recently, the Ft. Worth Court of Appeals issued a ruling in Berry v. The New Gainesville Livestock Auction, LLC  case involving a dispute between a cattle purchaser and a local auction barn who sold him eleven head of cows.  This case offers a few important considerations for us to consider.   Background Berry runs a small cow-calf operation on 40 acres in Cooke County and has done so since 2005 in addition to his full-time job as a CPA.  In October 2017, Berry attended a sale at The New… Read More →

Updated Owning Your Piece of Texas Handbook

We are excited to debut our newly updated Owning Your Piece of Texas handbook!  This book walks through the key laws that rural landowners and agricultural producers need to know in Texas. We published the initial version of this book in 2019.  This new version is updated to reflect legal changes that have occurred in the past three years. To download your free copy, click here.  If you’d like to order a hard copy, contact my assistant Lacrecia at 806-677-5600 to purchase yours for $30 (shipping included). Lastly,… Read More →

WOTUS Update: Another year, another definition

As we have for the past five years in a row, Shannon Ferrell and I recently authored an article for Southwest Farm Press providing an update on the current status of the meaning of “waters of the United States.  To hear our thoughts on where we are now, click here.  Jim Bradbury and I discussed this exact topic on our most recent Ag Law in the Field Podcast episode, which you can find here. Also, since our article was written, the United States Supreme Court has granted a… Read More →