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 →

Ag Law in the Field Podcast – 2018 ABA Web 100 Honoree

We are thrilled to announce that our Ag Law in the Field Podcast has been named to the Web 100 list of the best online legal resources by the American Bar Association.  Only 20 podcasts were selected, so we are very honored and excited to be included. To read more about this recognition and the Podcast, click here. Listening to the Ag Law in the Field Podcast is easy!  You can do so online by simply clicking this link.  Once you’re on the Podcast page, you can just select… Read More →

Clean Water Act Application to Groundwater: Keeping Score

A major issue with regard to the scope of the Clean Water Act is popping up in courtrooms across the United States.  Are point source discharges into groundwater, that eventually reach a “water of the United States”, within the scope of the Clean Water Act’s jurisdiction?  This issue is growing and has been decided differently by courts across the country.  The legal question is teed up and could potentially reach the United States Supreme Court next year.  Let’s take a look at this issue and the results from… Read More →

December 7, 2018 Weekly Round Up

This week, I spoke at my last event for 2018, the Swisher County Ag Day in Tulia.  I want to thank all of you who have come to my programs this year–having the opportunity to speak with you is something I do not take for granted.  To see where I’m headed in 2019,  click here. Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. *Second judge finds EPA’s postponement of the 2015 WOTUS rule violates Administrative Procedures Act.  Recall that the Environmental Protection Agency… Read More →

Unanimous Supreme Court: “Critical Habitat” Under Endangered Species Act Must Be Habitat

The United States Supreme Court issued a decision last week in Weyerhaeuser Co. v. USFWS, addressing whether the Endangered Species Act allows for the government to designate an area to be “critical habitat” when it is not currently suitable for the particular species to reside.  [Read Opinion here.] Factual Background In 2001, the dusky gopher frog was listed as endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).  This frog historically had been found along the coast of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi in the forested areas.  However, at the… Read More →

November 30, 2018 Weekly Round Up

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!   Welcome to another Ag Law Round Up. This week, I traveled to Victoria, Texas to visit with landowners there about eminent domain and fence law.  Welcome to those of you joining from that program. Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. *US Supreme Court rules on Endangered Species Act case.  The US Supreme Court issued a ruling in a case asking whether, in order to be designated as “critical habitat” under the Endangered Species… Read More →

Texas Mineral Owner’s Implied Right to Use the Surface

*Portions of this blog post were excerpted from the handbook Petroleum Production on Agricultural Lands in Texas: Managing Risks and Opportunities, available here.* One of the most surprising pieces of Texas oil and gas law may be the dominant estate rule.  What does this rule mean and how does it impact surface and mineral owners in the state? Severance of the Mineral and Surface Estates In Texas, and most other states, the ownership of the mineral estate can be separated (severed) from the surface estate.  Put another way, one… Read More →

Recorded Presentation: Overview of Texas Water Law

Back in January, I was asked to present at the Texas Alliance on Water Conservation Water College in Lubbock.  I offered a brief overview of Texas water law, including the different legal approaches to groundwater and surface water and a discussion of some of the key cases relating to both.   The folks at TAWC recorded the audio of me speaking along with my slide show.  If you’re interested in viewing my presentation, click here. {For more information on Texas water law, check out this fact sheet and… Read More →

November 16, 2018 Weekly Round Up

Hello and Happy Friday! Welcome to those of you joining from my recent presentations in Panhandle, Waco, and Clovis. Here are some of the ag law stories in the news recently: *California voters pass new animal welfare law.  Earlier this month, California voters passed Proposition 12, requiring that all eggs sold in California must come from cage-free hens by 2022.  The new law will also impose restrictions on the sale of veal and pork where certain production practices are not met.  For veal, calves must have at least 43 square feet… Read More →

Best Legal Blog Contest Nominee

For the second year in a row, we’re thrilled that the Texas Agriculture Law Blog has been nominated as one of the Best Legal Blogs by the Expert Institute!  It’s always an honor to be recognized for the time and effort put into the blog, especially when readers were the ones who nominated us. If you don’t mind, please take a moment and vote for us in the Education and Law School category.  You can do that by clicking here. Thanks again for your support!