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McAfee & Taft AgLINC - Fall 2013: More than just a handshake - Due diligence, purchase contract required for real estate purchases

In western Oklahoma, where this author was born and raised, a handshake is often all that takes place to solidify a deal for the sale or purchase of a piece of land. The need for a purchase contract or anything other than a...more

Public Interest in Renewable Energy May Outweigh the Purpose of the Williamson Act; Cancellation of Williamson Act Contracts May...

After a Central Valley county cancelled Williamson Act contracts on ranchland to make way for a solar energy plant, several environmental groups sued challenging the County’s decision. The trial court found against the...more

The Doctrine of Emblements: Protection for Texas Farm Lessees

Under Texas law, a lessee who plants crops on the leased property may have a right to enter the property to harvest the crops even after the termination of the lease if the doctrine of emblements is applicable. Learn more...more

Current Issues in Texas Surface Water Law

Learn more about the major issues currently going on in Texas related to surface water. This article was initially published on the Texas Agriculture Law Blog at http://agrilife.org/texasaglaw ...more

Texas Water: Basics of Surface Water Law

This article outlines the basics of surface water law in Texas. *This was first published on the Texas Agriculture Law Blog at http://agrilife.org/texasaglaw . ...more

Texas Water Wars: Texas v. New Mexico

Learn more about a lawsuit between the states regarding the waters of the Rio Grande River that is creating serious controversy between the two states and may be decided by the United States Supreme Court. This article is...more

Devon Energy Seeks Appellate Review of Application of Marketable Condition Rule

Devon Energy Corporation has filed an application for interlocutory appeal with the New Mexico Court of Appeals. If accepted, the Court of Appeals will likely determine whether New Mexico recognizes the "Marketable Condition...more

Most Favored Nations Clause: Something To Consider

A recent Texas appellate court decision outlines the mechanics of a "most favored nations clause" in an oil and gas lease. These clauses require that a mineral lessor treat the lessee as well as any other lessee in a defined...more

Reeves v. Hooton: Texas Right to Farm Act Inapplicable

The Tyler Court of Appeals recently upheld a jury verdict that deemed the Texas Right to Farm Act inapplicable in a case involving the use of a propane cannon. The jury found insufficient evidence that the farmer's use of...more

Texas Surface Owners Beware!: Understanding Mineral Lessee’s Rights to Use the Surface Estate

In Texas, surface owners are often surprised to learn that mineral owners who lease the mineral rights to an oil company grant that company the right to various uses of the surface estate. In these situations, the surface...more

Peotone Airport Legislation Contains Significant Changes To Property Tax Code

When Governor Quinn signed P.A. 98-109 into law, media reports focused on the legislation pushing forward a Peotone airport, but the 371 pages of legislation also contain a number of other changes. ...more

First District Publishes Significant CEQA Decision On Legal Feasibility Of Mitigation For Prime Farmland Losses In Masonite...

In a partially-published opinion filed July 25, 2013, the First District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s judgment denying a writ petition with directions that the County of Mendocino prepare and circulate a...more

Seeing the Forest through the Trees -- A New Method for Structuring Investment by Foreign Investors in U.S. Timber and...

Overview - Large institutional investors including pension plans and endowments and foundations have made significant investments in timberland over the last forty years. These same investors have also made significant...more

A Cattle Rancher v. An Oil Company - The Accomodation Doctrine

The Texas Supreme Court recently outlined the parameters of the accommodation doctrine as it applied when oil companies are granted the implied right to enter and utilize a surface estate in order to drill for and produce oil...more

Water Bills - Summary of the 2013 Texas Legislative Session

This article provides a summary of the water-related bills considered by the 2013 Texas Legislature. *This article was originally posted on the Texas Agriculture Law Blog: http://agrilife.org/texasaglaw ....more

Can Our Association Do That? FCA Adopts New Rule for Farm Credit Subsidiaries

The Farm Credit Administration has adopted a new final rule governing the ownership and use of unincorporated business entities (UBEs) by Farm Credit System institutions. It applies to investments by System institutions in...more

McAfee & Taft AgLINC Ag & Equine Industry Newsletter - May 2013: What does your deed say?

McAfee & Taft regularly represents clients in connection with the purchase, sale and financing of agricultural real estate. Issues that arise in these transactions include all the issues that are routinely attendant to real...more

Supreme Court Holds Temporary Flooding Can Be A Taking

After passing on a number of Fifth Amendment issues in recent history, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear three cases this term in which the takings clause plays a prominent role. And today, the Court addressed the...more

Court Decision on Loss of Goodwill Results in Sour Grapes for Business Owners

California is one of only a few states in which a business may recover for loss of goodwill when property is taken by eminent domain, but even here there are limitations on a business' right to recover for such damages. ...more

Massachusetts Landlords Smoking Mad About New Medical Marijuana Law

Burned up Massachusetts landlords are fuming with concern over the state’s newly passed but hazy medicinal marijuana law. The law — rolling out Jan. 1 — grants medical marijuana users the right to grow a two-month supply of...more

New Taxes on Farmland Sales for 2013

If there is a chance that you may want to sell your farm, then you should think hard about getting it done before the end of 2012. There is a load of new taxes on capital gains and unearned income coming into effect on Jan....more

Legal Byte: “Boundary by Agreement:” a fence alone is not enough

California landowners can agree on a boundary between their properties. However, they have to conform to specific requirements by California law....more

Horne v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

Brief for the CATO Institute, et al., as Amici Curiae in Support of the Petitioner for Certiorari

Property owners should not be made to suffer a needless, Rube Goldberg-style litigation process to vindicate their constitutional rights. Yet that is exactly what the U.S. Department of Agriculture seeks to impose on...more

New law gives Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax exemptions for family farms

A recent law enacted by the Pennsylvania Legislature will enable farmers to pass their family farms to future generations without having to pay Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax. With proper estate and tax planning, this law will...more

Seventh Circuit affirms exclusion of unreliable expert testimony on valuation in condemnation actions

On August 21, 2012, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion affirming the decision of the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois to exclude the testimony of the landowners' expert in...more

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