Friday, December 20, 2013

The Year in Reverse: Janzen Ag Law Blog's Top Stories for 2013

2013 was an exciting year for agricultural law.   We saw the Supreme Court take on an Indiana soybean farmer, the CDC address raw milk sales, and Congress push the Farm Bill aside so that it could focus on the debt ceiling and Obamacare.  What were the three biggest stories on the Janzen Ag Law blog (based upon pageviews, comments, and email feedback)?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Local, State, and Federal Regulations Affecting Agriculture: Join me at the Indiana-Illinois Farm Equipment Show December 17, 2013

On December 17, 2014, I'll be attending the Indiana-Illinois Farm Equipment Show at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. I'll be speaking on a panel at 11:00 a.m. moderated by Hoosier Ag Today on "The Business of Farming: taxes, accounting, regulations, and interest rates." The panel also includes:

Joshua T. Sickler, CPA, Sikich LLP
David A. McDaniel, CPA, Sikich LLP
Matt Monteiro, VP of Finance for Farm Credit Mid-America

Please stop by if you are attending the farm show. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Land Use, Nuisance and the Right to Farm: Join me at Indiana Farm Bureau Convention December 13, 2013

I'll be speaking this week at Indiana Farm Bureau's annual convention on the topic of  nuisance and the Right to Farm Act.  There have been a flurry of farm nuisance cases in Indiana over the past decade.  I'm proud to say I have been involved in a number of these cases on behalf of Indiana livestock farmers.  Join me this Friday, December 13, 2013 at 2:30 the Indiana Farm Bureau convention in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to explore this topic and learn how to minimize nuisance risk on your farm.

Conference registration details can be found here.

To access the handout passed out at the seminar, click here.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Contract Law 201: When to hire an attorney

Law school training and real-world legal experience can pay dividends in complex contract drafting and negotiation.  In my previous post, I explained the contract basics every business person should understand.  In this post, I provide some examples of when you should not go it alone, but instead pick up the phone and call an attorney for help.
1. Should the contract be in writing?  Some contracts are unenforceable unless they are in writing.  Nearly every state has a "statute of frauds" that requires a contract to be in writing if certain factors are present.  An attorney knows or can research these factors.  In Indiana, for example, no contract for the sale of land is valid unless it is written out and signed by the seller.  I.C. 32-21-1-1.  The same is true of a lease greater than three years or deed conveying land.  No writing, no signature, no contract.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Contract Law 101: What every business person should know

You don't have to go to law school to learn how to create a contract. But there are some things every ag professional should know about contract drafting. A contract only needs three things to be enforceable: an offer, acceptance, and consideration. These are the basics every law student learns in their first semester:

1. Offer. Formation of a contract begins with an offer. One person offers to do something in exchange for something else. Offers are “revocable” until such time that they are accepted or changed. But you cannot revoke an offer after it has already been accepted. That’s why it’s always good to put a time-frame on how long an offer remains open. You also want to be sure an offer is clearly communicated, whether verbally or in writing.