In The News

Would Your Drain and Diversion Practices Hold Water?

The longstanding general principle with regard to drainage of surface waters is that neither the owner of the upper land nor the owner of the lower land may interfere with the natural drainage to the detriment of the other.  This means, for example, that neither you nor your neighbor can divert the stream that floods … Read More

The Land of 10,000 Potholes

It’s not often that you hear North Dakota farmers complain about getting a little rain, but this year there is nothing little about the moisture in North Dakota’s fields.  Along with this rain that just won’t quit, farmers are seeing a lot of new standing water on their fields.  What may come as a surprise … Read More

Fighting the Man: The Processes for Challenging Government Agency Determinations

Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and Risk Management Agency (RMA) are all federal government agencies with which farmers and ranchers are very familiar.  My guess is that many of you have received, or will receive, letters from some of these agencies that you disagree with.  For example, a letter telling you … Read More

Financial Eligibility Requirements and Attorneys’ Fees Awards

  Most farmers have probably received federal farm program payments, and possibly, program payment denials over the years.  I wrote a different blog post titled “Fighting the Man” in which I outlined the process for challenging such denials through the USDA’s National Appeals Division, and eventually up to the federal district courts.  This process applies … Read More

Easements, Eminent Domain, and Landowner Rights

Easements are a recurring issue for landowners and I regularly receive calls with a number of common questions.  As oil and gas gathering infrastructure catch up with the boom, landowners in the region will continue to receive requests for easements. If you receive an easement proposal, it is an important preliminary question whether the developer … Read More

Deleted Oil and Gas Division emails resurrected as troublesome issue

After reviewing about 38,700 emails of State Oil and Gas Division employees that were on their way to a permanent cyber dump grounds, a Bismarck attorney is calling for a policy to protect important information for the public. Derrick Braaten said it’s possible the division committed a Class C felony for destroying public records after … Read More

Seven long years: ND organic farmer wins USDA appeal

But Braaten says lawyers experienced with NRCS jargon and procedures can help. Sometimes farmers can get their lawyer fees paid through the Equal Access to Judgment Act. “Sometimes there isn’t a lot of money at stake and we can go through the file with the farmer and explain how we’d present the case,” he says. … Read More

Regulators consider first major pipeline since DAPL

Attorney Derrick Braaten quoted in story about new pipeline: Bismarck attorney Derrick Braaten, who represents about a handful of landowners along the proposed route, also petitioned to intervene in the case. The landowners want to make sure their interests are protected as they negotiate easements, with a focus on proper land reclamation, Braaten said. Regulators … Read More

Federal agency to review past flaring, could order royalties be paid

Attorney Derrick Braaten quoted in recent article regarding natural gas flaring, and legal actions intended to find a remedy for mineral owners. “Braaten said he still plans to pursue actions on behalf of royalty owners for flared gas.” “’Most of this flaring, there’s really no argument that the company owes royalties,’ Braaten said. ‘They’ve just … Read More