Articles Posted in Agriculture Law

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Pursuant to an oral agreement with Defendant, Plaintiff kept his beefalo cattle herd on Defendant's ranch. After a dispute arose between the parties regarding the oral agreement, Defendant asserted a lien for payments allegedly owed under the oral agreement. Plaintiff filed a complaint and petition for release of his cattle, asserting that the lien was knowingly false and groundless and that Defendant wrongfully converted the beefalo herd. The jury found that Defendant was liable for conversion of Plaintiff's cattle but that Defendant was entitled to the lien claimed for feed and pasturage from the time Defendant asserted the lien on the cattle until their court-ordered release. Defendant filed a motion for a new trial, claiming the verdict was inconsistent because he could not be liable for conversion of Plaintiff's beefalo herd if he was entitled to a lien against the same. The district court denied Defendant's motions and entered a final judgment incorporating the jury's verdict. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the district court abused its discretion in denying Defendant's motion for new trial because the verdict was contrary to law and could not be reconciled. Remanded for a new trial. View "McTiernan v. Jellis" on Justia Law