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Legal Questions?
from  Laurie.RISTINO@usda.gov
I'm an attorney with the USDA in Washington. Among other things, I review draft easements for the Farmland Protection Program. One of the recurring concerns I have with the easements I have reviewed is the defensibility of the easement language if challenged. In particular, I question how terms like "reasonably enlarge," "not significantly inconsistent with" and extensive grantee permission clauses (this act prohibited, unless grantor receives grantee's permission which will not be unreasonably withheld) would be interpreted by courts.

I understand the need for flexibility in easement language for working lands, but I also fear that the vague language and complicated easement terms will result in the defeat of some of the easements when the land passes on from  the original grantors.

Any advice on sources for good easement language (model easements), case law, trainings on the subject of drafting easements? (I already have LTA's '96model and am aware of the National Land Trust Rally's offerings).

Many thanks