Legal Resources

The legal resources provided by the University of Maryland Extension offers farmers and individuals within the farming community information on how to manage any and all legal predicaments that they may face.

One aspect of the resources pertains to how bankruptcy can be used as a risk management tool for a farming operation, allowing family farmers and fishermen to reorganize their operation without risk of total business collapse.

In addition, this site will provide insight on how to work out alternative legal solutions through mediation, as well as guidance for a modified farm succession plan when considering exiting agriculture and passing it on to the next generation.

Most farms in Maryland are sole proprietorships, which can mean personal assets are at risk in hard times. Learn how you can separate farm business and personal finances to reduce your financial risk.

  • Management Tool of Last Resort: Bankruptcy Offers Protections to Qualifying Agricultural Operations and Fishermen to Restructure Business and Survive Tough Economic Times. 

Bankruptcy is often a risk management tool of last resort for a farming operation. For many family farmers and fishermen, the idea of bankruptcy is enough to lose the benefits from avoiding filing in a reasonable time. Chapter 12 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code has made business reorganization and debt repayment a much more streamlined process, allowing family farmers and fishermen to reorganize their operation to avoid total business collapse. Chapter 12 is useful for most farmers and fishermen seeking help under U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) refers to methods for settling disputes outside of the courtroom. ADR can include negotiation, mediation, and arbitration.