Course Browser

Search and explore Duke Law's wide variety of courses that comprise near every area of legal theory and practice. Contact the Director of Academic Advising to confirm whether a course satisfies a graduation requirement in any particular semester. Course evaluations can be found here.
 

NOTE: Course offerings change. Faculty leaves and sabbaticals, as well as other curriculum considerations, will sometimes affect when a course may be offered.

 

Credits
Semester
JD Course of Study
JD/LLM in International & Comparative Law
JD/LLM in Law & Entrepreneurship
International LLM - 1 year
LLM in Law & Entrepreneurship - 1 year
Certificate in Public interest and Public Service Law
 
Clear all filters16 courses found.
Course Number Course Title Course Credits Degree Requirements Semesters Taught Methods of Evaluation

200

Administrative Law 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 19
  2. Spring 20
  3. Fall 18
  4. Spring 19
  5. Fall 20
  6. Spring 21
  • Final Exam

A study of the legal framework governing administrative agencies under the U.S. Constitution and the Administrative Procedure Act, with a particular focus on agency rulemaking and adjudication; Presidential power; Congressional control of agencies through statutes and other mechanisms of oversight; and judicial review of agency actions.

235

Environmental Law 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 18
  2. Fall 19
  3. Fall 20
  • Final Exam
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 5-10 pages
  • Class participation

Concern about environmental risks has spurred the growth of a complex array of laws and regulations over the past four decades. This course is designed to provide a general introduction to the theory and practice of environmental law, with an emphasis on the major pollution control statutes, especially the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. Some of the recurring themes of the course will be the balance between federal and state authority, the economic justifications for environmental regulation, the distributional effects of environmental policy, the choice of regulatory instruments, and the role of federal agencies. The political backdrop for the development of environmental policy, especially the role of interest groups, political affiliation, and public perceptions, will also be discussed.

This course, Law 235, is intended for professional and graduate students, and is also cross-listed as Environ 835 in the Nicholas School of the Environment. Professional and graduate students in the Nicholas School who would like to enroll in this course under Environ 835 should contact the NSOE Office of Academic & Enrollment Services, Erika Lovelace, e-mail or telephone 919-613-7459. (The Law School and the law professor teaching this course do not have "permission numbers.") (Professional and graduate students in the Sanford School of Public Policy, or other schools outside the Law School, should also contact the Nicholas School's office of Enrollment Services to enroll in Environ 835.) For undergraduate students, the Nicholas School offers a different course, Environ 265.

298

Ocean and Coastal Law and Policy 2
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 19
  2. Fall 18
  3. Fall 20

This course explores laws and policies that affect decisions on United States ocean and coastal resources. We examine statutes, regulations, attitudes, and cases that shape how the United States (and several states) use, manage, and protect the coasts and oceans out to – and sometimes beyond – the 200-mile limit of the Exclusive Economic Zone. We cover government and private approaches to coastal and ocean resources, including beaches, wetlands, estuaries, reefs, fisheries, endangered species, and special areas.

320

Water Resources Law 2
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 20
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 21
  • Research paper, 25+ pages

This survey course studies the legal and policy issues governing water resource allocation in the United States. Students will be introduced to both the Prior Appropriation systems of the western United States and the Reasonable Use systems dominating the eastern states. We will study the law applied to groundwater use as well as issues of federalism. Examples from disputes around ACF basin and the Colorado River will be contrasted. We will examine the issues from the perspective of different user groups.

 

327

Energy Law 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 18
  2. Fall 19
  3. Fall 20
  • Final Exam

The course will examine the legal framework governing energy production and consumption in the United States, and policy approaches for balancing energy needs with other societal goals. The course will include three main modules: (1) electricity sector regulation; (2) energy resources for electricity generation; and (3) oil and gas law. Key themes will include:

(1) The historic origins of public utility regulation;
(2) The major U.S. laws that govern energy production and use;
(3) The distinct roles of the federal and state governments; and
(4) Efforts to manage competing societal interests

For Fall 2020, final grades will be comprised of the following:

  1. Final exam, open book/open note one day exam: 60%
  2. Case study discussion leader: 25%
  3. Class participation and current events: 15%

The case study will be a group project where students will be assigned a case study. The group will lead the class discussion and exercise on the case study. In addition, each student in the group will prepare a 3-page policy brief that advocates for an outcome to a decision maker. The grade will be based on both the group discussion and the policy brief.

Students will also be responsible for submitting discussion questions on the readings and short reflections on current events weekly. Students must submit questions for at least 10 weeks.

368

Natural Resources Law 2
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 20
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Class participation

The law of how we use nature - timber, mining, bioversity, fisheries, water rights, and agriculture. Also an introduction to the historical and constitutional geography of American public lands: the national parks, forests, wilderness system, and grazing lands, and disputes over federal versus local control of these. There is special attention to the historical and political origins of our competing ideas of how nature matters and what we should do with it, from economically productive use to outdoor recreation to preserving the natural world for its own sake. Attention also to the complicated interplay of science and law.

443

Environmental Law and Policy Clinic 4
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • PIPS elective
  • PIPS experiential
  1. Fall 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Fall 19
  4. Spring 20
  5. Fall 20
  • Group project(s)
  • Practical exercises
  • Live-client representation and case management
  • Class participation

The Duke Environmental Law and Policy Clinic is an interdisciplinary clinic that represents non-profit community-based and environmental organizations throughout the region to address a wide variety of environmental concerns in a variety of different venues. Students work in interdisciplinary teams and engage directly with clients to develop legal and advocacy strategies, conduct site-based assessments, develop legislative and regulatory proposals, and participate in community outreach and education efforts. Students also may engage in litigation, regulatory, and policy proceedings as case needs dictate. Skills training is conducted in weekly seminars and case management meetings and emphasizes client counseling, legal and policy advocacy, working with experts, and networking. Although the mix of topics addressed varies among semesters, matters typically include environmental justice, climate change, water quality, natural resources conservation, endangered species protection, sustainable agriculture, public trust resources, and environmental health. Clinic faculty make an effort to honor student preferences for case assignments, consistent with case needs and each student’s objectives for professional growth and development.

The ELPC will conduct its weekly seminars online via Zoom, and will also provide readings and short video modules for students to review in preparation for seminar discussions.  Weekly case management meetings, as well as client meetings, will be conducted in person to the extent possible, but accommodation will be made for those who need to engage remotely.

Clinic Enrollment and Credit Policies

To enroll, law students must have completed their 1L year and Nicholas School students must have completed their first semester. International LLM students may enroll during their second semester with permission from the clinic's directors. Variable credit (4-6 hours) is allowed for law students with permission from the clinic’s directors.

Although not a prerequisite, students are encouraged to have completed Environmental Law, Ocean and Coastal Law and Policy, and/or Administrative Law prior to enrollment.

Ethics Requirement for Law Students

Law students are required to have instruction in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct prior to, or contemporaneous with, enrollment in the Environmental Law and Policy Clinic. The following ethics classes meet this requirement: Ethics of Social Justice Lawyering (LAW 237), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering (LAW 238), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering in Civil Litigation (LAW 239), Criminal Justice Ethics (LAW 317) and Ethics in Action (LAW 539).

Important to Note: This course may not be dropped after the first class meeting. Students MUST be able to attend the day-long clinic intensive training session to enroll in this course.

443A

Advanced Environmental Law and Policy
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • PIPS elective
  • PIPS experiential
  1. Fall 19
  2. Spring 20
  3. Fall 18
  4. Spring 19
  5. Fall 20
  • Group project(s)
  • Practical exercises
  • Live-client representation and case management
  • Class participation

This variable-credit (2-4 credits) course builds on the training and work of the EL&PC and offers students the opportunity to develop case leadership and deeper client relationships. Students enrolled in the Advanced Clinic are required to participate fully in the case work portion of the clinic, performing at least 100 hours of client representation work (or more, depending on credit hours), and are required to attend weekly case management meetings. In addition, Advanced students must attend two discussion sessions with other advanced clinic students that will be scheduled after the start of the semester. Instructor permission and successful completion of one semester of clinical work are required to enroll.

520

Climate Change and the Law 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 19
  2. Spring 21
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

This 2-credit seminar will examine global climate change and the range of actual and potential responses by legal institutions – primarily at the international treaty level and in the United States, with attention as well to the law in Europe, Australia, China, Brazil, and elsewhere.

We will compare alternative approaches that could be taken by the legal regime to address climate change: the choice of policy instrument (e.g., emissions taxes, allowance trading, technology R&D, prescriptive regulation, reducing deforestation, geoengineering, adaptation); the spatial scale (global, regional, national, local); the time scale (precautionary or adaptive, over decades or centuries); and key normative criteria for policy choice. We will also examine the actual legal measures that have been adopted so far to manage climate change: the international agreements such as the Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992), its Kyoto Protocol (1997), and the results of follow-on meetings such as Copenhagen (2009), Cancun (2010), Durban (2011), Doha (2012), Warsaw (2013), and the Paris Agreement (2015); and the policies undertaken by the US, Europe, Australia, China, Brazil, and other key countries. In the US, we will study national (federal) and sub-national (state and local) policies, including: legislative proposals in the US Congress; the US Supreme Court's decisions in Massachusetts v. EPA (2007), and Connecticut v. AEP (2011), addressing issues including standing to sue, statutory interpretation, delegation, administrative discretion, comparative institutional competence, and statutory preemption of common law; administrative regulation by US EPA under the current Clean Air Act; other federal laws such as the ESA and NEPA; state-level action by California, RGGI, and others; and common-law tort liability applied to climate change.

Questions we will discuss include: How effective and efficient are the policies being proposed and adopted? How do actions at the national and international levels affect each other (e.g. reinforcing or conflicting)? Can current institutions deal with a problem as enormous, complex, long-term, uncertain, and multi-faceted as climate change? What roles do changing scientific and economic understanding play in evolving legal responses? How do institutions and the public respond to potential but inchoate catastrophes? Will dealing with mega-problems necessitate or lead to basic changes in legal institutions? Should the US states be acting? Should you buy personal carbon offsets? Should the US have joined Kyoto, or have organized a parallel regime of major emitters, or have done something else? How should we appraise FCCC/Kyoto process so far? What will follow from the 2015 Paris Agreement, and how should it be implemented? What are the best ways to engage countries in international cooperation? What principles of international and intergenerational justice should guide efforts to control climate change? How should aggregate social well-being, and distributional equity for the world's poor, shape climate change policy? Should greenhouse gas emitters (countries, businesses, consumers) be legally liable or responsible to compensate victims for their losses? What is the best mix of mitigation (prevention) and adaptation (resilience)? How will climate policy be influenced by geopolitical changes such as the rise of China and India, and a shift from the US as lone superpower to a more multipolar world of several great powers? How will technological change affect law and policy, and how should the law seek to promote technological change? How should the legal system learn and remain adaptable to new information over time? What threats, challenges, and opportunities might climate change pose to legal and political systems?

Students must read the assigned materials in advance of class, and participate in class discussion. Each student will submit a short (5-6 page) paper, addressing the week's readings (and adding outside research), for three (3) of the 12 class sessions (not counting the first class session). A sign-up sheet will be circulated at the beginning of the course for students to select the 3 topics/class sessions for which they will submit these 3 short papers (so that these papers are spread across the semester). In addition, each student will write a longer research paper (15 pages), due at the end of the semester. Grades will be based on: 33% class participation, 33% the 3 short papers, and 33% the longer paper.

The Syllabus with weekly assignments, and the Resources (readings), will be posted on the Sakai site. (There is no textbook for this course; all readings will be posted on the Sakai site.)

579W

Mass Torts Writing Credit 1
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
    • Add on credit

    While enrolled in Law 579 Mass Torts, students have the option to take an additional 1 credit if they wish to expand the required 15 page paper to 30 pages in order to satisfy the JD Writing Requirement. *LAW 579W MUST be added no later than 7th week of class.*

    590

    Risk Regulation in the US, Europe and Beyond 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Environ Cert
    1. Fall 19
    2. Fall 20
    • Research paper, 25+ pages
    • Class participation

    Faced with myriad health, safety, environmental, security and financial risks, how should societies respond?  This course studies the regulation of a wide array of risks, such as disease, food, drugs, medical care, biotechnology, chemicals, automobiles, air travel, drinking water, air pollution, energy, climate change, finance, violence, terrorism, emerging technologies, and extreme catastrophic risks. (Students may propose to research other risks as well.)

    Across these diverse contexts, the course focuses on how regulatory institutions deal with the challenges of risk assessment (technical expertise), risk perceptions (public concerns and values), priority-setting (which risks should be regulated most), risk management (including the debates over "precaution" versus benefit-cost analysis, and risk-risk tradeoffs such as countervailing harms and co-benefits), and ongoing evaluation.  It examines the rules and institutions for risk regulation, including the roles of legislative, executive, and judicial functions; oversight bodies (such as judicial review by courts, and executive review by US OMB/OIRA and the EU RSB); fragmentation and integration; and international cooperation.

    The course examines these issues through a comparative approach to risk regulation in the United States, Europe, and other countries (especially those of interest to the students in the course each year).  It examines the divergence, convergence, and exchange of ideas across regulatory systems; the causes of these patterns; the consequences of regulatory choices; and how regulatory systems can learn to do better.

    This is a research seminar, in which students discuss and debate in class (in person or online), while developing their own research.  We may also have some guest speakers.  Students' responsibilities in this course include active participation in class discussions, and writing a substantial research paper.  Students’ papers may take several approaches, such as analyzing a specific risk regulation; comparing regulation across countries; analyzing proposals to improve the regulatory system; or other related topics.

    This course is cross-listed as ENV 733.01 and PUBPOL 891.01.  Graduate and professional students outside the Law School are welcome and should enroll via those course numbers.  (The Law School does not use “permission numbers.”)

    617

    Environmental Law Readings Workshop 0.5
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Environ Cert
    1. Fall 19
    2. Spring 20
    3. Fall 18
    4. Spring 19
    5. Fall 20

    The Workshop introduces LLM students in the Certificate in Environmental Law program to core readings on different topics of environmental law. Students are assigned readings selected by the faculty members teaching environmental law. Each class meeting is conducted by a different member of the faculty in environmental law. Students will write a paper in reaction to the readings, and the course will be graded credit/no credit.
    **This class is available only to International LLMs who are pursuing the Certificate in Environmental Law. **

    NOTE: This course receives 0.50 credits a semester for a total of 1.0 credits for the year course.

    636

    Food, Agriculture and the Environment: Law & Policy 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Environ Cert
    • PIPS elective
    1. Fall 18
    2. Fall 19
    3. Fall 20
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
    • Oral presentation
    • Class participation

    “Food,” “agriculture,” and the “environment” are distinct American mythologies tied to our most basic physical needs and imbued with our most significant cultural meanings. They are also irrevocably entwined. Most of us eat at least three times a day and, unless you are in extraordinary circumstances, those meals were produced within our national—and increasingly global—food and agriculture system. And it’s a system that causes startling environmental harms; think water and air pollution, pesticides, greenhouse gases, non-human animal welfare, deforestation, soil depletion, wetlands destruction, fisheries collapse, and on and on. Yet notions of “agricultural exceptionalism” exempt agriculture from many of our nation’s environmental laws.

    Undergirding the system are the people who help put food on our tables. The food and agriculture system depends on immigrants who toil as farmworkers and work the slaughterhouse lines even as it romanticizes the Jeffersonian ideal of the solitary yeoman. It co-opts the knowledge of Black, Indigenous and people of color under terms like “sustainable” and “regenerative” without reckoning with land theft, enslavement, or the patterns of discrimination and land loss that persist today.

    This course will survey how law and policy helped create and perpetuate the interrelated social, economic and environmental iniquities of our modern food and agriculture system. More optimistically, we will study how law and policy can address systemic issues and move us toward values of equity and environmental justice, conservation, restoration, community health and economic sustainability. And if you read Omnivore’s Dilemma and want to learn what the Farm Bill actually does, this is your chance.

    Course format and expectations: The course will take place entirely online. Students will be expected to stay up on all readings, participate in weekly discussion boards, prepare several small presentations and written assignments throughout the semester, and engage in the “live” seminar each week. As a final assignment, each student will write a 10-15 page law or policy paper on a topic that they will develop in consultation with the rest of the class and the instructor. For students in the Durham area, there will be an additional, optional opportunity to visit a local farm (University policy permitting).

     

    644

    Bass Connections 1-3
    • Other

    About Bass Connections

    Bass Connections is a university-wide program that offers graduate and undergraduate students immersive research opportunities through more than 60 year-long project teams. On Bass Connections teams, graduate and professional students, postdocs, and undergraduates work together with faculty and outside experts to conduct cutting-edge research on important issues such as health inequality, environmental sustainability, human rights, educational opportunity, and medical ethics.

    Teams generally work together for nine to 12 months. Participating students usually receive academic credit (see below for crediting options for Law students), although students in specialized roles may sometimes serve in a paid role.
     
    Team members blend their diverse skills and expertise, allowing students of all levels to learn and contribute. Their work results in policy recommendations, journal articles, new datasets to inform future research, health interventions, novel modes of delivering social services, prototypes, museum exhibits, future grants, and more.

    Benefits of Participation for Professional Students

    Professional students play a crucial role on Bass Connections teams, often serving as subject area experts, project managers or sub-group leaders, and mentors for undergraduates. Project teams also offer professional students an exciting opportunity to apply coursework to a concrete problem, access professional development resources, expand academic and professional networks, and build career-enhancing skills to stand out on the job market.

    In particular, students learn how to plan and implement complex projects, work in teams, mentor and lead others, and communicate across boundaries to find solutions to complex challenges – skills that are crucial for successful careers in almost any field.

    Crediting Options for Law Students

    Law students who are interested in participating in Bass Connections have the following crediting options:
     
    Teams led by a Duke Law Faculty Member: If a Duke Law faculty member leads a Bass Connections team (see list below), Law students are eligible to receive Law School credit (up to three credits per semester). Upon being accepted to join a team, students must apply for approval to receive Law School credit by documenting the law and policy work (research, drafting, etc.) they will be undertaking as part of the team and the amount of time they will spend on the project. Such students should contact Dean Lacoff in the Office of Academic Affairs.
     
    Teams without Duke Law Faculty Members: Some Bass Connections team are grappling with legal matters but do not include a Duke Law faculty leader (see list below). While Law students are encouraged to participate on these teams, students would not be eligible for Law School credit. Such students could opt to use their non-Law credit, noting that each student is only permitted three such credits. Students may also petition the Law School’s Administrative Committee for permission to apply up to three additional credits. Such appeals must demonstrate the rigor of the project and the connection to legal matters. Students interested in participating in these projects should contact Dean Lacoff in the Office of Academic Affairs.
     
    Other options: Some students participate on Bass Connections teams in a paid capacity, particularly if they are serving in a leadership/project management role on the team. Each team is structured differently. It is at the discretion of faculty team leaders whether they offer paid roles. Law students may not earn academic credit if they are paid for their work.
     
    Some students also participate on Bass Connections teams in an extra-curricular capacity because they are passionate about the topics, see sufficient professional benefits to participation, and/or because the topic aligns with their own research/career interests.
     
    In some circumstances, Duke Law students may also document leadership or other skill development through a Bass Connections team experience that may count toward the professional development graduation requirement. Please contact a career counselor if you are interested in pursuing this option.
     

    Opportunities to Participate in 2020-2021

    The primary application cycle for teams takes place each February for the coming academic year. However, select Bass Connections teams are still recruiting student participants for the coming academic year, including several teams which are specifically seeking Law students. Please keep reading to learn about crediting options for Law students and to review a list of teams of interest to Law students. Students are also encouraged to visit the Bass Connections website for more information. Students may apply for these opportunities beginning on July 27 with a deadline of July 31 at 11:59 pm. Students will be notified of selection by no later than August 14. 
     

    2020-2021 Project Teams Eligible for Law School Credit

    This project team will investigate how people living in wildland-urban interface areas in North Carolina navigate and make decisions about risk, health, safety and information sources related to wildfires.
     
    Law School faculty leader: Shane Stansbury
     
    This project will examine how the U.S. collects and uses immigrants’ biometric data as well as the ethical tensions underlying the imperative to balance national security alongside the rights of migrants.
     
    Law School faculty leader: Nita Farahany
     
    This project will analyze current approaches to the integration of contact tracing technologies with person-to-person contact tracking used by U.S. states and countries around the world. Team members will assess these approaches against globally accepted fair information privacy principles, consider long-term impacts of contact tracing and explore the risks of these approaches to marginalized and persecuted communities. 
     
    Law School faculty leaders: Jolynn Dellinger & Shane Stansbury

    2019-2020 Project Teams Not Eligible for Law School Credit

    This project team will investigate the challenges that the coronavirus outbreak poses to democratic electoral processes related to voter turnout and voting rights.
     
    This project team will investigate the lived experiences of North Carolinians with disabilities and their families across different COVID-19 phases in order to make policy and practice recommendations.
     
    This project team will examine how different communities and humanitarian actors in conflict-affected countries in the Middle East and North Africa are responding to the pandemic and expanding access to water and sanitation.
     
    This project team will develop a data-driven study of migration and its relationship to arts and culture.
     
    This project team will use ocean evidence gap maps to undertake in-depth literature reviews of the relationships between select conservation interventions and social-ecological outcomes.
     

    714

    Coastal Resilience in the Face of Climate Change 2
    • JD SRWP, option
    • JD elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing, option
    • IntlLLM Environ Cert
    • PIPS elective
    1. Spring 20
    2. Spring 19
    • Research paper, 25+ pages
    • Group project(s)
    • Class participation

    This seminar will provide students an opportunity to engage closely with emerging law and policy issues associated with the need to increase coastal resilience in the face of climate change.  The recent experiences of both North and South Carolina with Hurricane Florence have highlighted the need for coastal communities to address a wide range of issues associated with climate change.  In addition to designing approaches to increase resilience when faced with storms and rising sea levels, these issues include: (1) information-gathering (via maps, drones, and scientific research about coastal/ocean processes); (2) law and policy refinements (via statutes, regulations, and guidance); and (3) possible litigation to develop useful common law doctrines relevant to the tidelands and the public trust.  Through the use of current cases and policy issues under debate in coastal communities, students will work together to research the most salient questions presented by these issues.  They will analyze relevant facts, laws, policies, socio-economic considerations, and local ordinances, and prepare proposed solutions to these questions in the form of advisory memos and recommendations.  

    737

    Environmental Litigation 2
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Environ Cert
    • PIPS elective
    1. Spring 19
    2. Spring 20
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
    • Practical exercises
    • Class participation

    During the past 40 years, environmental litigation in the federal courts of the United States has played an important role in shaping our quality of life.  Federal statutes designed to improve air and water quality, manage waste, protect species, and establish rules for the management of ocean resources have spawned numerous federal cases – some filed by affected industry, some by the government, and others filed by conservation groups and private citizens.  The resulting precedents affect many aspects of the environment in which we live.

    This course introduces students to the progression of a hypothetical environmental case in United States federal courts.  The course begins with the appearance of a potential client, addresses several considerations relevant to a decision whether to file a complaint, examines discovery planning and execution, studies the preparation of dispositive motions, and concludes with an overview of the appeal process.  The course assumes that the hypothetical case will be decided on motions for summary judgment or for injunctive relief.  Therefore, class discussions focus on the manner in which such a case unfolds, with particular attention to developing both the facts and the theory of the case, framing pleadings, and designing and managing discovery.  The course explores these subjects from the perspective of counsel for defendants as well as for plaintiffs.  Students should emerge from the course better equipped to handle various practical aspects of litigation.