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Environmental Law & Property Rights

"Complaints" About the Weather: Why the Fifth Circuit's Panel Decision in Comer v. Murphy Oil Represents the Wrong Approach to the Challenge of Climate Change

David B. Rivkin, Jr., Carlos Ramos-Mrosovsky, Matthew S. Raymer January 29, 2010
Common law “nuisance” litigation has emerged as the strategy of choice for climate change activists and plaintiffs’ lawyers seeking to limit in a piecemeal fashion U.S. greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions.  The recent decision by a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Comer v. Murphy Oil U.S.A., 585 F.3d 855 (5th Cir. 2009), takes this trend to a new level.  For the first time, and what some maintain is contrary to established precedent, a United States Court of Appeals has allowed private parties to bring common law nuisance claims in federal court on the theory that particular GHG emissions from defendants’ sources injured plaintiffs and their property by exacerbating specific weather events.

A Conversation on Climate Change Policy: A Look Ahead at 2009 - Event Audio

Nashville Lawyers Chapter & Environmental Law Practice Group
Jonathan H. Adler, Michael Vandenbergh, Brooks R. Smith February 23, 2009
The Federalist Society and The Vanderbilt Climate Change Research Network present, "A Conversation on Climate Change Policy: A Look Ahead at 2009," with Professor Michael Vandenbergh, an advocate of comprehensive federal and international climate change regulation including a cap-and-trade system, and Professor Jonathan Adler, an advocate of a carbon tax system for addressing greenhouse gas emissions.

A Legal Overview of Utah's H.B. 148

Federalist Society White Paper
Donald J. Kochan January 14, 2013

A Legal Overview of Utah's H.B. 148Recent legislation passed in the State of Utah has demanded that the federal government extinguish title to certain public lands that the federal government currently holds.  The State of Utah claims that the federal government made promises to it (at statehood when the federal government obtained the lands) that the federal ownership would be of limited duration and that the bulk of those lands would be timely disposed of by the federal government into private ownership or otherwise returned to the State.  This White Paper provides a legal overview of these claims....[Read Now!]

A Preview of the Supreme Court October 2008 Term - Audio/Video

Audio and Video
Allyson Newton Ho, William G. Otis, Virginia Seitz, Kannon K. Shanmugam, George J. Terwilliger III, Terry Eastland October 03, 2008

The Federalist Society recently sponsored a panel of noted legal practitioners and scholars on the upcoming Supreme Court term.  Panelists included Allyson Ho of Morgan Lewis, William Otis, Former White House Special Counsel, Virginia Seitz of Sidley Austin, Kannon Shanmugam, Former Assistant to the Solicitor General, George Terwilliger of White & Case and Former Deputy Attorney General, and Terry Eastland of The Weekly Standard as the moderator. [Listen or watch!]

A Summary of, and Comments on: "Are We Seeing Global Warming?"

Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Newsletter - Volume 1, Issue 3, Fall 1997
Jason E. Schaff June 04, 2009
Dr. Klaus Hasselmann's recent article in Science1 provides a clear and accurate summary of the technical issues involved in attempting to determine if human activity is responsible for the increases in average global temperature seen over the past century and what, if any, degree of anthropogenic global warming might be expected in the future. Dr. Hasselmann also provides some editorial commentary on the issue, which is to be expected in an article from the "Perspectives" section of Science. This commentary, while well thought out in some aspects, shows, in stark contrast to the excellent technical discussion, a disturbing lack of objective detachment in other areas. This article will provide a summary of the theory of anthropogenic global warming and a reprise of the technical portion of Dr. Hasselmann's article. The editorial component of that work will then be discussed, and counterpoints to the more questionable suggestions will be provided.