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Environmental Law & Property Rights

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  • Air Quality
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Enforcement & Compliance
  • Hazardous Waste & Toxic Tort
  • Land Use
  • Water Quality
  • Wetlands & Endangered Species

2017 National Lawyers Convention

Administrative Agencies and the Regulatory State
November 16, 2017

The 2017 National Lawyers Convention is scheduled for Thursday, November 16 through Saturday, November 18 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. The topic of this year's convention is: Administrative Agencies and the Regulatory State. More information will be posted soon!

Courthouse Steps: Oral Argument in National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense

Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Teleforum
James S. Burling, M. Reed Hopper October 11, 2017

Multiple legal challenges to the Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmenatl Protection Agency’s controversial rule redefining “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) raise two important questions: (1) is the rule valid and (2) which is the proper venue for challenging such a rule – the federal district courts or the federal courts of appeals. The first question is on hold pending publication of a revised rule mandated by Executive Order.  The second question will now be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court has granted review to address the venue question and oral argument is scheduled for October 11, 2017. The issue is important because it is unclear where and when regulated parties can challenge certain types of federal rules interpreting the Clean Water Act.  Filing a claim in the wrong court can result in losing the right to challenge the rule at all. Under a plain reading of Act, affected parties have six years to challenge the WOTUS rule or any subsequent rule defining the agency's general jurisdiction under the Act in a federal district court. But under the EPA's reading of the Act, affected parties would have only six months to challenge the rule in a federal court of appeals. Various State, industry, and landowner groups urge the High Court to rely on a plain reading of the Act to maximize the opportunity for the regulated public to challenge rules that define the scope of the Act.

Supreme Court Preview: What Is in Store for October Term 2017?

Co-Sponsored by the Faculty Division and the Practice Groups
Jan Crawford, Kyle Duncan, Samuel Estreicher, Orin S. Kerr, Andrew J. Pincus, Carrie Severino September 27, 2017

This event is being live-streamed.

October 2nd will mark the first day of oral arguments for the 2017 Supreme Court term. The Court's docket already includes major cases involving Federal Courts, redistricting, the First Amendment, election law, business law, class actions, international and immigration issues, alien tort statutes, and the Fourth Amendment.

The full list of cases granted thus far for the upcoming term can be viewed on SCOTUSblog here. The panelists will also discuss the current composition and the future of the Court.

Featuring:

  • Prof. Samuel Estreicher, New York University School of Law
  • Prof. Orin Kerr, George Washington University Law School
  • Kyle Duncan, Schaerr Duncan, LLP
  • Carrie Severino, Judicial Crisis Network
  • Andrew Pincus, Mayer Brown, LLP
  • Moderator: Ms. Jan Crawford, CBS News

Can Laws be Simple?

Short video featuring Richard Epstein
Richard A. Epstein August 08, 2017

Can the Common Law be reduced to a series of simple rules?  Professor Richard Epstein of NYU School of Law argues “yes," even in spite of the complexity of modern society.

Professor Epstein provides an alternative to the conventional view that property rights are arbitrarily created by the state, and therefore can be changed at will by the state; a few simple rules, he argues, are universal principles of social organization, consistent across time and culture, which form the basis of social gains.

Professor Epstein is the inaugural Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Professor of Law Emeritus and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago.

Studying the Common Law

Short video featuring Richard Epstein
Richard A. Epstein August 08, 2017

In law school, the four major branches of the Common Law, property, contract, tort, and restitution are treated as distinct subjects with arbitrary rules. Professor Richard Epstein of NYU School of Law argues that this approach misses the mark, that there is a deep intellectual unity among these subjects.

Professor Epstein provides an alternative to the conventional view that property rights are arbitrarily created by the state, and therefore can be changed at will by the state; a few simple rules, he argues, are universal principles of social organization, consistent across time and culture, which form the basis of social gains.

Professor Epstein is the inaugural Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Professor of Law Emeritus and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago.

Regulatory Takings Law: Penn Central v. City of New York

Short video featuring Eric Claeys
Eric R. Claeys August 01, 2017

Why is a state or local government more likely to prevail against a landowner in a regulatory takings dispute? Eric Claeys, Professor of Law at Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University, gives an overview of the dispute in Penn Central Transportation v. City of New York 438 U.S. 104 (1978), the leading case in regulatory takings law. In this case, a New York court held that Penn Central had not suffered a regulatory taking when the City of New York prevented it from building office space above the station because they still had some use of the property. This case also established a three-part balancing test for measuring compensation in regulatory takings cases.

2017 Annual Supreme Court Round Up - Event Audio/Video

Washington, DC Lawyers Chapter
Miguel Estrada, Douglas R. Cox July 28, 2017

On July 13, 2017, Miguel Estrada of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP delivered the Annual Supreme Court Round Up at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

Featuring:

  • Mr. Miguel Estrada, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP
  • Introduction: Mr. Douglas R. Cox, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP

National Press Club
Washington, DC

Eminent Domain: A Comparative Perspective by Professor Ilya Somin, et al. - Podcast

Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Podcast
Richard A. Epstein, Ilya Somin July 18, 2017

The taking of private property for development projects has caused controversy in many nations, where it has often been used to benefit powerful interests at the expense of the general public. In their recent book, Eminent Domain: A Comparative Perspective (Cambridge University Press), editors Ilya Somin, Iljoong Kim, and Hojun Lee use a common framework to analyze the law and economics of eminent domain around the world. They show that seemingly disparate nations face a common set of problems in seeking to regulate the condemnation of private property by the state. They include the tendency to forcibly displace the poor and politically weak for the benefit of those with greater influence, disputes over compensation, and resort to condemnation in cases where it destroys more economic value than it creates. With contributions from leading scholars in the fields of property law and economics, the book offers a comparative perspective and considers a wide range of possible solutions to these problems. Professor Richard Epstein and Professor Ilya Somin joined us to discuss this interesting book.

Featuring:

  • Professor Richard A. Epstein, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
  • Professor Ilya Somin, Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

Complex Property Arrangements

Short video featuring Richard Epstein
Richard A. Epstein July 18, 2017

How can an association that doesn’t own property make rules that govern it? Professor Richard Epstein of NYU School of Law discusses the principles governing complex property arrangements, giving an overview of the Neponsit case, which created a modern rule for how a property can be governed by an organization and not an individual owner.  This development makes condo associations and other more efficient uses of property possible.

Professor Epstein provides an alternative to the conventional view that property rights are arbitrarily created by the state, and therefore can be changed at will by the state; a few simple rules, he argues, are universal principles of social organization, consistent across time and culture, which form the basis of social gains.

Professor Epstein is the inaugural Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Professor of Law Emeritus and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago.

Property Arrangements

Short video featuring Richard Epstein
Richard A. Epstein July 18, 2017

What kind of rules provide stable property possession within the complex system of property ownership and leasing? In the fifth installment of a series on the Common Law, Professor Richard Epstein of NYU School of Law gives an overview of property arrangements rooted in the English Common Law system, explaining how these arrangements started with William the Conqueror in 1066 and continue in modern lending.
 
Professor Epstein provides an alternative to the conventional view that property rights are arbitrarily created by the state, and therefore can be changed at will by the state; a few simple rules, he argues, are universal principles of social organization, consistent across time and culture, which form the basis of social gains.
 
Professor Epstein is the inaugural Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Professor of Law Emeritus and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago.