Enviromental Law

 

Requirements

24 credits, with at least 12​​ credits from the following courses:

  • Title
  • Type
  • Credits
  • Elective
    Credits: 3

    Examines fundamental and practical issues of federal and New York administrative law. Deals with the scope of power of administrative agencies and the relationship of such agencies to other branches of government. ​​​

  • Elective
    Credits: 3

    ​Focuses on developing general analytical framework for understanding environmental law, including development of common law, with emphasis on statutory and regulatory techniques for pollution control.

  • Focuses on timely environmental issues. Students develop strategies to address the issues selected.

  • ​Provides an introduction and overview designed to familiarize students with basic principles. It also will take up several specific, substantive subject areas of current interest, such as acid rain, international handling of hazardous waste and conservation of bio diversity and protection of natural resources. In addition, the course will cover several of the institutions established to address global or regional environmental problems, as well as the role of non-governmental organizations in resolving them.

  • Elective
    Credits: 3

    ​Examines legal techniques for public regulation of the use of land. Casebook has a national focus, but additional focus is placed on the New York planning and zoning enabling statutes, which were extensively revised in the 1990s.

  • Elective
    Credits: 3

    ​This course is a general introduction to the body of domestic and international law developing daily to grapple with catastrophic anthropogenic climate change. The course begins with a general overview of current climate science, and the policy, economics, and legal framework of the law of climate change. The next module covers an introduction to international environmental law, including the climate treaties and current negotiations. We will explore the growing theories of international human rights to a clean environment and stable climate, and the attempts to locate and enforce these rights in international and U.S. law. Turning to domestic law we will examine the sources of law that govern the principal sources of greenhouse gases, both federal judicial and administrative law. Our exploration begins with the Clean Air Act, public nuisance theory, and other litigation concerning transportation and energy generation, two of the greatest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. We will examine pending federal legislation. The course will then turn to regional, state and local initiatives to mitigation of and adaptation to the effects of climate change. The course will be conducted two-thirds in the classroom and one-third online. We will conduct several exercises and a simulated litigation of a climate change-related case.

  • Elective
    Credits: 3

    Introduces students to natural resources law and policy. The natural resources covered in the course include: Wildlife (endangered species and fisheries); Water (groundwater, surface water, and wetlands); Public Lands (forests, mining, rangeland, national parks, and wilderness areas); and Energy (oil & gas, coal, nuclear, hydropower, and alternative sources). The course focuses on issues from a national perspective, but includes specific discussion of a number of regional issues as well (e.g., the Adirondacks, New York City's water supply, and the Hudson Valley watershed). ​

  • ​This course will examine environmental regulation and enforcement by state and local governments relating to stormwater and erosion control, forest and groundwater resources, essential public facilities siting, habitat protection and open space provision, among others.  The course will consider sources, scope and limitations in the authority of local governments to pursue an environmentally protective regime, the potential constitutional liabilities of government in regulating the use of the natural environment, and the conservation potential of the traditional tools that local governments wield (including planning and zoning, exactions, eminent domain, building codes).  This course will also look to emerging trends in local environmental law, including green buildings, sustainable development ordinances, environmental planning and climate change strategies.

  • Elective
    Credits: 3

    Introduces structure, powers, and functioning of local governments and their interaction with the state. Topics include constitutional nature of local governments, incorporation, annexation, home rule, special districts and authorities, real property assessment and taxation, public access to information and meetings, state and local finance, and land use controls.  

No more than 12 of the 24 credits from​ the following courses:

  • ​Examines methods other than trial for resolving disputes. Covers negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and group facilitation. Emphasizes practical skills, policy analysis, and theoretical considerations.

  • Elective
    Credits: 3

    Introduction to rights and obligations of financially distressed debtors and their creditors. Analyzes the Federal Bankruptcy Code and the Code's impact on general non-bankruptcy law.

  • Elective
    Credits: 4

    ​Discusses formation and organization of basic business organizations. Examines structure, finance, management, and control of business enterprises; rights and liabilities of owners, fiduciaries, and third parties; shareholder informational rights, shareholder suits and issuance of shares; and introduces problems of close corporations and state statutory and administrative regulations.

  • Examines major steps in a criminal case from commencement of the criminal action through verdict. Focus is upon federal and New York procedure concerning: the decision to prosecute, including diversion; securing orders and pretrial detention; preliminary hearings; grand jury proceedings; subpoenas, immunity and contempt; accusatory instruments; discovery; speedy trial requirements; venue and venue change; pleas and plea bargaining; jury selection, voir dire and challenges; trial procedures; jury charges; and related practice.

    This course and Criminal Procedure Under the 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments are designed to complement each other in a six-credit study of criminal procedure. Student may elect either course without taking the other.​

  • Examines basic constitutional constraints imposed on law enforcement in the investigation of crime. Primary topics include search and seizure, interrogation and confessions, right to counsel, fair trial, and self incrimination. 

    Professor Breger's class: This course examines - via extensive analysis of landmark federal constitutional cases - the federal regulation of law enforcement investigatory practices including searching and seizing under the Fourth Amendment, compelling confessions under the Fifth Amendment, and deliberately eliciting incriminating statements under the Sixth Amendment. Course themes include controlling police discretion, criminal procedure as Evidence law, class, ethnicity, race, the roles of the lawyers, and the use of social science research.

    Professor Farley's class: This course examines - via close readings of landmark federal constitutional cases - the regulation of law enforcement investigatory practices including searching and seizing under the Fourth Amendment, compelling confessions under the Fifth Amendment, and deliberately eliciting incriminating statements under the Sixth Amendment. Course themes will include discretion and ambiguity in the various roles that judges, defense lawyers, prosecutors, police, legal scholars, social science researchers and others play in the production of criminal procedure. Class power and racism will also be topics of discussion. There will be no final examination. In lieu of a final examination, each participant will keep a weekly journal and write a term paper.

    Professor Bonventre's class: The course examines the constitutional principles governing law enforcement in the United States through the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court and of American State Supreme Courts. The course will emphasize the competing arguments, interests, and concerns involved in the various issues and in the different ways in which those issues are resolved by federal and state high courts. Students will be encouraged to understand the evolution, fluidity, and necessarily ideological character of constitutional criminal procedure law, and the importance of studying courts, judges, policy and politics, both to understand the case law and to be competent criminal law advocates. ​

  • ​This course is about how the criminal process addresses misconduct committed not just for the benefit of individuals, but also for the benefit of some collective entity.  In most such investigations or prosecutions, the entity is a business, such as a corporation or partnership, but it could also be a not-for-profit group or even a unit of government.  The course  will not spend much time on the substantive law of various crimes that are often charged against business conduct, but will focus on use of the criminal process with respect to entities themselves, with a view either toward the actual prosecution of such entities, or toward enlisting their cooperation in the prosecution of individuals.

  • ​Designed to introduce students to the legal aspects of current public policy challenges facing New York State. Through reading and analyzing various federal and state constitutional, statutory and regulatory provisions, students will be challenged to critique legal reasoning that is offered in support of various state government policy initiatives. Class discussions will be enhanced through the participation of invited lecturers from the public, private and non-profit sectors representing the stakeholders in whatever reform or action is being sought.

    Not eligible for upperclass writing requirement.

  • Elective
    Credits: 2

    ​Uses simulations to expose students to the skills necessary to prepare for and draft transactional documents designed to express a legal right, privilege, function, duty, status, or disposition.

  • Elective
    Credits: 2

    ​Examines the presentation of expert and scientific proof in civil and criminal cases under the common law and the Federal Rules of Evidence. Among the topics covered are the basic foundation requirements, such as appropriateness of expert testimony, requisite qualifications to provide expert testimony, proper bases of expert testimony, Frye and Daubert requirements, trial issues, such as use of learned treatises and demonstrative evidence, and issues relating to pre-trial discovery.

  • ​This course examines the proper role of the federal courts in the American political system. The ability of a litigant to invoke the jurisdiction of the federal courts is regulated by a variety of constitutional, statutory and judge-made doctrines. As such, topics explored will include: the case or controversy limitations contained in Article III, advanced topics in subject matter, diversity and supplemental jurisdiction, the availability of habeas corpus review, state sovereignty and the Eleventh Amendment, the abstention doctrines, the power of federal courts to create common law, removal actions, and 42 U.S.C.§1983 and Bivens civil rights actions.  Exploring the themes of federalism and separation of powers addressed in the basic Constitutional Law course, this course at its core examines the power of Congress to allocate judicial power among the federal courts, federal agencies and States. This course should prove to be particularly valuable to students who anticipate clerking for a federal or state judge, who plan to litigate before federal and state courts, or who are planning for a public interest or public sector career.

  • Dozens of field placement opportunities exist for second- third-year students. They spend a minimum of 10 hours per week​​ at their field placement site and participate in a one-hour weekly seminar.

    Note that most field placement​s need to be topic related and approved by a concentration advisor to count toward a degree.

  • Elective
    Credits: 3

    ​Covers ethical issues faced by members of the legislative, executive, and judicial brances of government at the federal, state and local levels. Covers special ethical responsibilities of attorneys in government service and the ethical obligations of government employees who are not attorneys.

  • Introduces the creation, interpretation and implementation of statutory law. Topics will include legislative process (both federal and New York State), judicial interpretation of statutes, and agency implementation of statutes. Emphasizes the application of legislative and interpretive theory to legal practice.

  • Elective
    Credits: 3

    ​Introduces negotiation skills, offering hands-on experience preparing for and negotiating legal issues.

  • Elective
    Credits: 3

    ​Explores role of government in protecting and promoting public health and safety. Examines legitimacy of public health activities and explores sources of authority for public health action. Introduces the sciences of biostatistics and epidemiology.

  • Elective
    Credits: 3

    ​Introduces students to major components of public international law. Topics include the nature, sources, and modes of application of international law; jurisdiction of nation-states over persons and territory; sovereign immunity; recognition and state succession; international claims and agreements; and authorized and unauthorized use of force. ​

Research p​​aper:

Written under faculty supervision on a relevant aspect of environmental law. Must qualify for the Law School's upperclass writing requirement, and may or may not be used to satisfy that requirement.

(Effective November 6, 2012)