The Anthropocene and private law

Areas such as torts and property will face significant challenges

I’ve posted about how the Anthropocene will see major changes in how humans affect our planet, and how those changes will have major impacts on human society, triggering substantially larger interventions by the legal system in a wide range of individual behavior.  In this post, I want to spin out some of the implications of …


Center for Ocean Solutions Releases Consensus Statement and Report on the Public Trust Doctrine, Sea Level Rise, and Coastal Land Use in California

Report Analyzes State Public Trust Responsibilities on the Coastline, Coincides With Coastal Commission Staff’s Release of Draft Residential Adaptation Policy Guidance

UPDATE (September 1, 2017):  The statement’s drafters have provided a link (shared at the end of the post) for California attorneys who wish to sign on to the statement discussed here. Last month, a group of public trust and coastal land use experts, working under the auspices of the Center for Ocean Solutions, released two …


In Memoriam: Joseph L. Sax, Gentleman, Scholar, Giant of Environmental Law

Visionary environmental advocate will be sorely missed, long remembered.

[Posted on behalf of all Legal Planet authors at Berkeley Law.] It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Joseph L. Sax, James H. House and Hiram H. Hurd Professor of Environmental Regulation (Emeritus) at Berkeley Law. Joe was our hero, our teacher, our mentor, our colleague, our friend. …


The US wins the latest round in the Casitas saga

In 2008, the Federal Circuit surprised a lot of legal academics by ruling that the Casitas Municipal Water District’s takings claim, which arose from a requirement that the district construct and operate a fish ladder to allow endangered steelhead to pass its diversion dam, should be analyzed using the physical takings test. That didn’t resolve …


Previewing This Week’s Oral Arguments in the Supreme Court’s Most Important Property Rights Case This Term

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in what is shaping up as the Court’s most important property rights case of the current Term: Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, No. 11-1447.  What can we expect? Koontz is one of three Takings Clause cases on the Court’s docket this Term.  …


Supreme Court Rules Federal Flooding of State Forest Lands an Unconstitutional Taking

Today was a busy day for the environment in the U.S. Supreme Court. Not only did the justices hear arguments in a potentially-important Clean Water Act case. (More on that in a future post.) The Court also issued its first decision among the five environmental cases pending before it this Term–three of which involve property …


One Reason the Election Matters for the Environment: The Supreme Court

Supreme Court appointments are among the most durable of Presidential actions.  A fifty-year-old appointee could well be on the Supreme Court until 2040 or longer. As an AP story this morning points out, the election could dramatically change the balance on the Supreme Court: With four justices in their seventies, odds are good that whoever is …


A Strange Taking Case for the 2012 Term

Rick notes that the Supremes have decided to revisit Takings jurisprudence in a couple of cases this term.  One of them,  Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, involves an important legal issue, but the factual issues seem quite strange. The Supremes granted cert in Koontz to consider two questions: 1) can a property …


Supreme Court Grants Review in Takings/Flooding Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has granted review in what will be the first environmental case of its next (2012-13) Term: Arkansas Game & Fish Commission v. United States, No. 11-597. The ultimate question is whether the federal government is liable for millions of dollars in damages for flooding a 23,000-acre wildlife management area owned by the State …


Video and print materials online from our conference Local Agencies on the Cutting Edge: Emerging Challenges to Local Land Use Authority

On February 11, UCLA Law hosted a symposium, Local Agencies on the Cutting Edge: Emerging Challenges to Local Land Use Authority.  This daylong conference addressed important new developments in local land-use law. We now have a webpage devoted to the symposium, including  links to video recordings of all the day’s sessions, as well as written materials …