Course Descriptions

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Fall 2017 Environmental and Energy Law Class Descriptions

Administrative Law (LWPP510)

Instructor(s): StaffStaff

4 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded

This course discusses the basic rules and principles governing federal administrative agencies. Subjects covered include the procedures governing administrative agencies, judicial review of administrative action, and presidential and congressional controls over agencies. The rules governing agencies are quite different from those that govern courts. Knowledge of these rules has become increasingly important, as many practitioners are now likely to spend more time dealing with administrative agencies than litigating in court.

 

Note: This is a required course for the Environmental & Energy Law and Public Interest Law concentrations (JD). This course may be applied as part of the nine required credits for the Health Law Concentration (JD).
Additional Information: Environmental & Energy Law Concentration (JD), Public Interest Law Concentration (JD)

Climate Change Law & Policy (LWEV503)

Instructor(s): Timothy Duane

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Writing
Concentration(s): Environmental and Energy Law

This course explores the most significant law and policy issues related to climate change. In the first part of the course, students will gain familiarity with the science of climate change as well as climate change law at the international and national levels. The second part of the course focuses on climate change litigation, with close study of the various legal theories used by litigants attempting to force the government to take stronger regulatory action. The third part of the course concentrates on initiatives at the state and regional level with an emphasis on California climate change policy.

Note: Either this course or Energy Law & Policy must be taken as a required course for the Environmental & Energy Law Concentration (JD).

Energy Law & Policy (LWPP540)

Instructor(s): Carrie Downey, Michael Tierney

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Environmental and Energy Law

Recognizing the importance of energy to the global economy and its role in global warming, Energy Law and Policy introduces students to the legal, regulatory, and economic concepts relevant to the changing electricity and natural gas industries in the U.S. The course will examine the history of and legal basis for regulation in the energy sector, including influential cases (e.g., Munn v. Illinois) and the federal statutory framework for energy sector regulation (e.g., PUHCA of 1935, PURPA of 1978, EPACT of 1992, EPACT of 2005). Students will review the administrative law process, focusing on the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), including the rate setting process for energy utilities and major regulatory orders and decisions that have shaped the industry. The course will trace the history of regulation in the electric and natural gas industries from early regulation to deregulation and discuss the current status of energy markets, including a detailed discussion of California’s energy crisis of 2000-2001. The course will examine the connection between energy and climate change and the range of market-based solutions currently being considered at the state, regional, and federal levels in the U.S. Students will also examine the role of distributed energy resources, including smart grid technologies, on-site solar energy technology, energy efficiency and demand response, in meeting future energy needs. Participants will be required to make an in-class presentation on a topical energy issue and to take a final examination.

Note: Either this course or Climate Change Law & Policy must be taken as a required course for the Environmental & Energy Law Concentration (JD).

Environmental Law (LWEV520)

Instructor(s): Timothy Duane

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Environmental and Energy Law

This survey course addresses the principles that govern environmental law, including the respective roles of the courts, state and federal agencies, and citizen groups. Federal environmental statues covered include: The National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, Clear Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (Superfund). The course will also introduce California state environmental law through the California Environmental Quality Act and the Public Trust Doctrine.

Note: This is a required course for the Environmental & Energy Law (JD) concentration.
Additional Information: Environmental & Energy Law Concentration (JD)

Public Interest Law & Practice (LWPP570)

Instructor(s): Robert Fellmeth

2-3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Environmental and Energy Law, Public Interest Law, Health Law, Children's Rights

Public Interest Law & Practice (PILP) is a yearlong graded course in which students learn the substantive law governing the operation and decisionmaking of California regulatory agencies. Students may take the course for four or five units. Public interest lawyers represent interests that are diffuse, unorganized, and generally underrepresented - such as consumers, the environment, children, and the future - in governmental decisionmaking that affects them. PILP focuses on specific laws that enable public interest lawyers to effectively advocate for their clients. Specifically, PILP students study the sunshine statutes which require most agency decisionmaking to take place in public and guarantee public access to most agency records (the open meetings acts and the California Public Records Act) and the state Administrative Procedure Act, which governs the process agencies must follow to adopt regulations or take disciplinary action against the license of a licensee. Students also study important limitations on the power of agencies (including constitutional and antitrust limitations), and the functioning of the state legislature, which may enact, repeal, or amend the enabling acts of most agencies. As part of their coursework, students are assigned to monitor a major California agency; they travel all over the state to attend agency meetings; monitor and analyze agency activities, interview agency officials and licensees; and track rulemaking, legislation, and litigation affecting their agency. Twice during the year, students submit a written report covering the activities of their assigned agency, including recent legislation and court decisions affecting the agency and its licensees, which may be published. Students will also give public comment before their assigned agency during the spring semester, and participate in various simulated advocacy exercises in class throughout the academic year.

Note: This is a required course for the Public Interest Law Concentration (JD). This course only counts towards the Environmental and Energy Law Concentration (JD) if your course focus is on environmental or energy law. This course only counts towards the Health Law Concentration (JD) if your course focus is on health law.
Additional Information: Public Interest Concentration, Environmental and Energy Law Concentration

Public Interest Law Clinic (LWVL544)

Instructor(s): Robert Fellmeth

1-3 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Environmental and Energy Law, Public Interest Law, Health Law

Students who enjoy Public Interest Law and Practice frequently go on to take Public Interest Law Clinic, in which they may design their own writing or advocacy project related to regulatory or public interest law. In the past, these projects have included written critiques of agencies or agency programs; petitioning an agency to adopt regulations; drafting model legislation; participating in litigation to enforce the state's "sunshine statutes"; or submitting amicus curiae briefs on public interest issues pending appeal. Students interested in Public Interest Law Clinic must secure a permission slip prior to pre-registration from Professor Julie D'Angelo Fellmeth at CPIL's offices. The clinic is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis.

Note: There are limitations on JD concentration eligibility. Please check the Environmental and Energy Law Concentration and Health Law Concentration web pages for more information.
Additional Information: Environmental and Energy Law Concentration, Health Law