2022 Panels

Day 1

Ethics and Professionalism
Professionalism in the Practice of Law
• Adam Babich, Professor of Law, Tulane University Law School Online Panel
Recent Developments in Legal Ethics
• Clare S. Roubion, Lawyer, Louisiana Legal Ethics, LLC
In this panel, Professor Adam Babich led a discussion on the importance of professionalism in the practice of law, and how concerns of professionalism impact the attorney-client relationship. Clare Roubion will gave a presentation on recent developments in the rules of ethics that govern the legal profession.

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG): Corporate, Legal, and Public Perspectives
• Randall Hopkins, Global Head of Nasdaq OneReport, Vice President, NASDAQ
• Julia Mord, Deputy Chief Investment Office, Tulane Investment Management Office
• Allison C. Handy, Partner, Perkins Coie
This panel discussed how Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) concerns measure the success of companies in balancing their environmental, social, and corporate priorities. These panelists, representing perspectives from environmental law to corporate finance, discussed the ways that ESG is changing how corporations operate, how shareholders preferences are shifting, and how potential investors react to prospective investments based on their commitments to ESG.

Working in Public Interest: Lawyers and Clients
• Misha Mitchell, Staff Attorney, Atchafalaya Basinkepper
• Kristi Trail, Executive Director, Ponchartrain Conservancy
• Fransizka Trautmann, Founder and Director, Glass Half Full
• Anne Rolfes, Director, Louisiana Bucket Brigade
• Reverend Gregory Manning, Chair and Founder, Greater New Orleans Interfaith Climate Coalition
• Grace James, Founder, un-Due
This panel discussed issues unique to environmental NGOs and public interest groups, with a special focus on their legal representation. These panelists represented organizations at every stage of development, from Louisiana and Gulf Coast institutions to new startups. They offered their insights on environmental advocacy from the NGO and public interest perspective, as well as discussed some legal challenges inherent to representing such organizations.

Utility Vegetation Management: Legal, Regulatory, and Social Justice Issues
• Lawrence Kahn, Director, Tulane Vegetation Management Initiative
• Edith Lee-Payne, Executive Director, Lee-Lovett Foundation
• Steven Moctezuma, Student Researcher, Tulane Utility Vegetation Management Initiative
• Randy Gimple, Partner, Carlson, Calladine & Peterson LLP
This panel discussed some of the legal and social justice implications of Utility Vegetation Management (UVM), the methods by which utility providers and their contractors control vegetation near their delivery lines. Steven Moctezuma led by discussing the difficulties that small claims plaintiffs face in recovering damages from utilities. Edith Lee-Payne explored the challenges to social justice and equity presented by UVM fires. Randy Gimple shared his experiences with mass tort litigation, especially litigation prompted by UVM wildfires.

Women in Environmental and Energy Careers: Moving into the Future
• Elizabeth Teel Galante, Senior Vice President of Business Development, PosiGen Solar
• Deanna Rodriguez, President and CEO, Entergy New Orleans
• Amy Johnson, Principal, Law Offices of Amy R. Johnson
This panel highlighted the different achievements made by women in environmental and energy careers, and how the dialogue in these communities is changing. The panelists discussed overcoming gender barriers, establishing careers in male-dominated legal arenas, and how female participation is progressively shaping the direction of the environmental and energy sectors.

Hurricane Protection, Climate Resilience, and Disaster Relief
• Leopold Sher, Co-Managing Member, Sher Garner
• Murray Starkel, Managing Partner, Ecological Services Partners
• Jesse Keenan, Associate Professor of Real Estate, Tulane School of Architecture
• Ryan Lambert, Founder, Cajun Fishing Adventures
This panel discussed the legal complexities and practical implications of disaster preparedness, relief, and recovery, as well as storm protection and climate resilience efforts. This panel’s speakers represented a broad range of interests, from environmental attorneys to Gulf Coast businesses.

Climate Initiatives: the Legislative and Regulatory Road Ahead
• Harry Vorhoff, Deputy Director, Louisiana Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities
• Colleen McHugh, Senior Adaptation Planner, The Water Institute of the Gulf
• Lindsay Cooper, Policy Advisor, Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities
This panel discussed the Louisiana Climate Action Plan, which was recently adopted unanimously by the Governor’s Climate Initiatives Task Force. Harry Vorhoff led by introducing the history of the Initiative and explaining the unique difficulties in implementing the Climate Action Plan in Louisiana. Allison DeJong discussed her work in environmental and climate modeling, and what steps went into creating the Climate Action Plan’s policy options. Lindsay Cooper then discussed the contents of the Climate Action Plan, and what its implementation will look like.

Keynote Presentation: Louisiana’s Climate Initiative
Governor John Bel Edwards
Governor John Bel Edwards closed the first day of the Summit with a keynote speech on Louisiana’s Climate Initiatives Task Force, the Climate Action Plan, and his experiences in Glasgow for COP26, the most recent United Nations Conference on Climate Change.

Day 2

Abandoned Oilfield Law
• Andrew Jacoby, Environmental Litigation Attorney, Law Office of Andrew Jacoby, LLC
• David Levy, Founder, PetroTechnologies
• Megan Milliken Biven, Founder, True Transition
This panel discussed the emerging legal challenge posed by “legacy sites,” or abandoned oil and gas wells. The panelists discussed how legacy site lawsuits are changing oil and gas companies’ legal and environmental responsibilities to the communities in which they are situated.

The Public Trust Doctrine and Environmental Law
• Thuy Le, Senior Research Fellow, Tulane Institute on Water Resources and Policy
• Robin Craig, Professor of Law, USC Gould School of Law
• Tad Bartlett, Special Counsel, Fishman Haygood
• Beaux Jones, Chief of Staff & General Counsel, The Water Institute of The Gulf
This panel addressed the origin and evolution of the Public Trust Doctrine. Tad Bartlett began by providing an overview of the doctrine, and talking about how it is used in environmental litigation. Beaux Jones discussed what a Public Trust Doctrine challenge looks like from the State’s side, and how the doctrine is viewed and used in policy. Robin Craig explained how the doctrine presents in other states, and how it is manifested (or not) in federal law.

Decarbonization of the Shipping Industry: New Regulations and Challenges Ahead for Shipowners (co-hosted with Tulane’s Maritime Law Society)
• Martin Davies, Professor of Law, Tulane University Law School
• Walter J. Leger, Jr., Commissioner, Port of New Orleans
• John N. Young, Counsel to Commissioner Carl W. Bentzel, Federal Maritime Commission
This panel discussed ongoing and proposed efforts to shift the international shipping industry away from fossil fuels and towards renewable and carbon-neutral sources of energy, including the International Maritime Organization’s new regulations mandating greenhouse gas emission reductions and the European Union’s recent announcement that shipping activities will be phased in to its Union-wide carbon emissions trading system. The panel also explored potential methods by which shipowners can achieve compliance with these new mandates, such as by use of alternative fuels or instituting operational changes.

Coming? Going? Coming Back? Developments in NEPA
• Chris Dalbom, Assistant Director, Tulane Institute on Water Resources and Policy
• Steven Schima, Senior Legislative Counsel, Earthjustice
• Thomas Sharp, Deputy Director for NEPA, Council on Environmental Quality
This panel discussed recent developments in regulations under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Tom Sharp began with a brief history of NEPA and its implementing regulations. Steven Schima followed with a discussion of the current state of NEPA and what future developments might involve.

Environmental Class Actions: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
• Joseph M. Bruno, Sr., Managing Partner, Bruno & Bruno Law
• William Goodell, Founder, Goodell Law Firm
• Mike Stag, CEO & Managing Member, Stag Liuzza
• Louis Grossman, Partner, Kean Miller
• James P. Doré, Partner, Dispute Resolution Services of LA, LLC
This panel delved into the highs and lows of environmental class action lawsuits, including a look into the Agricultural Street Landfill Class Actions Lawsuit and a class action against Denka Performance Elastomer, LLC. This panel presented both plaintiff- and defense-sided perspectives on environmental class actions.

Indigenous Communities: Tribal Law and Sovereignty in a Changing Climate
• Patty Ferguson-Bohnee, Director, Indian Legal Clinic at Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University
• Tara Widner, Treaty Rights Working Group Facilitator, Pipeline Legal Action Network
• Sam Cohen, Government Affairs & Legal Officer, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians
This panel focused on the legal issues indigenous people face as they bear the brunt of climate change impacts in the United States. This panel paid special attention to the threat to tribes’ cultural and natural resources posed by disasters like coastal erosion and drought. This panel addressed the difficult questions of law, policy, and tribal sovereignty implicated by the possibility of relocation.

The New Waters of the United States Rule
• Mark Davis, Director, Tulane Institute on Water Resources and Policy
• Jim Murphy, Director of Legal Advocacy, National Wildlife Federation
• Larry Liebesman, Senior Advisor, Dawson & Associates
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, one of America’s most significant tools for improving and managing the quality of the “waters of the United States”. One might imagine that after such a long time its reach and application would be pretty well figured out. Hardly. Instead of being settled, the question of what the law covers is perhaps more confused and controversial today than at any time in the past. With action on the political, administrative and jurisprudential fronts the stakes are high and uncertain. This panel will tried to explain how we got here and read the tea leaves about what lies ahead.