2017 Panels

Friday, March 10

8:00 am
Mindfulness and Professionalism

Mindfulness offers presence and clarity in the typically cluttered and overwhelmed mind of a lawyer. Mindful lawyers lead a less stressed life in the office, in court, and at home, resulting in a more professional lawyer. Keith Werhan will discuss mindfulness and professionalism with a focus on strategies to help become a balanced and more successful lawyer.

  • Keith Werhan, Ashton Phelps Chair of Constitutional Law at Tulane University Law School

9:00 am
Recent Developments in Legal Ethics

Prof. Ciolino will discuss recent developments in legal ethics, professional responsibility, and the law governing lawyers. He will address recent case law, the rule-making activities of regulators and bar associations, and advisory ethics opinions.

  • Dane Ciolino, Alvin R. Christovich Distinguished Professor of Law, Loyola University New Orleans School of Law

10:30 am
The Role of Electronic Discovery in Environmental Investigations and Litigation

This panel will discuss current trends and hot topics in the handling of electronic discovery within the framework of federal and state environmental investigations and civil environmental litigation.

  • Judge Roby, S. Magistrate Judge
  • Andy Lee, Esq.
  • Lynn Luker (Moderator), J.S., LL.M. in Admiralty, LL.M. Energy and Environmental Law, Tulane Law School

10:30 am
Sustainable Seafood

Coastal communities around the world depend on seafood for social and economic reasons… plus it just tastes so good! The future of our seafood is threatened by poor fisheries management, overfishing, and environmental degradation. This panel will explore the law and policy of seafood, conscious consumption, and what is already being done in Louisiana to protect our seafood.

  • Melissa Daigle, Research Associate and Resiliency Specialist, Louisiana Sea Grant Law & Policy Program
  • Chef Frank Brigtsen
  • Kimberly Davis Reyher, Executive Director of Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana
  • John Fallon, (Moderator) Assistant Director Outreach & Engagement, Audubon Nature Institute, Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries

1:00 pm
After the Spill: Effects and New Threats to Dolphins in Barataria Bay

Did you know that there is a unique group of dolphins that live in Barataria Bay, Louisiana and that they are currently in serious peril? There have been significant deaths, strandings, and aborted pregnancies causing the population to decline since the BP oil spill. New threats are further endangering the Barataria dolphins, including a water diversion project planned for the Bay and massive overfishing of the dolphins food source – a tiny fish called menhaden. The panel will review the need verses impacts of the diversion project, discuss how lack of menhaden fishing regulations prevents the dolphins recovery, and what legal solutions exist to protect this fragile community.

1:00 pm
Future of Nuclear Energy

Nuclear energy is responsible for roughly 19% of the electricity generated in the United States –nonetheless, it is still highly controversial due to, among other matters, the extremely large capital costs, the complexity of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulations, the long-term management of nuclear waste, and overall safety concerns. Nuclear power generation has benefited from direct and indirect federal “subsidies,” while providing a very significant percentage of the GHG-free power generation in the U.S. Using examples from the U.S. and across the globe, this panel will focus on some of the key legal and regulatory issues that have to be confronted with respect to the operation of nuclear power plants, including the future of the nuclear power industry in light of current and expected economic conditions.

  • Matt Wald, Senior Communications Advisor at the Nuclear Energy Institute
  • Robert Sloan, Senior counsel at Sidley Austin LLP; Adjunct Professor of Law at Tulane Law School; Senior Fellow at the University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute at Chicago (EPIC)
  • Tyson Slocum, Energy Program Director, Public Citizens, Inc.
  • Kenneth Gelburd (Moderator)

1:00 pm
Mastering the Coastal Master Plan

Due to rapid loss of wetlands, subsidence of coastal land, and increased flooding, Louisiana recently released the 2017 Louisiana Coastal Master Plan. Local experts will analyze the plan, and explain what the Plan got right and what needs to be improved.

  • Mark Davis
  • Len Bahr
  • Kimberly Davis Reyher (Moderator)

2:30 pm
According Nature Itself Rights

Is nature property of humans, or is nature a legal entity? In 2008 Ecuador gave ecosystems constitutional rights, and in 2012 New Zealand gave the Whanganui River legal personality. While some say this cannot be enforced, this movement is growing across the world and even the United States. This panel will discuss the movement towards nature being given legal rights, and the future of this concept.

  • Mari Margill
  • Erin Daly, Professor of Law, Widener University Delaware Law School and Co-Director, Dignity Rights Project
  • Mauritius Nagelmueller, LLM Candidate, International and Comparative Law
  • Daniel Norona (Moderator)

2:30 pm
Climate Justice, A World Without Winners and Losers

Climate justice is a term used for framing global warming as an ethical and political issue, rather than one that is purely environmental or physical in nature. The panel will discuss the issues of Climate Justice through the lens of Louisiana-local issues. Experts will weigh in on a multitude of issues, including the relocation of the Isle de Jean Charles Native-American community, the Clean Power Plan and Clean Energy Incentive Program, and environmental racism in New Orleans East.

  • Monique Harden, Esq.
  • Tim Hardy, Attorney
  • May Nguyen (Moderator)

2:30 pm
The Marine Environment and the South China Sea Arbitration

Environmental issues played a considerable role in the July 2016 UN arbitration decision over the South China Sea dispute. China was found to have violated the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, in part for failing to protect and preserve the marine environment. Panelists will present an overview of the relevant environmental issues, China’s environmental violations, and the significance of the arbitration to international environmental law.

  • Bernard Oxman, Richard A. Hausler Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law
  • James Borton, Walker Institute at the University of South Carolina
  • Hao Jiang (Moderator)

4:10 pm
Geo-Engineering as a Solution to Climate Change

Geo-engineering is the manipulation of environmental processes in order to combat climate change and ocean acidification. Scientists have suggested methods such as iron fertilization and solar radiation management, but some methods are scientifically far fetched and unfit for current regulatory regimes. Dr. Kanchan Maiti and Ed Richards will address geo-engineering strategies and whether they are scientifically and legally plausible, particularly in the Louisiana.

  • Edward Richards, Director, Program in Law, Science, and Public Health; Professor of Law
  • Kanchan Maiti, Assistant Professor, Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Louisiana State University
  • Robert R.M. Verchick (Moderator), Gauthier-St. Martin Eminent Scholar and Chair in Environmental Law and Senior Fellow at Tulane University’s Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy

4:10 pm
Illegal Wildlife Trade and CITES

This past year, the 17th Conference of the Parties (CoP) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) occurred. This panel will discuss current efforts against wildlife trade, how these efforts are being implemented, and what problems we still face.

  • Carney Anne Nasser, Senior Counsel for Wildlife and Regulatory Affairs, Animal Legal Defense Fund
  • Jordan Lesser, Attorney at Law
  • Rachel Kramer, Senior Program Officer, Wildlife Conservation & TRAFFIC, World Wildlife Fund
  • Brett Korte (Moderator), ELI

5:45 pm
Stump the Chumps: Q&A on the Trump Administration and the Environment

Saturday, March 11th

9:00 am
Drone Technology and Conservation

Unmanned Aerial Systems (colloquially called drones) are becoming increasingly popular for private video and camera footage, and their use now extends to wildlife management and research. While this technology provides a unique view for research and conservation, drone usage in the U.S. is tied up in legal uncertainty regarding privacy rights and Federal Aviation Administration rules. Experts will examine the legal limits of drone use, and show how they have implemented drones into wildlife management.

  • Rachel Kramer, Senior Program Officer, Wildlife Conservation & TRAFFIC, World Wildlife Fund
  • Brandon Brown, J.D.
  • Jeffrey Kerby, PhD
  • Rock Palermo (Moderator), Attorney at Law

9:00 am
What Do We Do About Drinking Water?

Is Louisiana’s drinking water safe? The United Nations considers access to clean drinking water a human rights issue, yet here in Louisiana, lead and copper contaminate our drinking water.  This panel will focus on contaminated and unsafe drinking water in Louisiana, and how environmental policy can affect water quality in the State. Panelists will address examples such as Flint MI, St. Joseph’s Parish, and Washington D.C. to see what policy works and what can be improved on.

  • Adrienne Katner, D.Env., M.S., Louisiana State University Health Center- School of Public Health
  • Wilma Subra, President of Subra Company and Technical Advisor to Louisiana Environmental Action Network
  • Hayes Town, BS & MS Professional Engineer
  • Mark Davis (Moderator), Director, Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy

9:00 am
Where There’s Muck There’s Brass

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) is the basis for proper management of hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste in the U.S. This panel will examine various perspectives of the imminent and substantial endangerment provision of RCRA.  Experts will explore RCRA’s cleanup provisions, including whether the imminent and substantial endangerment provision can be used as a tool for enforcing contaminated site cleanups.

  • Richard Webster Esq.
  • Andy Jacoby, partner, Scott Vicknair Hair & Checki
  • Robert Brager Esq.
  • Court VanTassell (Moderator), Liskow & Lewis

10:30 am
Greening of Louisiana Communities

New Orleans has become a poster child of resilience. In the face of numerous environmental threats, communities are reinventing traditional urban landscapes through the incorporation of sustainable development. Experts will delve into the importance of sustainable development and how it will positively shape future communities in New Orleans.

  • Prisca Weems, Principal, FutureProof
  • Charles Allen, III, Resilience Outreach Manager
  • Ella Delio, Director of Environmental Programs
  • Michelle Pyne (Moderator) , Director New Orleans Office, Global Green USA

10:30 am
Totally Buggin’ Out

Did you know honeybees help produce a third of our food? Despite their massive contributions, these silent workers are dying off due to pesticide use and other human activities. This panel will discuss the pressing issues facing honeybees and other important bugs, explore potential legal intervention, and discuss available policy actions that can protect our tiny friends.

  • Tamara Zakim, Deputy Attorney General, California
  • Zack Lemann, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium
  • Bessie Daschbach (Moderator), Member, Jones, Swanson, Huddle & Garrison, LLC

10:30 am
Shark Management and Law

Sharks have a bad rap for being mindless eating machines, but in reality, humans are more dangerous to sharks than they are to humans. To combat the anthropogenic threats they face, shark conservation and management is governed by laws and policy at the regional, national, and even international level. Jason Adriance and Caroline Park will address shark management across these levels, and whether these laws are adequate.

  • Caroline Park, Deputy Section Chief with the Fisheries and Protected Resources Section of the National Oceanic
  • Jason Adriance, Finfish Program Manager, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
  • Martin O’Connell, Director – Nekton Research Laboratory Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences, University of New Orleans
  • Guyer Bogen (Moderator), 2016 Tulane Environmental Law Summit Speaker Chair and Third-Year Law Student at Tulane University Law School

1:10 pm
Environmental Justice: What happened to Title VI?

The focus of this panel will be based on how environmental justice cases are transforming into civil rights issue, becoming one in the same. We will also discuss how that has and will continue to affect title VI.

  • Tim Hardy, Attorney
  • Colette Pichon-Battle, Esq., Executive Director – US Human Rights Network
  • Robert Wiygul (Moderator), Partner Waltzer, Wiygul & Garside LLC

1:10 pm
A Revolution in Property Rights: The Strange History of the Subsequent Purchaser Doctrine after Eagle Pipe 

This panel will untangle the inconsistent lower court rulings on the applicability of the subsequent purchaser theory in oilfield contamination cases.

  • Rock Palermo, Attorney at Law
  • Bessie Daschbach, Jones, Swanson, Huddle & Garrison, LLC
  • Rob McNeal (Moderator), Shareholder, Liskow & Lewis

2:40 pm
Environmental Journalism, Trumped?

While words like global warming and climate change disappeared from the Whitehouse.gov website on inauguration day, it’s doubtful that President Donald Trump or his cabinet will be able to stop coverage on those and other pressing environmental issues in the next four years. Our panel of journalists will talk about potential obstacles to their work, and what the hot environmental topics will be during the Trump administration.

  • Mark Schleifstein, Environmental Reporter
  • Bob Marshall, Journalist
  • Debbie Elliott (Moderator), National Correspondent, NPR News

2:40 pm
The Legality of Orcas in Human Care

This panel will focus on the legal issues surrounding orcas in human care facilities, and the future of these orcas. Critics of orcas in human care facilities believe the animals’ rights are violated have succeeded in legally changing SeaWorld’s practices to ban breeding and incorporate more humane practices. However, many members of the marine mammal care world feel these changes are not only unnecessary and potentially harmful to orcas in human care, but also impede the research, rescue, and rehabilitation abilities of facilities. The panelists will discuss both sides of the argument, and what they think is the future of orcas and marine mammals in human care.

  • Carney Anne Nasser, Senior Counsel for Wildlife and Regulatory Affairs, Animal Legal Defense Fund
  • Robin Friday, Founder of Wildlife International Network and serves as the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Ocean Embassy, Inc. and Wildlife International Network, Inc.

2:40 pm
Permitting Disaster:  Baton Rouge Areas Floods of 2016

This panel will focus on the historic August 2016 flooding that devastated Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas. While some tried to blame this destruction on plain bad luck, experts say the flooding occurred due to cumulative poor planning decisions. This panel will go into detail regarding environmental and urban mismanagement, focusing on the build up of improper policy in Louisiana.

  • Edward Richards, Director, Program in Law, Science, and Public Health; Professor of Law
  • Craig Colten, Carl O. Sauer Professor of Geography, Ph.D.
  • Amelia Hoppe (Moderator), Esq., Program Director at Louisiana Civil Justice Center

4:15 PM
Keynote Address: Kim Jordan