Faculty Updates

Oct 18, 2013 | Stegner Center

Bob Adler is currently serving a two-year term as Interim Dean for the S.J. Quinney College of Law. Dean Adler is overseeing the College’s day-to-day functions as well as the construction of its new sustainable building scheduled to open in the fall of 2015. The building is designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification, and also has advanced water conservation features such as grey water recycling and reuse. He was honored this past year by the University of Utah Board of Trustees with an appointment as a University Distinguished Professor, in recognition of his professional achievement in the field of natural resources and environmental law. His co-authored book, Modern Water Law, with Professor Craig and Noah Hall from Wayne State University Law School was recently published. He has had three articles in publication at the University of Washington Law Review (“The Death and (Possible) Rebirth of Aspiration in the Clean Water Act”), Washington University Law Review (“The Ancient Mariner of Constitutional Law: The Declining Role of Navigability”), and George Washington Journal of Energy and Environmental Law (“Water and Wastewater Infrastructure in the United States: The Clean Water-Energy-Climate Nexus”). He contributed chapters that were included in several books, including “Agriculture and Forestry,” in Research Handbook on Climate Adaptation Law (Edward Elgar Publishing); “Restoration and Law in Ecosystem Management,” in Ecosystem Management and the Law (Univ. Akron press); and “Water and Climate Change,” in Global Climate Change and U.S. Law (ABA).

Robin Craig and colleague Bob Adler published, with Noah Hall, their new water law textbook, Modern Water Law: Private Property, Public Rights, and Environmental Protection, in June 2013; Craig also published Comparative Ocean Governance: Placed-Based Protections in an Era of Climate Change and the Third Edition of Environmental Law in Context in early summer 2012. She recently has completed book chapters entitled “Becoming Landsick: Rethinking Sustainability in an Age of Continuous, Visible, and Irreversible Change,” which will appear in the forthcoming Rethinking Sustainable Development to Meet the Climate Change Challenge; “Perceiving Change and Knowing Nature: Shifting Baselines and Nature’s Resiliency,” which will appear in the Cambridge University Press book Environmental Law and Contrasting Ideas of Nature: A Constructivist Approach; “Coastal Water Quality” for the forthcoming Second Edition of the ABA’s Coastal and Ocean Law; and “Marine Protected Areas and the Resilience of Marine Ecosystems,” with Terry Hughes of Australia’s James Cook University, for the forthcoming Resilience and the Law. Her most recent articles have appeared or will be appearing in Vanderbilt Law Review, Society and Natural Resources, Minnesota Law Review, Harvard Environmental Law Review, DiversityGeorge Washington Journal of Energy and Environmental Law, Idaho Law Review, and Montana Law Review. Since January 2013, she has presented at the University of Kansas’s Annual Tribal Law and Governance Conference, the ABA SEER 42nd Annual Spring Environmental Law Conference, the University of Idaho’s Law Review Symposium, the University of Montana’s 35th Annual Public Land Law Symposium, the ABA SEER 31st Annual Water Law Conference (where she was the co-winner of the Best Paper Award), Vermont Law School, and CLE International’s Nevada Water Law Conference. She was one of Vermont Law School’s Distinguished Summer Environmental Law Visitors in June 2013 and will deliver the Jestraub Lecture in Water Law at the University of Montana School of Law in October 2013 and the Clason Distinguished Lecture in Law at the Western New England University School of Law in November 2013. Craig helped to organize the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation’s 16th Natural Resources Law Teachers Institute for June 2013, is on the Planning Committees for the ABA SEER 43rd Annual Spring Environmental Law Conference (March 2014) and 32nd Annual Water Law Conference (June 2014), and has been appointed Chair of the 33rd ABA SEER Water Law Conference (June 2015) and Co-Chair for 2013-2014 of the ABA SEER Water Resources Committee. She is also a co-leader in implementing a two-year grant (2013-2015) from the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center on Social-Ecological System Resilience, Climate Change and Adaptive Water Governance.                   

Lincoln Davies continues to publish extensively on energy-related issues. His three most recent articles include “Understanding Barriers to Commercial-Scale Carbon Capture and Sequestration in the United States: An Empirical Assessment,” 59 Energy Policy 745 (2013), which he co-wrote with Kirsten Uchitel and John Ruple; “Tracing U.S. Renewable Energy Policy,” 43 Environmental Law Reporter 10320 (2013); and “Reconciling Renewable Portfolio Standards and Feed-in Tariffs,” 32 Utah Environmental Law Review 311 (2012).  Earlier this year, Professor Davies completed the prestigious McCloy Fellowship in Environmental Policy.  As part of that fellowship, he conducted interviews comparing renewable energy laws in Germany and the United States.  He plans to publish several articles based on that work, including a piece entitled Feed-in Tariffs in Turmoil.  Professor Davies also recently signed a contract to publish a new energy law casebook, which he is at work on with co-authors from the University of Minnesota and the University of Cincinnati.  The book, Energy Law and Policy, is expected to be published in 2014.  Davies has presented his scholarly work in a number of venues recently, including at the Duke-University of Colorado Climate Change Law Workshop.  Davies continues to serve on the ABA’s Energy Infrastructure and Siting Committee and as chair of the board of directors for the local nonprofit, Utah Interfaith Power & Light.

Leslie Francis is currently serving the College of Law as Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development and as Director of the provisionally-approved Center on Law and Biomedical Sciences.  She also continues to teach disability law, health law, and contracts at the College of Law, as well as philosophy of law and a variety of applied ethics courses in the Philosophy Department.  Last year, she was successful in an application to the National Science Foundation to support a two year post-doctoral fellow to study the legal needs of adults with diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder.  She currently serves as co-chair of the Privacy, Security, and Confidentiality Subcommittee of the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics; as a member of the Ethics Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Ethics; as an elected vice president of the International Society for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy; as chair of the board of And Justice for All; and as a member of the board of the Disability Law Center.  Publication highlights for 2012-2013 include:  “Transparency” in Information Privacy in the Evolving Healthcare Environment, Linda Koontz,ed. (HIMSS 2013) and “Feminist Philosophy of Law,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy [online] 9with Patricia Smith).

Bob Keiter is serving as President of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation for a one year term through July 2014. Keiter’s book, To Conserve Unimpaired: The Evolution of the National Park Idea was published in March 2013 by Island Press. His other recent publications include a book chapter on “Wildlife Conservation, Climate Change, and Ecosystem Management,” in Kalyani Robbins, ed., The Laws of Nature: Reflections on the Evolution of Ecosystem Management Law and Policy (Univ. of Akron Press, 2013), and an article on “Wildfire Policy, Climate Change, and the Law,” 1 Texas Wes. J. of Real Prop. L. 501 (2012). His talks include several slide show presentations on his new national parks book, a CLE presentation on “Federalism, State, Sovereignty, and Public Lands,” and a presentation on “The National Park Idea and the Future of the National Park System” at the biennial George Wright Society conference. Keiter continues to serve on the National Parks Conservation Association board of trustees and as Vice-Chair of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition board of directors. He also spent the past two years participating on a National Park Service Advisory Board subcommittee on new parks and landscape conservation.

Nancy A. McLaughlin published an article in the Florida Tax Review, one of the top tax law reviews in the country, analyzing the requirements that federally deductible conservation easements must be “granted in perpetuity” and their conservation purposes “protected in perpetuity.” She organized a conference at the College of Law entitled Perpetual Conservation Easements, What Have We Learned and Where Should We Go From Here? (see the article describing the conference in this newsletter). She is in the process of updating the Chapter on conservation easements in the Powell on Real Property Treatise, a leading treatise that is often cited by the courts. She has completed a comprehensive update of the section on the federal tax incentives offered to easement donors that reflects the more than forty Tax Court, District Court, and Circuit Court cases, as well as other forms of formal and informal guidance that have been issued in this rapidly developing area of the law since the Chapter was first written in the late 1990s. Professor McLaughlin participated in the Conservation Catalysts conference, sponsored by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where University and other academic and research leaders from around the world who are serving as catalysts for landscape-scale conservation were brought together to share ideas and engage in collaborative conservation initiatives. She and Professor Federico Cheever from the University of Denver College of Law co-authored a chapter for the Conservation Catalysts book that will be presented at the IUCN World Parks conference in Sydney Australia in the fall of 2014. She also is one of the organizers of an innovative project in which a group of law professors and others, in collaboration with Harvard Law School’s Environmental Law and Policy Clinic, will analyze, evaluate, and compare various federal and state conservation easement purchase and tax-incentive programs with the goal of identifying the characteristics and safeguards that make programs effective in achieving conservation goals, as well as gaps and opportunities for reform. Professor McLaughlin has presented on conservation easements and nonprofit governance issues at a variety of academic and nonacademic venues, including the annual conference of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA); the 47th Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning; the Virginia Law Foundation; the 2013 Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute; an Environmental and Natural Resources Law Workshop at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law; the Association for Law, Property, and Society’s Fourth Annual Meeting at the University of Minnesota Law School; the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy; Vermont Law School’s Environmental Law Program Hot Topics Lecture series; and American College of Trust and Estate Counsel meetings. She also has been invited to speak on these issues at or as part of the California Council of Land Trust’s annual conference; the American Bar Association Real Property Probate and Trust Law Section CLE series; the 2014 Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute; and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies program on The Islamic Waqf and The Charitable Trust: A Comparative Perspective. Professor McLaughlin continues to be very active in the ABA as Vice Chair of the Real Property Probate and Trust Law section’s Charitable Planning Committee and as an editor of its real property probate and trust law journal. She also is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and a member of the American Law Institute.

Jamie Pluene continues to direct the Environmental Law Clinic and teach Environmental Practice, in addition to engaging in private practice at Richards Brandt Miller Nelson. This October, she received her LLM from Georgetown University Law Center. As director of the Environmental Clinic, Jamie has continued to broaden the availability of the clinic to the community, while ensuring that the student participants receive excellent instruction.  Her goal is that the environmental clinic will support the College of Law’s efforts to meet the challenge issued by the Carnegie Foundation in 2006, urging law schools to focus on providing curriculum and pedagogies that “produce a more coherent and integrated initiation into a life in the law.”

Arnold Reitze authored six articles during the past year. They are:  “King Coal, R.I.P.,” 30 The Environmental Forum 24 (May 2013);Carbon Capture and Storage (Sequestration),” 43 Envtl. L. Rep. (ELI) 10414 (May 2013); “Air Quality Regulation Basics,” Air Quality Issues Affecting Oil, Gas, and Mining Development in the West (Rocky Mtn. Min. L. Inst. Feb. 28, 2013); “Regulating Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases Using International Law” (2012) available on SSRN; “Federal Regulation of Coal-Fired Electric Power Plants to Reduce Green House Gas Emissions,” 32 Utah Envtl L. Rev. 391 ( 2012); and “The Carbon Capture and Storage Program’s NEPA Compliance,” 42 Envtl L. Rep. 10853 (ELI)  (Sept. 2012). Professor Reitze was a speaker at the Rocky Mountain Mineral Institute’s air quality program. He served as a vice chair of the ABA’s committee on climate change. He worked on carbon sequestration issues for the Department of Energy through the University’s Institute for Clean and Secure Energy.

John Ruple published “Understanding Barriers to Commercial-Scale Carbon Capture and Sequestration in the United States: An Empirical Assessment” in the journal Energy Policy, which he coauthored with Professor Lincoln Davies and Kirsten Uchitel. He also coauthored “Managing Water Supplies,” in Adaptation to Climate Change and the Law: U.S. and International Aspects (ABA) with Interim Dean Bob Adler. John secured funding from the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation to research legal reforms to facilitate federal-state land exchanges and is co-principal investigator on a pending National Science Foundation proposal to investigate legal, policy, and economic issues involved in land tenure reform in the Western United States. He is currently working on papers addressing efforts to expand protection around Canyonlands National Park, the Transfer of Public Lands Act, and land exchange law reform. He is also involved in efforts to update the state water plan and water code.

Michele Straube, Director of the Stegner Center’s Environmental Dispute Resolution (EDR) Program, speaks and writes regularly about collaborative problem-solving and consensus-building to raise awareness within the region about these processes.  Most recently, she spoke about basic EDR principles at “Water Law in the West, A Panel Discussion with Patricia Mulroy,” hosted by UNLV’s William S. Boyd School of Law.  She has also spoken about “What Universities Teach About Public Participation” at the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) North American Conference, and explored EDR opportunities for “Responsible Energy Development” as a panel member at the Utah Governor’s 2012 Energy Summit.  She published two OpEds and several newsletter articles in the past year, including “Reflections on Multi-Party Mediation” (Delhi, India High Court newsletter) and “Collaboration 101: Fundamental Concepts for Success” (Colorado Plateau Advocate).  Ms. Straube designed the process and facilitated the Collaborative Group on Sustainable Grazing for Southern Utah Forest Service Lands, and co-authored the group’s Final Report and Consensus Recommendations