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Lloyd K. Garrison Lecture on Environmental Law

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 5:00 pm, Gerber Glass Moot Court Room
J.B. Ruhl
David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair in Law
Co-director, Energy, Environment and Land Use Program
Vanderbilt Law School
"In Defense of Ecosystem Services"

  >> View lecture video

In Memoriam: Two Founders of Environmental Law
David Sive (1922-2014)

Joseph Sax (1936-2014)

Pace Law School and environmental law professors across the nation mourn the recent passing of two giants of environmental law, Joseph Sax and David Sive. We will take a few moments to commemorate their lives and achievements prior to the lecture.

Memorial Essay by Professor Nicholas A. Robinson

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The concept of ecosystem services roared into the policy world in the mid-1990s and has been going strong since. It asks us to recognize a rather obvious proposition—that functioning ecosystems provide valuable services to human populations, such as storm surge protection from dunes and groundwater recharge from wetlands—and to incorporate those values into land use and resource management decisions. Yet, like many marriages, this one between economic and ecologic perspectives has attracted critics from both of the families. In this talk, Professor Ruhl will trace the arc of ecosystem services to the present, explain where it sits in law today, and describe and respond to the critiques from both sides. He will conclude by developing a set of principles for responsible use of ecosystem services in land use and resource management policy. 


J. B. Ruhl is an expert in environmental law, land use and property law. Before he joined Vanderbilt’s law faculty as the David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair in Law in 2011, he was the Matthews & Hawkins Professor of Property at the Florida State University College of Law, where he had taught since 1999. His influential scholarly articles on environmental law relating to climate change, the Endangered Species Act, ecosystems, federal public lands, and other land use and environmental issues have appeared in California Law Review, Duke Law Review, Georgetown Law Review, Stanford Law Review, Vanderbilt Law Review and the specialty environment journals at several top law schools, among other journals. His works have been selected by peers as among the best law review articles in the field of environmental law eight times from 1989 to 2013. Over the course of his career, he has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, George Washington University Law School, the University of Texas Law School, Vermont Law School, and Lewis & Clark Law School. He began his academic career at the Southern Illinois University School of Law, where he taught from 1994-99 and earned his Ph.D. in geography. Before entering the academy, he was a partner with Fulbright & Jaworski in Austin, Texas, where he also taught on the adjunct faculty of the University of Texas Law School.


Over forty-five years ago, Lloyd K. Garrison and his associate, Albert K. Butzel, of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, won the landmark decision to preserve Storm King Mountain on the Hudson River. This victory for the Scenic Hudson Preservation Conference did more than safeguard "an area of unique beauty and major historical importance" - it inaugurated what today we recognize as the field of environmental law.

Standing in court to protect nature, citizen suit legislation, the environmental impact statement process, and the balancing of economics with the preservation of scenic beauty and historic resources: these are all rooted in Scenic Hudson Preservation Conference v. Federal Power Commission, 354 F.2d 608 (2d Cir. 1965). The Lloyd K. Garrison Lecture celebrates the vision, public spirit and life of this attorney whose legal acumen led citizens in their successful advocacy of environmental quality at Storm King.

Lloyd K. Garrison was a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law. His calling to the bar led him immediately into public service, helping to start the National Labor Relations Board while serving as Dean of the University of Wisconsin Law School. A great-grandson of William Lloyd Garrison, the abolitionist, he was a member of the National Urban League from 1924 on, and labored constantly in support of civil rights, defending Arthur Miller, Langston Hughes and J. Robert Oppenheimer during the era of McCarthyism. Garrison’s service in support of honest and open government marked his role with the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and his participation on numerous federal commissions and agencies from Presidents Herbert Hoover through Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman.

Lloyd K. Garrison passed away in 1991. For all his 93 years, Garrison devoted his brilliance and indefatigable energy to building a humane and caring society, respectful of the Rule of Law. Consistent with this dedication, Lloyd K. Garrison took up the citizens’ call to represent the Scenic Hudson Preservation Conference in its struggle to protect the Hudson River Gorge at Storm King Mountain. With characteristic enthusiasm he championed public participation rights for the community’s environmental interest, just as he did for civil rights and liberties. The Scenic Hudson victory is a living testament to Garrison's ever hopeful spirit.

The Lloyd K. Garrison Lecture on Environmental Law was established in his memory in 1995, four years after his death, and continues in his honor.


March 12, 2013
Lisa Heinzerling
Professor of Law
Georgetown Law Center
“Inside EPA"


            >> View lecture video

March 26, 2012
Jody Freeman
Archibald Cox Professor of Law and Director, Environmental Law Program
Harvard Law School
“Climate and Energy Policy in the Obama Administration"

April 6, 2011
Daniel A. Farber
Sho Sato Professor of Law
University of California, Berkeley
“Sustainable Consumption and Communities:
Bringing the American Way of Life into the Twenty-First Century”

April 15, 2010
Albert K. Butzel
Principal, Albert K. Butzel Law Offices, New York, NY
“Storm King Revisited: A View from the Mountaintop”



April 1, 2009
Robert V. Percival
Robert F. Stanton Professor of Law and Director of the Environmental Law Program, University of Maryland School of Law
"The Globalization of Environmental Law"



April 17, 2008
Hope Babcock
Professor of Law, Georgetown University
"Global Climate Change: A Civic Republican Moment"



John Bonine
Professor of Law, University of Oregon School of Law
“From Silent Spring to Sweltering Summers: The Past and Future of Private Public Interest Law”



Karin P. Sheldon
Professor of Law, Associate Dean for the Environmental Law Program and Director of the Environmental Law Center, Vermont Law School
“Upstream of Peril: The Role of Federal Lands in Addressing the Extinction Crisis"



Cass R. Sunstein
Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor of Jurisprudence, University of Chicago Law School
“Irreversible and Catastrophic: Global Warming, Terrorism, and Other Problems”



Edith Brown Weiss
Francis Cabell Brown Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center
“International Water Disputes”



J. William Futrell
President of the Environmental Law Institute (ELI)
“The Transition to Sustainable Development Law”



Zygmunt J. B. Plater
Professor of Law, Boston College Law School
“Environmental Law at the Crossroads: The Road Travelled and the Road Ahead”



Gerald Torres
H. O. Head Centennial Professor in Real Property Law, University of Texas Law School
"Who Owns the Sky?"



A. Dan Tarlock
Distinguished Professor of Law and Co-Director Program in Environmental and Energy Law, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology
"The Future of Environmental 'Rule of Law' Litigation"



Richard J. Lazarus
Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center
"Thirty Years of Environmental Protection Law in the Supreme Court"



Oliver A. Houck
Professor of Law and Director of Environmental Law Programs, Tulane University School of Law
"Environmental Law and the General Welfare"



William H. Rodgers, Jr.
Professor of Law, University of Washington School of Law
"Defeating Environmental Law: The Geology of Legal Advantage"



Joseph L. Sax
Counselor to Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, US Department of the Interior
"Using Property Rights to Attack Environmental Protection"



David Sive, Esq.
Founding Partner, Sive, Paget, & Reisel, PC
Adjunct Professor of Law, Pace Law School
"The Litigation Process in the Development of Environmental Law"