David N. Cassuto

  • Professor of Law
  • Director, Brazil-American Institute for Law and Environment (BAILE)
  • Kerman Family Faculty Scholar
Preston Hall 222
Contact professor directly to schedule an appointment.


BA, Wesleyan University
MA, Indiana University
PhD, Indiana University
JD, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

For media inquiries, contact:

Rachael Silva
Assistant Dean for External Affairs
(914) 422-4354

Professor David N. Cassuto came to Pace in July 2003 from Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass LLP in San Francisco, where he practiced complex civil litigation. Prior to that, he was an associate at Pillsbury Winthrop LLP in San Francisco and served on the Executive Committee of the San Francisco Bar Association’s Environmental Law Practice Group. Before entering private practice, Professor Cassuto clerked for the Honorable Rosemary Barkett on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

A former professor of English specializing in literature and the environment, Professor Cassuto has published and lectured widely on legal, literary, and environmental issues. He is also a frequent speaker on legal and cultural studies. 

Professor Cassuto teaches in the areas of property, professional responsibility, animal law, water law, international comparative law, and legal and environmental theory. He directs the Brazil American Institute for Law and Environment (BAILE), a cooperative endeavor with the Getulio Vargas Foundation School of Law in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Professor Cassuto was a Fulbright Fellow at FGV Direito Rio, in Rio de Janeiro Brazil in 2010, is a visiting professor at the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil, and is the Class of 1946 Distinguished Visiting Professor of Environmental Law at Williams College.




Animal Law and the Courts. Co-editor with Rebecca Huss & Taimie Bryant.  Thomson West Press, 2008.

Dripping Dry: Literature, Politics and Water in the Desert Southwest . University of Michigan Press, 2001.

Cold Running River: An Ecological Biography of the Pere Marquette River. University of Michigan Press, 1994.


"New York Water Law" (with Nicholas A. Robinson), in Waters & Water Rights 2005, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2021 (periodically updated chapter for water law treatise)

"Developments Internationally in Biodiversity Law" (with Drew Levinson), in ENVIRONMENT, ENERGY AND RESOURCES LAW: THE YEAR IN REVIEW, Dellapenna & Hite eds. ABA Section on Environment, Energy & Resources, 2014, also available at 49 INT’L LAW. 339 (2015)

"The Basics of NEPA and Its Role in Combating Climate Change" (with Joseph Edgar) in Tópicos de Direito Ambiental: 30 Anos da Política do Meio Ambiente (Editora Lumens Press, 2011).

"Water Law and the Endangered Species Act," in Whose Drop Is It Anyway?: Effective Management of Our Nation's Water Resources (Megan Baroni, ed.) (2010).

"Owning What You Eat: The Discourse of Food," in Democracy, Ecological Integrity and International Law (Engel et al. eds.) (2010).

"Animal Sacrifice and the First Amendment," in Animal Law and the Courts: A Reader. ( Taimie Bryant, David N. Cassuto, Rebecca Huss, eds.) ( Thomson West, 2008).

David N. Cassuto, Law, Landscape & Biodiversity, Cadernos do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Direito - PPGDir./UFRGS, (2006).

Selected Articles

Suffering Matters: NEPA, Animals, & the Duty to Disclose (w/Tala DiBenedetto) U OF HAWAII LAW REVIEW 42/2 (2020)

You Don’t Need Lungs to Suffer: Fish Sufferring in the Age of Climate Change with a Call for Regulatory Reform, (w/Amy O’ Brien) CANADIAN JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE AND CONTEMPORARY LAW (peer-reviewed), 5 CJCCL (2019)

Under the Radar: The Costs and Benefits of Wind Energy Through the Lens of National Security, MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW, (2018) MICH ST. L. REV 587

Caution, Precaution, & Common Sense: Some Thoughts on GMOs, Ecosystems, & Regulating the Unknown, (w/Drew Levinson) REVISTA NOVOS ESTUDOS JURÍDICOS - ELETRÔNICA, 2018

Don’t Be Cruel (Anymore): A Look at the Cruelty Regimes of the United States and Brazil with a Call for a New Animal Welfare Agency, (w/Cayleigh Eckhardt) BOSTON COLLEGE ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS LAW REVIEW, 43 B.C. ENVTL AFF. L. REV. 1 (2016)

Foreword, PACE ENVIRONMENTALLAW REVIEW (special issue on Animal Law), 31Pace Envtl. L. Rev. 399 (2014)

"Environment, Ethics, and the Factory Farm", 54 South Texas Law Review (Spring 2013 Symposium Issue)

"The Importance of Information and Participation Principles in Brazil, the United States and Beyond," (w/Rômulo S.R. Sampaio), 22 Review of European Community and International Environmental Law 1 (2013).

"The Evolution of the Regulation of Brazilian Ethanol and Possible Lessons for the United States," (w/Carolina Gueiros), 30 Wisconsin Journal of International Law 477 (2013).

"Hard, Soft & Uncertain: The Guarani Aquifer and the Challenges of Transboundary Groundwater," (w/Rômulo S.R. Sampaio), 24 Colorado Journal of International Environmental Law 1 (2013).

"Meat Animals, Humane Standards & Other Legal Fictions," Law, Culture & Humanities (2012).

"Hot, Crowded and Legal: A Look at Industrial Agriculture in the United States and Brazil," (w/Sarah Saville), 18 Animal Law Review 185 (2012).

"U.S. v. Stevens: Win Loss or Draw for Animals?" 2 Journal of Animal Ethics 12 (2012).

"Keeping it Legal: Transboundary Challenges Facing Brazil & the Guarani," 36 Water International 661 (2011).

"Water Law in the United States and Brazil-Climate Change & Two Approaches to Emerging Water Poverty," 35 William and Mary Environmental Law & Policy Review 371 (2011).

"The CAFO Hothouse: Climate Change, Industrial Agriculture and the Law," Animals & Society Institute Policy Paper (2010).

"Legal Standing for Animals and Advocates," 13 Animal Law Review 61 (2006).

"Bred Meat--The Cultural Foundation of the Factory Farm," Law and Contemporary Problems 59 (2007).

"Crime, War & Romanticism: Arthur Andersen and the Nature of Entity Guilt," 13 Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law 179 (2006).

"The Law of Words: Standing, Environment, and other Contested Terms," 28 Harvard Environmental Law Review 79 (2004).

"Literature and the Environment: An Overview," Encyclopedia of Literature and Science, Garland Press, 2002.

"Waging Water: Hydrology vs. Mythology in The Monkey Wrench Gang." ISLE (Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment), 2:1, Spring 1994.

"Turning Wine into Water: Water As Privileged Signifier in The Grapes of Wrath." Papers on Language and Literature, 29:1, Winter 1993. --Reprinted in: The Grapes of Wrath, 2006. Steinbeck and the Environment. University of Alabama Press, 1997. Contemporary Literary Criticism. Gale Research, 2000.


Colb, Sherry J. Mind if I Order the Cheeseburger (and Other Questions People Ask Vegans). Lantern Press, 2013. Verdict: Legal Analysis & Commentary from Justia, October, 2013. URL: http://verdict.justia.com/author/cassuto.

Harr, Jonathan. A Civil Action. Random House, 1995. Electronic Book Review, Winter, 1997. URL: http://www.altx.com/ebr.

Rothenberg, David, ed. Wild Ideas. University of Minnesota Press, 1995. Electronic Book Review, Winter 1996. URL: http://www.altx.com/ebr—reprinted in Ecology Law Quarterly, University of California Press, Winter 1996.

Crawford, Stanley. Mayordomo: Chronicle of an Acequia in Northern New Mexico. University of New Mexico Press, 1988. ISLE (Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment) 2:1, Spring 1994.