737.01 Environmental Litigation

During the past 40 years, environmental litigation in the federal courts of the United States has played an important role in shaping our quality of life.  Federal statutes designed to improve air and water quality, manage waste, protect species, and establish rules for the management of ocean resources have spawned numerous federal cases – some filed by affected industry, some by the government, and others filed by conservation groups and private citizens.  The resulting precedents affect many aspects of the environment in which we live.

This course introduces students to the progression of a hypothetical environmental case in United States federal courts.  The course begins with the appearance of a potential client, addresses several considerations relevant to a decision whether to file a complaint, examines discovery planning and execution, studies the preparation of dispositive motions, and concludes with an overview of the appeal process.  The course assumes that the hypothetical case will be decided on motions for summary judgment or for injunctive relief.  Therefore, class discussions focus on the manner in which such a case unfolds, with particular attention to developing both the facts and the theory of the case, framing pleadings, and designing and managing discovery.  The course explores these subjects from the perspective of counsel for defendants as well as for plaintiffs.  Students should emerge from the course better equipped to handle various practical aspects of litigation.

Spring 2021

Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor
Course Credits
Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
Practical exercises
Class participation
Stephen E. Roady
Sakai site: https://sakai.duke.edu/portal/site/LAW.737.01.Sp21
Email list: LAW.737.01.Sp21@sakai.duke.edu
Degree Requirements
Course Requirements - JD
Course Requirements - Public Interest
Course Areas of Practice