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273.4 sec. 1 - The Law of Hazardous Waste: CERCLA, RCRA and the Common Law Claims (Fall 2013)

Instructor: Robert D. Infelise  (view instructor's teaching evaluations | profile)
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Units: 3
Meeting Time: TuTh 11:20-12:35
Meeting Location: 10

Course Start: August 22, 2013
Class Number (formerly Course Control Number) (Non-1Ls): 49666

Most environmental lawyers are litigators. The most common source of environmental litigation is hazardous waste in soil and groundwater. The three principal bodies of law governing these disputes are the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (42 U.S.C. §§ 9601, et seq.) and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (42 U.S.C. §§ 6901, et seq.), as well as common law claims. This class is designed for two kinds of students: those interested in working in the environmental field (and who wish to gain an advantage in finding employment as an environmental lawyer) and those seeking to develop a subspecialty in what will otherwise be a practice emphasizing some other area of law. This course explores three universal stages of the litigation process, all in the context of hazardous waste: (i) analyzing potential theories of liability and available defenses; (ii) determining the appropriate sources of recovery; and (iii) selecting the desired remedy. Within each stage, the class will focus on the peculiarities of the law governing hazardous waste, as well as the strategic considerations unique to the environmental arena. Students will be exposed to the latest developments regarding CERCLA, RCRA and relevant common law schemes. We will identify practical, realistic approaches to environmental advocacy and achieving results in the courtroom. Upon completing the course, students will have a sophisticated appreciation of the tactical intricacies of litigation involving soil and groundwater pollution comparable to most lawyers with three or four years of experience.

Instructor Biography: Robert D. Infelise received his A.B. from Cal in 1977 and his J.D. from Boalt Hall in 1980. Upon graduating, Mr. Infelise joined the Los Angeles office of Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP, one of the nation's premier law firms specializing in the real estate and financial services industries. Since the mid-1980’s, he has specialized in litigation involving soil and groundwater contamination. In 1998, Mr. Infelise helped found Cox, Castle & Nicholson's San Francisco office and later served as its managing partner.

Mr. Infelise writes and speaks on issues involving soil and groundwater pollution, as well as climate change. His scholarly work begins and ends with an article co-authored by Professor Robert A. Kagan entitled "American State Supreme Court Justices, 1900-70," American Bar Foundation Research Journal, 1984 (Vol. 2, Spring). In addition to this course, Mr. Infelise teaches Environmental Law and Policy; the Environmental Law Writing Seminar; the Workshop on Development and the Environment; and Contracts and Sales for LL.M. Students. He is the current chair of the Advisory Committee, and former acting Executive Director, of the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment. In 2002-2003, Mr. Infelise was the acting head of Berkeley Law’s environmental law program.

Exam Notes: TH
Course Category: Environmental Law
This course is cross-listed in the following categories:
Litigation and Procedure

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