Past Two Years

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  Course Credit Course Description Course Area

Spring 2014

5313 International Corporate Compliance

3

Corporate compliance, one of the fastest growing markets for legal services, is the way organizations manage risk areas ranging from corruption to data privacy. This class will teach students how to use empirical data to develop a risk based approach to compliance. The course will begin with an overview of some of the risk areas driving the increased focus on compliance including global corruption, data privacy, trade controls, and environmental risk. Students will learn how to analyze empirical data to build a compliance program to address these risks. Guest speakers will include in house counsel with deep compliance experience who will discuss a variety of different compliance topics.  

International Law

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Spring 2014

5335 Land Use

3

I. Land Use Regulatory Controls A. Zoning B. Subdivision Regulation C. Financing and Development D. Planning II. The Limits of Current Land Use Regulation A. Judicial Review of Land Use Decisions B. Regulatory Takings: The Fifth Amendment C. The First Amendment D. Alternative Methods for Land Use Decision-making III. Balancing Growth Management and the Need for Housing A. Growth Management B. Securing a Sufficient Housing Supply IV. The Use of Land Use Controls to Effectuate Governmental Policy Objectives A. Preventing Housing Discrimination B. Environmental Protection C. Urban Redevelopment and Economic Development D. Siting Unpopular Land Uses and Environmental Justice E. Protecting Cultural and Aesthetic Values  

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Real Property, Trusts and Estates

Spring 2014

7333 SEM: Energy, Law & Policy

3

The Energy Law and Policy seminar fulfills the Senior Writing Requirement for JD students who must submit a 35-page paper. FLLM and LLM students must meet the same 35-page paper requirement. For those LLM students who were admitted into the EENR LLM program (not the EENR certificate program for FLLMs), there is a thesis option and this seminar will also satisfy the thesis requirement. The thesis must be at least 50 pages long and receive a grade of B or better.. Students may choose a topic on any issue related to energy, resources and the environment and are expected to have a topic in mind, motivated by their own career or intellectual interest. The professor will help tailor the topic into a manageable issue. The seminar requires that students submit key stages of the research on a defined timetable of deadlines for topic selection, bibliography, outline, first draft, class presentation, and final paper. The class meets weekly and focuses on research techniques in the first weeks. Class readings cover general energy issues of the day, but are kept light so that students can focus on their research topic. 3 credit hours. See prerequisites below. 

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Spring 2014

7336 Technique for Project Finance

3

 

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Fall 2014

6221 Environmental Enforcement

2

This course will focus on how agencies and courts enforce environmental laws and the critical role that enforcement plays in assuring compliance and protecting the environment. We will review the principles of civil and criminal liability under environmental laws, assess ways to design effective environmental regulations, examine how federal and state agencies use these tools, and craft techniques to help clients minimize their potential liability. Our examination will center on practical strategies to manage these liabilities particularly in regard to CERCLA, RCRA and the Clean Water Act. This course will use a combination of lectures, class discussions, in-class exercises and sample problems, and case studies. We will use role-playing exercises to give students experience in real-life enforcement negotiations and prosecutions. Overview 

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Spring 2015

5327 Legal Practitioner's Guide to the Oil and Gas Industry (formerly known as: Practice of Law in the Oil & Gas Industry)

3

Houston is the Oil Capital of the World. Nearly all major and large independent oil and gas companies have offices in Houston. Hundreds of oil-business related companies call Houston home. Texas, as well as Houston, have perpetual needs for lawyers who understand how the oil and gas industry works and who are able to identify issues and offer practical legal solutions for the industry’s problems. Even clients opposed to the oil and gas industry are desperate for lawyers who understand the business. Nearly ten million Americans are employed directly or indirectly in the oil and gas business. The United States is overtaking Russia as the world’s largest oil and gas producer with over a million active wells operated by 18,000 oil and gas companies. There are 162,000 service stations, hundreds of thousands of miles of pipelines and 141 refineries operating in the United States. America has 3,800 offshore platforms producing oil and gas; nearly all of which are in the Gulf of Mexico. The industry added over 600,000 American jobs in the last two years. The near future will see the current American oil and gas “boom” spread throughout the world as technological enhancements being used in the U.S. are adopted in other countries. Major stakeholders in the oil and gas business include landowners; developers; royalty owners; realtors; banks; local, state, and federal governments; foreign governments; regulatory agencies; non-governmental organizations; and shipping companies. Business men and women, accountants, economists, geologists, engineers, environmental scientists, public officials, and lawyers represent only a few of the professionals that make full time careers in the oil business or find themselves in positions to regularly and professionally interact with and represent people who do so. The oil industry created and continues to use an extensive, unique, and colorful language that can confuse and impede those outside of the oil-patch. The most successful lawyers in this industry understand the business and its language and are able to identify legal issues that arise from the well-site to the gas pump. Clients gravitate toward lawyers that can speak their language, understand their business, and help them solve problems. This course teaches oil industry business basics and terminology. It teaches basic concepts of exploration, production, pipeline operation and refining that are known by the majority of operating and business people in the industry. Knowing these basics will equip the lawyer to better negotiate and advocate for his or her client and more easily identify legal issues, opportunities, causes of action, and remedies. Oil companies often take opposing positions with respect to environmental protection, employment law, health and safety, use of independent contractors, risk taking, and regulatory and legislative advocacy. Knowing how and why these positions are taken, and the legal risks associated with each position help company-lawyers best serve their clients. Knowing these business and legal rationales also benefits lawyers collaborating with, or working in opposition to, the oil companies such as trial attorneys, regulatory attorneys, and lawyers from non-governmental organizations. The student should complete the course with an appreciation of how the entire industry works, be able to identify legal issues that typically arise in numerous business disputes and opportunities, and be better prepared to assist his or her client with optimal legal solutions to those matters.  

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Spring 2015

9397 The Future of Natural Gas

3

Course name is: GENB 7397 / ENRG 4397. Interested students please contact Mr. Derrick Gabriel at 713-743-2189.  

Non-Law Courses

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Fall 2015

6352 Energy Law: Doing Business in Emerging Markets

3

This course explores the legal and regulatory structures affecting foreign investors seeking to participate in the development of the so-called emerging markets, with particular emphasis on energy related transactions. It gives an insight into the types of problems that are encountered when working in countries that provide business opportunities but have weak legal institutions and murky business cultures, such as corruption, human rights abuses, regulatory expropriation, uncertain property rights and government authorizations, and poor dispute resolution and law enforcement mechanisms. The casebook includes introductory text material with a series of problems derived from practice, as well as cases and an analysis of legislative and regulatory materials. The course will also provide practical applications of practice techniques and negotiating skills that may be used in resolving the problems encountered in emerging markets.  

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

International Law

Fall 2015

5215 Environmental Law in the Oil & Gas Industry

2

General Information Course Description: This is not an advanced course. Having some educational or practical background in environmental or oil and gas matters is useful, but not required. Much more important is the desire to understand current environmental issues impacting, and caused by, the oil and gas business. This class will provide a survey of key environmental statutes and will focus on many of the common law, regulatory, and statutory issues that are confronting oil companies, government regulators, non-governmental organizations, landowners, and private litigants (collectively the “stakeholders”). Class discussion will go beyond the written law and concentrate on the practical application and effect on the stakeholders. Strategies used for creation, compliance, and enforcement of environmental law will be reviewed. A main goal of this class is to improve your ability to be a valued and effective team member of your current or future environmental clients. Some of those clients are likely to be friends and family that have environmental issues with oil and gas wells drilled near their homes.  

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Fall 2015

7313 WRS: Federal Natural Resources

3

This seminar will examine some of the mechanisms for the management, preservation, conservation, use, and enjoyment of natural resources on federal land and the Outer Continental Shelf. These resources include wildlife, wilderness, refuges, rivers, national parks, National Conservation Landscape System lands, minerals, conventional and renewable energy, and timber. This course considers the history, jurisdiction, and conflicts of the natural resource management agencies (primarily the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of the Interior) under the various natural resources statutes such as the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, the General Mining Law, the Mineral Leasing Act, and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to name just a few. Current issues to be considered include development of renewable energy on federal lands and on the Outer Continental Shelf, hydraulic fracturing, species listings and critical habitat designations, oil and gas development in the Arctic, wild horses and burros, and other challenging natural resource management issues. Although there is not a very much federal public land in Texas, almost every major energy company in the United States and many international energy companies have significant interests on federal lands and in federal waters. If you plan to practice environmental, energy, or natural resources law, this seminar will provide you with exposure and understanding of the major issues facing the managers and users of federal natural resources today. 

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Fall 2015

7372 Upstream Economics

3

Objectives • Understanding of the physical systems affecting the exploitation of hydrocarbon accumulations • Understanding the economic structure and issues associated with key upstream processes. • Ability to construct and use financial models and performance measures for the upstream business • Appreciation of the key management decisions and the considerations that go into them in the highly uncertain exploration and production businesses Requirements 1. Participation on a student team in a competitive simulated oil and gas exploration and production venture, concluding with an assessment of the team’s results and lessons learned 2. Preparation and use of a financial model using Excel 3. Two team presentations relating to case studies used in the course 4. Two brief recommendation papers relating to case studies used in the course 5. A final examination problem  

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Non-Law Courses

Spring 2016

5239 Oil & Gas Tax

2

Oil and Gas Income Taxation covers the United States federal income taxation of domestic oil and gas operations and transactions. The course examines taxation associated with the operational life cycle of oil and gas operations including exploration, development, production and abandonment. The study of transactions involving oil and gas interests analyzes acquisition, disposition, structuring and investment. Course participants learn the historical context and development of oil and gas provisions found in the U.S. tax law. Current tax legislative proposals or enactments that affect the oil and gas industry are addressed if warranted. The emphasis is on federal income taxation of domestic oil and gas transactions, although certain international tax aspects of the oil and gas business will be referenced and contrasted throughout the class. Outline 

Taxation

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Spring 2016

7A97 Regulatory Environment and Risks in Energy

Course Number is: FINA 7A59 Course is 1.5 credit hour. Course Description: Energy extraction and utilization is heavily regulated, at both the federal and state levels. Some times (as in “fracturing”) there have been attempts by local government to interact with energy extraction or utilization as well. With renewed attention on climate change, other significant air pollution, and water resources, this regulation has been increasing, and will continue to increase. Therefore, anyone in either the upstream or downstream business of energy or energy law needs to be aware of the impacts of such regulation and economic risks of these current regulations as well as the possibility of future regulation, in order to make effective business allocation decisions. This class explores the known and likely future regulatory risks, especially environmentally related regulations, and examines the likely impacts of such regulation on the energy business. Readings are mostly posted on blackboard and you are responsible for reading and bringing copy to class for discussion; Additionally, we will discuss your paper topics during each of the last 4 classes. Grade is based on class participation and one writing project, due one week after the final class. The writing project is a minimum 10 page case study or memorandum concerning the economic impact posed by a specific environmental or health based law (or proposed law) or legal regulatory risk (for the law students) to a sector of the energy business. Topics will be selected in one on one meetings with the professor between Jan. 27 and Feb. 5. Law students and MBA students will be graded separately and not included in any grade curve (where applicable).  

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Non-Law Courses

Fall 2016

5371 International Petroleum Transactions

3

International Petroleum Transactions provides an overview of the laws, contracts, and legal issues that arise between host governments and oil companies that seek to invest in and develop oil and gas owned by the host governments. The course includes: an overview of National Oil Companies (the largest reserve owners today), ascertaining title to the minerals, especially in federalist countries or countries with indigenous tribes; resolving boundary disputes between nations; a comparison of the most commonly used granting contracts (licenses, production-sharing contracts and service contracts); issues arising under the international Joint Operating Agreement; sustainable development in resource development, including social impact assessment, human rights issues and litigation, and liability for transboundary pollution and oil spills; anti-corruption laws and codes; international arbitration; and other issues as time permits. The course also provides a good background to the future of the western majors in the global context of international energy. The class will have several guest lecturers who are leading practitioners in specialized areas of international petroleum transactions, such as arbitration and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. 

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

International Law

Fall 2016

5355 Oil & Gas

3

This course covers the basic property, contract and regulatory framework for oil and gas production in Texas. It explores common law property concepts (such as the rule of capture, trespass, cotenancy, life tenancy); the provisions of an oil and gas lease negotiated between a mineral interest owner and an oil company as lessee; mineral and royalty interest conveyancing; and Railroad Commission regulation of drilling, production, pooling, and unitization for the efficient and fair development of oil and gas. 

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Fall 2016

5221 International Commercial Arbitration

2

Winston Churchill said that democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the rest. For international commercial transactions, international arbitration is the worst form of dispute resolution, except for all the rest. Supported by an international treaty signed by more than 140 nations, international arbitration has become the prevailing method of resolving international commercial disputes. And international transactions have become increasingly common in the global economy,the daily volume of international trade today across national borders exceeds the total volume of international trade through the end of the nineteenth century! This is a comprehensive course covering all stages of the international arbitral process, from the drafting of the arbitration clause to the enforcement of the arbitral award. It should be of value both to students who plan to develop a transactional practice as well as those planning to become trial lawyers. This will be a highly interactive course. In addition to relevant written material, the course will also feature videotaped scenes from mock arbitrations that the Institute for Transnational Arbitration generated at its Annual Arbitration Workshops. Consisting of mock scenarios, and performed by some of the world's leading international arbitrators and counsel, the videotapes vividly demonstrate the major phases of an international arbitration. Students will be assigned roles as counsel and as arbitrators and will either argue (in the case of counsel) or deliberate (in the case of arbitrators) various issues presented in the hypothetical scenarios. The course will begin with preliminary considerations bearing on the selection of the international arbitral process. The course will then address the five stages of the international arbitral process: Stage I. The making and enforcement of the arbitration agreement. Stage II. The selection and appointment of the arbitral tribunal. Stage III. Preliminary proceedings, including procedural orders and interim relief. Stage IV. The evidentiary hearing on the merits. Stage V. The making and enforcement of the arbitral award. Ben H. Sheppard, Jr. is a Distinguished Lecturer and Director of the A.A. White Dispute Resolution Center. Prior to his retirement, he was a partner at Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. in Houston, where he practiced from 1969-2005, and was co-chair of the firm's international dispute resolution practice.  

International Law

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Fall 2016

5390 Environmental Law

3

Environmental law plays a pivotal role in protecting our personal health and welfare, guiding economic development and business life, and shielding our most precious natural treasures and resources from misuse or harm. Because it protects such broad and often conflicting purposes, environmental law has evolved from its common law roots into a complex set of federal and state statutory protections, administrative regulatory prohibitions, and often convoluted judicial interpretations. This course will introduce you to the broad field of environmental law and give you a practical sense of the key skills and tools you would need to start handling environmental projects. This course will use a combination of lectures, class discussions, in-class exercises and sample problems, and case studies. We will use role-playing exercises to give you experience in real-life negotiations and enforcement situations. I also hope to bring in guest lecturers prominent in environmental law, and we hopefully can schedule a class visit to sites with particular environmental interest (e.g., a refinery or chemical plant, a Superfund site, or a wetlands restoration area).  

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

SummerMini 2016

6397 Promoting Sustainability I: Legal Frameworks and Value

3

This is a non-law course; all limits and approvals for non-law courses apply. For the Summer Mini Session 2016, however, this course will count towards the 15 credits of energy, environment, and natural resources courses required for the EENR LLM.  

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Non-Law Courses