Past Two Years

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  Course Credit Course Description Course Area

Spring 2012

5216 Clean Water Act

2

 

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Fall 2012

5231 Anti-Corruption Law & Development

2

This course will focus on U.S. federal law criminalizing various forms of “public corruption.” We will begin with a general discussion of what “public corruption” means, including recent high-profile cases as examples. We will then address specific forms of public corruption and the statutes that attempt to define them, including: bribery; illegal gratuities; extortion; mail and wire fraud, especially “honest services” fraud; conflicts of interest; election-related crimes; campaign finance and lobbying; the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act; and false statements and obstruction of justice. Each class we will address one specific form of public corruption. And each class, one student will give a five minute presentation explaining a cutting-edge legal issue relevant to the public corruption topic or statute addressed that day. The course will end with a discussion of various trial and sentencing issues that arise in public corruption cases, and finally, with presentations by guest speakers (likely a federal judge, a federal prosecutor, and a defense attorney). Exam: 90% of Grade Paper/Presentation: 10% of Grade (paper 1-2 pages single spaced; presentation 5 minutes)  

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

International Law

Fall 2012

5207 Clean Air Act

2

The primary goal of this course will be to understand the principles of air quality law as set out in the Federal Clean Air Act and it’s implementing regulations. In addition to Federal statutory and administrative law, the course will focus on State and Local air quality requirements and the implementation of Federal air quality law through these State and Local requirements. Common law claims related to air pollution will also be discussed. Because EPA is in the process of developing additional climate change requirements through the Clean Air Act, the integration of climate change requirements under the Clean Air Act will also be a significant focus of this course. 

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Fall 2013

6362 Natural Resources Law

3

Natural Resources Law is the body of legal rules and processes that govern the human use, management, and protection of nature. In this course, we will survey the history of resource acquisition and management as well as current mechanisms for the management, use, and preservation of natural resources, including wildlife, wilderness, rivers, national parks, and energy. Among other issues, we will consider the history, jurisdiction, and authority of land management agencies and various statutes such as the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Federal Land Policy Management Act, to name a few. Throughout our study of these doctrinal issues, we will also consider competing ideas about how and why natural resources should be valued, used, and conserved. The objectives of this course are to teach the substantive law of the subject matter in a comprehensive manner, to consider ethical and professional questions related to the subject matter, and to integrate the subject matter with the analytical and practical skills necessary to the practice of law.  

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Fall 2013

6359 Regulated Industries

3

The Antitrust and Regulated Industries courses examine two different legal approaches for controlling private economic power--the antitrust laws, which are designed to establish and maintain competitive markets, and regulatory statutes, which establish government agencies to supervise entry, rates, and service. These two approaches are examined in a way that focuses on the theoretical and practical difficulties of each approach.

The Regulated Industries course focuses on the regulation and deregulation of transportation (surface and air), communications (long distance telephone and cable), and "natural monopolies" (local telephone and electric power). Discussion topics include the question of when it is appropriate to regulate entry and rates, rather than leaving these business decisions to market control. Of particular concern will be the differences between the theoretical arguments in favor of deregulation in these industries and the actual experience with deregulation.

There are no prerequisites for either course. Both courses use materials that are the foundation of casebooks in revision, namely Free Enterprise and Economic Organization: Antitrust and Free Enterprise and Economic Organization: Government (De)Regulation by Flynn, First, and Bush. 

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Business and Commercial Law

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

6341 Water Law

3

As water law issues become increasingly prominent in the news, public discourse, and legal practice, many ask: is water the most important natural resource? If so, why, and how does water law affect the ways that we use and develop land, energy, and other resources? This course combines a general survey of U.S. water law and policy with an examination of water law doctrines, institutions, and policy issues of particular significance to Texas. One goal of this class, therefore, is to give students a basic introduction to the laws and institutions that have shaped the use, development, and preservation of water throughout the United States. Thus, we will examine the legal principles and doctrines that have shaped the use of surface water and groundwater in different jurisdictions across the United States, as well as the evolution of public and private rights in these resources. In addition, this class is intended to examine how water law doctrines and water law institutions have evolved in Texas. The final goal of this class is to examine the evolution of water law as it influences the use, development, and preservation of other important resources.  

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

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

Fall 2013

7360 Case Studies in International Finance

3

This is pure finance—lots of number crunching and business modeling and foreign exchange hedging, etc. The most difficult course. 

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Non-Law Courses

Spring 2014

7336 Technique for Project Finance

3

 

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Fall 2014

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 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

Fall 2014

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 2014

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 2014

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 2014

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

Fall 2014

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