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January 17, 2014

Marianne Dugan ’93 appointed chair of Sierra Club Litigation Committee

University of Oregon School of Law alumna Marianne Dugan '93 recently was named Chair of the Sierra Club Litigation Committee.

Sierra Club has been the nation's leader in environmental litigation since 1971 when the pioneering Sierra Club v. Morton lawsuit – a case challenging a proposed Walt Disney Resort in the Mineral King Valley – gave citizens the right to sue to enforce environmental laws.

In this prestigious position, Dugan replaces former chair and pioneering champion of environmental law, Phillip Berry, who passed away in September 2013. A lifelong leader of the Sierra Club, Berry also served as the club’s president for three terms and co-founded the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, now known as Earthjustice.

"I am so honored," Dugan said. "I've served on the Sierra Club's Litigation Committee for about ten years, alongside many other dedicated attorneys. It is humbling to follow Phil Berry into the chair position, and I hope I fulfill everyone's high expectations."

As Committee Chair, Dugan will be responsible for overseeing the review of the large number of environmental litigation requests that come through the Sierra Club's headquarters. She also reviews all requests to the Sierra Club for amicus briefs.

As part of the Sierra Club's Environmental Law Program, Dugan will join fellow Oregon Law alumni Aaron Isherwood ('94) and Brianna Fairbanks ('07).

Dugan currently is a solo practitioner in Eugene where she specializes in public interest law. She graduated from the from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1993, where she earned certificates in both Environmental and Natural Resources Law and Ocean and Coastal Law. She also holds a master's degree from the University of Oregon in environmental studies. Dugan was listed as one of Oregon’s leading environmental attorneys in the publication, "Oregon Super Lawyers" from 2007 through 2009.

Prior to developing her solo practice, Dugan spent six years working for the Western Environmental Law Center, starting as its first staff attorney and later becoming its associate director.

Dugan noted that her education at Oregon Law was unique due to the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program's commitment to empowering environmental law in the public interest.

"I came to the University of Oregon specifically to study public interest environmental litigation — enforcement of the nation's environmental laws. There are many environmental law programs in the nation, but the UO's program is one of the few that focuses on and supports public interest litigation," Dugan said.

Dugan serves on the boards of Friends of Land-Air-Water; Portia Project, and the Western Lands Project; as well as being Associate Inspector of Elections for the Sierra Club. She also is the Eugene Chapter contact for the National Lawyers Guild and serves as Treasurer of the Oregon State Bar Civil Rights Section Executive Committee.

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