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Professor Mary Wood Discusses Climate Change, Public Trust Doctrine, & Atmospheric Trust Litigation with Bill Moyers

University of Oregon law professor Mary Wood was a guest on the final episode of the public television program “Moyers and Company” talking about the efforts to defend the climate on behalf of future generations.

Mary Wood on set of Moyers & CompanyInterweaving legal concepts inherent in a democracy, Wood's book “Nature’s Trust” explores a modern application of the public trust doctrine in light of climate change. Wood’s atmospheric trust litigation research is currently being used in lawsuits and petitions brought on behalf of children and youth throughout the United States and in other countries, spearheaded by the organization Our Children's Trust.

Moyers’ segment “The Children’s Climate Crusade” included an interview with Wood, who says, “If this nation relies on a stable climate system, and the very habitability of this nation and all of the liberties of young people and their survival interests are at stake, the courts need to force the agencies and the legislatures to simply do their job.”

Sports and Business Law interests intersect perfectly for 3L Max Forer

Oregon Law 3L and former Oregon offensive lineman, Max Forer feels that his experience as a collegiate athlete has had a tremendous impact on his success as a law student.

In addition to being a full-time law student, Forer oversees a mentor program for student athletes at the John E. Jaqua Center for Student Athletes and is a part of a student group called Sports and Entertainment Law Forum (SELF).

Max Forer Inside The Pac“Being on a sports team – where your job is to sacrifice your own individual aspirations for the success of the team – helped me when I was going into law school to realize that there might be a lot of things I want to do for myself, but if I can lead a student group that can help multiple people, I will be able to help myself in the process,” Forer said.

Although Forer no longer plays football, he still tries to incorporate athletics into his lifestyle by being an active member and the commissioner of the Legal Basketball Association (LBA).

“I’ll always need to stay competitive and physically active in my life or else I’ll lose my edge. Once I lose my edge I’ll be complacent and I can never be complacent in life because the competitive desire is what keeps me going and wanting more."

Forer came to the University of Oregon as an undergraduate student to play football. During his time as a football player, he won a scholarship and lettered twice. As an undergrad, it was difficult for him to juggle academics and athletics while trying to maintain a high enough grade point average to get into law school.

Both of Forer’s parents are lawyers and from a young age he had always been interested in their work. He had known for a long time that he, too, wanted to attend law school and choosing to go to Oregon Law was an easy decision for him as he could combine his interests in Business Law and Sports Law.

“Oregon is home to me. I knew it would be a great fit for me to go to law school here. All the people here are great. It has a community atmosphere – which is not a culture that all law schools have."

Recently, Forer got the opportunity to guest co-host for KVAL’s “Inside the Pac,” and provide sports analysis and commentary.

“If I get offered to do something, I always say yes – even if it’s last minute. Being available and flexible has allowed me to identify opportunities for me that I didn’t even know might exist.”

He is most interested in business and sports law, but is open to anything that may come his way in terms of his career path.

Forer said, “I don’t know what I want to do in life, but I know that everyday when I wake up, I want to be happy with what I’m doing. I want to make sure I’m doing everything I can to enjoy my life’s pursuit on a daily basis."

UO Conflict and Dispute Resolution Master’s Student Teaches Mediation Skills to Teens in the Classroom

Middle and high school students of Tillamook County are receiving hands-on mediation training by University of Oregon Conflict and Dispute Resolution Master’s program (CRES) student, Mason Hines.

Mason HinesHines, a second year CRES student, is currently an intern at Conflict Solutions for Tillamook County. As a part of his internship, Hines provides peer-mediating training to students in Tillamook County.

Last month, Conflict Solutions for Tillamook County arranged for trainers from Portland’s Resolution Northwest to attend schools in Tillamook County to provide basic peer-mediating training to students. Some of the skills they taught include active listening, asking open-ended questions, acknowledging and suspending personal bias, developing empathy for those involved in conflict and more.

“Theoretically, peer mediation returns the responsibility for behavior modification back to the students,” Hines said. “It's a process in which students in conflict are empowered to use dialogue and facilitated information exchange to resolve issues and can chose to memorialize an agreement modifying their behavior.”

The training lasts for one full day, but in order for mediation skills to stay sharp it is best if they are refreshed on a regular basis. For this reason, Hines now visits with the majority of the County’s peer mediators weekly. He also co-teaches a leadership class at Tillamook Junior High School that is made up of students who attended previous training events. Most of Hines’ lessons focus on mediation and further developing the conflict management skills they were taught last month.

“In my opinion, conflict management and similar relational skills are underemphasized in many education systems, especially at the teen and pre-teen level,” Hines said. “Even if these students mediate a relatively small number of cases at school, the skills we're covering translate to, and will benefit them, in everyday social situations at home, work and in friend groups.”

University of Oregon School of Law joins Gideon’s Promise Law School Partnership

Oregon Law has joined the ranks of a dozen other elite national law schools by becoming a Gideon’s Promise Law School Partner. In addition to Oregon Law, Gideon’s Promise partner law schools include American University Washington College of Law, Georgetown Law, University of Michigan Law School, University of Pennsylvania Law School, William & Mary Law School, Boston University School of Law, George Washington University Law School, Harvard Law School, New York University School of Law, Northwestern University School of Law, University of Chicago Law School, UCLA School of Law, Vanderbilt Law School, and Berkeley Law.

Gideon’s Promise is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reforming the public defense system in the South, the Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance, and participating law schools and public defender offices. The goal of the program is to recruit exceptional third-year law students with an interest in public service and place them in positions at underserved public defender offices where their skills are needed the most.

Oregon Law graduates who participate in the program will receive a post-graduate fellowship from the law school and the promise of a permanent job within one year of graduation at the public defender offices at which they are placed. Participating graduates will also receive three years of ongoing training and education from Gideon’s Promise in how to provide meaningful representation to clients under difficult circumstances and to learn strategies to resist pressures to conform to dysfunctional public defense cultures.

Through the Partnership Project, Oregon Law can turn one year of fellowship funding into a permanent career and support our graduates in becoming the leaders of one of today’s civil rights movements. Oregon Law is proud to partner with Gideon’s Promise in this important effort to enhance public service career opportunities for our students and to address a critical need for access to justice.

Professor Mary Wood to offer Environmental Law CLE in Portland

Oregon Law Professor Mary Christina Wood will present “Is Environmental Law Working Any More? A Nature’s Trust Alternative to the Status Quo” on December 11, 2014 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the White Stag Block in Portland, Oregon. The event is being held in collaboration with the Oregon State Bar Association’s Sustainable Future section. CLE credit is available. The event is open to the public. Reservations are required.

Professor Wood’s speech will focus on the key premise of her recently published book Nature’s Trust: Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age, that environmental law is broken. Far from realizing its promise of the 1970s, environmental law now facilitates continued ecological degradation. In contrast, the ancient public trust doctrine imposes a trustee’s fiduciary duty on federal and state legislators and administrators to protect the ecological integrity of public trust assets for the benefit of present and future generations of citizens. This sovereign duty finds its apex in the accelerating climate crisis. In this program, Professor Wood will describe the role of the trust doctrine in modern environmental law and its application to climate responsibility.

Mary Christina Wood is the Philip H. Knight Professor of Law at the University of Oregon Law School and author. She is Faculty Director of the University of Oregon Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center.

Event Details:

Date/Time:  Thursday, December 11, Noon to 1:15 pm
Location: White Stag Block, 70 NW Couch Street
Wayne Morse Suite (Floor 3)
Portland, Oregon
Lunch: Brown Bag (bring your own)
Cost: No cost for SFS members or law students
$15 at door for others (or $20 to join the section)
CLE: 1.0 hour CLE credit (being applied for)
RSVP to: Jan Flynn
Bar Number: Please provide at time of registration if requesting CLE credit
Phone: If you must participate by phone, let Jan Flynn know by e-mail, and she will send the call number and pass code.

Conflict and Dispute Resolution Master’s Program cosponsors talk by Auschwitz survivor Eva Kor on Nov. 8

The University of Oregon Conflict and Dispute Resolution Master’s (CRES) Program will cosponsor Eva Kor for a lecture entitled “Forgiveness, the Triumph of the Human Spirit” on Sat., Nov. 8 at 6:30 p.m. PeaceJam Northwest and the University of Oregon Division of Student Life is hosting this event in Columbia Hall, room 150 at the University of Oregon.

Anna Shamble, managing director of the Conflict and Dispute Resolution Master’s Program at the University of Oregon, said, "CRES is honored to support Peace Jam in bringing Eva Kor to Oregon. Ms. Kor's story highlights the power of forgiveness, which is central to the study of conflict resolution. Her journey serves as an inspiration for our students as they learn about conflict resolution, and a reminder of the difference that one person can make."

Eva-portrait-for-publicity_thumb_3At the age of ten, twins Eva and Miriam Mozes were taken to Auschwitz where Dr Josef Mengele used them for medical experiments. Though their parents and the rest of their family were killed, both twins survived. When Miriam developed cancer of the bladder in 1993, as a consequence of the experiments done to her as a child, Eva traveled to Germany to look for records of the chemicals used on them by Mengele. Her search led her to the door of a former Nazi doctor who had been at Auschwitz, and ultimately to discovering the power of forgiveness. Eva Kor has spoken all over the world of her experiences at Auschwitz and of the nature and transformative power of forgiveness. She founded the CANDLES Holocaust museum in Indiana where she now lives. 

“I believe with every fibre of my being that every human being has the right to live without the pain of the past.” said Eva Kor

Eva Kor’s address, “Forgiveness: the Triumph of the Human Spirit,” will take place on Sat., Nov. 8, 2014 in Columbia Hall, room 150 at the University of Oregon. Doors open at 6:30 pm. There will be a brief Q & A and book signing afterwards. Please join us in hearing from this inspiring witness to both the depths and the heights of human potential. Admission is $5 at the door for the public; all students attend for free.

Co-sponsors for the event include the Conflict & Dispute Resolution and Appropriate Dispute Resolution programs of the UO Law School, the LEARN Foundation, UO Jewish Studies Department, and Oregon Hillel. 

Oregon Law Hosts CUB Policy Center’s Pacific Northwest Energy Law and Policy Conference

The University of Oregon School of Law and its Environmental and Natural Resources Law (ENR) Center are pleased to once again cohost the CUB Policy Center’s annual policy conference. This year’s conference, Changing Climate: Adapting to New Regulations, will be held on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014 at the University of Oregon’s White Stag Block at 70 NW Couch St., Portland, Ore.

This all-day conference will explore the challenges and opportunities facing the utility industry in the Pacific Northwest as the federal government introduces new regulations to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. The program is specifically designed to educate utility analysts, policy analysts, attorneys, industry professionals, stakeholders, and others interested in energy policy.

The conference also serves as an annual opportunity for the University of Oregon School of Law’s students interested in energy law to interact with cutting-edge industry ideas and leaders. Law student fellows from the ENR Center’s Energy Law and Policy Project will be attending the conference as part of their fellowships. The fellows will connect with targeted industry experts and obtain up-to-date information on the latest developments in their areas of research, energy storage and Clean Air Act 111(d) regulation.

Panel topics at Changing Climate: Adapting to New Regulations include: SB 844:

  • Utility Projects to Mitigate Greenhouse Gas Emissions;
  • Confronting Carbon: Baseload Fossil Fuels vs. Renewables; 111(d):
  • EPA’s Proposed Rule for Existing Coal Plants; and
  • The Appropriate Role of Natural Gas in a Carbon Constrained World.

BPI and CLE accreditations are pending for OR, WA, CA, ID and MT.

To register for the conference please visit: cubpolicycenter.org/conference

Join us along with many of the region’s most innovative thinkers to discuss the future of energy in the Pacific Northwest. 

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