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An Oregon Law Faculty Webinar Series

The Oregon Law Perspectives webinar series features distinguished law faculty and others on important and timely issues impacting the law and society today. Join us from wherever you are to engage, expand your knowledge, and stay connected to the intellectual life of the law school.


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Summer 2024 Lineup

An image of Professor Howie Arnett

Aug. 16, 2024 | 12:00pm–1:00pm

Defending Sacred Sites: Apache Stronghold v. United States and the Battle for Oak Flat

Apache Stronghold v. United States, a case currently in the Ninth Circuit and poised to head to the Supreme Court, involves the protection of Oak Flat, a sacred site for the Western Apache and other Native Nations. The case addresses whether the destruction of a culturally and spiritually significant site for mining purposes constitutes a substantial burden under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This session will delve into the legal complexities surrounding the protection of sacred sites, examining the historical context, relevant federal laws, and the Ninth Circuit case's arguments. Join us for a timely discussion with Professor of Practice and renowned Indian Law expert Howard Arnett, as he explores the broader implications of the case and its potential impact on Indian law and indigenous rights and religious freedoms.


.75 Oregon CLE Credit


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2023-24 SCOTUS Retrospective

June 28, 2024

From abortion to gerrymandering, social media, homelessness, and presidential immunity, the docket and decisions of the SCOTUS 2023-24 term will profoundly influence American law, policy, and societal norms. As the Term comes to an end, join us as we examine the pivotal cases, their outcomes, and the far-reaching effects of the rulings on both the legal landscape and everyday life. Distinguished law professor and Supreme Court expert, Professor Garrett Epps, offers his expert analysis, context, and insights. 


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Retrospective: Indian Law and the 2022-23 SCOTUS

August 10, 2023

The Supreme Court’s recent focus on Indian Law cases has been remarkable, and the Court’s 2022-23 Term has continued that trend. The major case of Brackeen v. Haaland, for example, raised important questions of sovereignty, separation of powers, and federalism—not to mention core concerns around adoption and Native American children. Join us for a discussion with Oregon Law’s Howie Arnett on the outcomes of Indian Law cases from the past Term and what these decisions portend for Indian law and policy.

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Star Wars and Conflict Resolution

July 13, 2023

Can we learn anything from the Star Wars saga about how to negotiate deals and manage disputes more effectively? We’ve got a good feeling about that. Join Oregon Law professor Jen Reynolds and her co-editor, Creighton business professor Noam Ebner, to hear more about their new book Star Wars and Conflict Resolution: There Are Alternatives to Fighting (DRI Press 2022). This fun and informative session will explore the complexities of aggressive negotiations and diplomatic solutions, in the Star Wars universe and closer to home.

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The Potential of Post-Hoc Interventions to Address Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Criminal Sentencing

June 8, 2023

The results of decades of research has shown that discriminatory decisions can impact criminal sentencing. Dr. Erik Girvan, an Oregon Law professor with a background in social psychology, recently completed an empirical study of how biased perceptions of ethnicity may lead to sentencing disparities in Oregon courts. How can we use this data to prevent the perpetuation of sentencing disparities? One possibility is through use of “post hoc interventions.” Professor Erik Girvan and his collaborator, Dr. Martin Jönsson discuss their work as part of an international, multidisciplinary research team to develop post hoc interventions and investigate their potential to mitigate the effects of biased decision in criminal sentencing and other contexts. 

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What Is the Purpose of Purpose Trusts?

May 18, 2023

Purpose trusts got a lot of attention when Patagonia’s owners gave control of Patagonia—a three billion dollar company—to a trust. Patagonia made this unusual move to achieve its owners’ long-term objectives around worker well-being and climate action. Here in Oregon, we have a version of a purpose trust called a stewardship trust. Stewardship trusts in Oregon make it possible to put ownership of a business in trust, with the business continuing to operate without owners (other than the trust itself).

Oregon Law professor Susan Gary and Bend lawyer Jeff Patterson describe how stewardship trusts work and discuss the challenges and opportunities they present.

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Brackeen v. Haaland: The Supreme Court Takes On the Indian Child Welfare Act

September 29, 2022

This Term, the Court will review the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, which creates a preference for Native children removed from their homes to be placed with their extended relatives or in Native foster homes. The Court’s resolution of the case could have seismic implications for tribal sovereignty.

Professors Howie Arnett and Garrett Epps provide expert commentary.

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The Leaked Draft: Some Reactions

May 6, 2022

The website Politico published a leaked draft of the Supreme Court’s majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The Chief Justice verified the authenticity of the draft the following day, insisting that the draft is not final and promising an internal investigation into the identity of the leaker.

Join Garrett Epps and Stuart Chinn, constitutional law professors at Oregon Law, as they discuss their initial reactions to the draft opinion—and what it may mean for abortion rights in the United States—as well as their thoughts on the leak itself and the increasing politicization of the Court.

Read Professor Epps' article for Washington Monthly: Alito’s Arrogance and the End of Roe.


Targeting Plastics Pollution with Taxes

April 14, 2022

By 2050, the weight of plastic pollution in the ocean is projected to exceed the weight of the fish. What can we do about this? Join two experts from the Oregon Law faculty as they discuss marine plastic pollution—the extent of the problem, the inadequacy of current approaches, and possible tax solutions.

Professor Emerita Roberta Mann and environmental law professor Sarah Adams-Schoen will examine the possibilities of properly designed environmental taxation to serve as an efficient, effective solution to the plastics pollution problem. Professor Greg Dotson moderates.



Tribal Jurisdiction and US v. Cooley – The Evolving Jurisprudence of the Supreme Court

September 16, 2021

Professor Howie Arnett breaks down the latest Indian Law decision from the Supreme Court, US v. Cooley.  Is it possible that the Supreme Court’s treatment of tribal sovereignty is changing … in favor of tribes?  Professor Arnett discusses the implications of Cooley and how the case fits into current trends in the highest court’s Indian Law jurisprudence.


Toward a Problem-Solving Approach for Anti-Discrimination Law: Addressing Racial Disparities in School Discipline

April 8, 2021

Federal anti-discrimination law generally focuses on prohibiting overt forms of racial discrimination. Because racial disparities often result from a wide variety of factors other than explicit forms of racial animus, this focus is too narrow for the law to play an effective part in working to address them. Using the example of longstanding and widespread racial disparities in school discipline, Associate Professor of Law Erik Girvan and his collaborators in the UO College of Education and Oregon Research Institute—Keith Smolkowski, Maria Santiago-Rosario, and Kent McIntosh—summarize their research examining the scope and causes of those disparities, as well their experiences designing effective approaches for reducing them. They will then discuss how their experiences working to understand and solve this problem might inform ways in which law may become a more effective ally in meaningfully reducing racial disparities more generally.


Judicial Philosophies and the “Silent Prologue”: A Discussion with Professor Ofer Raban

April 1, 2021

Originalism. Purposivism. Pragmatism. Natural law. Learn more about these and other judicial philosophies as Professor Ofer Raban speaks about his exciting new book, “The Silent Prologue: How Judicial Philosophies Shape our Constitutional Rights.” In this book, Professor Raban explores the different methodologies of judicial decision-making, their justifications, and their impact on constitutional doctrine.  How judges think about questions of law and rights—what interpretive approaches they bring to bear on their work—has a large impact on our constitutional law and our individual lives.


Wicked Water Problems in the Willamette River Basin: The Role of Interdisciplinary Research Teams

March 18, 2021

In 2020, Oregon law professor Adell Amos was appointed to oversee an ambitious new interdisciplinary environmental initiative at the University of Oregon. Professor Amos and her research team—Majdi Abou NajmAnne NolinRosa Cuppari, and Chad Higgins—discuss the tradeoffs and challenges associated with protecting the Willamette River Basin while also preserving the role that the basin plays in providing food, water, and energy for the people of Oregon.


The McGirt Case: What It Means, and What Might Happen Next

August 6, 2020

In 1996, Jimcy McGirt was convicted in Oklahoma state court.  On appeal, McGirt argued that Oklahoma had no jurisdiction over the case because, under the Major Crimes Act, any crime occurring within a reservation and involving a Native American victim or perpetrator is exclusively within federal jurisdiction, not state jurisdiction.

A sharply divided Supreme Court agreed with McGirt and stated that for purposes of the Act, much of eastern Oklahoma remains Native American territory.  This land was reserved for the Creek Nation in the 19th century and, according to the Court, retains that status to this day.  Commentators have called the case a “landmark” decision representing a “historic win” for Tribes and Native people.

What does the McGirt case mean, now and going forward?  Hear expert commentary from Professor Howie Arnett, who provides an overview and analysis of the case, paying special attention to the possible impacts of the ruling and the role of Justice Gorsuch in the outcome.

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