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Environmental, Natural Resources, & Energy Law

Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain: James L. Huffman Lecture in Honor of the Western Resources Legal Center

Date: 5:30pm PDT October 30, 2018 Location: McCarty Classroom Complex, Room 2

McCarty Classroom Complex, Room 2

Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain will present the 2018 James L. Huffman Lecture In Honor of the Western Resources Legal Center. The lecture, titled “19th Century Indian Treaties and 21st Century Environmental and Natural Resources: Is there a connection?”, will be held on the law school campus. A reception for all attendees will be held directly following the lecture.

Judge O’Scannlain was appointed United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit by President Reagan on September 26, 1986.  He received a J.D. degree in 1963 from Harvard Law School and a B.A. in 1957 from St. John’s University.  He also earned the LL.M. (Judicial Process) degree at University of Virginia Law School in 1992.  He was awarded the LL.D. (honoris causa) degree by the University of Notre Dame in 2002, the LL.D. (honoris causa) degree by Lewis & Clark College in 2003 and the LL.D. (honoris causa) degree by the University of Portland in 2011. 

As a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Judge O’Scannlain has participated in over 11,000 federal cases and has written hundreds of published opinions on a broad range of subjects including constitutional law, international law,  securities law, administrative law, and criminal law.  He hears appeals in San Francisco (court headquarters), as well as in Los Angeles (Pasadena), Portland, Seattle, Anchorage and Honolulu. The late Chief Justice Rehnquist appointed Judge O’Scannlain Chairman of the Federal Judicial Center’s Advisory Committee on Appellate Judge Education.  In 2009, Chief Justice Roberts appointed Judge O’Scannlain to the International Judicial Relations Committee of the U.S. Judicial Conference and subsequently appointed him Chairman (2010 - 2015).  On December 31, 2016 Judge O’Scannlain assumed senior status. President George W. Bush appointed Judge O’Scannlain to the Board of Trustees of the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation in 2004. Pope Benedict XVI conferred the Order of Saint Gregory the Great on Judge and Mrs. O’Scannlain in 2007.  The Society of  King’s Inns (Dublin, Ireland) elected Judge O’Scannlain an Honorary Bencher in 2016.

Judge O’Scannlain’s professional interests also include judicial administration and reform, and continuing legal education.  Judge O’Scannlain is former Chair of the Judicial Division of the American Bar Association and has previously chaired the ABA’s Appellate Judges Conference, its Committee on Appellate Practice, and its 9th Appellate Practice Institute.  He has testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on several occasions, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property, and the Commission on Structural Alternatives for the Federal Courts of Appeals on the subject of court reorganization.  In addition to serving as a faculty member at numerous federal appellate practice seminars for judges and attorneys, including New York University Law School’s Institute for Judicial Administration,  Judge O’Scannlain is an Adjunct Professor at Lewis & Clark Law School where he teaches a seminar on the Supreme Court.  He has served as a Moot Court Judge at distinguished law schools across the United States including Harvard, Yale Stanford, Boalt Hall (Berkeley Law), Virginia, Cornell, Notre Dame, Duke, Fordham, Alabama, University of Southern California, King Hall (U.C. Davis) and Loyola Marymount University and in China at Xiamen and Renmin Universities.

Between graduation from Harvard and investiture as a federal judge, Judge O’Scannlain was primarily engaged in private law practice. Between 1969 and 1974, he was consecutively the Deputy Attorney General of Oregon, the Public Utility Commissioner of Oregon, and Director of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.  He retired from the U.S. Army Reserve in 1978 as a Major after 23 years Reserve and National Guard service, including four years as an enlisted man.

A first generation Irish-American son of immigrant parents from Sligo and Derry, Judge O’Scannlain is married to the former Maura Nolan and has eight children: Sean, Jane, Brendan, Kevin, Megan, Christopher, Anne, and Kate, and nineteen grandchildren.  His chambers are in the Pioneer Courthouse in Portland, Oregon.

JAMES L. HUFFMAN joined the Lewis & Clark Law School faculty in 1973 and served as dean from 1993 to 2006. He has been a visiting professor at Auckland University, Francisco Marroquin University, the University of Oregon, and Athens University. His academic subjects have included constitutional law, natural resources law, water law, torts, jurisprudence, and legal history.

Jim has been a fellow with The Heritage Foundation and the Humane Studies Institute, and currently serves on the Hoover Institution Task Force on Property Rights, Freedom and Prosperity. He has written over 200 academic articles and chapters and writes regular commentaries for The Daily Caller and occasional op-eds for The Wall Street Journal, The Oregonian, The Washington Times, and other newspapers. In 2010, Jim was the Republican nominee for United States Senator from Oregon.

Jim serves on the editorial board of the Cato Supreme Court Review and the boards of the Classroom Law Project, the Federalist Society Property and Environment Practice Group, the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, and the Western Resources Legal Center. He is a graduate of Montana State University, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and the University of Chicago Law School.

The Western Resources Legal Center (WRLC) is a legal education program that provides top law students an opportunity to develop practical legal skills and specific knowledge of natural resources and environmental laws by assisting with the legal representation of farmers, ranchers, miners, foresters, resource developers, and other natural resource dependent entities.

Students gain an understanding of the litigation process and how laws impact the day to day operations of natural resource dependent businesses. Students also experience a more profound educational experience by personally observing how laws and litigation impact businesses, the economy, and local communities.

For more information or questions, please contact Kelly Novahom at

Event Cost

Free and open to the public.
1.0 MCLE credit will be sought for this event.

Event Contact

For more information or questions, please contact:
Kelly Novahom
Program Coordinator
Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Law
(503) 768-6784