Distinguished Environmental Visitor and Graduate Awards
October 9, 2014
Please join us for a lecture by the 27th annual Distinguished Environmental Law Visitor and the presentation of the Distinguished Environmental Graduate Awards and Williamson Award, Thursday, October 9, 2014, at the law school.
Richard Revesz is this year’s Distinguished Environmental Law Visitor. His work focuses on the use of cost-benefit analysis in administrative regulation, federalism, and environmental regulation; design of liability regimes for environmental protection; and positive political economy analysis of environmental regulation.
In Retaking Rationality: How Cost-Benefit Analysis Can Better Protect the Environment and Our Health (with Michael Livermore ’06), he contends that the economic analysis of law can be used to support a more protective approach to environmental and health policy.
In 2008, Revesz cofounded the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law to advocate for regulatory reform before courts, legislatures, and agencies, and to contribute original scholarly research in the environmental and health-and-safety areas.
Revesz earned a BS from Princeton University, an M.S. in civil engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a JD from Yale Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal. After judicial clerkships with Chief Judge Wilfred Feinberg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Justice Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court, Revesz joined the New York University School of Law faculty in 1985 and served as dean from 2002 to 2013. Revesz is the director of the American Law Institute and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Administrative Conference of the United States, and the Committee on Conscience of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Following Revesz’s remarks, the Distinguished Environmental Law Graduate Awards will be presented to Grant Cope ’98, Kristin Fletcher LL.M. ’98, and Alan Merkle ’82, and the Williamson Award will be presented to J.J. England ’14.
Grant Cope ’98
Grant Cope ’98 is the deputy secretary for environmental policy with the California Environmental Protection Agency (CEPA).
Prior to joining the CEPA, Cope was senior counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, handling an array of legal and policy matters, including toxic chemical regulation, cost benefit analysis, administrative law, drinking water quality, scientific integrity, nuclear safety, and hazardous waste cleanup issues. He worked to pass national legislation adopting California state laws on formaldehyde levels in composite wood products and eliminate lead from drinking water pipes. Cope also developed national policies on hazardous waste management and cleanup for the Sierra Club. From 2002 to 2004, he was an associate attorney with Earthjustice, and from 1998 to 2002 he was a staff attorney at U.S. Public Interest Research Group. He began his career championing the environment in 1996, as the executive director at the Northwest Environmental Defense Center. Cope holds a BA in political science from the University of California at Berkeley.
Kristen Fletcher LL.M. ’98
Fletcher’s work includes advancing coastal management at the state, regional, and national levels on issues around the Coastal Zone Management Act, coastal and marine spatial planning, the National Ocean Policy, climate change adaptation, and coastal and marine renewable energy.
Previously, she directed the Marine Affairs Institute and Rhode Island Sea Grant Legal Program at Roger Williams University School of Law, where she advised university researchers, federal and state agencies, and other Sea Grant constituents on ocean and coastal law issues and directed research and outreach projects. Fletcher also taught ocean and coastal law, natural resources law, and fisheries law. Prior to that, she directed the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program and was founding director of the National Sea Grant Law Center at the University of Mississippi School of Law. Fletcher holds a BA in political science and Spanish from Auburn University and a JD from the University of Notre Dame School of Law, in addition to her LL.M. in environmental and natural resources law. She is a past president of the Coastal Society and a senior fellow with the Environmental Leadership Program.
Alan Merkle ’82
Alan Merkle ’82 is a partner in Stoel Rives and practices in the Seattle office, primarily in the areas of infrastructure, energy, construction and design, and government contracts.
Merkle represents public and private owners, developers, engineers, architects, contractors, manufacturers, and suppliers in a wide array of business matters. In addition to serving as an advocate, he regularly serves as a neutral on Dispute Review Boards and as a mediator and arbitrator. He has been lead counsel for numerous complex projects involving multiple public agencies and jurisdictions. Prior to practicing law, Merkle spent 12 years with General Electric Company, where he managed the technical and business sides of major projects and business units. He is also a former mayor and a registered professional engineer.
JJ England ’14
JJ England ’14 volunteered with the Northwest Environmental Defense Center as a project coordinator for the air group while at the law school.
England mentored numerous fellow students involved in air quality issues and he published a paper in the Environmental Law Review explaining why the Clean Air Act does not preempt state tort claims for climate change harm—a view that was later validated by the Third Circuit. He also participated in both the environmental moot court class and on the Environmental Law Review while simultaneously serving on the school’s sustainability council. England intends to make lifetime commitment to public interest environmental work and is considering starting an organization to address natural gas extraction, transport, and combustion issues.