UCLA Law at 2018 Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite

October 18, 2018 - October 21, 2018 4:00 PM - 12:30 PM

Emmett Institute faculty and students will participate in the 2018 Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite, organized by the California Lawyers Association. The conference is nationally recognized as the largest and most prestigious gathering in California of leaders in environmental, land use, and natural resources law. 

Ann Carlson and Cara Horowitz have several speaking roles (listed below) throughout the conference. See conference details and the full program.

Horowitz serves on the planning committee for this year's conference and Julia Stein is a member and treasurer for the CLA Environmental Law Section executive committee, which organizes the event. Horowitz and Sean Hecht are advisors to the section.

Session 17: Common Law Lawsuits by Municipalities in the Name of Climate Change (1.5 Hours MCLE)

Saturday, October 20 | 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. | 1.5 Hours MCLE

Is Climate Change the next Big Tobacco? A wave of lawsuits in California seeks to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for their contribution to climate change. In 2017, the Counties of San Mateo, Marin, and Santa Cruz, and the Cities of San Francisco, Oakland, Imperial Beach, and Santa Cruz filed complaints against more than three dozen fossil fuel companies under theories including public nuisance, private nuisance, strict liability for design defect and failure to warn, negligence, and trespass. Will courts apply these ancient legal doctrines to this modern existential threat? What are the hurdles and complexities in this emerging area of climate law?

Moderator: James M. Birkelund, Greenfire Law, PC, Berkeley


  • Ann Carlson, UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles
  • David E. Cranston, Greenberg Glusker LLP, Los Angeles
  • Vic Sher, Sher Edling LLP, San Francisco

A Fireside Chat with Mary Nichols, Recipient of the 2018 Environmental Law Section Lifetime Achievement Award

Saturday, October 20 | 5:30 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. | Fireside Lounge

Join us in the Fireside Lounge, adjacent to the Hotel lobby, for an informal chat with Mary Nichols, this year's Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Hear a firsthand account on her stellar career and contributions to environmental law. Facilitated by Cara Horowitz, UCLA School of Law, and Thomas J.P. McHenry, President and Dean, Vermont Law School.

Saturday Night Dinner Program | Presentation of the Environmental Law Section Lifetime Achievement Award Given To Mary Nichols

Saturday, October 20 | 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

The Environmental Law Section is honored to present its fifth annual Lifetime Achievement Award to Mary Nichols. Introductions by Ellen Peter, Lifetime Achievement Award Co-Chair and Chief Counsel to CARB, and Ann Carlson, UCLA School of Law. Remarks by Mary Nichols.

Session 24: All Eyes on Us: California and the 2018 Global Climate Summit (1.5 Hours MCLE)

Sunday, October 21 | 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Last month, Governor Brown hosted the highest profile climate change event of 2018, the Global Climate Summit. The Summit drew advocates, private sector leaders, and government representatives from around the world to San Francisco to talk about climate cooperation, highlighting the role of cities and states in achieving the global climate goals set forth in the Paris Agreement. This panel will review the most significant happenings from the Summit and look at what's next for international climate advocacy, especially in light of President Trump's vow to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement. Did the Summit signal a shift away from multilateral diplomacy at the United Nations, toward a more subnational approach? How is the role of non-state actors, such as individual states, NGOs, and private sector corporations, changing in the climate advocacy sphere? What were the Summit's outcomes, and where do we go next?

Moderator: Cara Horowitz, UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles


  • Anjali Jaiswal, Natural Resources Defense Council, San Francisco
  • Kirsten James, Ceres, Inc., San Francisco
  • Lauren Sanchez, California Air Resources Board, Sacramento