​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Takings Conference 2016

​​​​The 19th Annual Conference on Litigating Takings Challenges to Land Use and Environmental Regulations​​

November 4, 2016​
Tulane University School of Law
New Orleans, Louisiana


About the Conference​​​

This conference explores the takings issue as it relates to land use and environmental rules and other forms of regulation. In addition to offering a basic education in modern takings law, the conference brings together a diverse group of leading scholars and experienced practitioners to discuss cutting-edge issues. The conference will address the MRGO takings ruling by Judge Susan Braden of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the pending U.S. Supreme Court case of Murr v. State of Wisconsin dealing with the “parcel as whole” issue in takings litigation, and recent challenges to the Williamson County takings exhaustion doctrine. Other topics to be addressed include potential impacts on property owners of coastal retreat policiesadopted in response to sea level rise due to climate change and the takings legacy of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Former Solicitor of the U.S. Department of Interior John Leshy will deliver a keynote talk on the recent legal challenges to the legitimacy of the United States’ legal title to one-third of the nation’s land.

Conference Schedule

7:30 to 9:30
Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:00 to 9:00
Introductory Program on Takings and Related Constitutional Doctrines
Robert Meltz, Defenders of Wildlife
Ryan Seidemann, Louisiana Attorney General’s Office

9:00 to 9:15
Welcome and Introductions
Oliver A. Houck, Tulane University Law School

9:15 to 10:15
The MRGO Litigation and Other Flooding Cases
Alexandra Klass, University of Minnesota Law School
Randy Smith, Smith & Fawer
Sandra B. Zellmer, Nebraska College of Law

10:15 to 11:15
Parcel as Whole: Murr etc.
Matthew Littleton, U.S. Department of Justice
Thomas Merrill, Columbia Law School

11:15 to 12:15
The Challenge of Retreat and Other Coastal Questions
Christopher Dalbon, Tulane University School of Law
Alyson Craig Flournoy, University of Florida Levin College ​​of Law
John A. Lovett, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law

12:15 to 12:45

12:45 to 1:30
Keynote Address:
"Who Owns the Federal Public Lands" – John Leshy, UC Hastings School of Law

1:30 to 2:30
Takings Claims Based on Failure to Regulate
Josh Eagle, University of South Carolina School of Law
Timothy Mulvaney, Texas A & M University School of Law
Christopher Serkin, Vanderbilt Law School

2:30 to 2:45

2:45 to 3:45
The Once and Future Williamson County Doctrine
J. David Breemer, Pacific Legal Foundation
Andrew Schwartz, Shute Mihaly & Weinberger

3:45 to 5:00
The Takings Legacy of Justice Antonin Scalia
J. Peter Byrne, Georgetown University Law Center
John D. Echeverria, Vermont Law School
Nicole Stelle​ Garnett, Notre Dame Law School

5:15 to 6:30


​Key Questions to be Addressed

  • What are the implications of the MRGO takings ruling?
  • How will the Supreme Court resolve the parcel issue in Murr v. State of Wisconsin?
  • Is the Williamson County exhaustion doctrine alive and well – or not?
  • How will coastal retreat in the face of climate change affect private property?
  • Can the government take private property by regulating too little?
  • When does government-caused flooding amount to a taking?
  • Does the U.S. government have legitimate title to federal public lands?
  • What is the takings legacy of the late Justice Ant​​onin Scalia?

Conference co-​Sponsors

Vermont Law School, Environmental Law Center
​Vermont Law School, Environmental Law Center

Tulane University, School of Law Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy
Tulane University School of Law, Institute on Water Resources Law ​and Policy​

​​​​​​​​​​Louisiana Department of Justice, Attorney General
Louisiana Department of Justice, Attorney General​ ​

Louisiana Municipal Association

Vermont Law School

Tulane University School of Law

Louisiana Office of the Attorney General

Louisiana Bar Association,​ Environmental Law Section

Louisiana City Attorneys Association

Louisiana Municipal Association

National Association of Attorneys General

Conference of Western Attorneys General

American Planning Association, Planning ​and Law Division

International Municipal Lawyers Association

National Association of Counties

National League of Cities

U.S. Conference of Mayors