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Environmental Dispute Resolution

3 Credits

This course explores the common characteristics of environmental disputes and introduces students to a range of resolution options -- from rights-based approaches, such as litigation and appellate advocacy, to interest-based approaches like consensus building, mediation and facilitation. The course examines the roles that lawyers play in these varied approaches. A major theme of this course is comparing the advantages and disadvantages of adversarial and collaborative approaches in environmental conflicts. The course will use mock negotiations, mediations, facilitations, and consensus-building exercises to build in students the skills used by neutral third parties and legal counsel for the parties to resolve disputes. The course also will emphasize the role of legal advisors for each party in problem-solving when a third party neutral is involved. Another key focus of this course is transmission of the skills used by lawyers to transform adversarial interactions into collaborative interactions. It will include consideration of a number of factors in addition to the law that must be considered when resolving environmental interest disputes.