Legal Symposium

This symposium is being co-sponsored by the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy and Resources.


Public concern with environmental protection and compliance with environmental laws are key factors that affect the decision-making and behavior of the nation’s business community.  The Legal Symposium—“People, Planet, and Profit”--brings together leading legal scholars and subject matter experts from environmental organizations, business, academia, and the government for what is expected to be a lively discussion of fundamental issues with broad ramifications for those affected by and interested in sustainability and environmental law. 

This symposium is a truly unique opportunity to hear a series of discussions of environmental thought leaders, with diverse perspectives, on legal issues relevant to charting a course for a future that is both protective and productive. 

The State Bar of Texas has approved the Legal Symposium for 7 hours of CLE credit, including 2 hours of ethics. Pre-registration is required for attendance.


Keynote Speaker: General Wesley K. Clark, (ret.) CEO, Wesley K. Clark & Associates “Climate Change as a Major Security Concern” Texas Discovery Gardens, Fair Park, Dallas

6:00 PM to 7:00 PM - Reception

7:00 PM to 8:30 PM - Dinner

8:00 PM to 8:30 PM - Keynote Address


7:30 AM to 8:30 AM - Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 AM to 8:45 AM - Opening Remarks, Jeff Civins, Haynes and Boone, LLP

8:45 AM to 10:15 AM - Topic 1: Integrating science into regulatory decision-making. Moderators: Patrick J. Larkin, Strasburger, and Michael J. Nasi, Jackson Walker • Peter B. de Menocal, Dean of Science, Thomas Alva Edison/Con Ed Professor Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University • Steph Tai, Associate Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin School of Law • Charles D. McConnell, Executive Director, Rice University's Energy and Environment Initiative

10:15 AM to 10:30 AM - Break

10:30 AM to Noon - Topic 2: Reconciling energy and economic development with protection of the public health and the environment Moderator: Melinda Taylor, Associate Director, Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law & Business, University of Texas at Austin • Michael Gerrard, Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice, Columbia Law School • David Bookbinder, Chief Counsel, Niskanen Center • Scott W. Tinker, Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas • Diana Liebmann, Partner, Haynes and Boone, LLP

Noon to 1:30 PM - Lunch

1:00 PM to 1:30 PM - Keynote Speaker: “Objectives and Goals of the New Administration” Scott Pruitt, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency, Introduced by Michael K. Young, President, Texas A&M University

1:30 PM to 3:00 PM - Topic 3: Facilitating resolution of environmental disputes associated with development. Moderators: Suzanne Murray, Haynes and Boone, LLP, and Teri Donaldson, DLA Piper • Tom “Smitty” Smith, Director, Public Citizen • Carrie Thompson, Senior Program Manager, US Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, Udall Foundation • Charles A. De Monaco, Partner, Fox Rothschild • Cassie Phillips, Director, Private Environmental Governance Initiative, Environmental Law Institute

3:00 PM to 4:30 PM - Topic 4: Integrating corporate sustainability and ethical considerations into corporate decision-making. Moderators: Mary Simmons Mendoza, Haynes and Boone, LLP, and Connie Westfall, Strasburger • Susan Roberts, Walmart, Associate General Counsel • Irma Russell, Edward A. Smith/ Missouri Chair In Law, The Constitution, And Society University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law • Natalie Stuckey, ‎Assistant General Counsel, Cummins Inc • David Struhs, Vice-President, Corporate Services and Sustainability

4:30 PM - Closing Remarks, Jeff Civins, Haynes and Boone, LLP at Savor, Earth Day Texas 2017

Networking at Savor, Earth Day Texas 2017