Date and Times: 
Friday, April 15, 2016 - 9:00am to 3:00pm

Fairmont Hotel Pittsburgh
510 Market Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

This event is sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs Shale Gas Governance Center, the Swanson School of Engineering Center for Energy, Everpower, Duquesne Light, Babst Calland, EQT Corporation, Reed Smith LLP, International Electric Power, and Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania. Thank you for your support.




The U.S. energy economy is rapidly changing, with a move toward unconventional domestic fossil fuels, continued expansion of renewable energy generation, and new policies and shifts in the role of the U.S. in the international energy markets. The legal sector, policymakers, industry actors, and nongovernmental organizations are changing along with these evolving energy trends.

Please join Pitt Law for the Energy Law and Policy Institute to be part of the conversation surrounding cutting-edge issues in these areas and to learn from national and international experts about the current landscape of energy-related issues in Pennsylvania, the nation, and the world.

Register Here

The cost of this event is $250, which covers the reception on Thursday evening and the conference.  A special rate of $200 is being offered to full-time public interest attorneys and individuals employed at non-profit and government agencies.

Please make all checks payable to the University of Pittsburgh and mail to:

University of Pittsburgh 
School of Law
c/o Christina Daub
3900 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Attendees are asked to please RSVP by April 8, 2016.

Thursday, April 14, 2016


Friday, April 15, 2016

Registration and Continental Breakfast

Opening Remarks

Dean William M. Carter, Jr., University of Pittsburgh School of Law

Panel 1 - Environmental Law

No Presentation or Handouts

Chip Babst, Managing Shareholder of Babst Calland, will moderate a discussion with Nick DeIuliis, President and CEO of CONSOL Energy, and Davitt Woodwell, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, concerning the current state of the energy industry and some of the key legal and policy issues that will impact the future of natural gas and coal development in Pennsylvania and throughout the Appalachian Basin.

Moderator: Chip Babst, Managing Shareholder, Babst Calland


Nicholas DeIuliis, President & CEO, CONSOL Energy Inc.

Davitt Woodwell, President & CEO, Pennsylvania Environmental Council

Panel 2 - International Law

View Presentation & Handouts Here

The Times They Are a-Changin’.  Barely ten years ago, experts projected that the U.S. would need to import an ever-increasing quantity of natural gas, but a few weeks ago the U.S. began to export gas.  For decades, Mexico’s oil and gas industry was closed to foreign investment, but now it is opening.  And new power plants are being built in areas of the world that have never had a reliable source of electricity.  What does this all mean for energy industries and energy lawyers?

Moderator: Keith Hall, Director of Mineral Law Institute, Campanile Charities Professor of Energy Law, Louisiana State University Law Center


Owen Anderson, Professor of Law, University of Texas School of Law

Peter Dailey, Chairman & CEO, International Electric Power

Harry Sullivan, Consultant, Retired Senior Counsel, ConocoPhillips, Visiting Professor, SMU Dedman School of Law, Adjunct Professor, Texas A&M School of Law


Luncheon Speaker

View Presentation & Handouts Here

Gladys Brown, Chairman, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission

Chairman Brown will discuss the work of the Commission, including consumer choice, the future of energy efficiency, Act 13 and pipeline safety.

Panel 3 - Oil & Gas Law

View Presentation & Handouts Here

A look back and a look forward: Bruce Kramer, a leading American oil and gas law professor, and Nicolle Bagnell, one of the leading lawyers representing the industry in litigation in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, discuss the recent cases that have developed the law of oil and gas in this region and identify the trends and cases to watch in the years ahead.


Nicolle Snyder Bagnell, Partner, Reed Smith

Bruce Kramer, Emeritus Professor of Law, Texas Tech University School of Law, Of Counsel, McGinnis Lochridge

Panel 4 - The State of Renewable Energy

View Presentation & Handouts Here

Renewable energy is looked to as a potentially important piece of the energy mix going forward. This panel will discuss the state of renewable energy from multiple perspectives. Topics discussed will include the impact of EPA’s Clean Power Plan, environmental impacts of renewable energy, and the promise of energy storage.

Moderator: Grant MacIntyre, Director of Environmental Law Clinic, Clinical Assistant Professor, Pitt Law


Scott DeBroff, Senior Counsel, Clark Hill

Ryan Hamilton, Resident Attorney, Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services

Manisha Patel, Deputy General Counsel, White House Council on Environmental Quality

Date and Times: 
Friday, April 15, 2016 - 9:00am to 5:30pm
Saturday, April 16, 2016 - 8:30am to 5:30pm

University of Pittsburgh School of Law
3900 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Join Pitt Law Professor Jules Lobel and experts from a variety of disciplines and countries in exploring issues of incarceration and prolonged isolation in this two day conference at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

Review the two-day conference agenda here (PDF download). Please note this agenda is subject to change prior to the conference.

Professor Lobel was the lead attorney in the landmark solitary confinement case Ashker v. Governor of California and is currently president of the Center for Constitutional Rights. Last year the state of California agreed to end unlimited solitary confinement for most prison inmates in Ashker v. Governor of California, a major victory in the much-followed case concerning the indeterminate solitary confinement of Pelican Bay prisoners in California.

This conference from Professor Lobel brings together leading neuroscientists, professors of medicine, psychologists and former prisoners to explore the medical, mental health and neurological damage wrought by prolonged solitary confinement. Highlights over these two days of speakers include:

  • Prominent European and American prison administrators and experts will present and evaluate alternatives to solitary confinement now being implemented. 
  • Leading litigators in Canada, Brazil and the United States will discuss the legal and political strategies to challenge prolonged solitary confinement in those nations. 
  • The current and prior UN Rapporteurs on Torture and other international experts will present the history and practice of solitary confinement, and the current international efforts to end it.

The conference is sponsored and supported by the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, the University of Pittsburgh’s Global Academic Partnership (GAP), Office of the Provost, the University Center for International Studies, the Global Studies Center, the Center for International Legal Education, Center for Latin American Studies, Department of Psychology and the University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute. In addition, the Danish Institute for Human Rights sponsored and supported the conference and the University of California Criminal Justice & Health Consortium and the Jacob and Valeria Langeloth Foundation sponsored the conference and funded the health panels.

This event is free and open to the public. Those planning to attend either days are requested to please RSVP below.


Fill out my online form.
Date and Times: 
Thursday, January 26, 2017 - 12:30pm to 2:00pm

University of Pittsburgh School of Law
3900 Forbes Avenue Alcoa Room, 2nd Fl.
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Despite a legal tradition of protection of free speech in India, there has been an upsurge in recent years in the use of sedition laws to prosecute allegedly “anti-national” speech. Professor Lawrence Liang will discuss these recent trends, including the emergence of a new style of judicial populism that he will track through recent orders on sedition and patriotism.

Lawrence Liang is a professor of Law at Ambedkar University and currently Rice Scholar at Yale University. He co-founded Alternative Law Forum (ALF), a public interest and human rights lawyering group in Bangalore with whom he worked for fifteen years. ALF has engaged in strategic litigation on various socio-legal issues, and Liang’s work lies at the intersection of law, technology, and culture. He is a member of the Kafila collective and a co-founder of two online video archives— and 

Date and Times: 
Thursday, January 19, 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

University of Pittsburgh School of Law
3900 Forbes Avenue Room G13
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

The Pitt Outlaw general body meeting is this Thursday, January 19th at 12:30pm in room G13. Please join us to learn more about the group and to discuss upcoming events for the semester.

Everyone is welcome, and food will be provided.

*OutLaw is a student organization that represents the interests of and coordinates events for LGBTQ law students and allied students.

Former U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton Appointed Founding Director of Pittsburgh Institute for Cyber Law, Policy and Security

Contact: Sharon Blake
Cell: 412-277-6926

High resolution image(s) available >

Former U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton Appointed Founding Director of Pitt Cyber Institute

PITTSBURGH—David J. Hickton, former United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, has been appointed founding director of the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Cyber Law, Policy and Security.

“With the appointment of David Hickton, the University of Pittsburgh is poised to offer significant contributions to the national discussion on cyber-related issues affecting personal, national, and global security and privacy,” said Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher.

“David Hickton will marshal Pitt’s extensive capabilities and assemble a group of leading thinkers in this emerging field who will enrich Pitt’s learning and research environment,” said Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson. “We have an array of very talented and motivated faculty working in areas of cyber law, policy, security, and technology, and we believe the institute and the record of accomplishment David brings will offer opportunity for a vital synergy.”

Hickton’s work is expected to bring about new and innovative thinking on combating cybercrime within a dynamic digital landscape. It will involve the contributions of faculty members in the recently approved School of Computing and Information, which will open in July. In order to continue his diligent work in trying to curb the heroin and opioid epidemic, Hickton also has been named a fellow of Pitt’s Institute of Politics.

Read the full news release from University News Services at the University of Pittsburgh.

Publish Date: 
Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - 4:30pm
Date and Times: 
Thursday, February 2, 2017 - 7:00pm

University of Pittsburgh School of Law
3900 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Please join PLISF on this very special evening as we raise money to benefit Pitt Law students who are interested in pursuing public interest summer employment.

Monetary and in-kind donations are appreciated and are tax deductible. Email for more information.

Center for International Legal Education Announces New Student Exchanges With Prominent European Law Schools


Cori Parise
Director of Marketing and Communications
(o) 412-624-5176
(c) 412-310-3672

Pitt Law’s Center for International Legal Education Announces New Student Exchanges With Prominent European Law Schools

PITTSBURGH - The Center for International Legal Education (CILE) of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law today announced that the University has entered into agreements with the law faculties of Paris I (Sorbonne) in France and The University of Augsburg in Germany that will allow Pitt Law students to study at both of these prominent European institutions, and bring students from the Sorbonne and Augsburg to study at Pitt Law.

The agreement with The University of Augsburg builds upon a long history of collaboration between Augsburg and Pitt. Four Pitt Law JD students each year will be able to enroll in Augsburg’s Summer Program on European and International Economic Law, a six-week program taught in English each June and July to students from the US, Europe and elsewhere. Two law students from Augsburg will join the fall semester of the LLM program at Pitt Law.

The new Pitt Law exchange with the Sorbonne will see two Pitt Law JD students travel to Paris each year to study law in French in predominantly French-language classes in the one-year LLM program. In return, two law students from Paris I will join the LLM program at Pitt Law. Other students from both Pitt Law and Paris I may travel to the other institution for non-degree study. Professor Vivian Curran will supervise the Paris I program for Pitt Law.

Through CILE, the University also recently entered into a memorandum of understanding with Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU) in Xi’an, China. That agreement has already produced collaboration resulting in Pitt Law Professors Teresa Brostoff and Ann Sinsheimer traveling to Xi’an to teach English for Lawyers, with the assistance of Pitt 3L Taylor Staiger, who also helped train NPU’s Vis Moot team. 

Publish Date: 
Monday, January 9, 2017 - 12:15pm

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit Cites Dean William M. Carter, Jr.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit recently cited Dean William M. Carter, Jr.'s article, "Race, Rights, and the Thirteenth Amendment," with regard to principles of constitutional interpretation. The case noted:

“To determine the commonly understood meaning of the phrase “criminal case” at the time of ratification (1791), we examine dictionary definitions from the Founding era. See Gregory E. Maggs, A Concise Guide to Using Dictionaries from the Founding Era to Determine the Original Meaning of the Constitution, 82 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 358, 365 (2014); see also William M. Carter, Jr., Race, Rights, and the Thirteenth Amendment: Defining the Badges and Incidents of Slavery, 40 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 1311, 1338 n.99 (2007) (stating that contemporaneous dictionaries “obviously . . . provide some guidance to the commonly understood meaning of a particular word at the time that word was used in the constitutional text”).”

Read more in Vogt v. City of Hays from the Tenth Circuit (PDF Download).

Publish Date: 
Friday, January 6, 2017 - 1:15pm
Date and Times: 
Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

University of Pittsburgh School of Law
3900 Forbes Avenue Teplitz Memorial Moot Courtroom
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

This event has now concluded. Watch a recording of this event below.

The focus of this program is on a range of possible changes to immigration law and policy that were discussed in the Presidential election campaign and since the election. The potential changes will be discussed in the historical context of immigration law and policy in the United States over the past century. One primary area of attention will be the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program instituted by President Barack Obama.

In addition, the panelists will discuss subjects such as the legal and constitutional implications of sanctuary cities; the banning of potential immigrants or foreign visitors on the basis of religion; and the creation of national registries on the basis of religion, national origin, and/or country of citizenship.

The panelists are leading experts in immigration law and constitutional law and a legal professional actively involved with immigrants who are directly impacted by the policies described above.

  • Sheila I. Vélez Martínez, the Jack & Lovell Olender Professor of Refugee, Asylum, and Immigration Law, University of Pittsburgh School of Law

  • William M. Carter, Jr., Dean and Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh School of Law

  • Dr. Orlando Portela Valentin, PhD., Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and affiliated attorney with Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Pittsburgh, which provides direct services to immigrant families and communities in Western Pennsylvania.

The University Forum on Current Issues

This forum is the first in a series designed to engage the Pitt community in respectful and civil discussions about today’s most vital issues. Each forum will aim to incorporate a broad set of perspectives that will allow for a deeper understanding of challenging current affairs.

Attendees, please RSVP below.

Fill out my online form.


State Department Awards Pitt Law Professor Matiangai Sirleaf With Diplomacy Lab Project

The State Department’s Diplomacy Lab has awarded Pitt Law Professor Matiangai Sirleaf a project for spring 2017 that will allow Pitt Law students to engage in innovative and groundbreaking research. Diplomacy Lab is a public-private partnership between the State Department and U.S. colleges and universities. Partner schools participating in Diplomacy Lab conduct research around various topics presented to them by the State Department in areas including climate change, democracy and human rights, counterterrorism, global health as well as energy security. Partner universities are responsible for recruiting student teams to undertake Diplomacy Lab projects and faculty members to guide the teams.

Under the guidance of Professor Sirleaf, a team of interested students in her Post-Conflict and Transitional Justice Seminar will conduct research for the State Department on the prosecution of international criminal law violations in Africa. The research team will provide case studies to the State Department of the hybrid and domestic justice mechanisms used to investigate and prosecute serious crimes in Africa. Over the course of the semester, Professor Sirleaf will guide students in developing a final work product that accomplishes the goals outlined by the State Department. Students will also have opportunity throughout the semester to discuss their research with State Department officials.

Students interested in finding out more about this initiative should contact Professor Sirleaf at

Publish Date: 
Thursday, December 8, 2016 - 10:00am