Earth Day: They Might be Giants?

By April 22, 2008General

Cross-posted from

Since today is Giants of the Earth Day — that is, O.E. Rolvaag’s birthday (1876) — it’s timely to revisit just how the trial bar is addressing critical environmental issues like global warming. Now where would we find that? Ah, yes, the latest issue of Trial, the official magazine of the American Association for Justice, i.e., the national trial lawyers association.

Global warming litigation heats up
Matthew F. Pawa

Scientists believe that global warming is primarily caused by human activities, especially those that add to growing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. If this trend continues, the results could be devastating: floods, deadly heat waves, and the loss of entire ecosystems are just a few of the possibilities. So who is to blame for this state of affairs, and can they be held to account?

Representing Mother Earth
Interview with Trip Van Noppen

Trip Van Noppen is the president of Earthjustice, a nonprofit, public-interest law firm whose motto is, “Because the earth needs a good lawyer.” His firm represents national, state, and local environmental groups, health advocates, and people harmed by environmental pollution. In this interview, Van Noppen discusses some key legal victories and describes the hard work that still lies ahead.

Alternative theories for environmental contamination cases
Burton LeBlanc and Misty A. Farris

Environmental pollution cases are usually grounded in allegations of negligence, but plaintiff lawyers shouldn’t ignore the possibility of bringing nuisance and trespass claims, too. The additional cost of bringing these claims is minimal, and the benefits–including saving a case from a statute-of-limitations challenge–can be enormous.

Unfortunately, the articles are behind a subscriber/membership wall, but you get the gist. How do we address global warming? Expansively….

P.S. We’re told that it’s actually Earth Day, not Giants of the Earth Day. More’s the pity.

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