Water and ocean law

David Cassuto

Professor Cassuto teaches in the areas of property, professional responsibility, animal law, water law, international comparative law, and legal and environmental theory. He directs the Brazil American Institute for Law and Environment (BAILE), a cooperative endeavor with the Getulio Vargas Foundation School of Law in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Professor Cassuto is a Fulbright fellow. He’s an ongoing visiting professor at the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil. He’s the Class of 1946 Distinguished Visiting Professor of Environmental Law at Williams College.

Prior to joining the Pace Law faculty in 2003, he practiced complex civil litigation at Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass LLP in San Francisco; was an associate at Pillsbury Winthrop LLP in San Francisco and served on the Executive Committee of the San Francisco Bar Association’s Environmental Law Practice Group.

Areas of expertise: animal law, water law, environmental law, property law, ethics, comparative environmental law, international environmental law


Karl Coplan

Professor Karl Coplan teaches courses in Environmental Law and Constitutional Law, and is co-director of Pace Law School’s Environmental Litigation Clinic. As the principal outside counsel for Riverkeeper, Inc., Professor Coplan and the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic have brought numerous lawsuits enforcing the Clean Water Act and other environmental laws. These cases include Catskill Mountains Chapter, Trout Unlimited v. City of New York, in which the Second Circuit Court of Appeals held that the transfer of polluted, silt-laden water from one watershed to another required a permit pursuant to the federal Clean Water Act.  Professor Coplan has also participated in litigation and Clean Water Act permitting proceedings involving several Hudson River power plants, including the proposed Bowline 3 power plant, and the Lovett, Roseton, Danskammer, and Athens plants.

Prior to joining the Pace faculty, Professor Coplan practiced land use and environmental litigation for eight years with the New York City firm of Berle, Kass & Case. He is the author of the chapter on Citizen Suit Litigation in Environmental Litigation, Law and Strategy (ABA, Cary Perlman, Ed.)  and the chapter on Takings Law in Handbook on Constitutional Environmental Law (ABA, James May, Ed., 2010).

Areas of expertise: environmental law, water law, citizen suits


Daniel Estrin

Professor Dan Estrin joined the Pace Law faculty in 2006, where he now is the Supervising Attorney of the Environmental Litigation Clinic.

Prior to his work at Pace, Prof. Estrin served as special counsel to Kennedy & Madonna, LLP, where he represented environmental advocacy organizations and concerned citizens in suits against operators of factory farms, also known as “concentrated animal feeding operations.”  Prof. Estrin also practiced for eight years in the commercial litigation department at Chadbourne & Parke LLP in New York City.

Areas of expertise: water law, environmental law, citizen suits


Ann Powers

Professor Ann Powers is a faculty member of the Center for Environmental Legal Studies, where she teaches a range of environmental courses focusing on the law of oceans and coasts, international environmental law, UN diplomacy and water quality. She has served on many boards and panels, including the National Research Council’s Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology. Prof. Powers has written a book, Introduction to Environmental Law: Cases and Materials on Water Pollution Control, as well as a variety of articles on oceans and environmental issues.

Prior to joining the Pace Law faculty in 1995, Prof. Powers was vice-president and general counsel of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, a major regional non-profit environmental organization, where she supervised the Foundation’s legal work and its pollution control advocacy program. Prof. Powers also served as a senior trial attorney in the Environmental Enforcement Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, handling both civil and criminal cases, and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.

Areas of expertise:  environmental law, water and ocean, small island states, sea level rise

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