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New LibGuide: Environmental Law

From September 12th to the 14th San Francisco will host the Global Climate Action Summit, an event which will bring together environmental leaders and activists from around the world, both for the summit as well as the hundreds of related affiliate events throughout the week.  Even if you can’t make it to any programs or events, you can still take a look at our newest LibGuide: The San Francisco Law Library Guide to Environmental Law.

In this guide you will find information on local, state, and federal environmental statutes and regulations, library resources in print and online, current news and events, wildfire resources, and links to the many state and federal agencies dealing with environmental issues.

Environment Guide - Snip

Environmental law is an interdisciplinary field which encompasses science, technology, the economy, industry, and more.  To that end, this research guide also includes links to local and global organizations dedicated to environmental activism, as well as informational sites on related topics.  We will keep updating the guide (and all of our guides), so be sure to check back in!


And for more on environmental law, check out our September Books of the Month:

 

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Book Review: The Clean Water Act Handbook

Clean Water Act 4thThe Clean Water Act Handbook, 4th
Edited by Mark A. Ryan
Reviewed by Courtney Nguyen, Reference Librarian

With current attacks on clean water protections for rivers, lakes, streams, and other waters still making headlines, the Clean Water Act (CWA) is as relevant today as ever. Learn more about one of our most important environmental law statutes in The Clean Water Act Handbook (4th), edited by Mark A. Ryan. The contributors reflect a thoughtful balance of public and private sector attorneys, all experts in the CWA, and topics range from the broad (enforcement) to the narrow (calculating Total Maximum Daily Loads in accordance with section 303(d)). The handbook begins with the historical background of the CWA, tracing its origins from the Rivers and Harbors Appropriation Act of 1899 (the first federal statute governing water pollutions control) to the 1972 act itself, which was passed in response to a flood of litigation concerning sources discharging pollutants, as well as growing public awareness. Once grounded in the historical context of the act, the book then moves on to tackle the essentials of the various collaborative federal and state programs which have risen up to regulate water pollution.

nature water blue abstract

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The purported goals of the CWA are eliminating pollutant discharges and providing fishable and swimmable waters, and the handbook addresses each item and related issues in turn, including explanations on implementing regulations and guidelines. The threshold (and still contentious) question of what constitutes “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) which the act protects gets its own chapter, as do the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs), Section 311 Oil and Hazardous Substances Spills, the types of activities considered “discharges of dredged or fill material,” enforcement, whether civil judicial, civil administrative, criminal, or citizen suits, and how the CWA applies to federal facilities. In the absence of congressional amendments, the scope of the CWA is still being discussed by the courts, and later chapters discuss the powers and limitations of judicial review, as well as the influence exerted by successive administrations in Washington.

Even if you live in an arid, landlocked part of the country, the CWA still matters since the act affects the economy, industry, politics, technology, and much more. This handbook serves as both a practical tool for practitioners as well as a good introduction for the interested citizen to this ever-evolving statute. Though the CWA hasn’t been amended since 1990, the act is still heavily litigated, debated, and reinterpreted, so staying on top of changes is crucial. Come read this and other environmental law titles (such as The Clean Air Act Handbook) at the Library today!


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September Book of the Month: The Clean Air Act Handbook

Clean Air Act 4th

The Clean Air Act Handbook (4th)
Edited by Julie R. Domike and Alec C. Zacaroli
Reviewed by Courtney Nguyen, Reference Librarian

The air we breathe may be free, but that doesn’t mean it still isn’t regulated. Nearly five decades old, the Clean Air Act (CAA) remains one of the most significant pieces of environmental legislation in the United States, and it is still the only available tool for regulating greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. To help practitioners and concerned citizens alike understand this complex statute, the Library has The Clean Air Act Handbook (4th), edited by Julie R. Domike and Alec C. Zacaroli. The contributing authors bring their collective years of public and private sector experience and knowledge of the CAA, and many were even involved in the development of the very statutes and regulations discussed in the book. From the beginning of modern air pollution control laws in the postwar era, to the minutiae of current permitting processes, this book covers the entire act in twenty comprehensive chapters. Some of the topics discussed include National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), the Visibility Protection Program designed to protect scenic vistas in our state parks and wilderness areas, State Implementation Programs (SIPs), Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs), and civil and criminal enforcement. Perhaps of particular interest to Californians are the chapters about global climate change/greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the regulation of motor vehicles, including the seminal 2007 Supreme Court case Massachusetts v. EPA. The authors also point you towards related documents, such as the legislative history of the CAA or the EPA’s administrative records, which can be found for free online or maybe even at your local law library.

photo of blue sky

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The authors believe that practitioners who master the basic CAA policies and tools available, as laid out in the book, will find solutions to most CAA problems. Though intended as a reference resource and tool for CAA practitioners and the more general environmental practitioner in need of a quick CAA tutorial, the handbook is clear and straightforward enough to appeal to any interested citizen as well. You will gain a solid foundation for understanding environmental current events (of which there seem to be many), and will learn to tell your HAPs from your SIPs.

The Clean Air Act is the intersection of law, politics, science, technology, economics, and everyday life, and changes can happen very quickly or possibly not at all. The act affects both the regulated/corporate community and the public, and anyone with computer access can participate in rulemakings, monitor workshops, apply for a permit, watch webcasts, and send emails to EPA and state agency staff. The editors stress that this book is merely a snapshot of the act in time since the EPA regularly issues new regulations and guidance, and the courts continue to shape the law in the absence of congressional action. So use this book as a starting point. It could give you something to think about the next time you take a breath.


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September Book Drive

Book Drive

Each month we will seek donors to purchase a new title for the Law Library. Here is our Wish List for the month of September. Growing our collection is about so much more than a single book—it is a living demonstration of how the Library expands the public’s access to justice and provides legal practitioners with the tools they need to represent members of our local community. Please see our Donation Guide for more ways to support the Law Library.

Rose BirdDonated!

Thank you to John Kelly for generously donating this title.

The Case of Rose Bird: Gender, Politics, and the California Courts
Written by Kathleen A. Cairns
$36.95, Hardcover, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-80325-575-3

Value-Able Law FirmThe Value-Able Law Firm: Delivering Client-Focused, Higher-Value Legal Service for Clients and Law Firms
Written by Kenneth Vermilion and Steven A. Lauer
$79.95, Paperback, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-64105-174-3

End Presidency

Donated!

Thank you to Suzanne P. Marria for generously donating this title.

To End a Presidency
Written by Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz
$28, Hardcover, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-54164-488-5

To donate, please contact sflawlibrary@sfgov.org or call (415) 554-1791.  We appreciate your contribution!


Recent Book Drive Donations

Thank you to Shannon K. Mauer for generously donating the ABA’s Women in Law Book Bundle, which includes The Road to Independence: 101 Women’s Journeys to Starting Their Own Law FirmsGrit, the Secret to Advancement: Stories of Successful Women LawyersZero Tolerance: Best Practices for Combating Sex-Based Harassment in the Legal Profession; and Learning to Lead: What Really Works for Women in Law.

Please take a look at our Book Drive page to see Wish List items from prior months. We are still wishing for these books!

Thank you for your support!


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New Titles: Important Topics

New Titles September 2018

As the law rises to meet the heightened social and political challenges of our times, our collection expands. Newly added to our print collection are three new titles in immigration law: the Law of Asylum in the United States, Immigration Trial Handbook, and Immigration Pleading & Practice Manual. Other titles include Hate Crimes Law, Lentz on School Security, the impressive Information Security & Privacy: A Guide to Federal and State Law and Compliance, and False Claims Act: Fraud Against the Government.  Ask the Reference Team for these and related titles.

Immigration:

Law of AsylumLaw of Asylum in the United States 2018 edition by Deborah E. Anker

Updated overview of legal protections to refugees under domestic and international law, with an analysis of types of persecution recognized as entitled to protection, including new categories such as environmentally displaced refugees fleeing the effects of climate change, along with rights and benefits of asylees. Appendix includes an outline of procedures for withholding and deferral of removal,  components of the asylum interview, and post-hearing remedies.

 

Immigration Trial HandbookImmigration Trial Handbook 2017-2018 edition, Maria Baldini-Potermin

A practical overview of grounds and procedures to challenge inadmissibility and deportability, including preparation for hearings, custody and bond proceedings, evidence and objections, BIA appeals including filing petitions for review and emergency motions for stays of removal, along with a discussion of ethics issues. Appendix includes executive orders, memorandum, and practice advisories issued under the Trump administration, lists of resources, and other current analyses.

 

Immigration P&PImmigration Pleading & Practice Manual 2017-2018 edition, Thomas Hutchins

Model pleadings paired with practitioner notes, including sample letters and pleadings before the BIA, federal district court, and federal courts of appeal, including model motions, petitions, habeas challenges, and briefs. Appendices include flow charts of where to file documents in removal proceedings, immigration court deadlines, citation guidelines, sample subpoenas, and other very useful resources.

 


Hate Crimes

Hate CrimesHate Crimes Law 2018 edition, Zachary W. Wolfe [also available on Westlaw]

Excellent discussion of federal and state protections against hate crimes, including criminal and civil rights statutes, prosecution policies, and legal theories under federal law, and provisions under state hate crime statutes, including protections against bias-motivated violence and intimidation, along with an analysis of private causes of action. Extensive appendices collect federal and state hate crime statutes, statistics, and related resources.

 


School Security

School SecurityLentz School Security 2017-2018 edition, Mary A. Lentz

As incidents of violence and aggression in the school setting, from elementary to higher grade levels, have increased, this 2-volume set offers a formidable analysis of the many kinds of safety concerns faced by school authorities, including an overview of national and state laws, and a discussion of issues such as school law enforcement partnership, criminal behavior, threat response, student conflict resolution and intervention, safety preparedness, bullying and other forms of harassment, negligence and liability, and the concerns of special needs children. Also included are useful forms, checklists, and guidelines for protocols to develop for the school community.


Privacy

Info SecurityInformation Security & Privacy: A Guide to Federal and State Law and Compliance 2018 edition, Andrew B. Serwin

In two volumes and 40 chapters, an impressive assessment of federal and state privacy protections, each chapter providing an overview of the privacy topic followed by specific state provisions on that topic. Topics include internet and social media privacy, Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, computer crimes, restrictions on phones and credit cards, employee privacy, identity theft, insurance and financial privacy, health and genetic privacy, and many other developing areas of privacy concerns. Also included are issues to consider for company protocols, forms of policies and notifications, such as records management and retention policy and sample notification breach letter.


False Claims & Qui Tam Actions

False Claims ActFalse Claims Act: Fraud against the Government, 3rd edition, with 2018 supplement [also available on Westlaw]

Fascinating and in-depth discussion of the legal framework and goals of the False Claims Act, the history of American qui tam actions against fraud, stemming from Civil War days, with a definition of threshold requirements, procedure, role of relator, and available remedies (including triple damages, penalties, and prohibitions against retaliation).  Also included are discussions of state and local False Claims Act, including California provisions for False Claims Acts, California Government Code §12650-12656.


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August Book of the Month: Litigation in Practice

Litigation in PracticeLitigation in Practice
by Curtis E. A. Karnow
Reviewed by Michael Stoler, Reference Assistant


The Honorable Curtis E.A. Karnow has been a judge on the San Francisco Superior Court since 2005, after 28 years as an assistant U.S. attorney, a clerk, and a lawyer in private practice. He has authored the Rutter Group Guide Civil Procedure Before Trial, for which all California litigators owe him a debt of gratitude, and has spoken here at the San Francisco Law Library. Litigation in Practice, published in 2017, is a compilation of articles he had previously published in law journals, with some additional material. He starts with the premise that “while judges remember what it is to practice law, most lawyers have little idea of what it is to be a judge.” So he wants to “bridge that gap,” and give guidance to attorneys from his judicial perspective.

The book is a mix of the practical and the theoretical. Having asserted in his introduction that “law is what happens in the courtroom,” he devotes his first chapter to rules for conduct before the bench. Be polite. Be prepared. Don’t waste the judge’s time or otherwise show disrespect. He discusses how to submit and argue motions, select and treat jurors, and present evidence.

blur close up focus gavel

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The next chapter, on the use of statistics and probability, is fascinating and requires careful reading. Karnow cites examples of claims made in courts about the chances of some event occurring, and then dissects them to show why they don’t hold up mathematically. The next few chapters discuss legal epistemology, based on philosophy and logic: the one on settlement conferences refers to game theory, and one on legal analysis uses theories of categories to argue that really, any case has something in common with every other. The last chapter discusses legal education, how in this country it went from teaching practical skills to emphasizing academic, theoretical ones.

Karnow is a keen observer of the legal system. Attorneys will benefit from reading through this book. And litigators in general might find it will change their thinking about their profession and its processes, and hence, how they practice them.


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August Book Drive

Book Drive

Each month we will seek donors to purchase a new title for the Law Library. Here is our Wish List for the month of August, featuring books about marijuana, immigration, and John Lennon. Growing our collection is about so much more than a single book—it is a living demonstration of how the Library expands the public’s access to justice and provides legal practitioners with the tools they need to represent members of our local community. Please see our Donation Guide for more ways to support the Law Library.

PLI Legal Guide to the Business of Marijuana

Legal Guide to the Business of Marijuana
Written by James T. O’Reilly
$249, Paperback, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-40243-134-0

John Lennon vs. The USA

John Lennon vs. The USA: The Inside Story of the Most Bitterly Contested and Influential Deportation Case in United States History
Written by Leon Wildes
$27.95, Hardcover, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-6342-5426-7

Guide for Immigration Advocates

A Guide for Immigration Advocates
21st ed.
Written by Immigrant Legal Resource Center Staff Attorneys
$295 (with nonprofit discount), Paperback, 2018

To donate, please contact sflawlibrary@sfgov.org or call (415) 554-1791.  We appreciate your contribution!


Recent Book Drive Donations

Thank you to Fernando Marinez & Shartsis Friese LLP for generously donating current editions of:

Please take a look at our Book Drive page to see Wish List items from prior months. We are still wishing for these books!

Thank you for your support!