July 01, 2012

Y’all come to the Fall Meeting in Austin!

Angela R. Morrison

The 20th Section Fall Meeting will be held in Austin, Texas, this October 10–13, so pack up your boots and jeans and join us for the premier forum for discussions of the hottest topics in environmental, energy, and resources law. Don’t miss out; make your plans now!

Located in central Texas on the eastern edge of Hill Country, Austin has beautiful natural areas and parks with abundant trees and wildflowers as well as native plants and grasses. Austin has much to offer intellectually, being home to the state capital, the Blanton Museum of Art, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library & Museum, and the University of Texas. Austin has also emerged as one of the hottest cities for high-tech startup companies, in part because the community encourages creativity and nurtures free spirits. Locals thrive on diversity and enjoy touting their slogan “Keep Austin Weird.”

Austin is a music haven known for diverse and unique brands of original music. On any given evening, you can enjoy live performances offered in dozens of venues such as coffee shops, restaurants, and bookstores, featuring all types of music genres, including folk, country, blues, jazz, pop, rock, alternative, and bluegrass. These and other nightlife opportunities abound throughout Austin’s renowned Sixth Street entertainment district, a block from our venue.

On Thursday evening, Fall Meeting attendees will enjoy the Jason Roberts Combo, comprised of the core musicians from the legendary nine-time Grammy-winning band Asleep at the Wheel, which has helped preserve the traditional Western Swing sound. Music fans will also be excited to know the famous outdoor Austin City Limits Music Festival is taking place while we are in Austin with headliners this year including the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Neil Young.

Meeting highlights

The Fall Meeting theme this year is tied to energy policies and their natural resource and environmental consequences. We will discuss challenges energy companies face as our national energy policies swing like a pendulum from administration to administration and even from year to year. Experts will examine existing legal impediments to a better energy policy, and consider how to establish a clearer and more consistent energy policy going forward.

With energy comes heat, and Fall Meeting speakers will discuss the hottest topics in environmental law, including panels on potential implications from the upcoming election and recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions. EPA Assistant Administrator Cynthia Giles and others will examine EPA’s “Next Generation Compliance” program and enforcement policies. Panels will focus on hydraulic fracturing, pipelines, federalism, and energy distribution challenges. You can also hear experts analyze current issues for renewables, utilities, climate change, air regulations, the nexus between water and energy, brownfield developments, and threatened and endangered species.

The Fall Meeting will feature excellent technical roundtables by our sponsors Bloomberg BNA, Geosyntec Consultants, and Cardno ENTRIX on topics ranging from groundwater and takings law to realistic cost estimates to wastewater management in the context of hydraulic fracturing. And we will learn about social media opportunities and enjoy a robust discussion of ethical obligations to take a matter up the corporate ladder. For more details on the sessions, please visit www.ambar.org/EnvironFM and select “Brochure” in the left-hand side navigation bar.

Because it is important to develop and improve our relationships with other attorneys in the field, the Fall Meeting will provide numerous opportunities for networking, including receptions and coffee breaks. Of note, you can join colleagues with similar interests at the Committee Get-Together Luncheon, and make new friends at a special dinner event at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. If you are a young lawyer or law student, the meeting has special networking opportunities planned for you, including “Speed Networking” (like speed dating).

The Fall Meeting will also provide a public service opportunity with a project in conjunction with Keep Austin Beautiful.

Consider becoming a regular attendee of the Section’s meetings. The more you participate in Section activities and the more you get involved, the more benefits you’ll reap. After all, your career is what you make of it, and it often comes down to relationships that can prove invaluable. I can think of no better group to get to know than this one.

The 20th Section Fall Meeting will be held at the Hilton Austin. You are encouraged to make your hotel and airline reservations early. Meeting details and online registration are available at www.ambar.org/EnvrionFM. If you have a smart phone, be sure to download our mobile app to have easy access to the meeting schedule, maps, attendees, and more! Just search for “20th Fall Meeting” in your phone’s app store. Please accept our invitation to join your colleagues in Austin in October. You won’t be disappointed!

Angela R. Morrison

Angela R. Morrison is a partner with the Tallahassee, Florida, firm Hopping Green & Sams and is chair of the 20th Section Fall Meeting in Austin.