January 01, 2014

Join us for the 43rd Spring Conference!

Sean Dixon

The ABA’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources invites you and your colleagues to Salt Lake City for the 43rd Spring Conference! We are proud once again to offer a broad array of sessions providing attendees with inside information on the most recent developments in the core areas of environmental law. From federal enforcement priorities to new litigation standards, from air regulations to cybersecurity, this conference has everything you need for your practice—whether you work at a firm, on a bench, for a corporation, in government, or in the public interest sector.

Taking place March 20–22, 2014, a Thursday through Saturday, the 43rd Spring Conference is a perfect opportunity for you to augment your practice, network with colleagues, meet some of the nation’s legal leaders, and spend a weekend in the Rockies. We will return once again to the spectacular Grand America Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City. This location offers easy access to points of interest in the city as well as nearby Park City and other excellent destinations for winter recreation. Last year the region saw over a foot and a half of fresh snow for Sunday skiers!

Over three days, several whole-conference plenary sessions will bring all attendees together to hear from national environmental law leaders. From perennial favorites such as the Supreme Court review and an in-depth examination of energy law on state lands to a discussion from top-level Department of Justice lawyers about enforcement priorities, these topics will certainly pack the room.

In addition to providing cogent and timely discussion of our core areas, and in an effort to live up to the true scope of our Section’s membership, this year’s conference will offer nine diverse break-out sessions on Friday. These sessions offer opportunities for environmental, energy, and resources practitioners to explore the legal issues most relevant to their practices. Transactional specialists will find a panel devoted to environmental considerations in the context of real estate sales, new angles for renewable energy, and corporate mergers and acquisitions. Litigators will have the opportunity to hear from past and present agency judges on the effect that guidance and policy documents have in enforcement actions. A panel of in-house counsel will delve into the most relevant environmental and natural resource issues affecting global, multijurisdictional organizations.

Beyond these skill-set-focused sessions, other panels will update conference attendees on the high-profile issues facing environmental lawyers in 2014 and beyond. One session will look at the intersection and potential conflict between renewable energy development and NEPA implementation. In another, panelists will discuss strategies for successful redevelopment of brownfields into both renewable and traditional energy projects. A third will give much-needed attention to the issue of climate-ready infrastructure.

The 2014 conference wraps up on Saturday in the greenest way we know how—with a tree-planting public service project—which is becoming an annual tradition. As in years past, we’ll be joining TreeUtah for an afternoon of (ecological and social) community building. Join your colleagues as we give back to the city that has welcomed us for these past five years!

In addition, this year we are proud to offer an additional half-day program co-sponsored with the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law Natural Resources Law Forum that will be free for all pre-registered attendees of the Spring Conference. This fantastic program will be held on Thursday morning, before the start of the ABA conference, at the University of Utah—a short mass-transit ride away from the Grand America Hotel. The program will focus on cross-disciplinary communication tools, social media, and dispute resolution and will explore how environmental, energy, and natural resources lawyers can activate media and incorporate science into their practices. This program will wonderfully complement the litigation, practice, policy, and regulatory sessions offered as part of the ABA Spring Conference. Join Section leaders, local environmental lawyers, and law students for three sessions, morning refreshments, and lunch before heading “down the hill” to the Grand America for the opening keynote of the 43rd Spring Conference!

Bring a friend, bring the family, rope-in a colleague, and book your flight and your ski ticket at the same time—however you join us, we’re looking forward to seeing you in Salt Lake!

Sean Dixon


Sean Dixon is a coastal policy attorney at Clean Ocean Action in Highlands, New Jersey, and co-founder of Village Fishmonger in New York City.