The Urban Lawyer,
Vol. 27, No. 1, Winter 1995
Symposium: Coping With Chaos - Disaster Planning
Joseph Z. Fleming, Coping With Chaos: Introductory Comments , 27 URBAN LAWYER 3 (1995).
Roger A. Nowadzky, Lawyering Your Municipality Through a Natural Disaster or Emergency, 27 URBAN LAWYER 9 (1995).
Because of the nature of municipal clients, municipal attorneys frequently become absorbed in the task of putting out daily legal "brush fires." So much energy may be focused on the immediacy of present legal problems, or impediments perceived as crises to the client, that adequate time is not spent on proactive lawyering to address true potential crises. In thhis article, the author, corporation counsel for the City of Des Moines, Iowa, deals with such crises - natural disasters and other large scale emergencies with unique legal problems. It attempts to be more than the author's narrative of a "good war story" about the flooding of 1993. Its goal is to serve as a source of helpful advice in the event that your municipality ever encounters a large scale disaster or emergency, and it suggests proactive measures that municipal attorneys might implement now in anticipation of those future catastrophes.
John J. Copelan & Steven A. Lamb, Disaster Law and Hurricane Andrew - Government Lawyers Leading the Way to Recovery, 27 URBAN LAWYER 29 (1995).
Government lawyers at all levels (local through federal) played a crucial role before, during, and after Hurricane Andrew struck South Florida in the morning hours of August 24, 1992. This role was substantial in the preparatory stages for Andrew, during the storm, and in the recovery stage. This article will address some of the legal issues presented to public sector lawyers at both the federal and local government levels from the vantage point of the authors, one of whom serves as a county attorney and the other an active duty Army lawyer.
Jeffrey S. Green & Ira Tripathi, Coping With Chaos: The World Trade Center Bombing and Recovery Effort, 27 URBAN LAWYER 41 (1995).
Although the Port Authority and its Law Department have dealt with crisis situations before - for example, airline crashes at one of its airports or fires on the Port Authority Trans Hudson Corporation (PATH) train system - the effects of a 1 ½ to a 1 ¾ ton bomb exploding in the World Trade Center were different. This article discusses some of the legal and other issues the Port Authority had to contend with in the aftermath of the bombing.
John J. Delaney, What Does It Take to Make a Take? A Post-Dolan Look at the Evolution of Regulatory Takings Jurisprudence in the Supreme Court, 27 URBAN LAWYER 55 (1995).
The purpose of this article is to distill the sometimes confusing jurisprudence that has emerged from the Supreme Court over the last seventy years into an understandable statement of principles regarding regulatory takings and the remedy of compensation. Lucas, Nollan, Dolan, and other cases are discussed.
Arthur C. Nelson, Governing Management and the Savings-and-Loan Bailout, 27 URBAN LAWYER 71 (1995).
By the beginning of 1993, American taxpayers had shelled out more than $80 billion in taxes to finance the savings-and-loan bailout. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the present value of taxpayer costs to bailout failed S&Ls will be as high as $215 billion in 1990 dollars. Federal debt service payments will increase by about $15 billion annually. Total cost to the gross national product is estimated to run as much as $0.5 trillion in 1990 dollars. The CBO cites overbuilding in the real estate industry as a significant contributor to the bailout crisis. Others say it is the primary reason. But the S&L losses on a state-by-state basis are irregular and an intriguing pattern emerges. As will be demonstrated in this article, states that employ growth management policies fared much better than other states in reducing S&L losses.
Osborne M. Reynolds, Jr., Voting Requirments in Municipal Governing Bodies: Minority Rule or Legislative Stalement, 27 URBAN LAWYER 87 (1995).
Consider the following scenario: A city council contains seven members, six of whom are present at a particular meeting at which legislation is proposed. Three of the attending members vote in favor of the proposal, two vote against, and the sixth member abstains. Has the proposed law been passed? Some "black letter law" answers to such a question can be gleaned from the cases, although considerable confusion remains. The common law rule can be applied in differing ways, leading to different conclusions in the above-stated situation. The common law rule may sometimes be applied even where the usually accepted reason is irrelevant. And the common law rule is also sometimes altered by various forms of legislation¾which in turn are subject to varying interpretations. This article will explore the rules on voting requirements for enactment of municipal legislation and will point out the problems presented by those rules and possible solutions.
Eric J. Sinrod, Improving Access to Government Information in an Era of Budgetary Constraints, 27 URBAN LAWYER 105 (1995).
Part I of this article examines the specific Freedom of Information Act provisions pertaining to agency response deadlines and the legislative history behind those deadlines. Parts II and III then explore the general failure of agencies to comply with these deadlines and judicial ratification of that delay. Part IV presents examples of specific harms experienced by requesters resulting from agency delay, and Parts V and VI examine one case that led to a settlement that accommodated the most critical interests of the requester and the agency. Finally, based in part on that settlement, Part VII proposes recommendations intended to benefit both requesters and agencies by providing a solution to the long-standing problem of FOIA backlogs.
Daniel E. Muse, Robert L. Driscoll & Richard L. Green, A Municipal Landfill Superfund Response Cost and Contribution Action¾The City's Perspective, 27 URBAN LAWYER 129 (1995).
Increasingly, local governments, individual homeowners, and small business owners may face potential strict, joint, and several liability under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act, resulting from disposal of ordinary household trash or municipal solid waste at the local municipal landfill. This article discusses the lessons learned by Denver and Waste Management at the Lowry Landfill Superfund Site.
Denis Binder, Index to Environmental Justice Cases, 27 URBAN LAWYER 163 (1995).
This article provides an environmental justice case list. In putting together this index, the following premises were used: (1) Only decisions published in the West Reporter system or in looseleaf services are listed because they are readily available in law libraries. (2) Environmental justice issues often lurk in the background of cases, but are not necessarily present on the surface, which explains the inclusion of some cases on this list. (3) These issues arose constantly in highway siting and urban renewal decisions in the 1950s and 1960s, but few published decisions emerged. (4) Many of the issues discussed today were also raised in the exclusionary/large lot zoning cases of twenty years ago, as well as in the denial of municipal services cases. Consequently, a representative sample of these cases is included in the index.
With Cases, Statutes, and Recent Developments covering:
Barannikova v. Town of Greenwich, 229 Conn. 664, 643 A.2d 251 (1994).
Land Use, Planning and Zoning
Western Presbyterian Church v. Board of Zoning Adjustment, No. 94-0749, 1994 WL 487861 (D. D.C. Sept. 8, 1994)
Lampkin v. Dist. of Columbia, 27 F.3d 605 (D.C. Cir. 1994).
James J. Brown & Sarah E. Warren, James A. Kushner's Subdivision Law and Growth Management, 27 URBAN LAWYER 173 (1995).