Environmental Law Case Study

The program’s portfolio of situational case studies presents narratives of real-life events and asks students to identify and analyze the relevant legal, social, business, ethical, and scientific issues involved. Playing the role of protagonist in each case study—such as a private attorney counseling a biotechnology company facing hazardous waste issues, or a federal official seeking to develop an effective fishery management plan—students formulate appropriate strategies for achieving workable solutions to conflicts, then discuss and debate their recommendations in class. This interactive approach to learning bolsters students’ acquisition of skills in critical areas: factual investigation, legal research, counseling, persuasive oral communication, and recognition and resolution of ethical dilemmas, to name a few.

The Stanford Law School Case Studies Collection is an exciting innovation in law school teaching designed to hone students’ problem-solving skills and stimulate creativity. The Collection includes situational case studies and interactive simulations (collectively referred to as “Case Materials”) that place students in the roles of lawyers and policy makers and teach fundamental lawyering skills such as investigating facts, counseling, and resolving ethical dilemmas.

In June of 1997 the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Policy Program hired an experienced environmental lawyer to develop “situational” case studies for use in classroom instruction to better prepare students for the practice of law in the real world. Most of the case studies have been field tested in the classroom and evaluated for effectiveness in increasing student mastery of fundamental lawyering skills and increasing student participation in classroom discussion. Feedback from students has been excellent. Stanford Law School plans to unveil case studies collections in the areas of Law and Business in the coming years.

You can use this site to download Case Materials for examination. With prior permission from Stanford Law School, instructors can also obtain copies of Case Materials they want to use in the classroom for free. This Case Studies Collection will be updated regularly as we add new Case Materials and revise existing Materials, so visit the site from time to time for new developments!

2FactsIn 1996, the FDA attempted to regulate tobaccos productsThe FDA’s authority to regulate came from the Food Drug and Cosmetic ActFDA argued that nicotine was a drug and cigarettes and smokeless tobacco are drug delivering devicesBrown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation challenged the regulationsDistrict court granted in part and denied in part the plaintiffs’ claimsCircuit court reversed the ruling in favor of the tobacco companySupreme Court affirmed the circuit court’s rulingThe FDA does not have the power to enact and enforce regulations in questionIssuesTobacco manufacturers and retailers filed suit against the FDA, challenging theirauthority to issue regulation regarding the promotion, sale, and marketing of tobacco products.Under the FDCA, the FDA ensures that the products regulated are safe and effective for theirintended use.

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