An exciting day today, as the first lecture in the Deepwater Horizon Lecture series took place. Our largest classroom was packed, with others in an overflow room watching live streaming. Here's a particularly compelling excerpt from Dean Meyer's introduction to the series:
To my mind, this Lecture Series is a showcase of what makes Tulane Law School such a vital and distinctive academic community:
-It is broad-minded and interdisciplinary - examining the issues presented from every angle (science, engineering, law policy).
-It is public-spirited - offered not just for the benefit of our own students, but for anyone in the community. Indeed, this lecture series is being webcast for credit to students at other law schools across the country.
-It is nimbly engaged with current conditions in the community - fulfilling Tulane Law School's distinctive promise as a place that is both global in its ambitions and yet grounded in service and study of real-world challenges in our community, and
-It leverages and highlights the world-class strength of our faculty in diverse but interconnected fields, in environmental, energy, natural resources and maritime law (and indeed in fields outside of law).
Today's speakers were three attorneys deeply involved in litigation resulting from the Deepwater Horizon explosion: Scott Bickford, who is representing one survivor of the explosion and the surviving spouse of a worker who was killed on the rig; Stuart Smith, who is representing Gulf coast fisheries and others whose livelihood is dependent on the Gulf of Mexico; and Joel Waltzer, a public interest attorney representing, among others, the Pointe au Chiens tribe and a number of environmental organizations. Each speaker told a compelling story about the effect of the explosion and oil spill on his clients, and all highlighted the difficulties ahead. Their talks left all of us anxious to hear from the scientists and other experts on the schedule in the coming weeks.