William and Mary Law School

Program Panels

2015 Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference
Panel 1: Property as a Form of Governance
Property has long played a central role in our economic, political, and legal systems. The 2015 prize recipient Joseph Singer has described property as a form of political governance grounded in our democratic values. Using Singer’s work as a springboard, this panel will discuss the extent to which property provides a form of political, economic, and social governance.
  • Joseph William Singer, Bussey Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
  • Michael M. Berger, Partner, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, Los Angeles, California
  • Nestor M. Davidson, Professor & Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Fordham Law School
  • Frank I. Michelman, Robert Walmsley University Professor, Emeritus, Harvard University
  • Laura S. Underkuffler, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & J. DuPratt White Professor of Law, Cornell Law School
  • Moderator: Lynda L. Butler, Chancellor Professor & Director, Property Rights Project, William & Mary Law School
Panel 2: Civil Forfeiture of Property
Civil forfeiture laws allow government to seize private property without convicting or even charging the property owner of a crime. Used by a wide variety of state, local, and federal officials, the laws have resulted in the seizure of homes, cash, cars and other personal property of people never charged with a crime. This practice highlights the disparities in the protection of fundamental rights, suggesting that property rights remain a “poor relation” of other fundamental constitutional rights protected in civil and criminal settings. The panel will evaluate the impact of civil forfeiture laws on property rights and consider what, if any, reforms are needed.
  • Sara Sun Beale, Charles L. B. Lowndes Professor of Law, Duke Law School
  • Scott G. Bullock, Senior Attorney, Institute for Justice
  • Sandra Guerra Thompson, Alumnae College Professor of Law & Director, Criminal Justice Institute, University of Houston Law Center
  • Moderator: Robert H. Thomas, Director, Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert, Honolulu, Hawaii
Panel 3: Of Pipelines, Drilling, & the Use of Eminent Domain
Throughout the country landowners are discovering that utility and energy companies have been given the power to condemn rights of way and other property interests to lay pipelines and drill under their property even when the resulting oil and gas will be taken to ports for shipment overseas. Sometimes legislatures have even enacted laws that give the power to condemn to foreign corporations, that prevent local governments from regulating the land use activities, or that significantly streamline the final approval process for the companies’ activities. Panel 3 will discuss the constitutional and legal issues raised by these activities and laws, as well as the ownership interests implicated by fracking and forced pooling.
  • Michael Braunstein, Professor Emeritus of Law, Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University, & Goldman & Braunstein, Columbus, Ohio
  • Jan G. Laitos, Professor of Law & John A. Carver, Jr., Chair in Natural Resources & Environmental Law, University of Denver Sturm College of Law
  • Berne Mosley, President, Energy Projects Consulting, LLC, former Director of Certifi cates for Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, & former Deputy Director of Office of Energy Projects
  • Arthur E. Schmalz, Partner, Hunton & Williams LLP, McLean, Virginia
  • Moderator: Stephen J. Clarke, Partner, Waldo & Lyle, P.C., Norfolk, Virginia
Panel 4: Property Rights in the Digital Age
The debate over the role of property rights in the creation and development of new ideas and works of imagination has taken on new meaning in our digital age. From litigation over the Google Books project to claims of infringement of electronic and digital communication systems, jurists and commentators have vigorously discussed the nature of the public domain and the role of property in shaping or limiting the public domain. Panel 4 will explore these complex issues and evaluate whether fundamental property principles provide a framework for the evolution of intangible property rights in the digital age.
  • Peter S. Menell, Koret Professor of Law & Co-Director, Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, University of California at Berkeley School of Law
  • Alan Norman, Co-Chair of Intellectual Property Department, Thompson Coburn LLP, St. Louis, Missouri
  • The Honorable Randall R. Rader, Professorial Lecturer in Law, George Washington University, & former Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • Arti K. Rai, Elvin R. Latty Professor of Law & Faculty Director, Center for Innovation Policy, Duke Law School
  • Christopher S. Yoo, John H. Chestnut Professor of Law, Communication, and Computer & Information Science, & Founding Director, Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition, University of Pennsylvania
  • Moderator: James Y. Stern, Assistant Professor of Law, William & Mary Law School