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UM Carey Law Role in Clean Water Act Case


Important questions about the meaning of the Clean Water Act and the health of the Chesapeake Bay were at the heart of WaterkeeperAlliance v Alan Hudson et al., a lawsuit alleging that Alan Hudson, a farmer and poultry contractor, and Perdue Farms, his client, polluted waters running into the Bay. 

The Environmental Law Clinic at Maryland Carey Law represented the plaintiff in the law suit, Waterkeeper Alliance, a national nonprofit environmental group with dozens of local chapters, including those comprised of more than 4,000 Maryland residents concerned about pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.

On October 23, after 10 days of providing evidence to the court, both sides rested.  Judge Nickerson then reviewed briefs and responses to findings of fact and conclusions of law from both sides before hearing closing arguments on November 30.  He issued his decision in the case on December 20, 2012.

Although it faced criticism for its involvement in the suit the Environmental Law Clinic also won strong expressions of support.  It was honored in August, 2012 with a Distinguished Achievement Award from the American Bar Association (ABA) for its “high standards and dedication to training a new generation of environmental lawyers and battling political challenges.”  The ABA also noted that the clinic is “the largest provider of pro bono environmental representation in the state.”

The Environmental Law Clinic is one of 25 clinics that are part of the nationally recognized Clinical Law Program at Maryland Carey Law.  Together, they provide more than 110,000 hours of free legal services to state residents on everything from civil matters such as taxation and foreclosure to criminal defense—a resource that is comparable to that of a 60-person law firm.

However, as a public academic institution, the Law School has a responsibility to be transparent and to help the people of Maryland understand how their tax dollars are used. This web site is intended to honor that responsibility. In it you will find the court’s final decision, trial transcripts, unedited court documents from all parties to the case and legislative proposals as well as media reports, key correspondence, and background material that places clinical law programs and commercial poultry chicken production in a broader context.

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500 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1786 PHONE: (410) 706-7214 FAX: (410) 706-4045 / TDD: (410) 706-7714

Copyright © 2014, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. All Rights Reserved