What is a SLAPP suit? How does it affect individuals who are trying to participate in the review of a project? Attorney, Joseph Brecher, has helped many activists and regular folks who have been sued because they fought a proposal that they felt was wrong. Joe helps us to better understand this malicious technique.

In this Skype interview between Huey Johnson and environmental attorney, Scott Reed from Coeur d'Alene Idaho, they discuss an urgent land conservation project that brought them together when Huey was the Western Regional Director of the Nature Conservancy. Scott and Huey also talk about adjudication of the Snake River, a process that went on for 20 years. The state later decided to adjudicate water in north Idaho as well. Scott is well known for his work in water resources and especially for establishing minimum flows for fish in north Idaho.

Land use attorney, Tony (Antonio) Rossmann, gives a clear and compelling interview about how the ancient Public Trust Doctrine applied to the Mono Lake decision as well as other important land use decisions in California.  In 1983, early in the battle to save Mono Lake, the Supreme Court of California ruled that Mono Lake had “public trust values” that must be considered in any decisions about the lake’s water. Tony was instrumental in the Mono Lake public trust litigation case, which allowed the lake to be restored as an important ecological area. Since the California Supreme Court’s decision in 1983, which is considered one of the top ten environmental law cases of the 20th century, the Public Trust Doctrine continues to be used to protect natural resources in the United States.  

Chris Desser is a multi-talented woman with a deep interest in protecting the "the commons", sometimes referred to as the public trust, which involves public resources such as air, water, the night sky, public lands, and even things such as libraries and more. Chris, a lawyer, has served on the California Coastal Commission and has been active on many boards and foundations. In this interview she shares her reaction to a particular Coastal Commission case that threatened the commons. Through her art and writing, Chris is devoted to helping people understand how much we lose when we allow others to give away, sell, or destroy the commons, the resources that belong to everyone.

In the 1960s, attorney Robert Praetzel donated more than 1,000 hours of his time on the legal case that defeated the proposed Marincello development in Marin County, California. This development would have changed the face of the landscape north of the Golden Gate Bridge, potentially housing over 30,000 people. Today millions of people now enjoy this landscape as the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.