Day 13 – November 19



Day 12 – Nov 5


We will determine the order for presentations by drawing lots, then you can set up your own market to reallocate slots.

If you have not done so yet, watch the video from the last class. We will discuss it in class.

Roy K. Dokka, Louisiana’s Coast is on life-support. Can the Coast be Saved? An August 26th, 2010 Presentation to the LSU Law School (PowerPoint)

We are going to discuss resilience planning for living in Louisiana and New Orleans – what is a rational approach to limiting your risk if you plan on living in a high-risk area? Think in practical terms, recognizing the role of emotion and realities of housing and other constraints. What about your employer – are they ready to survive another major flood?

Good update on the California fires

Day 11 – October 29


No reading, but we will watch a video on the coast. This is a presentation by the late Prof. Roy Dokka to my seminar in 2009. He brought modern measurement techniques to subsidence in southern Louisiana. I just recovered this video from video oblivion, since it appeared to have been lost.

Roy K. Dokka, Louisiana’s Coast is on life-support. Can the Coast be Saved? An August 26th, 2010 Presentation to the LSU Law School (PowerPoint)

Future schedule

Nov 5

Class day or paper day, to be decided.

Nov 12


Nov 18


Nov 26

Finish presentations, if necessary

Day 10 – October 22

Working on papers

Day 9 – October 15


Finish presentations

Discuss materials from last classes, plus think about the implications of these new reports:

Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Inundation: A Case Study of the Gulf Coast Energy Infrastructure

Bloomberg: FEMA Bought 44,000 Flood-Prone Homes. They May Have to Buy Millions More.

Evidence for sharp increase in the economic damages of extreme natural disasters

Mississippi’s Hancock County opposes $800M Louisiana coastal restoration project

Sea-level rise threatens 13 million Americans. Can FEMA help?

Trial Over Hurricane Flooding in Houston Wraps Up

Another attempt to turn am FTCA case into a takings case. If the Federal Court of Claims rules for plaintiffs, I expect to see the case overturned by the Federal Circuit.

Maybe flooding is not so bad

Day 8 – October 8


Nags Head revises local ordinance to retain 1-foot freeboard above BFE.

Tampa residents: Flood insurance just got cheaper


Continue presentations from last class.



Day 7 – October 1

Class presentations and discussion of presentations

We will discuss this new report:

Surging Waters: Science Empowering Communities in the Face of Flooding

Does it make sense to rebuild here?

Not for class, but for your interest – Impeachment materials, from Peter M. Shane, Harold H. Bruff, and Neil Kinkopf, Separation of Powers Law: Cases and Materials (4th ed. 2018), with permission.

Day 6 – September 24


We are not meeting class. The assignment is to have your topic finalized and your research started by the next class – Oct 1.  You will be expected to present a 5 minute overview of your topic and preliminary research for the class. In front of the class and with PowerPoint if you want. This week you need to be in touch with me by email to work on topics and research directions.


Day 5 – September 17

New resource materials

Articles on private flood insurance

NRDC – Going Under: Long Wait Times for Post-Flood Buyouts Leave Homeowners Underwater


We are going to look at the FTCA cases and think about the policy related to decisions that exacerbate flooding.

Federal Tort Claims Act Reader

Tort Claims Against the Federal Government – Text

In re Katrina Canal Breaches Litigation, 696 F.3d 436 (5th Cir.(La.) 2012)

Start reading at [51] IV. Construction and Application of the DFE.

Slides – Suing the government under the FTCA and Bivens

St. Bernard Par. Gov’t v. United States, 887 F.3d 1354 (Fed. Cir. 2018)

This case deals with the standard for takings by flood control activities – focus on the highlighted portions.

Day 4 – September 10


Start emailing me about your topics so we can narrow those down. I can help you refine your topic and get started on the research.

We are going to take a deeper look at the National Flood Insurance Program.

Horn, Diane P., and Jared T. Brown. Introduction to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Congressional Research Service, 2019

You should read this – understanding the history of the NFIP and its structure is key to client counseling on flood risk and insurance.

The Pre-FIRM subsidy

The newly mapped into a flood zone subsidy

Think about this in terms of climate change.

NFIP Coverage limits

National Flood Insurance Program – Dwelling Form – Standard Flood Insurance Policy – F-122 / October 2015 – this is the actual residential flood insurance policy (Standard Flood Insurance Policy Forms – Current)

Look through the policy, using the edited FAQ for guidance. Figure out what sort of legal document this is. Hint – it is not a contract.

Materials for discussion: Answers to Questions about the National Flood Insurance Program – this is the official FAQ on the policies and the program. (2011 is the current version)

We are going to use this edited and highlighted version for class discussion: Answers to Questions about the National Flood Insurance Program – edited for discussion

Foundation Requirements and Recommendations for Elevated Homes – 2013

Glossary of NFIP termsflood zones are on D-11

NFIP Claims Handbook, FEMA F-687 October 2017

Resource materials

Louisiana insurance law

Sher v. Lafayette Ins. Co., 988 So.2d 186 (La. 2008)

Legal standards for construction of insurance policies.

Barbara Landry v. Louisiana Citizens Property Ins. Co., 983 So.2d 66 (La. 2008)

This looks at the Louisiana Valued Policy Law and how it affects claims when there is a total loss. Help us understand Louisiana’s Valued Policy Law and why it was at issue in this case and what it tells us about coverage in cases with loses due to insured and non-insured losses.

Suing under the NFIP

Gibson v. American Bankers Insurance Co., 289 F.3d 943 (6th Cir. 2002)

DeCosta v. Allstate Ins. Co., 730 F.3d 76, 77 (1st Cir. 2013)