Director of Litigation
Pacific Legal Foundation
PLF's Jim Burling to participate in International Property Rights Conference
SACRAMENTO, Calif., August 4, 2011: Pacific Legal Foundation is pleased to announce that PLF's Director of Litigation, Jim Burling, will participate in the Eighth Annual Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference, sponsored by William & Mary Law School, to be held in Beijing, China, October 14-15, 2011.
Named after two distinguished champions of property rights — attorney Toby Brigham from Miami and Professor Gideon Kanner from Los Angeles — the conference is designed to explore and develop the theory and application of property rights to the law.
It brings together esteemed scholars, jurists, and practitioners from the United States and China to discuss the evolution of property rights on a global scale.
"I am looking forward to the opportunity to address issues of property rights and why they are important on a global scale, as a condition for economic development and individual freedom worldwide," said Burling. "Additionally, respect for property rights has also proved to be a prerequisite for responsible environmental protection. When you weaken property rights, you also undermine the incentives for effective stewardship of land, water, and air."
The conference is being held at and in cooperation with Tsinghua University School of Law, one of China's top universities and law schools. Holding the conference in China "will foster a comparative framework for the discussion of property rights that is long overdue given the strong ties between the United States and China and China's dynamic role in the world economy," explained William & Mary Law School Professor Lynda Butler.
William & Mary Law School Dean Davison M. Douglas said the slate of participants consists of scholars "whose work forms the foundation of contemporary American property law jurisprudence." Jim Burling will participate in a panel entitled "Property Rights and the Environment," which will examine the extent to which the property law of each country incorporates principles that protect or exploit the environment, as well as ways environmental interests may unnecessarily impinge on property rights.
Justice O'Connor to be honored
During the Conference, retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor will receive the 2011 Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize and will be a featured speaker. O'Connor served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court from 1981 to 2006. She made history in 1981 as the first woman nominated to serve on the high court. Her widely cited dissenting opinion in Kelo v. City of New London (2005) has been hailed as a pivotal opinion in property law jurisprudence. She became Chancellor of the College of William & Mary following her retirement from the judiciary. A formal reception will be held on October 13 at the United States Embassy in Beijing to honor Justice O'Connor and the conference's Chinese host, Tsinghua University School of Law.
Jim Burling's leadership in the property law bar
Jim Burling is Pacific Legal Foundation's Director of Litigation and principal attorney in PLF's Property Rights practice group. As a litigator with PLF since 1983, his specialties involve regulatory takings, environmental and land use regulations, eminent domain, and Indian law.
At the U.S. Supreme Court, he successfully argued the landmark property rights case, Palazzolo v. Rhode Island (2001), which established that government is not freed from liability for imposing a taking on private property merely because the property might be sold to a new owner.
Burling is a frequent lecturer at continuing legal education courses on topics such as the regulation of wetlands, eminent domain, and constitutional property rights. Mr. Burling is also Chairman Emeritus of the Federalist Society's Environmental Law and Property Rights Practice Group and a member of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers.
A graduate of the University of Arizona College of Law, he received his undergraduate degree from Hamilton College in New York majoring in Geology and English, and a Master's of Science from Brown University in Geological Sciences.
About Pacific Legal Foundation
Donor-supported Pacific Legal Foundation (www.pacificlegal.org) is the nation's leading legal watchdog organization that litigates for limited government, property rights, free enterprise, and a balanced approach to environmental regulations, in courts nationwide.