Alumni and Friends Invited to Audit Special Course on Legal Issues Surrounding the BP Oil Spill

The LSU Law Center invites alumni and friends to join with LSU law students in exploring the legal issues posed by the BP Oil Spill.  Because of the overwhelming public interest in this litigation and its certain persistence over the next decade, the Law Center will open registration to alums and friends on an “audit-only” basis.

Law 5730 Federal Natural Resources and Public Land Law (2) will be taught by Chancellor-Emeritus John Costonis, the Judge Albert Tate and Rosemary Neal Hawkland Professor of Law.  

Interested parties may apply through the LSU Law Office of Admissions and Student Records as audit only.”


Application fee of $50 is required.


Tuition for a two-hour class:

                        LA Resident Tuition:                      $1,157.50

                        Non-LA Resident Tuition:             $2,139.17

Application Process:

Applicants must download and complete the attached application.

Applicants must mail or deliver the application to the Office of Admissions and Student Records, along with the applicable application fee and tuition. 

Course Title/Number:      Law 5730 — Federal Natural Resources and Public Land Law (2): Selected Issues Posed by the
                                   April 2010 BP Oil Spill.    

Mail to:                                 LSU Law Center
                                   Admissions and Student Records
                                   Room 202 Law Center
                                   BR, LA  70803

Make Check or Money
Order Payable to:               LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center

Time/Date of Classes:     Thursdays, 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
                                     January 10, 2011 – May 25, 2011

Deadline to Register:       Tuesday, January 18, 2011  (Earlier registration is recommended)

For More Information:      225/578-86846 or

Course Description:

Law 5730 Federal Natural Resources and Public Land Law (2):  Selected Issues Posed by the April 2010 BP Oil Spill.    

As it has evolved over the last half century, the Federal Natural Resources field increasingly represents an amalgam of Public Domain and Environmental Law.  

The BP Oil Spill and associated litigation richly illustrate the linkage between federal control of public lands,  marine pollution law and the rights of adjacent states. The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig was located above the Outer Continental Shelf on High Seas within the Exclusive Economic Zone of the United States and well beyond Louisiana’s 3-nautical mile territorial sea. The BP oil well was located several thousand feet below the Deepwater Horizon rig, commencing at the seabed itself and descending some 2000 feet below the seabed. Operations associated with the leasing (by the United States) of the block in which the well is located are governed by the federal Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), perhaps by Louisiana law functioning as surrogate federal law under OCSLA Sec. 1333(a)(2), a variety of federal environmental acts including, most prominently, the National Environmental Policy Act. Liability arising from unauthorized discharges of petroleum from the well is subject to a variety of federal statutes, among which the most prominent is the Oil Pollution Act of1990, enacted by Congress shortly after the Exxon Valdez’s grounding and oil spill. The course will selectively address a number of the central legal issues posed by the BP Oil Spill that flow from or are indirectly impacted by the network of applicable federal public domain and environmental measures and their interpretation by the judiciary and knowledgeable commentators.