Wayne State University Law School Associate Professor Noah D. Hall is co-author of a new casebook, "Modern Water Law: Private Property, Public Rights, and Environmental Protections."

Hall co-wrote the book with Robert W. Adler, interim dean and James I. Farr Chair in Law at the University of Utah's S.J. Quinney College of Law, and Robin K. Craig, the William H. Leary Professor of Law at Quinney.

The book, published by Foundation Press, provides a comprehensive text to study the range of legal issues and doctrines that affect water resources. "Modern Water Law" is divided into three parts: Private Property Rights to Use Water, Public Rights and Interests in Water, and Environmental Protection of Water Resources.

"Legal disputes over water can be especially challenging because they often involve important rights and values that are in direct conflict and thus must be balanced and compromised," Hall said. "'Modern Water Law' explores how the legal system allocates, manages and protects our most important natural resource."

The book is national in scope and covers the most current issues and challenges in the field, such as ecosystem protection and restoration, the energy-water nexus and adaptation to climate change. It also reexamines historic legal doctrines, such as the public trust doctrine and governmental takings of property rights, in light of modern water policy values and goals.

The book was written with a focus on "teachability," Hall said. "Most chapters are designed to be taught in two class sessions, and professors can easily teach the entire text in a three-credit course."

Hall's expertise is in environmental and water law, and he is widely published and quoted on the topics. His research focuses on issues of environmental governance, federalism, and transboundary pollution and resource management.

Hall of Ann Arbor graduated from the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment, concentrating on environmental policy. Before he joined Wayne Law's faculty, he taught at the University of Michigan Law School and was an attorney with the National Wildlife Federation, where he managed the Great Lakes Water Resources Program for the nation's largest conservation organization. Hall also worked in private practice for several years. He has litigation experience and numerous published decisions in state and federal courts, and continues to represent a variety of clients in significant environmental policy disputes.

To learn more about "Modern Water Law," visit Hall's blog at

Published: Wed, Sep 25, 2013